Coronavirus Update

Latest Messages and Updates: 2020-21 School Year, Meal Access, and More!
Posted on 07/08/2020

Have you changed your phone number and/or email address since the beginning of the school year?  Did you update your contact information with the registrar at your school's front office?  If not, please fill out our change of information form to receive our updates: 

Please also make sure that the rrps.net domain is whitlisted or marked as "allowed emails" or "safe senders" into your email box. 


Update:  July 8, 2020
School Board Meeting on School Reopening Plan and Parent Classes on School Reopening

Good afternoon RRPS Community,

I would like to take this opportunity to inform you that on Monday, July 13 the Rio Rancho Public Schools Board of Education will continue the discussion on the proposed School Reentry Plan for the 2020-2021 School Year. This plan will be in compliance with the New Mexico Public Education Department Reentry Guidance. If you have not read the guidance yet, you may find it at: https://webnew.ped.state.nm.us/reentry-district-and-school-guidance/

July 13th School Board meeting, which will be streamed live on the RRPS website at  https://www.rrps.net/district/school_board___policies/r_r_p_s_school_board_livestream, starts at 5:30 p.m.


In addition to informing you about the School Board meeting on July 13, I also would like to take this opportunity to let you know about our upcoming virtual Parent University sessions. These Parent University sessions will each focus on a different aspect of school reentry to address parent and community questions and provide clarity and transparency about our planned processes. Below is a schedule of upcoming free, virtual Parent University sessions:

  • July 16, 5:30 p.m.: What will teaching and learning look like in the Fall?
    • Presenters: RRPS Curriculum & Instruction Staff, RRPS School Improvement Office
  • July 21, 5:30 p.m.: What will virtual learning look like?
    • Presenters: RRPS Curriculum & Instruction Staff, RRPS School Improvement Office and Special Guests from Edgenuity
  • July 23, 5:30 p.m.: RRPS COVID Safety Practices
    • Presenters: RRPS Safety and Security Department Staff and RRPS Facilities Department Staff
  • July 28, 5:30 p.m.: What will transportation and food services look like in the Fall?
    • Presenters: RRPS Transportation Department Staff and Sodexo Staff


Visit our website for more information and details about upcoming Parent University virtual sessions at: https://www.rrps.net/district/about_our_district/what_s_new/2020-21_parent_university


I hope you will join us on July 13 for the School Board discussion and decision on the 20-21 School Year Reentry Plans and for our Parent University sessions, all of which will be held virtually and live stream for your safety and convenience.


Sincerely,

Dr. V. Sue Cleveland

Superintendent

Rio Rancho Public Schools


Updates: June 26, 2020

  • School re-entry plans and start date
  • No school meal delivery on Friday, July 3

RRPS Parents and Guardians:

As we noted earlier this week, Rio Rancho Public Schools is working diligently to finalize our school reentry plans for the 2020-2021 School Year now that we have official guidelines from the New Mexico Public Education Department. While we understand that you have many valuable and valid questions about our plans, we ask for your patience while we finalize details. We will be sure to release our reentry plan details as they become available.

At this time, we would like to inform you about school start dates for the 2020-2021 School Year. We intend to utilize our traditional start dates for the coming school year. This means middle school and high school students may begin the new school year on or around August 7, while elementary school students will start on or around August 11.  We say “on or around” as your child’s specific start day may be slightly different depending on our final reentry plans and what our hybrid schedule might look like. However, these dates give you a general start date for students. Please be prepared for minor modifications which we will communicate at a later date.

In addition, we would also like to inform you that we anticipate having a finalized 20-21 School Year Reentry Plan ready to send to the School Board on July 13. That meeting will be live streamed online as it will take place remotely. Details will be posted to our website at: https://www.rrps.net/district/school_board___policies/r_r_p_s_school_board_livestream

For more details and for all updates on our 2020-2021 RRPS School Reentry Plan, please visit our website at www.rrps.net/schoolreentryupdates

Dr. V. Sue Cleveland
RRPS Superintendent
___________________________

Please note: There will be no school meal pickup on Friday, July 3 due to the 4th of July holiday.  Meals for Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday (June 29-July 1) will be available at all sites on Monday June 29th.  Meals for Thursday, Friday, Saturday & Sunday (July 2-5) will be available at all sites on Wednesday July 1st.

For information on our normal meal pickup hours and locations, as well as additional information about our meal program, check our Parent and Community Resources Page under the "Food/Meals" tab.  


Update June 23, 2020
Message from RRPS Superintendent Dr. Sue Cleveland:

Good afternoon RRPS Community,

Today the State of New Mexico Public Education Department released their proposed guidelines for the 2020-2021 School Year. You may access the document on the PED website at https://webnew.ped.state.nm.us/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/20NMPED_ReentryGuide_Hybrid.pdf

They have also provided some FAQs at: https://webnew.ped.state.nm.us/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/School-Reentry-Family-FAQ-6-22-2020.pdf

At this time, we are reviewing the NMPED’s guidelines and will finalize our plans for the coming school year so we may present them to the School Board for review and public dissemination.

Also, as the guidance has now been released, we will be able to give you a more definitive idea of what our school calendar will look like. We will plan to release this information by the end of the week.

For all the latest updates and information for the 2020-2021 School Year, please visit: www.rrps.net/schoolreentryupdates


Update June 10, 2020
Invitation to participate in Fine Arts instruction survey:

Dear RRPS Parents and Guardians,

I hope this finds you and your families well and enjoying the beginning of summer.

I would like to thank you for your efforts this spring as we navigated learning from home. As with all Rio Rancho Public Schools educators, Fine Arts teachers did their best to provide your children with meaningful online instruction.


A coalition of arts educators is working to create teaching structures that could be followed depending on what type of instruction we are faced with as schools resume. This coalition includes the New Mexico Art Education Association, the New Mexico Music Educators Association, and the New Mexico Advisory Council on Arts Education, as well as Fine Arts Directors from multiple school districts across the state (including RRPS). In order to prepare for the return to school, we would like to gather some information on your experience this past spring. 


We are asking you to complete a short survey if your child received instruction in the Fine Arts (Visual Arts, General Music, Band, Choir, Orchestra, Piano, Guitar, Theatre, Dance, Media Arts or any other course that is considered a Fine Arts class). This survey is intended for the parents/guardians of both elementary and secondary students.

Please complete this survey for each child that participated in a Fine Arts class. The survey will close on June 17th. Also, please share this survey with any relatives, friends, etc. across New Mexico who have school-age children. Feel free to share on social media, etc. We would like input from as many New Mexico parents/guardians as possible.

Thank you for your time and for your continued support for Fine Arts in RRPS and New Mexico!   

