Sidney Gutierrez Schools Covid-19 Related Policies
Due to the declared health emergency in New Mexico related to the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), until further notice the following policies and procedures will be in place at School, in addition to the policies and procedures contained in the School’s Student/Family and/or Employee Handbooks, and other School policies/procedures. To the extent that a policy or procedure set forth in this Guidebook conflicts with a policy or procedure contained in the School’s Student/Family Handbook, Employee Handbook, or other School policy/procedure, the policy in this Guidebook shall control.
Violation of these policies/procedures may subject students/staff to disciplinary action. Parents/guardians, visitors and other persons who refuse to adhere to School policies and procedures shall be required to immediately leave School premises.
School will abide by all current federal and state public health orders applicable to schools and school-related activities. See . To the extent anything herein conflicts with a public health or executive order, the public health/executive order shall control.
In addition to the Sidney Gutierrez School’s (SGS or School) regular security and other visitor screening procedures, the School shall screen any person (including students and employees) wishing to enter the School premises or School-related in-person event or activity, or any other building operated or occupied by the School, and shall deny on-campus access to anyone, including any School employee, volunteer, student, parent, visitor, contractor, or any other person, as appropriate, based on the person’s answers to the screening questions required by the School for entry to School property/events. These questions are available at Screening Checklist Information.
Further, SGS shall conduct temperature checks for all persons seeking to enter the School premises or School- related in-person event or activity, or any other building operated or occupied by the School, and shall deny entry to anyone with a temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.
The School shall maintain a daily log of all persons entering the School who is not a student at the School, or a School employee. The name, telephone number, and date of entry shall be logged for each School visitor, contractor, volunteer, parent, or any person other than a currently enrolled student at the School, or a School employee. The daily log shall be retained for four (4) weeks and shall be maintained, monitored and secured by the School’s Principal or designee.
Any person entering the School premises or who is participating in or attending a School-related activity must wear a mask or similar protective face covering, covering the nose and mouth, at all times, except while eating or drinking or during PE or other activities involving exercise (i.e. recess). This does not apply to any person who provides written proof from a health care provider that the person has been advised by a health care provider not to wear a face covering. The use of a mask/face covering is not required by a School employee when in that person’s private office with no one else present.
SGS will provide shields and facemasks to all students enrolled in the 2020-2021 school year. Our plan is to have students who chose to wear shields, leave them on campus to be sanitized and kept safely within the classroom. Student who chose to wear facial masks will also have them provided by the school. Students who cannot bring their own face coverings for use at School should notify the Principal, who will arrange for face coverings to be provided.
Any person who is denied access to School premises or in-person events because of the results of the screening or temperature check requirements herein or as required by the State of New Mexico, shall be required to do the following before further attempting to access School premises or in-person events:
- Engage in a fourteen (14)-day period of self-isolation;
- Obtain a test or tests for COVID-19 in accordance with New Mexico Department of Health (DOH)protocols and disclose the results of the test to the School’s Head Administrator, which results shall be kept in confidence by the School to the extent such does not conflict with orders and directives of the DOH and/or New Mexico Public Education Department (PED); and
- Attend School from home, or work from home to the extent that work can be performed remotely with the permission of the Head Administrator. Any School employee engaged in a period of self- isolation required under this Policy/Procedure who is not able or permitted to work from home shall use annual and sick leave or, if eligible, leave under the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act. See related policy
If a School student or employee has contact with any person, including a household member, while that person is required to engage in a period of self-isolation under any applicable executive order, the student or employee shall engage in a fourteen (14)-day period of self-isolation from the date of last contact with that person before returning to the School and/or participating in School-related in-person events.
Students/parents and staff must notify the Principal if he/she knows that he/she has been exposed to others who have tested positive for COVID-19. The School will keep this information in confidence to the extent such does not conflict with orders and directives of the DOH and/or PED.
SGS shall adhere to DOH and/or PED guidelines and shall work with state and local health officials with respect to contact tracing.
Paperwork/records relating to employee/student COVID-19 screening, testing, diagnosis and related documentation shall be maintained by School Administration in confidential, segregated, locked files as medical records.
IF YOU FEEL SICK AT SCHOOL
If you feel unwell before school or work, you must stay home and follow attendance notification requirements. Students/staff who become unwell while at School must do the following:
- Students must notify a staff member that they feel unwell. Staff must notify Administration.
- Persons who feel unwell on campus shall immediately be taken to an isolation room or area to separate them from others. School healthcare staff shall conduct COVID-19 screening procedures and use Standard and Transmission-based Precautions when caring for persons who feel unwell on campus. See Caring for Patients.
