BY MAIRE O’NEILL
Los Alamos Public Schools sent out a survey last week asking parents three questions:
- During the Thanksgiving Break, are you planning any out-of-state travel or are you hosting any out-of-state guests/family in your home that will require your child to quarantine?
- During the Winter Break from Dec. 21 – Jan. 6, are you planning any out-of-state travel or are you hosting any out-of-state guests/family in your home that will require your child to quarantine?
- Are you planning any in-state travel over the next two months that may result in a quarantine for any of your children?
An item on the agenda for Tuesday evening’s school board meeting indicates that the board may take some action related to the results of the survey. Responses were due today, Monday, Nov. 9. Asked what recommendation he will make to the board, Supt. Kurt Steinhaus said Saturday he is planning to review the data submitted before making a recommendation.
The agenda item reads: “Review of data about elementary staffing and student attendance from Thanksgiving until Jan. 19, 2021, due to governor’s health order and 14-day quarantine”. LAPS staff have also been surveyed and administration is checking with all substitute teaching staff to see if there would be coverage if teaching staff were unavailable due to quarantining.
Sources tell the Los Alamos Reporter that it is likely that schools will return to the remote model of learning from Thanksgiving through mid-January because of the likelihood of increased COVID-19 exposure in the community due to travel, family events, college students returning home for the holidays and other factors. The number of cases in Los Alamos County has slowly crept up to 70 as of Monday and the number of cases at Los Alamos National Laboratory jumped by more than 30 last week to 123. There have been unconfirmed reports that LANL will return to having only essential workers on site during the holiday season. As of Friday, 55 percent of LANL employees were still working remotely.
As of early Monday afternoon, the LAPS website indicated that 11 students have tested positive for COVID-19 since August: 2 from Aspen Elementary, 1 from Barranca Elementary, 3 from Los Alamos Middle School, and 5 from Los Alamos High School/Topper Freshman Academy. An employee at LAMS and an employee at LAPS Facilities have also tested positive. The middle school, high school and TFA remain in remote learning status.