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District Readies for Fully Online, ‘Red’ Phase for Back to School


The Red Plan can be viewed at www.lcps.net

Las Cruces Public Schools has released its Red Plan for welcoming students back to school for the 2020-2021 school year. The plan outlines new protocols for instruction, technology and nutrition services while students are in a fully online, remote setting beginning Wednesday, Aug. 12.  

A decision was made last month to temporarily suspend the Yellow Hybrid model for the return of school, citing growing numbers of Covid-19 cases in Doña Ana County. A hybrid model divides students into two cohorts for two days of in-person instruction at school, three days of remote learning, and one day of deep cleaning in between the two cohorts.  

The Red Plan provides guidance on elementary, middle and high school schedules, meal distribution sites for breakfast and lunch, bus stop delivery locations, technology links and resources and tips for parents to help their children be successful.  

“We have prepared, and we are ready,” said LCPS Superintendent Dr. Karen Trujillo. “Our teachers have immersed themselves in professional development training, our nutrition services team is ready to get meals moving and our technology staff has ensured that students who need devices for online learning have them in hand.”  

Trujillo said thousands of educators participated in more than 350 professional development webinars to sharpen their skills in technology, instruction, learning and best practices to prepare for the year ahead. In all, there were 13,500 continuing education credit hours of training that teachers utilized to familiarize themselves with building Canvas shells for their classes, understanding what online resources were available to them and where to find help if they are having trouble. 

Laptops and tablets were ordered at the beginning of the summer to ensure every student had access to a device, but district officials say a delivery delay will mean some students may wait on a device for up to three weeks.   

“We are actually in a much better situation than some school districts in the country right now,” said LCPS Chief Technology Officer Josh Silver. “While some schools are still processing orders, we acted early. The delay is partially due to strains in shipping, and social distance requirements here at LCPS as our technology staff works to get these computers ready to distribute.”  

“This is a new experience for our students and for our teachers,” added Trujillo. “Last semester we had a weekend to prepare for online learning. As teachers, we rely on our skills to adapt and adjust, but that doesn’t mean it will always be flawless.” 

 Some suggestions Trujillo added in the Red Plan include ideas for parents and students on creating a learning space in their home, prioritizing schoolwork, communicating with their teachers, and having patience throughout the process.  

“Online learning is a partnership,” said Trujillo, “and we can only be successful if we are committed to keeping communication open and showing our students that we believe in their ability to make this the best start to a very unique school year.” 

The Red Plan can be viewed at www.lcps.net