Remote Learning Update

Remote Learning Update
Posted on 02/10/2021

After gathering input from parents/students, employees and administration it was clear how worried, perplexed and divided our community is about remote learning with small groups of at-risk K-12 students and returning in a face-to-face hybrid model. Based on that input, Maxwell School Board decided  Monday, February 4, that we will be in a remote learning model until the end of the 20-21 school year. 

This decision was based on student, staff and community input and health and safety, as well as the stability of the learning model.   Ever since the governor announced that schools could open on Feb. 8, we have received emails, phone calls, and social media posts expressing concern, fear, and frustration. We have heard from teachers and school staff who are sincerely worried about their own safety and health, as well as the health of loved ones who they live with or care for. We have heard from parents who are overwhelmed trying to balance at-home learning with work and family life. We have heard from students who miss their friends, miss their activities, and are tired of being home. We have also heard from students who dread learning in a bubble at school, where they can't get within six feet of their friends or teachers and have to wear masks at all times. And we have heard from students who are worried about how their being in school might impact the health of their elderly loved ones.

We have received dozens of articles, posts, and studies that show that schools are safe havens during the pandemic. We have received just as many that show schools are unsafe for return.

In the end, we want students back in school. I have said that repeatedly ever since we first began grappling with this virus. That's where they belong. That's where they learn best. That's the best place for us to nurture and watch over them.

But we also need to keep our students, our staff, their families, safe and healthy and in a learning model that is stable and predictable.

As we struggle with how we might be able to restore some in-person instruction, please don't lose sight of the fact that our students are learning. Our teachers are teaching. Our school staff is supporting our students. Our district staff is supporting our schools. Let me be clear, teaching and learning have continued throughout this process. It never stopped. It may look different, though at this point remote learning has become more of the norm.

By no means is this an ideal situation, but it has its upsides. As I have noted, communication between school and family is better. We have learned more patience. We have become more understanding and compassionate as we all struggle through unforeseen challenges. And we are more focused on the fundamentals.

During remote learning, we will bring in small groups of K-12 students who need extra support in their learning, guided by teachers who are ready to return to the classroom.  This will be done as guidance from NMPED and safety allows, along with staff being fully-vaccinated. 

I encourage parents to frequently visit our webpage and follow our social media for up-to-date and accurate information.  Everyone must understand that there is no way for us to please all was we make decisions.  Our priority is to keep everyone safe while not making life more difficult for our families.  Each family situation is uniquely different.  We understand your concerns about health and safety, remote learning, the importance of face-to-face instruction, parents needing to work, the economy and all of the unexpected consequences. 

Thank you for your continued support as we strive to do what is best for ALL of our students and employees during these challenging times.