Two of Santa Fe’s best-known private and independent schools, St. Michael’s and Santa Fe Prep, will open the 2020-21 academic year with remote learning.
Both made announcements this week after Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said the state’s public schools would begin the school year via distance learning and continue through at least early September.
In a short video posted to the St. Michael’s webpage, Principal Sam Govea said the school year would begin Aug. 19, with high school students starting with at least six weeks of online learning before phasing into a hybrid model on Sept. 28, if it’s allowed by the state’s public health orders.
“We know this is not the ideal way to begin the 20-21 academic school year, but with the increase of positive COVID cases in New Mexico, we feel it is necessary to ensure the safety of our St. Michael’s community,” Govea said in the video.
The video additionally explained how incoming seventh graders will physically visit the campus in groups of 10 to receive textbooks and familiarize themselves with the campus. All other students will pick up their textbooks in a drive-thru fashion shortly before the school year begins.
At Santa Fe Prep, new Head of School Aaron Schubach said in a news release students there will start the year with at least 10 days of virtual learning.
Teachers at Prep have spent the summer attending professional development seminars to prepare for remote teaching. Schubach said Prep hopes to go to a hybrid model quickly once that’s allowed by public health orders.
“As the Governor stated last Thursday, if the public health indices improve by September 8, it is likely but not confirmed that Prep will be allowed to operate at 50 percent capacity or 6 feet of distance, as we have been planning,” Schubach said in a letter to students and parents. “If this is true, this is definitely an opportunity that we will embrace.”
Officials at St. Michael’s said they also have held several professional development seminars for teachers and are planning more in the near future.