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LAS CRUCES PUBLIC SCHOOLS

LCPS ahead of state average for students back in schools

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Las Cruces Public Schools has a higher percentage of students engaged in in-person education in schools across the district compared to the state average.

The New Mexico Public Education Department (NMPED) said 51 percent of students are back in classrooms at 817 public schools across the state as of mid-April.

At LCPS, the total in early May was more than 63 percent, with 14,884 students in classes and 8,594 continuing to do distance learning, LCPS said. The district’s total enrollment was 23,478.

The LCPS figures include 71 percent of elementary school students in classrooms, almost 64 percent for middle-school students and more than 51 percent of high-school students.

White Sands K-8 and Mesilla Elementary School had the highest percentage of in-person attendance at more than 79 percent, with 223 of 282 students in classrooms. That was followed by Central Elementary with 77 percent of its students – 141 of 183 – in classrooms. Booker T. Washington, Conlee, East Picacho, Hermosa, Highland, Hillrise, Jornada, MacArthur, Monte Vista, Tombaugh and Valley View elementaries all had more than 70 percent in-person attendance. No elementary school had in-person attendance below 60 percent, the report said.

Among LCPS’ eight middle schools, average in-person attendance was almost 64 percent. Among LCPS’ seven high schools, average attendance was more than 51 percent.

“As a district, we worked methodically to ensure our buildings were safe and ready for students to return,” said LCPS Public Information Officer Kelly Jameson. “The sizable numbers of in-person learners, especially in the elementary and middle school levels, confirms that families were also ready and confident in our return plan.

“Moving forward, the remote model of instruction is something we will continue to accommodate because it works best for some of our students, especially at the high schools,” Jameson said. “In elementary grades, we juggle working parents, daycare and the difficulty of sitting in front of a computer for long periods of time. In-person learning is more ideal at that level.”

Jameson said the 2020-21 school year will end Wednesday, May 26.

Summer classes

LCPS will host summer classes for credit recovery, with all fees waived, Jameson said.

The district also will have 10 days of extended learning at every school, Tuesday, June 1 to Monday, June 14.

“This accomplishes a couple of things,” Jameson said. “It provides added instruction for students who struggled, and it addresses learning loss from nearly a year of online instruction.”