Kurt Schmidt
Executive Director, Fine Arts


Just a reminder: Effective Monday, June 1, school meal pickup will be offered on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays only

  • Meals for Monday and Tuesday will be available for pickup on Mondays
  • Meals for Wednesday and Thursday will be available for pickup on Wednesdays
  • Meals for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday will be available for pickup on Fridays
Pickup times and locations remain the same.  Visit the Meals tab on our Parent and Community Resources page for further information.  

Update Tuesday, May 26:  Class of 2020 Day!

Good afternoon parents and guardians of graduating high school seniors,

As part of our Class of 2020 celebrations on May 27, Rio Rancho Public Schools has created professionally produced videos (with a local Rio Rancho production company, Edit House Productions) to celebrate the graduates at each of our high schools. All four videos are available for viewing on our RRPS YouTube Channel on May 27, Class of 2020 Day (Some are already posted on the YouTube page as of the sending of this email). These celebration videos feature photos submitted by student families, as well as speeches from the Valedictorians, Salutatorians and special guests.

View the Class of 2020 Celebration videos on our RRPS YouTube Channel at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCP9OW2jpWtvi5aDgfWLQDQA  In addition, the City of Rio Rancho will also be airing the celebration videos on their RioVision Government TV cable channel 56. Channel 56 is accessible to Rio Rancho residents who are Sparklight/CableOne subscribers. A schedule of times has not yet been released, but we will share that as soon as it becomes available from the City of Rio Rancho.

In addition, don’t forget that tomorrow is Class of 2020 Day. Our RRPS Facebook page will feature posts about students who have enlisted in military service or are the recipients of scholarships. Plus, at 8:20 p.m. remember to head out to your yard to cheer for our graduates during the special Class of 2020 Day Community Cheer. Again, we congratulate all of the students in the Class of 2020!


“SEAMLESS SUMMER” MEAL ACCESS: NEW SCHEDULE
Update:  5/26/20

We are very pleased to let parents know that RRPS will continue providing grab-n-go breakfast and lunches to children throughout the summer.  The summer meal program will use the same pickup locations and hours as during the school year, but the days will change. 

Scheduled days:

  • Meals will be available Tuesday through Friday, May 26-29; pickup Thursday and Friday’s meals on Thursday and Friday and Saturday’s meals on Friday
  • Beginning June 1, breakfast and lunch will be available for pickup on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays as follows:
    • Monday: pick up meals for Monday and Tuesday
    • Wednesday:Pick up meals for Wednesday and Thursday
    • Friday:Pick up meals for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday

Pickup locations and hours:

  • Rio Rancho Middle School (11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.)
  • Ernest Stapleton Elementary School (11 a.m. to 12 p.m.)
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School (11 a.m. to 12 p.m.)
  • Puesta del Sol Elementary School (11 a.m. to 12 p.m.)
  • Colinas del Norte Elementary School (11:30 to 12:30 p.m.)
  • Sandia Vista Elementary School (11 a.m. to 12 p.m.)
  • Lincoln Middle School (11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.)
  • Cleveland High School (12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.)

Please note: Meals will not be provided this year through city parks; please use the school meal sites listed above.  Also, meal delivery service will not be available during the summer months.   

If you go to a meal site during scheduled meal times and they have run out of bagged breakfasts or lunches, call (505) 938-0386 or go to our Cleveland High School meal site, which intentionally has a later distribution time of 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Please note that some meals contain foods that require reheating to 140 degrees; please follow the manufacturer's instructions on the package.  If you use a microwave, remember to remove foil wraps prior to putting the food into the microwave.


Update May 18, 2020
View Chief Academic Officer Carl Leppelman's end-of-year letter to elementary parents.  

Please continue to check our online learning resource portal for updated information as we end the school year and prepare for next year. 


Graduation Celebration UPDATED infoGraduation Plan Changes:  Updated 5/15/20 

Dear RRPS Parents and Guardians,

As you know, Rio Rancho Public Schools created a committee of parents, students and staff who have been working hard to develop unique and socially-distanced plans to celebrate our Class of 2020. These are difficult times for our graduates and their families, and the district and our committee wanted to do what we could to make this time special and memorable.

Though RRPS and our graduation celebration committee were utilizing New Mexico Public Education Department (NMPED) guidance sent to us last week as a basis for our plans, this week we received further directives from the state around our planned activities. Unfortunately, based on these directives, we are no longer able to host the scheduled stage walks. We apologize for this change, as we know families were looking forward to seeing their graduate walk across the stage and to celebrate their milestone accomplishment

That said, we are excited about the other Class of 2020 celebratory activities, which will move forward as planned. The updated flier is included.

In addition, as you plan for next week’s Diploma Drive-through on Wednesday, May 20, please be aware of the following guidelines and restrictions, which will assist to ensure the safety of everyone involved and assist to create an efficient and smooth running event.

  • Only one vehicle per family/graduate will be allowed.
  • No vehicles larger than a passenger van or large SUV will be allowed
  • All occupants in vehicles must be wearing seatbelts.
  • The graduate should not be the person driving the vehicle.
  • Spectators will not be allowed to exit the vehicle at any time.
  • Vehicles must be decorated (should you choose to decorate) at home and not on campus.
  • The exchanging of gifts, flowers, cards, etc. on school grounds will be prohibited.
  • No parking will be allowed on school property.
  • Congregating will not be allowed on school property.
  • Face coverings or masks and gloves will be worn by participating staff and all social distancing guidelines will be adhered to.
  • Please comply with the current health order in regards to face coverings or masks.

To upload our updated information flyer, please click here or on the image at the top of this update.  Thank you for partnering with us as we come together to celebrate the graduating Class of 2020.


Graduation:  School Info Updated 5/14/20 

The Graduation Committee made up of parent and student representation from each high school and school administration have finalized the plans to celebrate our graduating seniors. Click on this link or on the graphic to learn more!


Survey graphic with checkmarkUpdate 5/13/2020
Parent Survey on School Options for 2020-21

As we plan the reopening of schools in the fall, we are carefully considering all options. We are looking at modifying operations to include possible screenings, availability of face coverings, accommodations for our most vulnerable, heightened cleaning measures, social distancing guidelines (staggered schedules, blended learning configurations, continued online learning from home), etc. We have a task force in place that will be working throughout the summer to address these areas and more, and will continue to communicate with families throughout the planning process.

For now, we recognize that while some parents are eager to have their child(ren) return to school, others are concerned about the continued spread of COVID-19. It is our goal to provide options for families. To that end, we would like to know more about what you want for your child(ren).

  • Please take the survey here: English
  • Por favor, complete la encuesta aquí: español

Update 5/11/20 and 5/12/20 
C
hromebook Dropoff Dates
Issuance of Chromebooks for the 2020-21 School Year

Please read the letters below regarding use and return of student Chromebooks.  Seniors should return theirs on Wednesday, May 13.


