CLOVIS, N.M. (KAMR/KCIT) – Clovis Municipal Schools have announced that instruction will shift back into Remote Learning after the Thanksgiving holiday, through the end of the semester. The shift will primarily affect elementary students in preschool through 5th grade.
At the start of the second semester in January, the District says that conditions will be reevaluated to determine the possibility of a return to Hybrid Learning Mode. Further plans will be announced at that time.
Students currently attending school in Cohorts A and B, says the announcement, will begin to receive remote instruction on Monday, Nov. 30, for a minimum of two days a week, with the remainder of the school week designated for independent work time. Teachers will communicate with families regarding individual class schedules and online learning.
Because of this change, the District advises that before dismissal on Friday, Nov. 20, students should take personal belongings, Chromebooks and chargers, and art kits home in preparation for Remote Learning.
Additionally, all District employees able to remotely will report for work online to reduce the number of individuals present in facilities, says the announcement. Staff are also encouraged to take equipment and supplies home before the holiday to reduce traffic in District buildings.
Middle and Secondary students have been in Remote Learning Mode since the beginning of the school year, and will continue existing schedules. Families of students who receive in-person services or participate in in-person programs will be contacted with further information.
The District release continues, “It is without question that in-person learning is best for students, and Remote Learning places strains on students and staff. To that end, the District has worked to prolong in-person opportunities as long as possible, however the current climate calls for a strategic approach to avoid what seem to be inevitable state-imposed closures.”
The decision, says the District, comes from increased local COVID-19 cases and tightened state criteria. As reported in recent weeks, the District is experiencing a rise in cases among staff and students – with more than 80 positive cases in November alone – with significant impact on attendance and the ability to conduct in-person learning.
On Nov. 11, the state activated requirements and a return to Remote Learning Mode for any school or district facility with four COVID-19 cases in a 14 day period. Under these criteria, schools closed due to case numbers can only return to Hybrid Learning Mode when and or if the surrounding county’s case numbers meet state requirements.
Alternatively, if a District voluntarily moves to Remote Learning Mode, it can return to Hybrid Learning at its own discretion and is not dependent on meeting county-level criteria. Due to this, the District leadership says it has elected to close voluntarily so that the option to resume in-person instruction later on remains without the need for state approval.
At this point, the District says that Curry County is notably far from the state’s gating criteria to reopen. If these conditions continue and the District were forced to go into Remote Learning Mode, there is little hope of returning to Hybrid Mode in the foreseeable future.
“The District would like to take this opportunity to implore the community, families, and students to adhere to public health orders to reduce the spread of COVID-19.” The announcement closes, “As difficult as it is to be apart from family, friends, and neighbors during the coming holiday, stay home, refrain from unnecessary travel or outings, and follow COVID-19 safe practices so that our students can return to in-person learning as soon as possible.”
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