- Parents/guardians will be called to pick up their student immediately. Employee emergency contacts will be called to pick up the employee immediately. If circumstances appear to require immediate healthcare, the School shall call for ambulance transportation to a healthcare facility. Ill students/employees shall not be allowed to drive themselves home.
- Students/staff feeling unwell must contact the DOH Coronavirus hotline for next steps (1-855- 600-8453) and will be required by School to seek and obtain testing for COVID-19 at the earliest opportunity and, for the safety of others, to inform the School of the results of any testing. School shall maintain confidentiality consistent with the ADA and other applicable federal and state privacy laws.
- The School shall inform the DOH, staff, and School families immediately of a possible case of COVID-19, while maintaining confidentiality consistent with the ADA and other applicable federal and state privacy laws. Students/employees shall not be identified to the School community by name, and shall avoid, to the extent reasonably feasible, making other references that would permit the community to guess the person’s identity. While the School cannot prevent speculation, it will take reasonable steps not to contribute to it.
- Parts of the School facility used by a possible COVID-19 positive sick person shall be closed and remain unused for 24 hours and shall not be used thereafter until thorough cleaning and disinfection has occurred.
- DOH/health officials will work with the School to identify individuals exposed to the infected person and test them for COVID-19.
- School shall immediately contact DOH to activate contact tracing. Students/staff who are notified by DOH via contact tracing must follow all directives of DOH.
- Students/staff with suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 may not return to campus/in- person activities until they demonstrate to the School that they have met DOH criteria to discontinue home isolation.
School employees shall not travel out of state for School-related business until further notice. All students, families, and School employees are strongly discouraged from traveling out of state on personal business. Any School employee who engages in personal out of state travel shall report the nature, extent, and details of the travel to the Head Administrator before traveling or, if advance notice of the out of state travel is not possible because of unforeseen, emergency circumstances, as soon as possible after the travel begins. For so long as executive/DOH order 2020-054 or similar order remains in place, any student or employee who engages in or returns from out of state or international travel shall engage in a fourteen (14)-day period of self-isolation upon return to New Mexico before returning to the campus or attending in-person School events, whether or not they are exhibiting any health symptoms.
Cleaning. All School facilities and buildings operated by the School must be maintained in accordance with the guidelines issued by the New Mexico Department of Health and CDC for the cleaning and disinfection of public facilities and schools during the current public health emergency.
Staff shall be required to keep and provide daily checklists or similar verification that facilities have been cleaned in accordance with these DOH guidelines. Staff further shall comply with any/all cleaning/maintenance requirements that may be issued by the New Mexico Public School Insurance Authority (NMPSIA).
All large group gatherings shall be avoided on School premises or during School-related events. Outside of class, students/staff/visitors shall not congregate in groups larger than 5, or the maximum number of people allowed to congregate as defined by then-current DOH or Executive Order applicable to the School’s area.
- Students/staff/visitors must maintain proper social distancing measures at all times (minimum 6 feet between individuals, whether or not a mask is worn).
- Students and staff will remain in a designated classroom or place on the grounds of the school until directed to change locations by the school’s administrator. This includes designed classroom schedule changes for both elementary and middle schools.
- Staff shall coordinate a segregated mobility of students in a coordinated manner for such aspects of operations ad passing periods, class cohorts, recess and bathroom breaks.
- Where possible/practical, meetings/conferences shall be held virtually or in small groups with maximum social distancing.
- Staff shall closely monitor and enforce social distancing requirements.
All staff and students must wear protective face coverings covering nose and mouth on either School- or non-school (common carriers) provided transportation. All reasonable steps shall be taken to limit bus seats to one student per seat, with a maximum of two per seat. Hand sanitizer will be provided and required. School vehicles shall be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected before and after each use.
Parents are strongly encouraged NOT to carpool, and to transport only their student(s) to and from school. If students must carpool with members not in their household, all persons in the car should wear masks and should distance themselves in the vehicle to the maximum extent possible.
Students and employees with underlying medical conditions as defined by the CDC and/or employees over the age of 50, and/or those who live with someone who is in a high-risk category, should contact the school’s Principal prior to the start of school, or as soon as reasonably possible, to discuss any concerns or issues about returning to on-campus instruction. School will maintain such discussions and documentation in confidence and in segregated, locked files as medical-related records and information. Student accommodations and modifications will be addressed pursuant to IDEA, Section 504, and/or ADA procedures. Personnel accommodations shall be addressed in compliance with ADA and OSHA requirements. See also Emergency Paid Sick Leave and Extended Family Medical Leave Policy. The School aims to be as flexible as possible in making alternative arrangements.
Until further notice, School field trips necessitating vehicular transportation to indoor or outdoor locations will be curtailed. Walking field trips to outdoor locations where social distancing can be maintained may occur, subject to prior scheduling and approval by School administration and parents/guardians.
