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Public schools across Doña Ana County are joining forces with government agencies, businesses and civic organizations to make student success a community effort.
Las Cruces Public Schools (LCPS) Superintendent Dr. Karen Trujillo said the idea is to focus on daily reminders to make sure students are engaged, logged on for remote learning and getting exercise.
“Our students are tasked with a lot of responsibilities right now,” Trujillo said. “And so are parents. When we ask everyone to check in with their kids, we are showing students they’re not in this alone. We need to be there for them every day to support them in their schoolwork, and to celebrate their success.”
Starting Monday, Nov. 16, LCPS began featuring photos and videos with the hashtag #CheckInWithYourKids. MountainView Regional Medical Center has pledged to show support for the effort, as well as Doña Ana County (DAC) and the Greater Las Cruces Chamber of Commerce (GLCCC).
“The Las Cruces business community is an extension of our schools. They are parents, grandparents, neighbors and partners in education,” said Debbi Moore, President and CEO of the GLCCC. “We’ve asked our members to show their support by including #CheckInWithYourKids on outdoor signage and marquees as a reminder to make sure the students in our community have what they need.”
The Gadsden Independent School District (GISD) and Hatch Valley Schools (HVS) are partners with LCPS in the campaign. According to district leadership, bringing our community together in the best interest of students was a welcomed opportunity to show community solidarity.
“We want to demonstrate a unified approach and take care of our families,” said GISD Superintendent Travis Dempsey. “So many of our families are connected throughout this county. One student might go to school in our district, but they have cousins and family in other districts. When there’s unity, it benefits us all.”
"I’m excited to have Hatch Valley part of a consistent initiative between our three public school districts,” added HVS Superintendent Michael Chavez. “The role of school, teachers and students continues to be redefined as we work to overcome the challenges of remote learning. More than ever, we need a strong partnership between the classroom and parents.”
Students’ wellbeing and a parent’s role in making online learning successful has been a priority for Doña Ana County Sheriff Kim Stewart, who has a child in public school.
“This is a challenge for all of us,” said Stewart, who pledged her department’s support to check in with students. "Remote learning is difficult, and it’s not an ideal environment for our students, but when we prioritize the effort to show them that we see them, and we want them to do well, they have an incentive and a goal to meet.”
Stewart added that property crimes increased sharply when schools were forced to shutter in March to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
“Please, check in with your kids to give them support, but also check in so you know where they are,” Stewart added.
According to Bethany Hoffman, regional director for Big Brothers Big Sisters, matches are still meeting virtually with students.
“The current situation hasn’t stopped our volunteer outreach,” Hoffman said. “Students might not physically be in classrooms, but our Bigs are still able to connect online and give their Littles the encouragement and support they need for online assignments.”
Additional resources for tutoring, help with the Canvas online learning platform, bilingual assistance and additional ideas on how parents can help support their child can be found on the LCPS Reporting and Response Plan dashboard, www.lcps.net/returnplan.