Meal service update:  April 29, 2020

This is to let you know that beginning this Thursday, April 30, our student meal pickup schedule for weekends will change.  Student meals for Thursday and Friday will both be handed out to parents on Thursdays.  Meals for the weekend -- Saturday and Sunday -- will be passed out on Fridays.  Meal pickup hours will remain the same. 

Thank you for your understanding. 


Update for high school seniors and parents/guardians: April 22, 2020

Good afternoon RRPS High School Parents and Guardians,

We are truly living in unprecedented times. Over the last month, Rio Rancho Public Schools has had to move quickly in adjusting the way we operate and work to educate our community’s children. We have had to make hard decisions and put plans in place to best support our students and families. It was our hope that we would be able to come out of this sooner rather than later. However, based on news reports and State information that we’ve been monitoring, that doesn’t seem to be the case and it became clear that we needed to make a plan for celebrating our Class of 2020.
 

This was a very difficult discussion and one that we agonized over. We know how important a graduation ceremony is to your child and your family. This is a milestone tradition which marks the end of one phase of our students’ lives--the memories, hard work, honors and championships, and even sometimes tears. It is also important to us, and we want to celebrate our students. Our administrators, teachers and staff members love to see our students walk across the stage … It's what we work tirelessly for day in and day out. We truly care about your child and their success.
 

Because we are in this together, we want to help you understand our thinking. We discussed in length the idea about waiting for summer in the hopes that we would be able to give our students the traditional graduation ceremony they deserve. We even discussed the possibility of holding graduations in December. We have been monitoring the COVID-19 situation closely in the hopes that we could anticipate some semblance of normalcy for the summer. However, as we heard today from Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, it is likely that social gatherings will not be allowed throughout the summer and even possibly into the fall and winter. 

We could plan something with the hope that it would be allowed, but we became increasingly concerned about families making extensive plans and then not being able to proceed. In addition, some of our students will begin to move on over the summer and certainly into the fall. We felt strongly that we needed to recognize our students and not risk the possibility of missing some students or not being able to have any form of celebration at all.

I can assure you that we are looking at many different ideas to make Class of 2020 Day on May 27 a special day for our students. We are even reaching out to a couple of parents and students at each school to help map out the day. We know that this in no way can take the place of a tradition graduation ceremony, but it is meant to celebrate the Class of 2020. We believe that our parents, the City of Rio Rancho, businesses and the community will rally around our students, and in the end this will be a very special and historic day for your child. 

That said, we are patiently waiting to see what happens after May 15, which is the new expiration date for the Governor’s current public health order, as announced this afternoon. Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham also outlined phases to reopen the economy. It’s important to note that “Phase Two and Beyond” of the Governor’s Plan still has larger gatherings and events restricted for the foreseeable future and possibility into the winter. We will keep our fingers crossed for good news in regards to social gatherings this summer, but we are not anticipating it. Should anything change in our favor, we will certainly rally to offer traditional graduation ceremonies for our students. 

Sincerely,
Dr. V. Sue Cleveland
Rio Rancho Public Schools Superintendent


 

Update Tuesday, April 21:
Parents and Guardians of High School Students 

Good afternoon, RRPS High School Parents and Guardians,

In an effort to further provide you with transparent communication and information, we wanted to address some important dates and topics specifically related to high school students. Please see below for some important updates that will impact your child:

High School Update Information:


  • High School Locker Cleanout: The week of April 27 through May 1 will be Locker Clean-Out for all CHS and RRHS high school students. During this designated timeframe, parents/guardians will be permitted to send one person per locker to their child’s high school. Anyone designated to clean out a locker must wear a mask (scarves and bandanas okay) and gloves (work gloves okay). Supervision will be on-site to monitor the number of people in each area, and to ensure that there is no gathering or congregating that would violate social distancing orders or other public health orders. This will not be a time to socialize, but rather will need to be an efficient and thorough clean out time for lockers.
  • More information on Locker Clean-Out week will be coming directly from your child’s high school via email. If you do not feel safe sending a representative to the school to clean out your child’s locker, please complete the following permission form by Monday, April 27 so RRPS may assist you: https://forms.gle/K1WLLWqoXJZG3SLU6
  • Senior Check-In Day on May 13: All high school seniors will turn in any school-owned equipment, such as Chromebooks, instruments, athletic gear, etc., on May 13. Each high school will email additional information to parents/guardians regarding Senior Check-In Day. 
  • Diploma Pick-Up on May 20: Graduating high school seniors will pick up their diplomas on May 20. Each high school will email additional information to parents/guardians regarding Diploma Pick-Up Day.
  • Rio Rancho Class of 2020 Day on May 27: On May 27, Rio Rancho Public Schools will be hosting socially distanced graduations for what we, and the City of Rio Rancho, are deeming Class of 2020 Day. We have some fun, but still socially-distanced, activities planned around this city-wide graduation day. This is also the day when Valedictorians, Salutatorians and other designated seniors will give their speeches via an online broadcast. That evening we have plans around a special tassel ceremony. We will email out additional information about Class of 2020 Day soon, so you will know what to expect and how to plan to celebrate the graduating class of 2020.
  • Junior, Sophomore and Freshman Check-In Days: Check-In Day for high school juniors, sophomores and freshman to turn in school-owned equipment will be sometime in May or early June. Each high school will email additional information to parents/guardians regarding Check-In Day for juniors, sophomores and freshman at a later date.
  • Email Updates: Detailed communication about all of these important high school dates relies heavily on email. It’s vital that all parents/guardians ensure that their email address in their child’s PowerSchool record is up-to-date. Again, the high schools will use the email address on file to communicate with you. To update your email address on file, visit our Change of Contact Information Form on our website at: In https://www.rrps.net/cms/One.aspx?portalId=131387&pageId=5203739 In addition, please also ensure that donotreply@rrps.net and the RRPS.net domain are “whitelisted” or marked as “allowed emails” or “safe senders” into your box. Sometimes email services such as Yahoo and Gmail can filter our emails and mark them as spam. So check your spam box if you don’t see our emails as well.

We will continue to work to address your questions and the unique needs of our high school students as we move forward with modified plans to honor our graduating high school seniors and ensure that all school-owned equipment is returned to the high schools. We understand that these are new and uncharted waters, but together in a partnership with you, we can ensure that we meet the academic, emotional, and social needs of our students and our community.


