School reopenings still uncertain as COVID cases spike

Education

NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – We’re about a month away from the first day of school but there’s still a lot of uncertainty about whether things will actually reopen, and parents still have a lot of concerns. Thursday, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham addressed reopening schools and the models for schools to use to reopen but we’ve learned there is still no finalized plan.

“We are not going to be threatened by the federal government on safe school openings. We are going to do it right, we’re going to be effective and I predict you will see many states follow suit. Because families want to know that their kids are safe, they want to know that they’re safe when their kids come home, they don’t want schools to start and stop,” said Gov. Lujan Grisham. She also said that if gating criteria are not met, going back to school will not be safe.

Superintendents are being asked to come up with their plans and parents are being asked to participate in those discussions. The governor said they hope to have these plans in the next seven to 14 days but she said there are three things that could happen, a shorter delayed opening, which could just be a week or so, a longer postponed start, which she said could mean not opening until the winter.

The last option is not opening schools at all for certain age groups. Parents say the uncertainty makes them uneasy.

“The end of last year, it was so chaotic with not having a plan in place, and when everything shut down it was just chaos. And, I’m hoping that it doesn’t come to that now. I know our teachers are trying to be a little bit more prepared just to go either way but it’s still just very concerning that we don’t know what’s happening,” said a mom who asked to remain anonymous.

The Public Education Department released its re-entry plan last month and includes a hybrid model of learning. School districts have until next Wednesday to get their individual plans to the state.

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