BY J. CARTER PAYNE
Los Alamos High School
Dear Hilltopper Students and Parents –
Thank you for your thoughtful questions and concerns about our upcoming school closure from Monday May 9 to 13. Saturday School on May 14 is also canceled. We are hoping this closure is only for one week, but rest assured that we are making contingency plans for other situations as well. The main goal during this closure is to keep students and staff together with their families, safe at home.
All Classes Are Canceled During This Closure Week.
You can think of it as very similar to a snow day. The community of Los Alamos is NOT being evacuated at this time. This closure helps ensure maximum safety for our students and staff, ensuring that they are home in the event that an evacuation becomes necessary.
- There is NO remote instruction during this time, INCLUDING classes in Topper Virtual Academy.
- There is NO expectation that students will do any assignments, activities, reading, online meetings etc. For example: if a project was assigned last week, with the assumption that it would be completed before finals week, the project needs to be scaled back to account for the missing time.
- There is NO expectation of staff that they are available to students online or in person.
- Any IEP/504 meetings, student presentations, club meetings, or any other school meetings will be postponed.
We recognize that some students may want to use this time to catch up on reading, prepare for upcoming finals, etc., similar to what you would do on a weekend. However, the closure has created new situations for each of us, our families, and our students.
- While you are certainly allowed to work, there is NO expectation that any staff or students will do work during the closure.
All Events are Canceled
All club and activity events that were planned for this week are canceled or postponed, whether held on or off campus. This includes events such as the Music Festival and Choir performances that were scheduled on campus. Duane Smith Auditorium will be closed to all activities, including those from outside organizations/groups during this time period. If you have any questions regarding events, please reach out to your event’s sponsor.
Campus is Closed
Students are NOT allowed to come to campus at any time during the closure. Staff, administration, and everyone else will be at home. Many students are reaching out asking about chromebooks, musical instruments, etc. Students can retrieve their items when school reopens, but not before. Staff are not to coordinate any pick-ups, distributions, etc. on or off campus during the closure period.
AP Tests are Postponed
AP testing will be postponed during the closure. College Board has contingencies available. Plan A is to resume testing during the makeup days that the College Board already has on their schedule. We are reaching out to the College Board to determine what other options may be available in the event the closure lasts longer than this week. We will share updates as soon as we have information from the College Board.
State Athletic Competitions Continue
Golf, Baseball and Track/Field athletes will be allowed to choose whether to participate in their State competitions this week. All contests are held outside of our county, and any optional practices will take place outside of Los Alamos County as well. There will be no school transportation available during this closure. This frees up district transportation resources in the event they are needed to assist in a different capacity. Parents will need to be prepared to transport their players to baseball and track events if they opt to attend. Pojoaque has graciously agreed to allow us to use their facilities for OPTIONAL practices for our state competitors up until the state events at the end of the week. No other student groups, outside of athletes preparing for State competitions may have any in-person meetings this week, whether optional or not.
I appreciate everyone’s flexibility during this closure. As the forecast for upcoming days and weeks becomes clearer, please know that we will work hard to communicate frequently with you so you know what to expect. If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will strive to answer frequently asked questions in regular update emails, and individual questions as necessary.
Take care of yourselves and your families while you’re away from class. We’ll look forward to being together on campus soon!