Sincerely,

Dr. V. Sue Cleveland

Rio Rancho Public Schools Superintendent


Update Wednesday, April 8:  Online learning beginning Monday, April 13:

Good afternoon RRPS Community,

The following message provides information for parents in relation to our Continuous Learning Plan. This plan will go into effect with the start of online learning beginning April 13. As we move forward with this plan, we want to thank parents for their continued partnership as we all work together to meet the needs of our students. Because there is quite a bit of important information here, we have broken it down by school level so you may scroll to the areas that impact you and your child(ren). Please also take a moment to review the general information:

General Information:

  • Parent/Guardian Email Address:  It is vital that you ensure that the correct parent/guardian email address is on file with RRPS in PowerSchool. Teachers will use the email address on file to communicate with you. In addition, please make sure that teacher email addresses and donotreply@rrps.net are “whitelisted” or marked as allowed emails into your box. Sometimes email services such as Yahoo and Gmail can filter our emails and mark them as spam. So check your spam box if you don’t see our emails. Parents/guardians may update their email address on file by completing the Change of Contact Information Form on our website at: https://www.rrps.net/cms/One.aspx?portalId=131387&pageId=5203739
  • School Calendar: Rio Rancho Public Schools will utilize the current 2019-2020 instructional calendar that we have been using so far this school year. That means that students will observe the Vernal Holiday on April 10 as scheduled. As of right now, the school year is still on track to end on May 20.
  • Mandatory Student Online LearningThe New Mexico Public Education Department (NMPED) has mandated that school districts continue to provide instruction for all K-12 students for the remainder of the school year. Please take comfort in knowing that RRPS in no way expects parents to create a full-fledged “home school” environment for their students, nor will it be an eight-hour day of learning. We understand that many parents are still going to work or are needing to work from home while assisting with online learning, and we have created a plan that should accommodate those needs. 
  • Teacher Initial Communication: Parents/Guardians should expect to receive communications from teachers on April 8 and 9. Should you have questions for your child’s teacher(s), please feel free to reach out to them electronically.
  • 504 Plans & IEPs: If your child has a Section 504 Plan or an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for a disability(ies) and/or gifted abilities, you should expect their case manager will work with you to modify the plan to allow it to be implemented during the extended period of school closure. 
  • Student Meal Service: Student Grab-n-Go meal service is continuing as it has been at the designated distribution sites, during scheduled hours. For more details visit www.rrps.net. As of April 6, students DO NOT need to be in the vehicle for adults/licensed drivers to pick them up.

Pre-School Students:

  • The NMPED has not made it mandatory for students to participate in online learning for Pre-K at Shining Stars Preschool. However, we do strongly encourage Pre-K students to participate. Teachers at Shining Stars Preschool will continue to upload lessons weekly. Parents/guardians may decide if they would like to use those lessons for their Pre-K child(ren).
  • Pre-K students will receive 30 minutes of direct instruction from their teacher online followed by optional independent reading assignments.
  • Parent/Guardian role: You are not expected to replace a teacher or take on their role. Teachers will continue to create lesson plans and instruct, allowing parents/guardians to continue in their parenting and support role for their child(ren). 
  • This will not look like a traditional school day. Teachers are providing opportunities for students to grow academically and meet the requirements needed as they move to the next grade level next school year.
  • At this time, we are not checking Chromebooks out to Pre-K students. Should this change in the future, we will contact all Shining Stars Preschool parents/guardians. 
  • Teachers will maintain ongoing communication with parents/guardians (to include email, phone calls and Google Classroom).


Elementary School Students (Grades K-5):

  • Elementary school students (grades K through 5) are required to participate in ongoing learning opportunities throughout the end of the school year. The amount of time spent doing learning tasks depends on the grade level as detailed below:
  • Parent/Guardian role: You are not expected to replace a teacher or take on their role. Teachers will continue to create lesson plans and instruct, allowing parents/guardians to continue in their parenting and support role for their child(ren). 
  • This will not look like a traditional school day. Teachers are providing opportunities for students to grow academically and meet the requirements needed as they move to the next grade level next school year.
  • Teachers will post assignments according to the established minutes of instruction above, as well as optional independent reading assignments.
  • Online learning may be completed by students each day at a time that is most convenient for their family and parents/guardians. However, there will be specific due dates for assignments and there may also be scheduled discussions or Google Meet meetings for students to attend at specific times. Those will be communicated to each student/family by their teacher.
  • Elementary school parents may pull progress reports on their child(ren) from Istation or Google Classroom.
  • Teachers will maintain ongoing communication with parents/guardians (to include email, phone calls and Google Classroom).
  • Elementary school grades/progress toward the mastery of grade level standards will be based on Trimester 2 proficiency (this was reported on the last report card).  Additional information will be provided to parents via Google Classroom reports/Istation reports.

Middle School Students (Grades 6-8):

  • Middle school students (grades 6 through 8) are required to participate in ongoing learning opportunities for the remainder of the school year. The amount of time spent doing learning tasks is detailed below:
  • Parent/Guardian role: You are not expected to replace a teacher or take on their role. Teachers will continue to create lesson plans and instruct, allowing parents/guardians to continue in their parenting and support role for their child(ren). 
  • This will not look like a traditional school day. Teachers are providing opportunities for students to grow academically and meet the requirements needed as they move to the next grade level next school year.
  • Online learning may be completed by students each day at a time that is most convenient for their family and parents/guardians. However, there will be specific due dates for assignments and there may also be scheduled discussions or Google Meet meetings for students to attend at specific times. Those will be communicated to each student/family by their teacher.
  • The 25 minutes a day, per class, of instruction will be provided by your child’s teachers.
  • Activities of assignments for middle school students may include, but are not limited to:
  • Students will have an opportunity to improve their 3rd quarter grades. Please contact your child’s teachers for details on this opportunity.
  • 4th Quarter grades will be on a pass/fail basis.
  • Limited new material will be introduced during the 4th quarter with emphasis on maintaining skills and knowledge.
  • 2nd Semester exams will be given. These exams will look different than our usual exams and will cover material that student’s received prior to the closure of schools. In addition, exams will also include material they will be receiving through online instruction.
  • Teachers will maintain ongoing communication with parents/guardians (to include email, phone calls and Google Classroom).

High School Students:

  • High school students (grades 9 through 12) are required to participate in ongoing learning opportunities throughout the end of the school year. The amount of time spent doing online learning tasks is detailed below:
  • Parent/Guardian role: You are not expected to replace a teacher or take on their role. Teachers will continue to create lesson plans and instruct, allowing parents/guardians to continue in their parenting and support role for their child(ren). 
  • This will not look like a traditional school day. Teachers are providing opportunities for students to grow academically and meet the requirements needed as they move to the next grade level next school year.
  • Online learning may be completed by students each day at a time that is most convenient for their family and parents/guardians. However, there will be specific due dates for assignments and there may also be scheduled discussions or Google Meet meetings for students to attend at specific times. Those will be communicated to each student/family by their teacher.
  • The 25 minutes a day, per class, of instruction will be provided by your child’s teachers.
  • Activities of assignments for high school students may include, but are not limited to:
  • Students will have an opportunity to improve their 3rd quarter grades, contact your child’s teachers for details on this opportunity.
  • 4th Quarter grades will be on a pass/fail basis.
  • Limited new material will be introduced during the 4th quarter with emphasis on maintaining skills and knowledge.
  • 2nd Semester exams will be given. These exams will look different than our usual exams and will cover material that student’s received prior to the closure of schools. In addition, exams will also include material they will be receiving through online instruction.
  • Teachers will maintain ongoing communication with parents/guardians (to include email, phone calls and Google Classroom).

