LAS CRUCES, NM (KTSM) – Kindergarteners, sixth and ninth graders were back in the classroom in Las Cruces on Wednesday. The rest of the school return on Thursday as Las Cruces Public Schools (LCPS) adapts its new balanced calendar that gives students longer breaks throughout the year.

Student safety is on top of everyone’s mind as students return to school. The Board of Education approved a memorandum of understanding that puts a uniform officers in every high school and middle school in Las Cruces Public Schools.

“I think we’re all kind of trepid, a little scared, and we just kind of well, you know the schools do good here in Las Cruces they do really good about protecting the children and having really good safety procedures in place, so I feel ok with it,” said Vanessa Chavez a parent of multiple LCPS students.

The Las Cruces Police Department breaks down how its officers are assisting the district.

“We have a full complement of SROs (school resource officers) at the high schools and middle schools, so at least one at each school. And then we have patrol officers in each district where there are elementary schools,” said Dan Trujillo a Public Information Officer for the Las Cruces Police Department.

Las Cruces Public Schools explains that while officers are assigned to elementary schools, they won’t be visible during the school day at those elementary schools unless there is an emergency.

“We do have a heightened police presence on our campuses,” said Kelly Jameson, a spokesperson for Las Cruces Public Schools.

Jameson explained that while those officers may not be visible on elementary campuses, those elementary schools are open for law enforcement officers to do paperwork.

“So, while they will spend their day primarily at the middle and high schools they will also patrol elementary schools. We have also opened our campuses to local law enforcement to use our elementary schools as a place to do reports or catch up on paperwork so there will be a presence of law enforcement at our elementary schools,” said Jameson.

LSPS parents are invited on Wednesday, July 27 at 6 p.m. at Las Cruces City Hall to meet with the FBI and Local Law Enforcement to discuss school safety.

With school safety at the forefront as students return earlier than normal for the school year, are the high temperatures.

“It’s ridiculously hot, so it’s kind of disappointing but I guess it’s going to be good in the long run because I guess they get a longer vacation at Christmas,” said Daniela Hernandez whose daughter attends an LCPS school.

Las Cruces Public Schools says outside activities are discouraged and that if there were to be an issue with air conditioning during the school day that students would be moved.

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