Following the announcement that schools across New Mexico will return to in-person learning, Las Cruces Public Schools are ready to welcome students and staff on Tuesday, April 6.  

The option to continue the school year remotely is still open to students, said LCPS interim superintendent Ralph Ramos, who added that some students and staff began the transition back into school buildings last month. Across the district, there are approximately 24,000 students. Of those60 percent have chosen to return to the for in-person learning.  

“We are ready,” said Ramos. “The move back into classrooms is something that our staff has been working on since they were shuttered last year. 

According to Ramos, ventilation systems across the district are in full compliance with new COVID-safe practices. More visible differences, like water bottle filling stations in place of water fountainswill be in place when students come back next week.  

“For our students who are walking back into the buildings for the first time since last year, yes – school will look different than what they remember. But the enthusiasm of our staff to create a safe learning environment for our students hasn’t changed. We miss our students and we’re ready to get back.”  

Wellness priorities 

Upon arrival at school, students and staff will complete a wellness check. The temperature scan will alert staff if anyone coming into the building has an abnormal temperature. Parents are encouraged to do this screening before their children leave for school, and if your kids are sick – keep them home.  

Vaccination opportunities continue for staff, according to district officials who have been working with the New Mexico Department of Health since January. As of today, nearly 1,700 LCPS staff – more than 60 percent – have been vaccinated.  

Meal distribution, bus routes 

Grab-and-go breakfast and lunch will continue to be available for all students free of charge. While at school, students will be encouraged to eat outside when possible. For remote students, meal pickup is available at their school site.  

Bus routes were amended to accommodate a shift in schedules. For elementary students, school will begin at 8:30 a.m. Middle school begins at 9:15 a.m. and high school begins at 9:05. A complete list of bus routes and schedules can be found at http://www.lcps.net/2021/04/05/bus-routes/.  

Tips for students 

Students are reminded that school will look and feel different as we continue to navigate through new COVID-19 safe practices. Some additional reminders:  

    • Students will be expected to socially distance to the greatest extent possible.  
    • Students and staff must adhere to face coverings and hygiene regularly. 
    • Bring a jacket to school, even if the weather is warm. Ventilation systems have been upgraded and some classrooms might be a little chilly as temperatures fluctuate.  
    • Bring your fully charged laptop or tablet to school with you every day, along with a charging cable.  

-Kelly Jameson is the public information officer for Las Cruces Public Schools