During remote learning days, meals will continue to be provided to eligible students through the Roswell Independent School District’s designated food distribution sites as detailed on their website [English or Spanish version]. Please contact RISD Director of Student Nutrition (575-637-3338 or 575-637-3339) for further information. Masks must be worn, and social distancing must be maintained, during meal distribution.
During mealtimes on campus, students and staff are required to maintain social distancing requirements and to wear masks when finished with their meal. Cleaning/disinfection of tables, high-touch surfaces and school meal sites will be conducted throughout the day.
Beginning August 5, 2020:
Grab and Go Meals will be provided at the following locations: Goddard High School, Roswell High School, University High School, Berrendo Elementary School, Old Edgewood Building, El Capitan Elementary School, Missouri Elementary School, Nancy Lopez Elementary School, Pecos Elementary School, Valley View Elementary School, Washington Elementary School
Times: Monday – Friday 9AM – 12 PM
ALL Meal bags contain both Breakfast and Lunch
School shall follow the current NMAA guidelines regarding extracurricular activities, including school sports:
All members of the coaching staff will be tested for COVID-19 shortly before the start of the season for any sport or activity that they coach, and the coaching staff members will provide the results to a school official named by the School. . Each student participating in an NMAA sport or activity will be tested for COVID-19 shortly before each competitive season in which the student participates and will provide the results to a school official named by the charter school. Coaching staff will self-monitor and screen students prior to all workouts, practices, and competitions.
Time for recess shall not be reduced or eliminated and withholding of recess shall not be used as a student disciplinary measure. Students engaged in exercise during recess need not utilize face coverings but must maintain social distancing requirements. Students not engaged in exercise during recess must use their face covering. Playground equipment shall be regularly cleaned and disinfected.
Students are expected to attend in-person or remote instructional programs, as provided by the School, each day. Attendance will be officially recorded and reported to PED for days in which students are physically present in school. For days in which students participate in a remote learning program, the school is required to track student participation. The New Mexico Attendance for Success Act requires that districts and charter schools provide interventions to students based on the percentage of absences students have accrued.
Hybrid Model: For hybrid learning models in which students attend in-person classes on some days of the week and participate in remote learning on other days of the week, accurate attendance data for in-person classes shall be documented. Students will not be marked as present or absent for classes they were not expected to attend in- person. For example, if a student has in-person classes on Monday and Tuesday and remote learning Wednesday through Friday, school attendance for this student will only be marked and reported for Monday and Tuesday. However, teachers will still track participation and engagement data for remote learning days, as determined by whether or not students participate in online instructional activities like Zoom or Google classroom. This data shall be kept at the school site.
If campus is closed: For the purposes of determining the attendance intervention tiers of support in the Attendance for Success Act to which students are assigned, or identifying chronically or excessively absent students, participation in offsite instructional activities during any period of campus closure will not be considered. However, students are expected to participate in remote learning during any campus closure period(s) as scheduled. Data regarding the submission of schoolwork and participation in online activities will be counted as participation or engagement data and used to support student learning and engagement with instructional content. Teachers will track whether or not students are logging on to online instructional activities. The School will monitor those students who are not participating or engaging with online instructional activities and provide supports as appropriate.
Medical and other excused absences: Absences due to medical conditions may be excused absences if the status of the student is disclosed to appropriate school personnel and if relevant documentation is provided as per the existing School attendance policies. Students will be allowed to make up schoolwork missed due to excused medical absences. Excused medical absences, including medical absences for students on 504 plans and students who are expectant or parenting, are included when determining students’ attendance intervention tiers. However, for students who are excessively absent (students missing 20 percent or more of class periods or school days), additional excused medical absences need not be considered when determining whether a student must be referred to the probation services office.
Absenteeism calculation: When calculating absenteeism rates, the School will calculate the percentage of expected in-person days missed. For instance, if a student is expected to attend in-person classes on Monday and Tuesday each week and is absent every Monday, that reflects a 50 percent absentee rate for that student, not a 20 percent absentee rate.
Optional Online-Only program: For optional online instructional programs that the school may employ to better meet the needs of some families, and in which families may choose whether or not to participate, attendance will be regularly taken and reported for program participants, and students will be supported with appropriate interventions in accordance with the Attendance for Success Act.
Sidney Gutierrez Schools Covid-19 Related Information
The Sidney Gutierrez Schools will be open to educate students in the fall of 2020. The governing council and administration’s priorities are to establish consistent measures in making our school’s efforts a success. The safety of staff and students is paramount to achieving that success. SGS will continuously monitor and adhere to the guidance from the Governor’s executive orders along with guidance from the New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH), the New Mexico Public Education Department (NMPED) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
SGS has established three critical priorities: student learning/well-being, staff well-being/operational supports and scholastic excellence when designing our educational initiatives. The administration has implemented several unique components into its reentry plans providing a comprehensive approach in support of these priorities. Safety, communications, policies and procedures, variable learning modalities and practical plans for school closures and reopening all have been established.
