Updated December 23.
Taos Municipal Schools announced Tuesday (Dec. 21) it will switch to a temporary remote learning schedule after the holiday break as a response to the new Omicron variant of COVID-19 quickly becoming the dominant strain in the U.S.
“We’re doing it to be preventative with everything that's happening around the nation and New Mexico,” said Taos Municipal Schools Superintendent Dr. Lillian Torrez. “This will be the most dangerous week for this school year for COVID… We want to be prepared.”
Instead of returning to the classroom on January 7, students and staff will now switch back to a remote learning model for their first day of the new semester. Online learning is set to continue the following week through Jan. 14, with students having the option of teaching from school or home.
The professional development day scheduled for Jan. 6, in which teachers go over drills dealing with sexual harassment, blood borne pathogens and active shooter scenarios — will now be held via Zoom.
Students are scheduled to return to in-person learning on Tuesday, Jan. 18 following Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
Torrez said they are offering an in-person IT department for any students or staff who may not own computers or are having technical difficulties. They are currently working on identifying those who may need devices or hotspots.
She also noted that they are working on a school lunch schedule for the remote period, and said they will be dealing with the issue of food service. "We're going to feed breakfast and lunch to every child," she said. "So for six days, we've got 14 buses that are going to go out. We're just going overboard, we just really want every child to eat."
This is a developing story.