Personal tools

Note: This news item is more than a year old. Browse for more current news.

Superintendent's News

Posted: July 24, 2020

Plan for Positive Cases

In his message to employees, Supt. Elder goes over the district's plan for dealing with positive COVID-19 cases in our schools.

It will be disconcerting when a school secretary greets visitors behind Plexiglas. The mask she wears will cloak her smile, the office will be sparsely populated, and the building will smell like disinfectant.

It’s not the warm, welcoming image we conjure when thinking about the start of school, but it will be the new normal for Albuquerque Public Schools during a pandemic.

The opening of school this fall is still in flux, but we’re planning for it with the health and safety of APS students and staff as top priority.

The COVID-19 Operation Reopening Plan for Albuquerque Public Schools (Fall 2020) is a detailed guide for opening schools safely. It touches on everything from transportation to campus access, playgrounds, heating and cooling, lunchrooms, bathrooms, nursing, security, libraries, computer labs, cleaning supplies, personal protective equipment, and COVID outbreaks. The plan is posted to the website, and if you have concerns about any of these topics, I encourage you to give it a read.

As you may know, we have had to shut down a few of our schools for a couple of days after employees tested positive for the coronavirus. We follow a strict protocol in these cases, working closely with the New Mexico Department of Health to decide whether to close a classroom, a portion of the building, or the whole school and for how long. 

During the shutdown, affected areas will be thoroughly cleaned following CDC, EPA, and OSHA  guidelines, which include using electrostatic foggers.

As part of our protocol, we will let the school community know about the positive COVID-19 case. When school begins, this will include sending an emailing a letter through SchoolMessenger. You may be frustrated by how vague the letter is, but please remember that we are obligated to protect the privacy of the infected individual. We cannot identify them, nor can we provide information about their medical situation.

The letter will remind all members of the affected community that they should visit their health care provider or call the COVID-19 hotline (1 (855) 600-3453) if they develop symptoms. These include cough, shortness of breath, fever, chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, or loss of taste or smell. Anyone with symptoms should self-isolate and get tested.

You play an important role in this process by self-isolating if you have symptoms or have been in close contact with an infected individual. Please, before you come to work each day, go through the checklist of possible symptoms, and take your temperature. If you exhibit any symptoms or have a temperature of more than 100.4 degrees, call your supervisor and plan to stay home.

We won’t be successful in keeping our students and staff healthy without everybody doing their part.