The SGS governing council and administration will regularly assess the full range of options for SGS and provide recommendations based on the best available evidence. We desire our students to succeed in any school setting, whether face-to-face or virtual setting this upcoming school year.
Sidney Gutierrez Schools Academic Priorities
For the purposes of the Continuous Learning Platform (CLP), the SGS will rely on multiple factors when determining attendance/participation for student records of overall enrollment and academic progress.
The staff at SGS agree that capturing attendance is a worthwhile practice to monitor student performance criteria. From a student-oriented success model viewpoint, a record of absenteeism is a proper indicator of students who are at-risk.
For the CLP, attendance may be captured using several methods:
Check-in based attendance – In this method, any student who takes a single action like logging in or checking-in is considered present. It should be noted that this method is only viewed as a monitor for engagement activities only.
Participation-based attendance – A student is considered present based on their participation in one or more online activities shared during a session. Teacher evaluation should accompany any reference to this aspect of the attendance regimen.
Performance-based attendance – A student is considered present based on how they perform in quizzes/tests or other assignments as deemed appropriate by the instructor. In this criterion, a basic level of mastery is expected and is presented upfront to the students in the classroom. This is best managed by asking simple and ongoing questions that students should be able to answer if they’re attentive.
Watch-time based attendance – A student is considered present based on the amount of time they spend online during the online videoconferencing portion of the classroom experience. In a 60-minute session, a student may be considered present if they spend at least 45 minutes in the videoconference. Some video-conferencing platforms report these analytics for all participants, but review of online recordings will also promote actual participation metrics.
In attempt to establish the greatest extent of student engagement and participation, the SGS will hope to instill various practices that will eliminate student disengagement and/or a sense of isolationism as they continue their enrollment throughout the school year. The following are some guidelines and practices that SGS will follow during the implementation of its CLP:
- Initial, frequent and multiple contacts by various means (emails, phone calls, videoconferencing, etc.) in the hopes of personalizing the relationship (student/teacher) and enhancing the rapport between the two entities;
- Providing introductory activities to connect students with the CLP that established them with a sense of community;
- Providing opportunities for student/learner interactions (hangouts, bulletin boards, study groups, show-and-tells);
- Sharing of student work exemplars on social media or Internet-based websites.
- Establish teacher determined contact methods such as office hours, contact information including phone/email with requirements for response time, frequency of responses and security of confidentiality.
- Establish well documented expectations for communication and contacts with students. This could be done by posting requirements statically on a webpage or including a video archived on an approved website.
- Information shall be concise and consistent within the system of delivery and support the students reducing the temptation of common barriers to effective student performance such as procrastination. The following will assist the teacher/school in preparing the students for success and eliminating barriers that could prove detrimental:
- Chunking content to increase the effective of the message in a logical and informative method;
- Send multiple reminders to ensure student success;
- Use a variety of multimedia and resources to deliver the expectations within a specific course.
Grading of student performance will be housed in the school’s student information system, PowerSchool. Parents and students alike will be provided with information detailed the platforms capabilities and how the teachers will provide grades throughout the school year.
The Sidney Gutierrez Schools identify the multiple roles that grades serve regardless of education format:
- an assessment of student work within the classroom setting;
- as a means of communicating to students, parents, administration and governance structure about student performance within the classroom setting;
- motivation to students for continued learning and improvement in a curricular area/classroom setting;
- organizing future lessons, units, or a semester in that grades designate intervals in a lesson/unit/course and bring closure to it.
- Grading also provides feedback to instructors on their students’ learning, information that can inform future teaching decisions.
SGS understands the complexity involved in establishing clear, concise criteria and goals for assessment. The schools will convey to students and parents the grading practices implemented within the Continuous Learning Platform. Ultimately, SGS hopes that clear direction of information will provide the families of the schools a comprehensive understanding of what their expectations are throughout the course of the planned activities of instruction.
Samples of grading scaled for different assignments are as follows:
- Letter grades – for standalone answers/assignments, essays, essay assignments, etc.;
- 100-point differential scaling for exams, project-based learning;
- Checks (+/ -) for quizzes, homework, presentations, etc.;
- Pass/fail for preparatory/preliminary assignments;
- Authentic assessments are needed/required by teachers.
- Teacher comments to communicate rather than to justify student grade, focusing on what teachers most desire students to address in future work.
- Linking teacher remarks and feedback to the goals for an assignment.
- Observations primarily on patterns — representative strengths and weaknesses.
