On Friday, March 27, 2020 Governor Lujan Grisham announced that New Mexico Public Education Department, or NM PED, will shift to a learn-at-home model as schools will remain closed for the rest of the school year. Children will not be returning back to school as originally planned on April 6, 2020.
Each School District and Public Charter School will develop a Continuous Learning Plan that meets their needs in their community. Continuous learning focuses on critical standards and the the skills needed for grade advancement. School are not required to make up the instructional days that were missed between the March 16 to April 3 closure dates, but for the remaining weeks of the school year to be waived, districts must develop both technology-based and non-technology based learning plans. Each district and public charter school gets to decide what they give students for this Continuous Learning Plan. Districts can choose many outlets on how to give instruction to their students for the remainder of the school year. Students that don’t have access to internet might be handed out packets of work on a weekly basis. Teachers can give out instruction to students with internet access through google classroom, zoom, emails, Bloomz and Facebook, to name some examples.
NM PED is recommending the guidelines for each student to have the following of instructional time per day :
- Pre-K : 30 minutes
- Grades K-1 : 45 minutes
- Grades 4-5: 90 minutes
- Grades 6-12: 30 minutes per teacher for a maxim of 3 hours in a day
High school credits will be award based on flexible approaches, including completion of work, demonstration of competency for course completion and expanded equivalency like work experience. High school seniors have until June 19 to demonstrate eligibility of graduation, and those who fail to do so will be offered credit recovery in the summer.
Public colleges and universities are not included in the closure order.
Employees of schools will continue to be paid. Teachers will be expected to “teach” students virtually, either with physical packets handed out or through use of the internet. Bus contractors will still get paid as they will be used to distribute food and hard copies of lessons as well as picking up the hard copies of work that is completed. Special Education and other related service contractors will be encouraged to provide virtual services to students and will have to maintain and update documentation on Special Education services. They will be paid for these services.
Handing out breakfast and lunch to students will continue. NM PED is applying to be able to distribute EBT cards to qualifying families to purchase meals with their free breakfast/lunch allotment.