ALBUQUERQUE – The Albuquerque school board has rejected a proposal aimed at partially returning students to the classroom during the coronavirus pandemic as part of a hybrid learning model.
The board voted 4-3 against hybrid learning, keeping the district virtual through the end of the year with limited in-person groups. The board also approved a measure to allow some groups in-person instruction, including students at risk of failing or seniors who need additional help.
It will be up to each school to identify which students need additional in-person instruction, district officials said.
The proposed hybrid plan would have brought back kindergarten through second grade on March 1, followed by all elementary students, officials said. Middle school and high school students would’ve been allowed to return once Bernalillo County coronavirus numbers and positivity rate improved.
The vote on Wednesday also means student-athletes will not be able to participate in fall sports, including football, soccer, volleyball and cross country. Fall sports were delayed because of the pandemic.
The board said that it is open to revisiting the plan if teachers and school staff members get wider access to COVID-19 vaccines.
In Las Cruces, school officials rolled out their plan this week. It allows high school students who opted to return to attend class in person two days a week.
Las Cruces Superintendent Karen Trujillo said the first phase of students returning Feb. 22 will be followed by another opportunity for students to return once more teachers are vaccinated. Elementary and middle school students who need additional support will be phased in starting March 1.
Under the plan, Trujillo said students are eligible to participate in sports.