All Aztec High School classes are cancelled until further notice


FARMINGTON — Aztec Municipal School District schools will be closed to students on Monday as staff members gather at their respective schools for debriefing and counseling services to prepare for the students’ return to school, according to Superintendent Kirk Carpenter.

All middle and elementary school students, along with Vista Nueva High School students, will have school on Tuesday as regularly scheduled. Aztec High School classes are canceled on Tuesday and will be until further notice, Carpenter said today.

MORE: 2 students killed, shooter dead after Aztec High School shooting

“What we’re doing is using Monday as a debriefing day, and we’ll have counselors on hand to work with our staff so that we can prepare them to have students on Tuesday at those sites,” Carpenter said. “Obviously, the nature of things, we want to make sure those staff (members) are prepared to go through things and that we are ready for them to have students, that they’re ready for them on Tuesday.”

The Aztec High School staff, including long-term substitutes, will meet at Vista Nueva High School for a partial day of debriefing with counseling available, Carpenter said.

“It’s more of just a gathering and bringing the family back together essentially,” Carpenter said of the AHS staff meeting on Monday.

MORE: Candlelight vigil focuses on healing after Aztec High School shooting

San Juan County Sheriff Detective Lt. Kyle Lincoln said this afternoon the investigations at the school “are not even close” to a point where the school could be turned back over to the district. Carpenter declined to comment on the damage done to the building during Thursday’s shooting, but he said it could be a while before students and staff members can return to their classrooms.

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“We cancelled school for (AHS students) until we can get any further information. We don’t know. Students are not going to be back in session until further notice,” Carpenter said. “We just don’t know what that’s going to look like yet.

“We just have to wait and see,” Carpenter added. “There’s a lot that needs to be done and things have to take place (in order to resume classes at the school). Obviously, we want to be very careful and make sure we take care of staff and student needs before we move forward and be very diligent in our planning to do so.”

MORE: Investigators: Aztec High School shooter had timeline, deadly plans

Carpenter said the district is focusing on supporting students, staff members and the families of the victims, and he noted the support from the larger community throughout the past few days as investigations continue and the community tries to heal from Thursday’s events.

“We absolutely appreciate the outpouring of support from the community and the state,” Carpenter said, adding, “Obviously, it’s a huge tragedy, and thoughts and prayers to the families of the victims, but the outpouring of support from everybody in our community has just been tremendous.”

Megan Petersen covers business and education for The Daily Times. Reach 505-564-4621 or


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