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Superintendent's News

Posted: January 8, 2021

COVID Vaccines

Supt. Elder encourages employees to register for the vaccine with the state.

Some APS schools, like Albuquerque High, will be used as vaccination sites.

Some APS schools, like Albuquerque High, will be used as vaccination sites.

Happy 2021, APS! The new year brings hope of a return to normalcy as the New Mexico Department of Health rolls out its plan for providing COVID-19 vaccinations.

The plan, which is posted and updated regularly on the NMDOH vaccine website, prioritizes vaccination distribution across the state, beginning with health care workers, first responders and some of our most vulnerable neighbors in nursing homes and long-term care facilities. 

So what does that mean for APS employees? 

According to the state’s plan, some of you, including our nurses and police officers, may already be eligible to receive the vaccine. Others, including teachers, should be eligible soon. Still others will have to wait longer.  

Regardless of your position with the district, no one can get the shot or its booster until they register with the state’s Vaccine Registration System, which is why I am encouraging all of you to do so as soon as possible.

It’s a pretty simple process. Go to the NMDOH COVID-19 Vaccine Registration System and provide the required information, including some personal details such as your name, address, phone number, and employer; chronic medical conditions that could make you a higher priority for the vaccine; demographic and insurance information. Vaccines are free, but if you have an insurance card, have it handy when you register.  

It's important to note that the New Mexico Department of Health is leading the state’s COVID-19 vaccination planning and implementation in collaboration with other state agencies as well as public, private and tribal partners.

APS isn't in charge of determining vaccine distribution, but we are working closely with the state, city and county, and our schools may be used as vaccination sites, as Albuquerque High School was during the break for health care workers and first responders. 

The more people who are vaccinated, the sooner we can open our community, including our schools. I can’t wait until the day when our students are back in our classrooms. That’s where they belong. That’s where they learn best. Please do your part to help us achieve this goal. Register for the vaccine, so you’ll be ready to go when it's available to you.

In the meantime, please continue practicing other preventative measures, including social distancing, mask wearing, hand washing, and avoiding large groups. 

We will continue in remote learning for now. The plan is to bring small groups of students back for in-person learning when the state deems Bernalillo County at low risk for the spread of the virus. Remember, the criteria for earning that rating is steep – no more than 8 COVID cases per 100,000 residents during a two-week period and an average percent of positive test results of 5 percent or less. Bernalillo County is slowly improving, but we still have a ways to go. (The latest statistics show the county with 53.8 cases per 100,000 and a positivity rate of 11.32%.)

It’s good to have you back, especially now with a glimmer of light on the horizon. Stay healthy and thanks for all you do.