Home News COVID-19 Situation RISD board votes for hybrid learning

RISD board votes for hybrid learning

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Start date depends on completion of school inspections, other details

RISD Superintendent Mike Gottlieb (Submitted Photo)

It could take about two weeks to put all the moving pieces in place, but Roswell Independent School District will move to the hybrid model of learning.

The RISD school board made that decision unanimously after three hours of presentations and discussion on the state requirements in a special meeting Tuesday night. The board also voted unanimously to start some extracurricular activities and sports, which will begin two weeks after the hybrid classes start.

The decision came following Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announcing in her state-of-the-state speech last week that all schools, regardless of what risk level their county is in, would be eligible to open for the the hybrid model beginning Feb. 8.

It’s not likely RISD will be able to start classes by that date, however. That will depend on scheduling of requirements such as building inspections by the Roswell Fire Marshal and a New Mexico Public Education Department representative, Superintendent Mike Gottlieb told the board. The board did not set a date in its vote, but left it to the administration to make that decision.

Those inspections will check to ensure each school is meeting requirements for social distancing, air filters, protective equipment and cleaning supplies as well as other COVID-safe practices the PED has outlined, according to a document provided by Gottlieb.

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He estimated that could take up to two weeks.

When the district does start the hybrid model, elementary grades will start in-person classes the first week with secondary students starting the following week. That will give the district time to ensure plans such as bus routes are working well before all students are involved, Gottlieb said.

Sixth- and ninth-graders will have an opportunity in the first week to visit their new schools to help them become familiar with them.

In-person learning will not be mandatory. Parents or guardians can choose to keep their children in remote learning.

Students in each building will generally be divided into two cohorts or groups alphabetically. Gottlieb said, however, principals will be able to shift some students from one group to another as needed, such as to allow for situations where a student and a younger sibling can be in classes and at home on the same days if the older student is helping with child care.

Students in the A cohort will attend classes on Mondays and Tuesdays with students in the B cohort learning at home. On Thursdays and Fridays, the B-cohort students will be in classrooms with the A students learning at home. On Wednesdays, schools will be sanitized and all students will learn at home.

Gottlieb gave results of a survey the district offered to parents and staff in January. At the elementary level, almost 75% of English-speaking parents favored opening to the hybrid model while 57% of Spanish-speaking parents favored it.

In the secondary levels, 63% of English-speaking parents favored opening to hybrid classes while 55% of Spanish-speaking parents did.

Around half of the district’s staff answered the survey, with 66% saying they favored opening to hybrid classes.

City/RISD reporter Juno Ogle can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 205, or reporter04@rdrnews.com.

To keep up with local coverage of the coronavirus, go to rdrnews.com/category/news/covid-19-situation/.