School Reopening

The New Mexico Public Education Department (NMPED) released its guidelines for public school reopening for the 2021-2022 school year Monday. While there are some differences in requirements between elementary and secondary schools, most of the guidance applies to all schools.

ALL SCHOOLS REGARDLESS OF GRADE LEVEL:

•No masks are required for anyone when outdoors.

•Masks are required for all bus riders, regardless vaccination status.

•Each district is required to have a COVID point of contact. In our district that is Nurse Lara Clement.

•Signage should be placed throughout every school encouraging COVID-safe practices.

•Social (physical) distancing of three-feet for students and six-feet for adults, or to the best of each school’s ability given our facility and enrollment.

•No social (physical) distancing required for those fully vaccinated.

•Frequent hand washing shall be encouraged.

•Cleaning and disinfecting at schools should be continued.

•Each school must maintain an “Isolation Room,” for symptomatic individuals as before.

•Water fountains and lockers at all schools are allowed to be used.

•Locker rooms may be used when indoor air quality standards are met.

•Indoor in-person meetings are allowed but must follow public health order.

T-OR-C ELEMENTARY/SIERRA ELEMENTARY AND ARREY ELEMENTARY:

•Masks are required for all students, faculty, staff and visitors, regardless of vaccination status when indoors or on buses.

TCMS AND HSHS: •Vaccinated students, faculty, staff or visitors who are able to prove vaccination (COVID Vaccine Card on file at Human Resources for staff and at school site for students) do not have to wear a mask while indoors.

•Students are required to wear masks when on school buses.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

•Close contacts with someone testing positive are defined as students within three feet for 15 minutes over a 24-hour period. Adults within six feet for 15 minutes over a 24-hour period. Quarantining is not required for fully vaccinated individuals who have had close contact.

•Reporting requirements include only those who are infectious while on campus. Report must be made to NMPED by the next business day and within four hours to New Mexico Environmental Department.

•Quarantine requirements have been eliminated for fully vaccinated individuals. They continue for unvaccinated individuals only if they are close contacts.  

The full documentation of these policies and requirements from New Mexico Public Education Department and the New Mexico Department of Health are available as PDF attachments to the article “State Releases School Opening Requirements,” on the Sentinels webpage at www.gpkmedia.com.  

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