- Avoid over-commenting or “picking apart” students’ work.
- In teacher’s final comments, pose questions that will foster further inquiry by students rather than provide answers for them.
High-quality instructional materials should be utilized in every learning situation presented to students in the school’s CLP. The materials selected should be composed of various components with a designated intent on providing the following outcomes:
- Identify and focus on student engagement, academic purpose and instructional rigor in a broad sense that is meaningful to a diverse community of learners;
- Provide teachers with consistent direction of advancing instruction with a common foundation of supports that are well organized and have high-quality resources that can be adapted to meet the daily needs of the classroom;
- Ability to adapt these instructional materials to successfully address varying levels of access for the representative learning community engaged in the CLP as predicated by the school’s charter.
- Focus on standards-alignments, authentic/formative/summative assessments, developmentally appropriate, synchronous/asynchronous delivery, covers alternative facets of relationship building and student engagement by providing learning activities that are enhance promote new learning at grade level.
- Appropriate engagement for equity of multiple constituents in the CLP – Special Education populations, English Language Learners, diverse socio-economic levels, etc.
- Exceptional professional development supports for teachers that promotes a comprehensive understanding of the various ways the programs are designed to effectively establish student engagement and subsequent learning.
Grade-band-specific instructional materials have been identified by the school’s staff and administration in ELA, Math, Science, Social Studies and other curricular areas. These resources are aligned with state academic standards and listed as approved adopted materials by the NMPED. During the researching and selection of these identified instructional materials, an examination of their ancillary resources has also been determined to support at-risk student groups found within the school’s population.
The school will continue its ongoing efforts with daily home-based email communications as its primary form of contact about changing circumstances. The school has employed this practice since its inception nearly twenty years ago and it is highly regarded by parents as the most favored form of communication between the home and school. Additions to the website will be made according to their relevance and if necessary; discussion forums, video communications or other identified methods will be employed on an as needed basis. Continued support of information archiving.
The following procedures will be conducted by the school to assist families and caregivers supporting the social-emotional need of students while at home:
- Promotion of information sharing (know the latest facts, statistics, etc. and convey them through various delivery systems);
- Adapting school policies where appropriate – identify and relate current standing of existing health crisis and promote changes to school-based policies to support non-traditional alterations of school activities);
- Planning for continuity of learning – establish a fluid interchange between online/virtual, hybrid and at-school educational offerings;
- Implementation of targeted health education appropriate to grade leveling for all students in the school regardless of setting;
- Addressing mental health/psychological supports that could be found within the current school setting;
- Identify and support vulnerable subpopulations within the school setting and share information on an as-needed basis;
- Encourage discourse between students, families and schools about health-related, educational, social-emotional or wellness issues.
- Support effective media literacy connections that will assist families and caregivers with appropriate information to help their children in the current health crisis cope with adversity confronting them.
Sidney Gutierrez Schools Health & Safety Priorities
SGS is working closely with various health care officials to address student and staff overall health and safety matters. SGS will use a daily health screening process that requires:
- Parents to self-report their child is asymptomatic and has not been exposed to anyone with COVID-19 symptoms
- All staff will be required to self-report being asymptomatic and without exposure to anyone with COVID-19 symptoms when reporting to worksites.
- Cloth face coverings or plastic shields will be worn by staff and students (where developmentally appropriate). Cloth face coverings will be provided to students as needed and SGS will ensure all staff has the necessary equipment based on their role (ex: masks, gowns, gloves, face shields, etc).
- Schools will ensure student and staff groupings are as static as possible.
- Desks will be separated by up to a six feet distance and will face the same direction; and
- Students will eat meals in classrooms whenever possible.
- SGS will limit building access, including, restricted building access for visitors.
- SGS continues to partner with local, county and state health organizations to further develop and enhance daily health screening protocols for students and staff including the use of temperature checks.
- Implementation of sneeze guards in centralized areas (office space).
- Public signage will be posted throughout the SGS schools.
- SGS will follow CDC and NMDOH guidance to reduce the risk for exposure to coronavirus. SGS buildings are designed to ventilate outdoor air throughout the day to reduce the buildup of pollutants and odors.
- Maintenance staff or contractors conduct routine and preventative maintenance on all mechanical, electrical, HVAC, and plumbing systems – including replacing air filters.
- CDC and NMDOH cleaning and disinfecting procedures will be increased.
- There will be daily sanitizing of high touch areas (doorknobs, handles, fixtures, etc.) with medical-grade sanitizing solutions.
- In addition, there will be more frequent monitoring and cleaning of restrooms throughout the day and contracted janitorial/custodial services will be available as needed.
- Additional breaks will be provided for hand washing to ensure students wash their hands for at least 20 seconds after blowing their nose, coughing, or sneezing; before eating; and upon entering classrooms.
