March 13, 2020

CONTACT: Renee Lucero, FMS Public Information Officer

P R E S S   R E L E A S E

FARMINGTON, NM - New Mexico Public Education Department (NMPED), on Wednesday, March 12, ordered all New Mexico Public Schools to close for the next three weeks beginning Monday, March 16 through April 3, 2020. This includes all schools in Farmington Municipal Schools District, including San Juan College High School and Farmington Preschool Academies. The closures are an aggressive step toward minimizing the spread of the communicable virus COVID-19, commonly known as Coronavirus.
        FMS Spring Break is scheduled for next week, March 16-20, and will occur as scheduled. Schools will remain closed to staff and students through at least April 5, and are tentatively scheduled to resume normal operations on Monday, April 6. Farmington Municipal Schools (FMS) has cancelled or postponed all activities and sports, including meetings and practices beginning Monday, March 16 to on or after April 6.  

        Breakfast and lunch will be provided to FMS students beginning March 23 (after Spring Break). Details on meal service can be found on the FMS website or below in the FAQ section.

        On Friday, March 13, FMS students were sent home with laptops computers and/or paper packets to continue learning during this unprecedented school closure. Parents, families and students are encouraged to continue learning at home with these tools. However, there is no requirement from FMS or NMPED for schoolwork to be completed or graded during this closure. Course instruction will continue when school is back in session where it ended on March 13.

Guidance regarding voluntary online or remote classroom instruction and resources will come from individual schools and/or teachers. Parents and staff will be notified via email, the FMS website, and the FMS Facebook page about changes or updates to online learning.  

More information or details regarding this closure can be found at fms.k12.nm.us

FAQs:

Are schools and offices closed to the public during this time?

Schools and FMS offices, including Central Office, are closed to the public and staff until April 6.

What school work is my student expected to complete during this closure and how do families access this work?

Families and students are encouraged to continue learning during this closure. Packets and/or laptops have been sent home as tools for students. However, there is no requirement from FMS or NMPED for schoolwork to be completed during this closure. Course instruction will continue when school is back in session where it ended on March 13. Schools, principals and/or teachers are reaching out to their respective students and families with plans and resources for voluntary work and learning.

Will my student get a report card for Quarter 3?

Yes, grades will be entered and report cards will be distributed as scheduled.

Will this closure extend the school year?

No, NMPED has waived its requirements for “seat time” for the year. Despite this waiver, FMS would have likely been able to make up missed instructional time due to built in additional hours in the district’s academic calendar. Extra days are often built in to the calendar for unforseen closures like snow days.  

Will meals be served by FMS for students during this closure?

FMS will provide meals for Pre-K-12th grade students from March 23-April 3 (not during Spring Break March 16-20). This includes breakfast and lunch, Monday through Friday only. Breakfast and lunch will be distributed at the same time, from 8-10 a.m., at the following sites: Animas, Apache, Bluffview, McCormick, Esperanza and McKinley Elementaries, Hermosa and Tibbetts Middle Schools, and Farmington and Rocinante High Schools. For parents who cannot pick up during this time, three evening pick up locations will be available from 5-7 p.m. at Central Kitchen (305 N. Court Ave. in Farmington), Tibbetts Middle School and Mesa View Middle School. Parents can pick up meals for the following day during the evening pick up. ALL FMS STUDENTS MUST BE PRESENT WITH THEIR PARENTS TO PICK UP MEALS. Meals must be taken home and not eaten on school premises. Unfortunately, FMS cannot provide any special diet accommodations.  

Will FMS provide childcare to families during this closure.

No, FMS will not be providing childcare during this closure. FMS is awaiting further guidance from NMPED and the New Mexico Children, Youth and Family Department as to what childcare options will be available to families.

What if my student is enrolled in Dual Credit or other college courses?

Students and families are advised to stay updated on University or College closures and assignment expectations. As FMS is updated on Dual Credit expectations, parents and students will be notified.

Are FMS employees being paid during this closure?

Yes, FMS employees will be paid during this closure. FMS employees should speak with their supervisors and follow normal procedures regarding leave.

What is being done to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in schools during this closure?

FMS custodial and maintenance staff will continue cleaning efforts during this break including disinfecting classrooms, hallways, offices and other shared spaces.

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