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Superintendent's News

Posted: August 20, 2021

Information Overload

In his weekly message to employees, Supt. Elder writes about the importance of staying informed.

Are you suffering from information fatigue? I wouldn’t be surprised.

Information fatigue is defined as mental exhaustion arising from exposure to too much information. And you, as an Albuquerque Public Schools employee, have been bombarded with information over the past few weeks. Countless emails and newsletters from the district (including your superintendent), not to mention all the calls, emails, meetings, texts, and social media posts from your school or worksite, principal or supervisor, students and families, even well-meaning friends and neighbors who are checking up on you.

It can be overwhelming. And it’s tempting to shut it all out. 

Please don’t.

The start of any school year is chock full of updates, changes, questions, new rules, procedures, and expectations. Throw in an ever-evolving pandemic, and it can be hard to absorb it all. But we wouldn’t be sharing all this information with you if we didn’t think it would help you do your job better, stay healthy, or keep our kids safe. So, when you sit down to check your email, take a deep breath and read what we have sent. 

Like the latest information on the COVID vaccine. I hope you know by now that starting next week, all public school employees in New Mexico, as well as those at charter and private schools, will either need to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 or undergo weekly coronavirus testing. You should also know that there is a vaccine clinic at Highland High School today (Friday, Aug. 20), beginning at noon. No appointment is needed, and it’s free.  

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention strongly encourages people in schools to get vaccinated because it will help keep schools open. I have said time and again, students need to be in classrooms and school buildings for face-to-face instruction and interaction. That’s where education works best.

You have also received a couple of emails about a COVID Testing Exemption Survey we’re asking all employees to take. It’s quick, I promise, and it helps us track who is vaccinated and who is required to test. If you haven’t already completed the survey, please do so as soon as you can. Maybe now (well, after you finish reading this message).

If you read the emails about supplemental pay for COVID-related work, you know why many of you had a little extra money in your bank account this morning. Once again, I want to thank APS employees for all they did last school year to support our students and families and for sticking with us this year, knowing the challenges ahead.

Chances are if you are reading this, you already are a pretty informed member of our team, but I bet you have a coworker or two who is not. I ask that you be a conduit of information for these colleagues. We want everyone to be informed, even those who are uncomfortable with technology or who have decided to tune us out.

Communication is always paramount in education, but it seems especially crucial this school year when so much is changing, and so much is at risk. 

Let’s stay in touch.