All of the staff at Rio Rancho Public Schools understands that this new world of online education is very different and that you will have questions. We are all in this together, and our teachers and staff are ready to help clarify or answer any questions you may have. Please do not hesitate to reach out via email to your child’s teachers … they are ready to assist you. 

We will continue to partner with you during these unprecedented times to ensure we meet the academic, emotional, and social needs of our students and our community. We look forward to continuing to serve our students online starting next week!

 

Sincerely,

Dr. V. Sue Cleveland

Rio Rancho Public Schools Superintendent



Update Tuesday, April 7

 

This coming Friday, April 10, is a scheduled school holiday in the RRPS calendar.  School meal pickup will not be available on Friday so those staff members who have been working long hours to prepare and deliver meals can take this day off. 

To accommodate families who depend on these meals for their children, we will make Friday’s meals available for pickup on Thursday, April 9.  Families will pick up both Thursday’s and Friday’s meals at the same time. 

Meal pickup will resume on the regular schedule on Monday, April 13, which is also the day online learning begins for Rio Rancho students. Watch for more information later this week.

Thank you for your cooperation and understanding as we work to help our families through these challenging times.  We’re all in this together!


School meal pickup noticeUpdate: Monday, April 6

Please note that as of 4/6/20, students no longer need to accompany the adult/licensed driver in the vehicle when picking up school meals.  

Update: Friday, April 3

Good morning RRPS Community,

 

Prior to the Governor’s Office and New Mexico Department of Public Education (NMPED) announcing that the mandatory school closure would be extended to include the remainder of this school year (2019-2020 School Year), our team was working on plans for continuous online learning for our students and teaching staff. Because we had already begun work on a plan, we are on track to finalize and have NMPED approval next week. We had hoped to have the plan finalized this week, however, there were more levels of input and approval that we wanted to pursue, to ensure we provided the best possible online learning plan for our RRPS parents/guardians, staff and students. Therefore, please expect a more detailed roll out of our online learning plan next week – we will email that to all parents and will post to our website and social media accounts.

Right now, we want you to know the following:

School Calendar: Rio Rancho Public Schools will utilize the same school year 2019-2020 calendar that it has been using so far this school year. That means that students will continue on Spring Break this week and will observe the Vernal Holiday on April 10 as scheduled.

 Mandatory Student Online Learning: The RRPS Curriculum and Instruction Department has been working in close collaboration with School Improvement, Special Services, Federal Programs and Student Services to provide guidance to all RRPS staff regarding a continuous online learning plan for the school closure. Starting on April 13 and continuing for the remainder of the school year, teachers will provide virtual instruction with a focus on the essential knowledge and skills students need to maintain in order to be prepared for the next grade level. School is still in session even with the school facilities under a mandatory closure. That means that the online instruction is required for all students and is not voluntary. Please take comfort in knowing that RRPS in no way expects parents to create a full-fledged “home school” environment for their students, we understand that many parents must still work from home while also assisting with online learning.

Teacher & Staff Preparations: Teachers will spend the next week planning their online lessons and reaching out to their students to begin implementing the RRPS continuous online learning plan. They will also participate in professional development opportunities over the next week that will provide them support on using the new online methods to deliver instruction. Parents/Guardians should expect to receive communications from teachers on April 8 and 9.

Communication: Teachers will maintain open lines of communication with all parents and guardians as we embark on this new form of virtual classroom learning. We understand that it will be different for everyone. If you have a question about the process or how assignments work, we encourage you to reach out to your child’s teacher once the continuous online learning plan goes into effect on April 13. Parents/Guardians will also be given tools through Power Teacher and Google Classroom to check on their student’s progress with their online learning plan.

504 Plans & IEPs: If your student has a Section 504 Plan or an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for a disability(ies) and/or gifted abilities, you should expect that the 504 plan or IEP will be implemented during the extended period of school closure. Please note that the Plan may be adapted with input from you and your child’s educational team, in order to address your child’s unique learning needs while learning at home versus in a traditional classroom environment.

Student Meal Service: Student Grab-n-go meal service is continuing as it has been at the designated distribution sites, during scheduled hours. For more details visit www.rrps.net Student breakfast and lunch meal services will continue through the end of the school year on May 20.

Please know that Rio Rancho Public Schools understands that you have many questions related to this new world of online education for your children and how much it may or may not impact you and your family. We ask for your patience as we finalize all details and work to balance parent concerns, NMPED requirements and the needs of our students. We will continue to partner with you during these unprecedented times to ensure we meet the academic, emotional, and social needs of our students and our community.

Sincerely,

Dr. V. Sue Cleveland

Rio Rancho Public Schools Superintendent


Update: 11AM Friday, March 27:

Good morning RRPS Community,

 

Today, in collaboration with the Governor’s Office and the New Mexico Department of Health, the New Mexico Department of Public Education (NMPED) announced that the mandatory school closure has been extended to now include the remainder of this school year (2019-2020 School Year), which was set to end on May 20. This new announcement means that your students will not return to their classrooms for the current school year.

We have received further guidance and direction from the New Mexico Public Education Department and would like to provide some information about how RRPS will move forward with your student’s education during the closure. In addition, we would like to update you on plans for high school seniors on track to graduate this year. Below you will find more details and direction:

Online Distance Learning & Chromebook Requests/Distribution: A complete and detailed plan is being finalized by the district leadership team and we will communicate the online learning and Chromebook distribution plan with parents/guardians in greater detail next week via email, phone call, website and social media messaging.

Student Meal Service: Student Grab-n-go meal service will continue as it has been at the designated distribution sites, during scheduled hours, for the remainder of the school year. For more details visit https://www.rrps.net/departments/administration/chief_of_staff___engagement/parent_and_community_resources

Graduation and Proms: All scheduled graduation ceremonies for May and all high school proms have been cancelled for the 2019-2020 school year. We will consider postponing the graduation ceremonies to a date when the public health order will allow for them later in the Summer or year. Seniors on track for graduation this school year will be provided other opportunities to demonstrate competency for graduation. Details on this will be provided in the online learning plan message to parents/guardians next week.

As new information becomes available, and the district continues to finalize plans focused on the NMPED’s recommendations and requirements, we will be sure update all parents/guardians via email, our website at www.rrps.net and via our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/RioRanchoPublicSchools/

Please know that Rio Rancho Public Schools understands that this is a significant change for not only our students and staff, but also for parents in our community. We will continue to partner with you during these unprecedented times to ensure we meet the academic, emotional, and social needs of our students and our community.

Sincerely,

Dr. V. Sue Cleveland

Rio Rancho Public Schools Superintendent



Update: 1 PM Monday, March 16:

Good afternoon RRPS Parents and Staff,

 

With the first day of the school closure underway, Rio Rancho Public Schools would like to share with you the following information about the District Office operations and a resource hotline that we have set up for district parents and staff.

