Las Cruces Public Schools is working diligently with the New Mexico Department of Health, the Centers for Disease Control, New Mexico Public Education Department, New Mexico Activities Association, National Education Association of Las Cruces, the Classified School Employees Council, and Superintendents from around the state of New Mexico to address concerns and procedures that we will be following to help limit the spread of Coronavirus.

School administration is closely following the direction from state officials from the governor’s office to cancel all large events, games and tournaments, and keeping crowd sizes under 100 people. These are precautionary measures to help mitigate the exposure of the virus. In addition to minimizing crowd sizes, LCPS will be canceling presentations and prohibiting access to visitors in our schools, especially if they are traveling from out of the district or fall under the demographic who are considered at risk to the virus.

Due to the governor’s order in light of the Coronavirus pandemic, LCPS will be canceling all in-state and out-of-state travel and field trips for students and staff until April 17. The NMAA Board will be holding an emergency meeting tomorrow at 2:00 PM and we will follow their guidance concerning athletic events.

We are asking students and staff who are returning from school sponsored and personal out of state trips to self-quarantine for 14 days before returning back to school. This also applies to students, staff and families who are planning to travel during Spring Break.

While the district is discouraging both in-state and out-of-state travel, we are asking students and staff who have traveled out of state since Feb. 27 to call the Department of Health Hotline (505) 827-0006 to self-report. If you have a student showing flulike symptoms, the Governor’s office is instructing that parents call their healthcare provider, the state epidemiologist, and the New Mexico Department of Health to determine whether the student has been infected with the Coronavirus.

Attached below are some frequently asked questions we’d like to address:

  • If parents have a student who has health issues and may be susceptible to the virus, can they keep their child home from school?

Yes, we encourage parents and guardians to contact their health care provider to relay any symptoms the child is experiencing. Parents with students who have a medical condition will not have absences count against them and we will do our best to accommodate their educational needs.

  • Can families travel out of state or in state for spring break?

Families who plan on traveling out of state for Spring Break will be asked to self-quarantine their children for 14 days before returning back to school.

  • Will staff be permitted to travel out of state for spring break?

This is a health emergency, LCPS staff who are traveling out of state for Spring Break will be doing so at their own risk. We are asking that they self-report to district leaders where they are traveling to and where they’ve been. Staff will be required to use their personal sick days to self-quarantine for 14 days upon their return. LCPS leaders will work with staff traveling on a case by case basis.

  • What if a student at LCPS tests positive for the Coronavirus (Covid-19)?

As per the guidance from the New Mexico Public Education Department, the district will be required to immediately shut down the school for 48 hours while custodial crews conduct an intensive deep clean to disinfect and sterilize the entire school. Parents with students who test positive for the virus will be asked to call the states epidemiologist and the New Mexico Department of Health to report their symptoms and self-quarantine for 14 days.

  • In the event a student with siblings tests positive for the Coronavirus, are siblings required to stay home? Yes, if a student with siblings tests positive for the Coronavirus (Covid-19), we are asking that the student along with the siblings stay home, report their symptoms to the New Mexico Department of Health and self-quarantine for 14-days.
  • Will schools have to shut down if the virus spreads to LCPS?

At the guidance of the governor’s office, LCPS will work with the New Mexico Public Education Department and the New Mexico Department of Health to determine if school closures are necessary.

  • Will school board meetings be canceled?

As of now, LCPS will be limiting crowd sizes to less than 100 people inside the board room. All LCPS board meeting are livestreamed and available online to the public. In order to accommodate public comments, community members will be asked to email their questions ahead of time to input@lcps.net. District leaders will read public comments aloud during the scheduled board meetings. People who choose to attend the board meeting are welcome, but only 100 people will be allowed in the board room.

  • How long will the cancelation of all sporting events, tournaments, field trips and travel directives be in effect?

At this time the guidance is to limit sporting events to less than 100 people. The NMAA is having an emergency board meeting tomorrow at 2:00. We will work with all agencies to determine what is best for students.

  • Can students from outside of the district still transfer to LCPS?

We will accept applications, but we will ask transfer students who come in from outside of the district to self-quarantine for 14 days before attending school.

  • Will graduation be affected? As of now, we are only restricting events until April 17, 2020.
  • What about students currently out of state traveling? We are in the process of getting all of our students back home from traveling. We are expecting all students to be back by March 13.
  • Will the basketball tournament be affected? At this point, the NMAA has not announced whether they will be canceling the tournament.
  • If students have to stay home to self-quarantine, how will they get their school work done? We are asking teachers to have two weeks’ worth of lessons plans ready to go if students will be self-quarantined at home.
  • How are we keeping students calm? At this point, the district is messaging to teachers and parents who might be coping with emotional distress to listen and communicate with students in a calm manner. We want to encourage as much communication as possible.

*We will continue to update the LCPS website, Facebook and Twitter with the latest updates from the New Mexico Department of Health regarding the Coronavirus.

*In the event that you have a confirmed case of COVID-19 in your school community, please inform NMPED and the NMDOH [505-827-0006] immediately. An identified case may include a student, member of staff, or family member. Also, if any of the following are true for those individuals, call the NMDOH.

 

— Samantha Lewis, LCPS Public Relations Coordinator, 575-527-5946, slewis@lcps.net