- If soap and water are not readily available, sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol will be provided.
- Class sizes will be determined based on the physical size of the classroom and the ability to socially distance based on the CDC and NM Department of Health guidance (currently 6 feet).
While students are on campus, they will be eating breakfast and lunches in their classrooms on disposable trays with one-use utensils. If students are home because of a health order, then grab and go meals will be available to them on a daily basis.
Home is the first point of the screening continuum.
Schools should educate and support families on identifying the symptoms that indicate staff and students must stay home. Families should be encouraged to self-report symptoms of illness, including: Fever, new onset of cough, etc. Self-reporting mechanism could include: calling the school, calling health care provider, etc.
Transportation is the second point of the screening continuum.
Parents should avoid using public transportation or carpooling as a means to get their child(ren) to school. If this can’t be avoided, visible signage to communicate symptoms students should NOT have if traveling with a common carrier or carpool.
School is the final point on the screening continuum.
School personnel should visually check for symptoms, which may include temperature checks, and/or confirm with families that students are COVID-19 symptom-free.
- Screen staff, students and essential visitors, based on public health recommendations, safely, respectfully, as well as in accordance with any applicable privacy laws or regulations. Confidentiality should be maintained.
- Screen and check temperature for all staff and students upon arrival. Consider using a professional development day for staff to practice the screening protocols with each other before applying to students with a phased approach.
- Any screening policy should take into account students with disabilities and accommodations that may be needed in the screening process for those students.
- It is not required to re-screen staff, students, visitors if they leave and request to return to the building the same day.
- Implement protocols for conducting, monitoring, and tracking screenings.
- Consider cloth face coverings or masks for students age 3 and older (Determined on a student-by-student basis. Those with trouble breathing, or those unable to remove a mask without assistance should not wear a mask.) Teach and reinforce use of cloth face coverings.
- Face coverings may be challenging for students (especially younger students) to wear in all-day settings such as school. Face coverings should be worn by staff and students (particularly older students) as feasible and are most essential in times when physical distancing is difficult.
- Individuals should be frequently reminded not to touch the face covering and to wash their hands frequently. Information should be provided to staff, students, and students’ families on proper use, removal, and washing of cloth face coverings.
- Plexiglass is considered an additional protective barrier, but CDPHE does not recommend it as an alternative to masks/cloth face coverings in most situations.
- Options for students who are deaf or hard of hearing: Cloth masks may not always be the best viable option when teaching or supporting students who are deaf or hard of hearing. Face shields or plexiglass barriers may be used as an alternative, if additional precautions are taken, including physical distancing when feasible and strict cohorting.
- We recognize that students may find it difficult to wear a mask/cloth face covering at all times, especially younger students. With that in mind, the plexiglass protective barrier is an additional barrier schools/districts may consider. However, it is not an alternative to masks/cloth face coverings. Students age 3 and older are encouraged to wear a mask/cloth face covering as feasible. This is determined on a student-by-student basis. Those with trouble breathing, or those unable to remove a mask without assistance should not wear a mask/cloth face covering.
- Follow hand washing recommendations. Consider the need for additional hand soap from increased hand washing.
- Consider setting up temporary hand washing stations outside the school building.
- Follow cough/sneeze protocol.
- When teaching students school routines at the beginning of the school year, include routines for washing hands and keeping shared spaces clean.
- Post signs in highly visible locations (e.g., school entrances, restrooms) that promote everyday protective measures and describe how to stop the spread of germs (such as by properly washing hands and properly wearing a cloth face covering.
- Broadcast regular announcements on reducing the spread of COVID-19 on PA systems.
- Include messages (for example, videos) about behaviors that prevent the spread of COVID-19 when communicating with staff and families (such as on school websites, in emails, and on school social media accounts).
- Find free CDC print and digital resources on CDC’s communications resources main page.
- Educate and invest in proper hygiene and reinforce washing hands and covering coughs and sneezes among children and staff.
- When teaching students school routines at the beginning of the school year, include routines for washing hands and keeping shared spaces clean.
- Follow cough/sneeze protocols.
- Follow hand washing recommendations. Consider the need for additional hand soap from increased hand washing.
- Ensure ventilation systems operate properly and increase circulation of outdoor air as much as possible by opening windows and doors, using fans, or other methods. Do not open windows and doors if they pose a safety or health risk (e.g., allowing pollens in or exacerbating asthma symptoms) to children using the facility.
- Educate and invest in proper hygiene and reinforce washing hands and covering coughs and sneezes among children and staff.