RESOURCE HOTLINE: Those who need to be connected to resources (food, baby formula, medical care, behavioral health services, etc.) may call the Rio Rancho Public Schools District Office hotline at (505) 896-0667 (Monday through Thursday, March 16-26, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.) Our team will do what we can to connect you to resources and/or put out a call for assistance for you on our social media and with our partners. We understand that these can be stressful times and we would like to do what we can to assist and relieve stress by providing resources or connecting parents and staff to resources should they need them.

DISTRICT OFFICE: The RRPS District Office will remain in operation from March 16 through March 26 on the following schedule and limitations:

  • Closed to the public
  • Non-Essential staff are working remotely from home
  • Essential staff are scheduled on a rotating basis
  • Staff will be available on the hotline Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. through March 26
  • District Office will be closed March 27-April 5 (Regularly scheduled Spring Break)


As a reminder, the following are available:

CHILD MEAL ACCESS: During the three-week mandatory school closure, grab-n-go breakfast and lunches will be made available to children up to the age of 18. As with our summer meal program, all children must be in the vehicle with the adult picking up the meals in order for us to release the meals. We will provide both breakfast and lunch in a grab-n-go format at the same time. Find locations and meal service times at https://www.rrps.net/cms/One.aspx?portalId=131387&pageId=7535116

OTHER RESOURCES: Rio Rancho Public Schools understands that students will be looking for activities to keep them occupied during the three-week school closure. To assist to keep their minds occupied and provide an educational outlet for them, we have created a child resource web: https://www.rrps.net/cms/One.aspx?portalId=131387&pageId=7535116 . This page will be regularly updated during the school closure.

COMMUNICATIONS:

Updates will be posted on the RRPS Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/RioRanchoPublicSchools

Updates will also be posted on the web at: https://www.rrps.net Just click on the Coronavirus image at the top of the homepage.

ADHERE TO RECOMMENDATIONS: Please remember that in order for Rio Rancho Public Schools and the State of New Mexico to prevent the spread of Coronavirus in our communities, we must all participate in social isolation and work together. Let’s all make smart decisions, as the decisions we make not only impact our own families, but all families within our community. Remain calm, stay informed and be smart about preventive measures.

Sincerely,

Dr. V. Sue Cleveland

Rio Rancho Public Schools Superintendent


Update sent 5 PM Friday, March 13:

Good afternoon RRPS Parents,

 

Much has developed over the last 24 hours related to our state and community battle to prevent the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19). I have much information to share with you related to the school closure, meal access, athletic events, childcare, District Office operations, child resources, school year calendar and testing window.

SCHOOL CLOSURE:

This morning, Governor Lujan Grisham and New Mexico PED Secretary Stewart reconfirmed that all public schools in New Mexico will be placed on a mandatory closure from March 16 through April 5.  This three-week closure will assist to prevent the spread of Coronavirus and allow schools to disinfect and deeply clean all facilities and school buses.

CHILD MEAL ACCESS:

During the three-week mandatory school closure, grab-n-go breakfast and lunches will be made available to children up to the age of 18 at the following locations:

  • Rio Rancho Middle School (11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.)
  • Ernest Stapleton Elementary School (11 a.m. to 12 p.m.)
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School (11am to 12 p.m.)
  • Puesta del Sol Elementary School (11am to 12 p.m.)
  • Colinas del Norte Elementary School (11:30 to 12:30 p.m.)
  • Sandia Vista Elementary School (11 a.m. to 12 p.m.)
  • Lincoln Middle School (11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.)

As with our summer meal program, all children must be in the vehicle with the adult picking up the meals in order for us to release the meals. We will provide both breakfast and lunch in a grab-n-go format at the same time.

ATHLETIC EVENTS:

The New Mexico Activities Association (NMAA) has postponed the State Spirit Championships and suspended all activity programs and Spring athletic programs until further notice. This includes practices, as well as contests and/or events.

CHILDCARE:

Though the Governor’s Office announced that all childcare and daycare facilities within the school districts will remain open, the S.A.F.E. Before and After-School Program is not one of those programs. Therefore, the S.A.F.E. program will be closed and will not operate during the three-week school closure.

DISTRICT OFFICE OPERATIONS:

The RRPS District Office will remain in operation March 16-27. March 30-April 3 is Spring Break for RRPS and the District Office will be closed. We will provide additional information about District Office operations next week.

CHILD RESOURCES:

Rio Rancho Public Schools understands that students will be looking for activities to keep them occupied during the three-week school closure. To assist to keep their minds occupied and provide an educational outlet for them, we are creating a new child resource web page with activities you can use. You may access this web page at: https://www.rrps.net/cms/One.aspx?portalId=131387&pageId=7535116 . This page will be regularly updated during the school closure.

SCHOOL YEAR CALENDAR:

As announced at the Governor’s press conference    this morning, NMPED Secretary Stewart stated that NMPED will waive the academic hours requirement so school districts will not have to make up the three weeks of the closure. This means we will remain on the current school calendar.

TESTING WINDOW (INCLUDING PSAT/SAT):

NMPED Secretary Stewart announced that the testing window will be pushed back to accommodate the school closures. This means that students will not lose testing preparation time and the test dates will be pushed back. We do not have details on the new testing dates yet, but we will provide those as soon as they become available.

REMINDERS:

As a reminder, these RRPS mandates are still in effect:

  • All student field trips (whether in-state or out-of-state) are cancelled or postponed for March and April, or until the Governor lifts the Public Health Emergency status for New Mexico. 
  • All fine arts performances (whether in-state or out-of-state) are cancelled or postponed for March and April, or until the Governor lifts the Public Health Emergency status for New Mexico. 
  • All three high school proms and school dances are cancelled or postponed for March and April, or until the Governor lifts the Public Health Emergency status for New Mexico.
  • The Phoenix and Crimson dinner banquets are cancelled or postponed until the Governor lifts the Public Health Emergency status for New Mexico.
  • Only essential school volunteers and visitors will be permitted on school campuses for March and April, or until the Governor lifts the Public Health Emergency status for New Mexico.
  • All district-sponsored out-of-state travel for students and staff members is cancelled or postponed until further notice.
  • All school-sponsored community or parent events at our schools are cancelled or postponed for March and April, or until the Governor lifts the Public Health Emergency status for New Mexico. (e.g. Parent University on March 12, RRPS Pow Wow, Transition Expo, etc)

Please know that it was difficult to make these decisions on restrictions for our school district. However, safety is our top priority and given the growing number of cases of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) across the nation and in New Mexico, we feel this is the right decision.

