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RISD superintendent: Schools will stay open if safe

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The superintendent of Roswell’s public schools said Thursday the district is committed to keeping schools open as long as it is safe during the current wave of COVID-19.

The Dexter and Hagerman districts temporarily returned to remote learning this week and districts in Santa Fe, Lordsburg, Texico, Cuba and Pecos have also announced plans for remote learning.

Brian Luck, superintendent of Roswell Independent School District, said Thursday those decisions are being made at the local level and no orders have come from the Public Education Department.

“They’ve still given us the opportunity to use our individual methods at each school, and we’re going to try to keep the doors open,” he said.

“If we can do it safely, we’re going to do it,” he said.

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Individual classrooms have had to go to remote learning, but no schools have been shut down since the beginning of the school year in August.

Luck said if 3% to 5% of students or staff at a school are at home because of positive COVID-19 cases or exposure to cases, that’s the key that starts the process of potentially closing a school.

“I’ve got a couple that are there,” he said.

He urged parents and staff to stay home if they show symptoms of COVID-19.

“That comes back to that sense of community and taking care of each other. There are things individuals can do,” he said. “If you don’t feel good, don’t go be around people.”

The PED also has updated its COVID-19 guidelines to comply with revised guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Generally, if a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19 they are to quarantine for five days rather than 10. However, different circumstances can have different requirements, Luck said.

For example, if a student lives with someone who has tested positive, they should stay home for 10 days, he said. Previously the PED guideline was 20 days.

“There’s a couple of situations where it could be a little different. When in doubt, they’re free to call their school and see if the school can help them out with the particulars,” he said.

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

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