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Posted 3/16/20

Dear Bandelier Families,


As you know, we are in unprecedented territory due to the Coronavirus.  The purpose of our school closure is to limit contact by social distancing to slow down the spread of the virus.  My step-daughter returned Saturday to Albuquerque from Smith College due to their closure.  Though inconvenient for her studies, we recognize that this is for the health and well-being of their students and anyone they may contact.  


We are hearing daily concerts, celebrations, church, theaters, stadiums are closed or cancelled.  I have received several calls and emails inquiring what to do with your child during the next several weeks.  Here are some of the many activities that are not cancelled and your child can do - go outdoors (but stay a distance away from others), work on a puzzle, music, family, sing, listening to birds, plant a garden, read novels (yes, even kindergartners will appreciate the reading - remember our Bandabear Book Club where kindergartners through fifth graders read the same book!), create a puzzle, build a fort, set up a theater in your home for movie night, plan meals, bake, paint, get out the blocks or Legos and build together, make a pillow fort and camp out, look at photos of your childhood and share your experiences, bake dog treats, walk, run, yoga, Face Time family, call a friend, jump rope, garden, play chess or checkers, create a movie using an app or the phone video, organize areas and fill a box or two to donate, practice the piano/guitar/drum/air drum/air guitar, Go Noodle.  Stay home with your child and enjoy chilling, laughing, hoping and share that by staying home, it is another way we care for one another by limiting contact.


What else can you do?  Change your mindset.  Rather than self-isolation, look at it as self reflection, time to spend with your loved ones with whom you share your home.  Avoid play dates.  Up to this point, children have been mainly carriers of the virus.  They are either asymptomatic (without symptoms) or showing very slight symptoms.  However, they pass it on to adults easily.  Playground equipment should be avoided as articles indicate the Coronavirus can live on plastic and metal for at least 3 days.  Keep your child in a school bedtime routine.


Stay calm through this time.  Your child won't learn much if they are feeling your stress.  Though it's a difficult time, it could become a time your child looks back at as one of the most memorable, best times of their life. 


Attached are three lists.  One is the list of schools serving Grab and Go Meals through APS.  Meals are available from 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. for school-age students under 18 years of age.  The student(s) must be present to pick up a meal.  The second list includes food and meal resources.  Please feel free to share this information with anyone who might benefit from it.  The second attachment is a number of websites that your child will not only enjoy, but will keep the learning process moving forward.  My family and I will most definitely be using two of the websites over the next several weeks.  My favorite museum in the world is included in list of museums with virtual tours.  We'll also be watching videos of local musicians on the St. John's Music Ministry Facebook page.  There is an article on the Albuquerque Journal website that shares how this quickly came to be an approach to support Albuquerque musicians.  The article is located at  We're also looking forward to watching the Nightly Met Opera Streams, which is a free series of presentations being streamed.  Here is the information:  


Our state has set up two hotlines to support New Mexicans regarding Coronavirus and complications that may be caused during this time of social distancing.  If you have HEALTH-related questions about the Corona virus, call 1-855-600-3453.  If you have questions about school closures, job issues, food concerns, etc., please call 1-833-551-0518. 


Over the next three weeks, the custodians, Ms. Matosian, and I will be focusing our energies on deep cleaning our entire school as we prepare for students to return.  Also, within the next couple of days, I'll send out an email with suggested websites you can share with your children if you would like for them to spend some time online. 


Each day as I waken to a new, uncharted reality, I reflect on on how we can care for ourselves and others.  Is this a challenging time?  Most definitely.  However, this is how we care for one another in our school, our city, and our state.




Ann McCoy


Bandelier Elementary School
(505) 255-8744