COMMUNICATIONS:

Many parents continue to provide us with valuable questions through our RRPS Facebook page. I encourage you to continue to do this so our communications team can work to include answers to your questions in future updates. You may find our RRPS Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/RioRanchoPublicSchools

In addition, our communications team has created a web page dedicated to Coronavirus updates that you can view to get the latest information as it relates to RRPS. In addition, the site will also contain community updates, resources and frequently asked questions. You may find that web page at: https://www.rrps.net by clicking on the Coronavirus image at the top of the homepage.

UPDATES FROM THE PRESIDENT & GOVERNOR:

Today, President Trump announced that he is declaring the coronavirus pandemic a national emergency. Doing so frees up nearly $50 billion for state and local governments to respond to the outbreak. The President also waived interest on federally held student loans and gave Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar emergency authorities to waive federal regulations and laws to give doctors and hospitals flexibility in treating patients.

In addition, the President also announced a new public-private partnership to expand coronavirus testing capabilities. The partnership will include drive-through testing in some locations and an online portal to screen those seeking to get tested.

This morning Governor Lujan Grisham reconfirmed the three-week public school closure and addressed many questions from both the public and reporters. In her address, ultimately the message was that the measures being put in place will only work to prevent the spread of Coronavirus if New Mexico families take this situation seriously and participate in social isolation. The school closures and other measures are part of the aggressive proactive approach the State is taking to combat Coronavirus.

BUSINESS PARTNERSHIPS:

We urge businesses to partner with us, so we may work together to keep our families and students safe. Any flexibility businesses can provide to working families in Rio Rancho will assist during the three-week school closure. We understand that the measures being taken will impact everyone and we need your partnership.

SMART DECISIONS & STAY INFORMED:

Please remember that in order for Rio Rancho Public Schools and the State of New Mexico to prevent the spread of Coronavirus in our communities, we must all participate and work together. Let’s all make smart decisions around whether or not to travel at this time. The decisions we make not only impact our own families, but all families within our community. Remain calm, stay informed and be smart about preventive measures.

Sincerely,

Dr. V. Sue Cleveland

Rio Rancho Public Schools Superintendent


Update: 3/12/20 6:30 PM

Rio Rancho Public Schools has just been informed by the New Mexico Department of Public Education (NMPED) that there will be a mandatory statewide school closure for three weeks, beginning on Monday, March 16. 

 

We are still in the process of gathering information related to this. As we learn more and receive further guidance from the NMPED, we will be sure to share that information with you.

As with other updates, we will notify you via email, our Facebook page and our website. Our communications team has created a web page dedicated to Coronavirus updates that you can view to get the latest information as it relates to RRPS. You may find that web page at: https://www.rrps.net by clicking on the Coronavirus image at the top of the homepage.

Please know that Rio Rancho Public Schools will continue to place the education, safety and well-being of our students and staff as our first priority. Again, we ask that you remain calm, become educated, and make smart decisions to protect our community.

Sincerely,

Dr. V. Sue Cleveland

Rio Rancho Public Schools Superintendent



Update: 3/12/20  3:30 PM
Additional Postponements/Cancellations of School Activities

 

Good afternoon RRPS Parents,

     Again today, New Mexico and Rio Rancho Public Schools have encountered some new developments in our work to aggressively and proactively prevent the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in our community. Because student health, safety and well-being is our top priority, it’s important for us to keep you up-to-date. Below you’ll find the latest updates from Governor Lujan Grisham’s Office and from Rio Rancho Public Schools.

MARCH 12 UPDATE FROM GOVERNOR LUJAN GRISHAM’S OFFICE:

Today, New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham announced that because of the newest presumptive positive cases of Coronavirus COVID-19, she is issuing a public health order prohibiting congregations of more than 100 people. This order was issued out of an abundance of caution and is meant to maximize social distancing.

For schools, this order means cancelling or rescheduling assemblies, school performances, and sporting events with anticipated attendance of more than 100 people. Complying with the order will also require schools to take all practical measures to limit crowds for activities such as lunch, while continuing to provide educational services. In addition, the New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) has recommended that schools suspend all volunteer activities involving high risk populations, e.g. seniors and individuals with weakened immune systems.

Along with the Governor’s announcement, the New Mexico Public Education Department (NMPED) also provided preparedness procedures schools can take and the department continues to recommend promoting good hygiene as one of the most important steps community residents can take right now.

UPDATE FROM RIO RANCHO PUBLIC SCHOOLS:

Rio Rancho Public Schools would like to let all of our student parents, guardians and staff know that we support the direction the state has chosen to take with an aggressive proactive approach to preventing the spread of Coronavirus in our state and in our community.

With today’s announcement, Rio Rancho Public Schools is suspending or prohibiting the following, effective immediately:

  • All athletic events, at home or away, through March 15, 2020, are cancelled or postponed. This cancellation of athletic events during this timeframe includes all FUA’s and any outside organization that uses RRPS athletic facilities. Athletic practices for RRPS students may still take place. (further guidance will be coming on athletic events after this weekend).
  • All student field trips (whether in-state or out-of-state) are cancelled or postponed for March and April, or until the Governor lifts the Public Health Emergency status for New Mexico.
  • All fine arts performances (whether in-state or out-of-state) are cancelled or postponed for March and April, or until the Governor lifts the Public Health Emergency status for New Mexico.
  • Both high school proms and school dances are cancelled or postponed for March and April, or until the Governor lifts the Public Health Emergency status for New Mexico.
  • The Phoenix and Crimson dinner banquets are cancelled or postponed until the Governor lifts the Public Health Emergency status for New Mexico.
  • The “A Jazz Night” Fundraiser is cancelled or postponed until the Governor lifts the Public Health Emergency status for New Mexico.
  • The Houses for Hounds project build scheduled for March 27 is cancelled or postponed until the Governor lifts the Public Health Emergency status for New Mexico.
  • Only essential school volunteers and visitors will be permitting on school campuses either for March and April, or until the Governor lifts the Public Health Emergency status for New Mexico.

    Please know that the above list of specific events it not exhaustive, but we wanted to cover those that came up in specific parent questions. In addition, as a reminder of what we communicated yesterday, the following are still in effect:

  • All district-sponsored out-of-state travel for students and staff members is cancelled or postponed until further notice.
  • All school-sponsored community or parent events at our schools are cancelled or postponed for March and April, or until the Governor lifts the Public Health Emergency status for New Mexico. (e.g. Parent University on March 12, RRPS Pow Wow, Transition Expo, etc)

Please know that it was difficult to make these decisions on restrictions for our school district. However, safety is our top priority and given the growing number of cases of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) across the nation and in New Mexico, we feel this is the right decision.

ALL SCHOOLS WILL BE CLOSED ON MARCH 18:

In addition to the new restrictions, RRPS is continuing to take steps to help ensure we do our part to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus. Part of these efforts includes a newly scheduled in-service day for our staff. All schools will now be CLOSED for staff in-service training on Wednesday, March 18. The S.A.F.E. before and after school program will also be closed on this date. We know that you may need to locate child care for this date so we wanted to make you aware of it as soon as the decision was made.

