PUBLIC EDUCATION NEWS
Thirteen New Mexico school districts and charter schools serving about 9,000 students expanded in-person learning the week beginning March 21, with 12 moving to full-reentry. They are:
MOVED TO FULL REENTRY:
- Fort Sumner
- Wagon Mound
- Cottonwood Valley Charter (Socorro)
- Hozho Academy (Gallup)
- SABE (Rio Rancho)
MOVED FROM REMOTE TO HYBRID:
- McCurdy Charter School (Española)
Altogether, 9% more students are learning in-person this week than last based on data reported to the Public Education Department, with 72% of school sites reporting. Here is a breakdown:
- 92,989 out of 317,000 children in classrooms (29%)
- 30,360 out of 51,000 school staff in buildings (60%)
- 26 of 187 districts/charter schools in full reentry (14%)
- 113 of 187 districts/charter schools in hybrid (60%)
The Public Education Department announced March 8 that all schools are expected to move to full reentry no later than April 5 because it is now safe to do so with protocols in place to limit viral spread.
All of New Mexico’s nearly 51,000 K-12 educators and school staff are being offered the vaccine between now and March 31.
Until recently, the Department of Health vaccine registry did not distinguish between pre-K, K-12 and higher education so a precise count of K-12 educators who have been vaccinated is not available. However, about 51,400 (almost 83%) of the 62,000 pre-K through college educators in the registry have received at least one shot, and almost 20,000 (32%) are fully vaccinated.
Surveillance testing of unvaccinated, asymptomatic school staff will continue until all school staff are fully vaccinated. For the week ending March 20, 6,790 on-site school staff members (22.4%) participated in surveillance testing. That is a decrease from 7,481 (31.6%) the week previous.
The positivity rate for staff surveillance testing increased slightly to .12% from .11% the week previous.
To date, no New Mexico public school has been ordered to close for 14 days and return, where appropriate, to remote learning due to COVID-19 spread signified by four or more Rapid Responses in a 14-day period.
A Rapid Response is a series of interventions designed to prevent COVID-19 spread, beginning when the New Mexico Department of Health notifies a school that an employee or student has a confirmed positive case and was on campus/in the facility during the infectious period. Read the complete COVID-19 Rapid Response Watchlist here.
Only the individual school that reaches the four-in-14 threshold is required to return to remote learning. Other schools in the same district are not impacted.
In the week ending March 19, 12 school facilities appeared on the Environment Department’s Watchlist, signifying they had at least two Rapid Responses within a 14-day period. Those school buildings are:
- Albuquerque Academy
- St. Charles Borromeo School
- Valley High
- Ventana Ranch Elementary
- Central Elementary
- Desert Willow Elementary
- Cloudcroft Elementary
- Las Cruces High
- Atalaya Elementary
- Silver High
- Riverside Elementary
- Taos High