Before Leaving Home:
- Parent checks the child for symptoms, in the event of a temperature 100.4, keep the child home until symptoms subside for 48 hours; contact the school office to report the absence
- Have your child wash their hands just prior to leaving home
- Please send your child to school with a full bottle of water and face covering
- Check their materials and confirm they have the items needed for the day; homework and supplies. This will avoid multiple trips to the campus throughout the day.
Riding the City Bus/Carpooling:
- Parents wait at bus stop with students until the child has cleared the screening
- To avoid grouping of students, stay in the car or stand at least 6’ apart while waiting for bus arrival to minimize grouping of children from different households.
- Temperature checks are required before a student may load in the morning. Any temperature of 100.4 or higher will need to return home with their parent.
- Hand sanitizer will be used as students enter the bus and leave the bus.
- Buses will establish loading and unloading practices to limit the direct person to person contact; students sit in assigned seating; No more than 2 students per seat
- Face coverings (masks, neck gaiters or face shields) are required for all students and staff while riding the bus, with limited exceptions for students or staff who have medical reasons for not being able to wear a mask or face shield.
- Buses will be disinfected between routes and at the end of the day
Entering the School Building:
- Elementary building will be open at 7:45am.
- Middle School building will be open at 7:30am.
- Face coverings (masks, neck gaiters or face shields) are required for all students and staff except while eating, drinking and exercising (including recess), with limited exceptions for students or staff who have medical reasons for not being able to wear a mask or face shield.
- Temperature checks are required of staff as they enter the building. Any temperature of 100.4 or higher will be isolated and sent home. (confidentiality will be maintained)
- Screen all students to the extent practical. In the event the child displays symptoms, including a temperature of 100.4. Student will be isolated until they can return home.
- Consider safety and privacy concerns (confidentiality should be maintained).
- Follow marked spaced lines to enter the building and designated entrance and exit flow paths
- Essential visitors must call school office before entering; screening and face covering will be required
- Large group gatherings will be avoided
- Restrictions for nonessential visitors and volunteers
- Students or staff who feel ill after coming to school will be isolated until they can return home
Transitioning & Gatherings:
- Hallways will have lanes as flow paths to keep students separated
- Class changes will be staggered to decrease the number of students in hallways
- Same groups of students will stay with the same staff as much as practical.
- Large group gatherings will be avoided and discouraged (especially in parking lots, common areas).
- Recess will be staggered to reduce the numbers of students together at a given time
- Classrooms will follow the 6’ distancing or 50% capacity
- Extracurricular activities will follow the NMAA guidelines (coaches and student athletes tested)
- Every school will have signage as reminders of proper hygiene information and possible symptoms.
- Meals will be provided for every student every day (even when learning from home).
- Disposable plates, utensils, etc. will be used
- Cafeteria and serving lines will be marked with designated entrance and exit flow paths.
- Lunches from home may be brought to school and left in designated areas for student pick-up of meals. Face coverings (masks, neck gaiters or face shields) are required for parents dropping off lunch.
- Cafeterias will be cleaned after each serving and throughout the day.
- Elementary students will go to the cafeteria to pick up their breakfast & lunch and return to the classroom to eat. Trash cans need to be outside the classroom in the hallway for disposal.
- Secondary schools have capacity to eat in the lunchroom with their regularly scheduled lunch time with tables being limited to adhere to distancing and gathering practices.
- Remote learners will be able to pick up their lunches on off days at a designated location and time. Breakfast will be given out with their lunch for the next morning.
- Buses will deliver lunches to designated areas for students in remote areas
- Good hygiene measures will be taught and reinforced (hand washing, covering coughs, face coverings)
- Hand soap and hand sanitizer will be provided. Hand sanitizer will be applied as students arrive for the day; frequent washing of hands will be a priority;
- Classrooms will be equipped with disinfectant kits – spray bottle, disposable towels, gloves and disposable masks to be used throughout the day.
- Frequently touched surfaces will be cleaned/disinfected at least daily.
- Students may bring their own water bottles from home. Students will be scheduled to refill their personal bottle with staff operating the water fountain. Water fountains will not be used by students.
- Deep cleanings of schools prior to school opening, school breaks, Wednesday and weekends will occur.
Temporary School Closure:
In the case of a temporary school closure the following would occur:
- Instruction would continue using the remote learning model used under Hybrid Model
- Close off school building if used by a COVID-19 positive sick person and do not use before cleaning and disinfection.
- If possible, wait 24 hours and then clean and disinfect the campus. If it is not possible to wait 24 hours, wait as long as possible. Ensure safe and correct application of disinfectants and keep disinfectant products away from children.
- Advise sick staff members and children not to return until they have met NMDOH criteria to discontinue home isolation.
- Inform those who have had close contact to a person diagnosed with COVID-19 to stay home and follow NMDOH guidance if symptoms develop. If a person does not have symptoms, follow appropriate NMDOH guidance for home quarantine.