On March 18, Rio Rancho Public Schools will be closed to students so we can provide training to staff on remote learning, should this become necessary in the coming days. In addition, our Facilities Department and Student Transportation Department staff will be coordinating additional disinfection/deep cleaning of our buses and schools.

Many parents continue to provide us with valuable questions through our RRPS Facebook page. I encourage you to continue to do this so our communications team can work to include answers to your questions in future updates. You may find our RRPS Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/RioRanchoPublicSchools In addition, our communications team has created a web page dedicated to Coronavirus updates that you can view to get the latest information as it relates to RRPS. In addition, the site will also contain community updates, resources and frequently asked questions. You may find that web page at: https://www.rrps.net by clicking on the Coronavirus image at the top of the homepage.

Please know that Rio Rancho Public Schools will continue to place the education, safety and well-being of our students and staff as our first priority. The decisions we make now, and in the future, are ways for us to take an aggressive and proactive approach to prevent and manage Coronavirus. We ask that you remain calm, become educated, and make smart decisions to protect our community.

Sincerely,

Dr. V. Sue Cleveland

Rio Rancho Public Schools Superintendent


Message sent 3/11/20
Coronavirus Update: RRPS Restricts Out-of-State Travel, Parent and Community Events 


On Wednesday, March 11, 2020 our state and school district encountered some significant developments related to Coronavirus (COVID-19).  Out of an abundance of caution and in the interest of limiting as much as possible the spread of the Covid-19 virus, please note the following steps are being taken by the state and by RRPS. 

 

 

UPDATE FROM GOVERNOR LUJAN GRISHAM’S OFFICE:

Today, New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham announced that three New Mexico residents have tested positive for Coronavirus COVID-19, the first confirmed cases in the state.

In light of this new development in the spread of Coronavirus, Governor Lujan Grisham has declared a Public Health Emergency in our State. In doing so, the governor has freed up emergency funding, empowered the General Services Department to ensure goods continue to flow and empowered the NM Department of Health to take the lead on the control of the Coronavirus spread containment. In addition, the governor also issued the following mandates for the State.

  • All State of New Mexico-sponsored employee out-of-state travel is cancelled effective immediately
  • All State of New Mexico non-essential employees are to telecommute/telework effective immediately
  • All large State of New Mexico-sponsored events are cancelled, including events such as the Gathering of Nations

In the press conference, Governor Lujan Grisham made several recommendations to New Mexico residents, including:

  • Continue to limit your exposure to Coronavirus by washing your hands with soap, using hand sanitizer
  • Disinfect commonly used items in the household and at work
  • Limit your exposure to large crowds and groups by not attending community events or meetings unless necessary
  • Stay home if you are feeling ill and report symptoms
  • Be proactive, limit exposure and make smart decisions

UPDATE FROM RIO RANCHO PUBLIC SCHOOLS:

Rio Rancho Public Schools would like to let all of our student parents/guardians and staff know that we support the direction the state has chosen to take and appreciate the efforts of our Governor to help keep New Mexicans healthy and safe. Therefore, as of today, Wednesday, March 11, 2020, Rio Rancho Public Schools is suspending or prohibiting the following:

  • All district-sponsored out-of-state travel and field trips for students and staff members are cancelled or postponed until further notice.
  • All school-sponsored community or parent events at our schools are cancelled or postponed for March and April, or until the Governor lifts the Public Health Emergency status for New Mexico. (e.g. Parent University on March 12, RRPS Pow Wow, Transition Expo, etc)

At this time, all in-state travel/field trips, performing arts/fine arts events at schools and athletic events will continue as planned. We are working with the New Mexico Activities Association and the State of New Mexico Public Education Department to evaluate such events and will render a decision soon on whether or not those will continue.

The Spanish Language Spelling Bee and the Orchestra Concert scheduled for Thursday, March 12 will continue as planned. In addition, the Choir Concert scheduled for this evening (March 11) will also continue as planned.

Please know that this was a difficult decision to make, as we considered the opportunities that staff members and students would miss. However, safety is our top priority and given the growing number of cases of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) across the nation, we feel this is the right decision.

In addition to the new event and travel restrictions, RRPS is continuing to take steps to help ensure we do our part to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus. As mentioned in previous messages to you, the school district does have a Pandemic Flu Plan in place. There are five stages to the RRPS Pandemic Flu Plan, which are:

o   Level 1 - Prevention

o   Level 2 - Protection

o   Level 3 - Mitigation

o   Level 4 - Response

o   Level 5 – Recovery

Today, the New Mexico Department of Health has increased their plan level to Level 2 – Protection. However, they have not asked that we increase our plan level to Level 2 yet. Because we take our direction from the State, RRPS will remain at Level 1-Prevention of our Pandemic Flu Plan. We will remain in contact with the Department of Health and be on the ready to escalate our plan level should we be given such direction.

While still under Level 1 of our Pandemic Flu Plan, we are doing the following along with reminding students, staff and the public about proper handwashing, cleaning frequently used surfaces, etc.

  • On March 4, we held mandatory custodial training we refreshed training on proper sanitizing procedures.
  • All Elementary Schools were thoroughly disinfected on March 5 and 6 during the school closure for parent-teacher conferences.
  • We are planning to thoroughly disinfect all middle schools and high schools during Spring Break
  • Our Facilities Department has ordered adequate amounts of hand sanitizer and associated stations for any schools or locations that do not already have them
  • Our Facilities Department warehouse is fully stocked up on hand soap
  • Our Facilities Department has ordered four electric atomizer backpack sprayers for sanitizing large areas of our schools and will await approval from Leadership to mist all schools; Once fully trained and operational, these four electric atomizer backpacks will allow us to thoroughly sanitize three schools each evening.
  • Our Facilities Department is forming an Emergency Response Team to handle the changing needs of this situation. 
  • The IT Department has purchased digital friendly sanitizing devices for use in schools on shared computers, Chromebooks, keyboards and other computer equipment.
  • The Student Transportation Department is working on finalizing plans to do a thorough sanitizing of buses in addition to the regular cleaning schedule.

Many parents have provided us with questions on our RRPS Facebook page. We have a meeting with the State of New Mexico Public Education Department (PED) tomorrow where we are hoping to secure answers to many of the parent questions. Some of those questions surround procedures for immunocompromised students and staff, absences, further school visitor restrictions, school closures and offering online instruction versus in-person instruction. At this time, we are unable to thoroughly answer those questions, but will update you after our meeting tomorrow with the PED.

Please know that Rio Rancho Public Schools, like the Governor’s Office and State, is taking an aggressive proactive approach to prevent and manage Coronavirus. The health and safety of our students, staff and community is our top priority. We ask that you remain calm, make smart decisions and bear with us as we cancel or postpone certain events to further protect the community.