Rio Rancho Public Schools prepare for hybrid learning model


RIO RANCHO, N.M. (KRQE) – Rio Rancho Public Schools is starting hybrid learning for its elementary students on Monday, including at the brand new Joe Harris Elementary School. To prevent the spread of the coronavirus, the district has a lot of new safety measures in place.

“We’re excited to have them back in our classes,” said Melissa Perez a spokesperson for Rio Rancho Public Schools.

Joe Harris Elementary School will be opening its doors to students for the first time. While the school has been years in the making, the pandemic has made the opening more challenging. “COVID-19 has really created a lot of challenges, not just for school districts, but I think for communities across the U.S.,” said Perez.

You’ll be noticing some new things when you enter their schools, like an iPad that takes the temperature of each student and faculty member, as they enter. “We have plexiglass barriers in place at high-visited areas, for instance, reception desks,” said Perez.

The hallways will be divided into lanes, and arrows will show the students which direction to walk. They will have hand sanitizer stations at every entrance and exit and each class will have designated zones on the playground where they have to stay.

The teacher will supervise to make sure students are following that rule. Lunchtime will also look different as students will be spaced out in the cafeteria and they’ll all sit facing the same direction.

Under the hybrid model, one group will go to class on Monday and Tuesday, while the other group goes on Thursday and Friday. The school will be empty on Wednesdays giving the district a chance to deep clean.

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