Las Cruces Public Schools’ ‘Red Phase’ readies parents, students for virtual learning

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LAS CRUCES, New Mexico (KTSM) — Las Cruces Public Schools is going full steam ahead with its “Red Plan” to virtually welcome students back to school on Wednesday.

The new plan includes protocols designed to mitigate the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic for academic instruction, technology, and nutritional services for students as they begin online immersion.

The Red Plan — which applies to elementary, middle, and high schools — is a hybrid model that divides students into two groups for two days of in-person learning on-campus, three days of remote instruction and one day devoted to deep-cleaning campuses during the interim of the student cohorts being on campus.

“We have prepared, and we are ready,” said LCPS Superintendent Dr. Karen Trujillo in a statement provided to KTSM 9 News. “Our teachers have immersed themselves in professional development training, our nutrition services team is ready to get meals moving and our technology staff has ensured that students who need devices for online learning have them in hand.” 

The Red Plan lays out directives for meal distribution that will provide breakfast and lunch to students, bus stop delivery locations, links to technology and resources parents can access to help their children be successful online and on campus.

According to Trujillo, educators participated in more than 350 professional development webinars to enhance their technology, instruction and learning acumen in an effort to cultivate best practices in preparation for the academic year ahead. Teachers were trained on developing Canvas shells for their classes, as well as available resources to help troubleshoot technological hiccups as they occur.

The school district has purchased laptops and tablets to help bridge the technology gap for students who don’t have access to devices at home, but some students will have to wait up to three weeks for their device due to shipping delays.

“We are actually in a much better situation than some school districts in the country right now,” said LCPS Chief Technology Officer Josh Silver. “While some schools are still processing orders, we acted early. The delay is partially due to strains in shipping and social distance requirements here at LCPS as our technology staff works to get these computers ready to distribute.”

The Red Plan includes suggestions for parents and students on how to optimize online instruction by creating a dedicated learning space at home, prioritizing schoolwork, communicating with educators and practicing patience during this first-of-its-kind model for Las Cruces students.

 “Online learning is a partnership,” said Trujillo, “and we can only be successful if we are committed to keeping communication open and showing our students that we believe in their ability to make this the best start to a very unique school year.”

To read the Red Plan in full, click here.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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