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Safety Measures & Operations

The COVID guidelines below were for the 2020-2021 school year. New guidelines for the 2021-2022 school year are being determined by APS and will be posted as soon they are available.

Building Safety & Readiness Survey

Properly ventilated classrooms and appropriate personal protective equipment are key to reopening our schools safely. Our teams have been working around the clock to ensure that every school is prepared to safely reopening.

Over 1,500 work orders have been completed to prepare our classrooms, and we continue to prioritize repair and maintenance on our school buildings. Any room that does not meet our stringent safety standards will not be used for instructional purposes unless repaired or remediated.

While ventilation is essential to our COVID-19 prevention plan, we want to remind you that it is only one part of a comprehensive strategy to keep our students, educators, and staff members safe inside and outside of our schools. Albuquerque Public Schools has continued to follow CDC Guidelines, New Mexico Public Education Department ToolKit, and recommendations from the Council of Great City Schools to provide a safe reopening for our staff and students. 

Safety and Readiness Survey

COVID Screenings for Students

  • Student Questionnaire: Each day before sending your child to school, please review these health questions regarding your child’s health and take their temperature. Students must stay home from school if they exhibit any symptoms or have a temperature of more than 100.4 degrees.
  • Students displaying symptoms at school will wait in a designated room until a parent or approved emergency contact can pick them up.

COVID Screening for Staff

  • All APS employees are required to complete a quick online health screening at the start of each workday sent daily via email.
  • The state Public Education Department also requires that all public schools surveillance test 25 percent of their employees each week. All APS employees are required to participate in surveillance testing unless they have been completely vaccinated. 

Mask and Face CoveringsPlease wear a face mask. Help stop the spread.

  • Staff and students are required to wear face coverings except while eating and drinking (with minimal exceptions for students and staff with medical conditions.) This includes classrooms, playgrounds, and common areas.
  • APS will supply masks for staff, though they may choose to bring their own from home.
  • Students are asked to bring their own face coverings, though extras will be available at school.
  • Face shields aren't a substitute for face masks.

Social Distancing

Students and staff will be expected to social distance to the greatest extent possible, which means no large group activities or gatherings such as field trips, assemblies, and end-of-year festivals.  APS does plan to hold limited in-person high school graduations in mid-May.

TransportationAPS Bus

The district is asking that families provide transportation to and from school for their children when possible. APS probably won’t have enough bus drivers to resume all routes, so it will prioritize transportation services to areas with the highest needs. Students will be able to ride city buses for free. Walking groups and carpools are encouraged.


Breakfast and lunch will be served at school and available to pick up for students who continue to learn remotely. Times and locations for grab-and-go meals are still being worked out, but they probably will be moved from school sites to more centralized locations. Students at school will be encouraged to eat outside when possible, and lunch schedules will be staggered to avoid large groups.

TechnologyDell Chromebook

  • APS checked out technology devices for all students.
  • Most students received Chromebooks, though some of the district’s youngest students, special education students, and English language learners may have received iPads.
  • Students are expected to bring their fully charged APS-issued technology devices to school with them for in-person instruction.
  • Contact your child's school if you are having trouble with internet connectivity.

SanitationSanitize. Protect yourself and others.

  • Students are strongly encouraged to wash their hands and/or use hand sanitizer often. 
  • School custodians prioritize cleaning high-touch surfaces and stocking bathrooms with soap and classrooms with hand sanitizer and other cleaning supplies. 
  • APS provides cleaning supplies and hand sanitizer for classrooms and common areas, including a “sanitation tote” for each classroom for periodic cleaning throughout the day.
  • Schools are cleaned following EPA and CDC guidelines.

How to Dress for School APS Community Clothing Bank logo

  • Windows and doors in classrooms and schools and air conditioning dampers will be kept open to allow for the circulation of fresh air, leading to fluctuating temperatures during the school day.
  • Students are encouraged to dress in layers and bring jackets or sweaters with them.
  • Students who need jackets, other clothing, or school supplies can get assistance through the APS Community Clothing Bank. Ask your teacher, counselor, or school social worker for assistance. 

Water Fountains 

Students won’t be allowed to use water fountains. Instead, water stations will be available to fill up reusable bottles. 

School Offices 

  • Parents are asked to send emails or call the school to avoid coming onto campus.
  • There will be no volunteers or chaperones allowed on campus at this time.

Plan for Positive Cases

  • APS follows a strict protocol when students and employees test positive for the coronavirus. 
  • The district works 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, including using electrostatic foggers.
  • As part of our protocol, we will let the school community know about the positive COVID-19 case. This includes 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.

COVID-19 Cases in APS Schools and Worksites

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. Before you come to work or school each day, please 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, plan to stay home.

Please call the COVID-19 hotline at (855) 600-3453 if you or your child develop symptoms.

This page was last updated on: February 25, 2021.