- If the school is closed due to a positive COVID-19 test, the campus will be closed and disinfected prior to reopening.
- If the school is closed and students go to a full remote learning model the turnaround time is at least 48 hours
New Mexico Public Education Department’s Guidance Resources
The NM Public Education Department requires each school district/charter school comply with eight minimum requirements for reentry:
- To begin, all districts and schools across the state will be able to operate strictly according to remote, hybrid and virtual guidelines. The Department of Health and Medical Advisory Team will regularly assess rates of the spread of COVID-19. Districts and schools will then follow the appropriate guidelines based on the designated safe reentry category.
- Schools must participate in a surveillance and rapid response testing program for all staff.
- Schools must adhere to the social distancing requirements of their designated category.
- Schools should avoid large group gatherings.
- Face coverings are required for all students and staff except while eating, drinking and exercising, with limited exceptions for students or staff who have medical reasons for not being able to wear a mask or face shield.
- All staff must be screened on a daily basis, including a temperature check and review of potential symptoms. All sites must work with state and local health officials to have a plan for contact tracing. While not required, this is also recommended for students.
- For transportation, all staff and students must wear face shields or masks. In addition:
- A maximum of two students may sit together on a bus seat.
- Schools in the yellow category should take all reasonable steps to limit bus seats to one student to the best of their ability.
- Meals must be provided to students during in-person instruction and remote learning.
- August 7, 2020 – NMPED: Guidance for Schools on Tribal Lands
- August 5, 2020 – NMPED: NMPED Reentry Webinar Series
- August 4, 2020 – NMPED: Memorandum Regarding Staff Reporting During Remote Learning
- July 30, 2020 – NMPED: Guidance on Attendance Policies for Reentry
- July 29, 2020 – NMPED: Guidance for Supporting English Learners and Bilingual Multicultural Programming During Reentry
- July 29, 2020 – NMPED: Guidance for Supporting Native American Students
- July 29, 2020 – NMPED: Guidance for Teacher Licensure Waivers During Reentry
- July 29, 2020 – NMPED: Guidance on Educator Evaluation for School year 2020-2021
- July 28, 2020 – NMPED: Guidance for Pre-K Programming During Reentry
- July 27, 2020 – NMPED: Guidance for Remote Instruction
- July 22, 2020 – NMPED: Guidance on Physical Education, Recess, Electives and Activities During Reentry
- July 20, 2020 – NMPED: Comprehensive Instructional Support Including Priority Standards for Reentry
- July 13, 2020 – NMPED: Guidance for Special Education upon Reentry
- July 10, 2020 – NMPED: Guidance for Virtual Classroom Considerations
- July 9, 2020 – NMPED: Graduation Guidance for Hybrid and Remote Learning
- July 8, 2020 – NMPED: Guidance for Instructional Acceleration
- July 8, 2020 – NMPED: Guidance on Formative Assessment and Identifying Learning Needs upon Reentry
- July 8, 2020 – NMPED: Guidance on Grading Policies for Reentry
- July 6, 2020 – NMPED: Supporting Student Teachers During Reentry
- July 6, 2020 – NMPED: CTE Guidance for Reentry
- Coming soon – Guidance to Support High Risk Staff During Reentry
- August 5, 2020 – NMPED: Guidance for Out-Of-School Time Programs
- July 14, 2020 – NMPED: Guidance on Instructional Hours During Reentry
- July 14, 2020 – NMPED: Homeless Student Referral Form for Community Partners
- July 14, 2020 – NMPED: Homeless Student Check-in Form
- July 14, 2020 – NMPED: Assessing Capacity Form for McKinney-Vento Liaisons
- July 14, 2020 – NMPED: Guidance for Supporting Homeless Students During Reentry
- July 13, 2020 – NMPED: Guidance on Providing Meals During Reentry
- July 9, 2020 – NMPED: Guidance on Migrant Education Programs for Reentry
- July 8, 2020 – NMPED: Guidance on Reporting Abuse for Reentry
- July 8, 2020 – NMPED: Guidance on Emergency Drills for Reentry
- July 6, 2020 – NMPED: Supporting Equity Councils During Reentry
- July, 2020 – CYFD: Resources from CYFD for Children and COVID-19
- July, 2020 – CYFD: Helping Children Cope with COVID-19
- July, 2020 – CYFD: How to Prevent COVID-19 for Children
- July 7, 2020 – NMPED: Guidance for ACT and SAT Weekend Testing
- June 2020, – NMPED: Online Student Success Guide for New Mexico’s Students
- June 25, 2020 – NMPED: School Reentry Family Guidance and FAQ
- June 25, 2020 – NMPED: Orientación de Regreso a la Escuela y Preguntas Frecuentes