ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – On Monday, April 5, students and staff in New Mexico’s largest school district, Albuquerque Public Schools, will be returning to the classroom for the first time in more than a year. They anticipate some hiccups but are asking for parents’ help during the transition to make everything go a little smoother.

“Learning in the pandemic certainly has proved to all of us how important education is but also how flexible we can be,” said APS spokesperson Monica Armenta. APS says parents should prepare for heavy traffic near campuses and to plan for the extra time needed to get to school.

On Sunday, the district addressed the ongoing bus driver shortage and is asking families to find a ride to school, if possible. “As of late last week, we had all but probably three or four bus drivers, but since then, four have let us know they’re not going to be driving anymore. That’s something we don’t have any control over. Bus drivers are seasonal workers,” Armenta said.

Families still have the option to stay remote, but for those who choose to go back for in-person learning, APS says staff and students must wear masks at all times except when eating or drinking and that everyone is expected to maintain social distancing protocols. When walking into schools, not all masks are allowed.

You have to follow CDC guidelines so no neck gaiters or masks with vents. “The masks are necessary not because we want to burden anyone, but because they slow the spread of the virus and that’s something that we are still concerned about because we are still in the middle of a pandemic,” said Armenta.

The district says it’s fully staffed in all of its schools which have varying levels of students returning for in-person learning. APS won’t know the exact number of kids returning in-person until next week as families still have the choice to make up their minds this week.

For additional information on the district’s full plan to reopen schools, visit