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Superintendent's News

Posted: August 12, 2020

Supt. Elder Welcomes Back Students

Remote learning begins this week for tens of thousands of students in Albuquerque Public Schools.

Dear Students,

Welcome to the 2020-21 school year. I know this is not the start you were looking forward to. Most of us come back to school in our new clothes, boasting a sweet summer tan, and filled with anticipation and excitement. We know we are going to rock the year, whether it be our first (kindergarteners) or our last (senior class of 2021).

Many students claim they don't want to go back to school, but I know most of you do. Students like being around their friends, they want to get out of the house, and– yes – they are ready to learn new things. Right now, many of you are probably wondering if this will happen.

This year is going to be historical, although in a different way than you may have hoped. I am genuinely sorry you can't be at school right now. I never thought we'd start a school year from afar. But we have to keep you safe, we need to keep your teachers healthy, and we want to protect the wellbeing of your family.

And so, because we're still dealing with a contagious virus, we are starting the school year in RED or remote learning. For how long? It may be a few weeks or longer before we can move to yellow, which is a combination of in-school and remote learning. We just don't know right now. What we do know is that you, our students, deserve a good education, and so we need to work together to make the best of remote learning.

Here is some advice on how to make that happen:

  • Get into a daily routine just like you would if you were heading back to your school campus. Set your alarm, put on clothes that are in dress code, eat a good breakfast, and brush! You may not be worried about your breath, but you sure don't want to be caught on video with food in your teeth!

All kidding aside, a daily routine will truly make remote learning a little easier.

  • Show up to class every school day – even if it is online – ready to learn and participate. We are recommending that students have online instruction for at least three hours a day. You should be in front of your computer during that time, listening to your teacher, joining in the discussions, taking part in the activities, practicing problems. 

Your teachers will be taking attendance, so let your presence be known!

  • Complete your assignments! When you're not online, you'll be given chapters and articles to read, topics to research, problems to solve, projects to work on, and much more – all to help you better understand the world around you.

Do the work! That's how you learn!

  • Turn in your assignments! You will be graded during remote learning. Grading is NOT pass/fail as it was during the spring semester when the coronavirus unexpectedly disrupted the last few weeks of school.

So, get your work turned in on time and do your best. You can keep track of your grades, as always, on StudentVUE (and your parents can keep track on ParentVUE).

  • Don't be afraid to ask questions and to seek help. Your teachers are here for you. Your counselors are here for you. Please don't hesitate to turn to a trusted adult if you're having a problem, even if it's not school-related.

You matter to us, and we want to make sure you're OK.

  • Treat this unusual start to the school year as an adventure in learning.

The future of education is online – it already is at many colleges and universities – so get comfortable with it, tap into your curiosity, your tech skills, your interests, and make the most of this experience.  

  • And have fun! Yes, school can be fun, even if it is from home. You'll get to see your classmates, you'll learn new things, you'll have something to do.

As I mentioned, this is a unique experience, maybe one you'll tell your grandkids about one day – "Let me tell you what it was like going to school during the great COVID pandemic!" Make the most of it, and you'll have an exciting story to share decades from now.

Have a great school year!

Scott Elder, Interim Superintendent