Associated Press

ALBUQUERQUE — New Mexico’s largest school district asked the state to separate athletics and other extracurricular activities from the hybrid learning structure being used because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Albuquerque Public Schools Board of Education members said during a special meeting Monday they do not believe activities should be connected to a hybrid learning model, which is a current requirement set by the state Public Education Department, KRQE-TV reports.

Board members said students involved in extracurricular activities would perform better in school if they were allowed to continue. Athletes, parents and coaches over the weekend protested the school board’s decision to remain in the online class model through the remainder of the school year, which would prevent participation in activities including band, choir, chess, drama and others overseen by the New Mexico Activities Association.

The Albuquerque board approved a letter Monday to Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham asking for the separation with assurances the split can be conducted safely.

“Give our athletes a chance to play, if they can play, and I know that coaches are going to do a good job trying to keep these athletes safe,” Albuquerque Board of Education President David Peercy said.

The Public Education Department issued a statement saying it has remained focused on safety, maximizing in-person learning opportunities and basing decisions on science and data.

The department’s order of operation will proceed with districts and schools showing they can safely reopen for in-person learning, taking a two-week pause to ensure the virus has not taken hold and then expanding school activities.

For copyright information, check with the distributor of this item, KRQE-TV.

(1) comment

Cate Moses

The linking of school in-person reopening, hybrid or not, to extracurricular activities was a political move that never should have happened. It was not based on public health or safety concerns. If the intent was to divide school communities and make already difficult times harder, it served its purpose. Whomever brought it into being should rescind it, now, before further damag3e is done.

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