Rio Rancho Public Schools has temporarily moved four schools to all-remote learning because of staffing shortages related to COVID-19.
The staffing shortage has made it impossible for staff members to cover all student classes while still maintaining safety protocols, according to an RRPS news release.
Besides using substitute teachers, regular teachers during their preparation periods, front office staff, counselors, district office employees, etc., have covered classrooms. Administrators have had to combine classes and even put multiple classes in large spaces like gymnasiums, according to the release.
Even with these measures and additional staff, there weren’t enough people to cover every classroom. Compounding the staffing shortage is the lack of rapid PCR COVID-19 tests. “Many of our employees who are out due to COVID-19 symptoms are waiting on test results that now have a longer turnaround time as we have to use lab testing. With the rapid PCR tests returning results the same day, symptomatic employees who tested negative were able to return sooner,” according to the release. “Unfortunately, our testing site vendor has been unable to secure rapid PCR tests for the past few weeks.”
From Friday through Feb. 4, Cleveland and Rio Rancho high schools, including special education, will be in full remote learning with no in-person classes. They will return to in-person learning Feb. 7.
From Monday through Feb. 7, Puesta del Sol Elementary and Shining Stars Preschool, including special education, will be in full remote learning with no in-person classes. They will return to in-person learning Feb. 8.
Students will utilize Google Classroom for their class work and will have assigned Google Meets with instructors. Assignments are still expected to be completed on time.
If children experience any problems with their district-issued computers, contact RRPS Tech Support by calling 505-962-HOME or by submitting a ticket at https://rrpsassist.freshdesk.com/support/home.
The front offices at each school site and the Student Support Center, which houses some high school students, will remain open. Any available staff members from the school sites moving to remote learning who are not teaching or covering other essential duties will help cover open positions in other schools.
Credit-recovery classes will continue on Edgenuity, but students will be remote.
After-school athletics and activities at the high schools will continue as scheduled, as long as RRPS does not see a rise in cases associated with a specific activity or sport. Administrators will monitor these athletics and activities closely, and will cancel activities, practices, games, etc., if necessary.
During the week, all public events at these school sites will be limited to 50 percent capacity and may be reduced to 25 percent.
The S.A.F.E. Program at Puesta del Sol will be canceled while the school is in remote learning.
Grab-and-go lunches will be available for students at these schools on the following schedule:
- Friday: 10:30 a.m. to noon at CHS and RRHS.
- Monday: 10:30 a.m. to noon at CHS, RRHS and Puesta del Sol.
- Wednesday: 10:30 a.m. to noon at CHS, RRHS and Puesta del Sol.
“We are doing our best to get through this week to allow families, students and staff time to prepare for this temporary shift to remote learning,” the news release said. “We are hopeful that the time in remote learning will allow COVID-19-related issues to settle so we may resume in-person learning without additional delays. Should the return date change, we will be sure to notify you right away.”