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Bandelier Return to School-Important Information!
Posted 3/15/21

Dear Bandelier Families,


As you may have learned, the New Mexico Public Education Department announced Monday, March 8, all New Mexico Schools would be returning to in-person learning.  The APS Board of Education met Friday, March 12, and was presented the Reentry Plan.  Beginning Monday, April 5, students will be able to return to class for a full day of learning Monday through Friday for the remaining 37 school days.  However, families may also choose for their students to continue learning remotely through the end of the school year.  


Family considerations for attending are:

  • Students will be at school Monday – Friday, from 9:00 – 3:10.  Any student tardy must be escorted to the main entrance door by an adult.
  • Students will have two gates to enter the school grounds as fencing was erected over winter break.  Kindergarten, first, and second graders will enter the gate between the kindergarten building and the cafeteria, located in the north parking lot.  If you drive your child to school, you will need to use the north parking lot to drop off your child.  Third, fourth, and fifth graders will enter the school grounds through the gate located at the east parking lot.  Again, if you drive your child to school, you will use this parking lot to drop off your child.  More specific information will be shared with families who choose to have their child attend in-person. 
  • Students will need to bring their electronic devices fully charged DAILY.  Despite being in the classroom, some learning will occur on the device as teachers will be teaching both students in the classroom and students at home. 
  • Students need to bring their own water bottle filled each day.  Arrangements will be made to refill water bottles as all water fountains are unavailable for use. 
  • Bathrooms will have limited capacity to support social distancing.
  • Dress in layers for windows, doors, and swamp cooler dampers will be open for continued air circulation.
  • Students will eat lunch outdoors, most likely in our courtyards.  Cafeteria meals will be picked up in the cafeteria serving line and students will then go outside to eat.  The exception will be inclement weather days where students will eat in the cafeteria.
  • All students will be expected to follow Covid-safe practices.  They wear face masks at all times, with the exception of eating lunch.  There will be frequent handwashing or use of hand sanitizer, and social distancing to the greatest extent possible.
  • 6 feet spacing is not a mandate, it is to the “greatest extent possible.”  The spacing in the classrooms will be dependent upon how many students return to your child’s classroom.  Classrooms with very few students could have at least 6 feet from each student.  Classrooms with 20 students may have only 2-3 feet from each student.
  • Students will work individually at their assigned desk and there will be no in-person group work or collaboration.  Group collaboration will be through the device in virtual breakout rooms rather in-person
  • Students will only use their own supplies.  No sharing of any items.
  • On-site students will be given appropriate breaks.  However, the type of breaks will be determined by the number of students who choose to return.  For example, if we have 300 students return, any sort of recess will be very limited.  If we have 100 students return, we will be able to manage more outside breaks with equipment being cleaned between usages of groups.
  • No off-campus field trips
  • No volunteers
  • Group activities will be at a minimum, eg. no assemblies or other large gatherings
  • The number of students in your child's classroom will simply depend upon family responses.  Your child's classroom could have as few as 4 students or could have as many as 20. 
  • Bandelier only has two school buses.  If you indicate on the parent/guardian survey your child will need to be transported in the school bus, hang tight as the transportation department is working on those details.
  • Our custodian will have a cleaning schedule that will include wiping high-touch areas as well as refilling soap dispensers, paper towels, and toilet paper throughout the day.
  • Do not send your child to school with any symptoms of Covid-19.
  • Students exhibiting even one symptom of Covid-19 will be sent home immediately.  The expectation is the child be picked up within 30 minutes.  Be prepared to pick your student up within that timeframe of the phone call from the Health Office.  You will be given directions on where and how to pick your student up at the time of the call. 
  • The reporting systems of positive Covid cases will continue.  Should we have a positive Covid case within a classroom or at school and it impacts your child, you will be notified.  You will need to be prepared to keep your child home for the quarantine time required by APS and the DOH. 



Family considerations for staying remote are:

  • Your child’s schedule may change slightly.  Depending upon how many students return in-person, breaks may be shifted.
  • Synchronous and asynchronous work expectations will continue.
  • Materials pick-up will be moved to 3:30 – 4:30.  You will be notified of the days for the remainder of the year once they are scheduled. 


Information for all families:


  • Student assignments to their teachers will NOT change.  Students will remain with their current teachers through the end of the school year.
  • An asynchronous day for the entire school will be scheduled for one day the week of March 29.  Teacher will use this day to rearrange their classrooms in preparation for the number of students who will be returning in-person to their classroom.
  • The Fine Arts department will change their afternoon trainings for the fine arts teachers to Wednesday.  This will impact our specials schedule.  Specials that were scheduled on Wednesdays will be shifted to Mondays. 
  • Grab and Go will be modified.  When APS announces the structure of the Grab and Go beginning April 5, you will be notified.


You are requested to complete a survey.  You will enter your child’s given name, date of birth, and school.  There will be then two questions you will need to respond.  The first is if you prefer your child to return to in-person learning or stay remote through the end of the school year.  The second is to indicate if your child uses APS school bus transportation.  Your prompt response is needed for scheduling purposes.  You will need to complete this by Friday, March 19, at 5:00.  If you choose not to respond, your child will remain remote through the end of the school year.  The survey link is:


If you choose to have your child participate in the in-person learning and discover it is not best for your child, you can contact me and we will reassign your child back to remote learning.  However, we will be unable to move your child to in-person learning from remote after April 5.  



As we work to pivot once again this year in the education field, I ask that you be patient and kind to our school staff.  They have prepared for a variety of learning scenarios and there may be a few glitches this new learning approach the first week we return with a varied number of student in-person while others remain online.  We will do our best to balance the instruction of students learning remotely and those in-person.  Be assured the Bandelier staff will continue to offer their best as we work our way out of the pandemic and look forward to moving towards our former approach of welcoming all student with the many new strategies both students and teachers have learned.  




Ann McCoy


Bandelier Elementary School