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CCSD announces September start for upcoming school year amid coronavirus

Noel Lyn Smith
Farmington Daily Times

FARMINGTON — The Central Consolidated School District will start the upcoming school year on Sept. 14.

CCSD Spokesperson Roberto Taboada said the district is still discussing how teaching and learning will be delivered, and an announcement would be made.

"We would like to acknowledge that we have received an incredible amount of feedback from parents through surveys and on social media, and that their concerns are valid and being heard by the administration," Taboada said.

The CCSD Board of Education changed the start date from Aug.12, which allows the district more time to prepare buildings and offices for students and staff to return on a staggered schedule, according to the press release.

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Well before the days of masks and social distancing, this classroom scene shows first grade student Taylor Hanna as she works on her class assignment on April 20, 2016 at Kirtland Elementary School in Kirtland.

Board members approved the new date during a board retreat on Aug. 1 in Kirtland, the release states. Taboada added because of the coronavirus, the date change was recommended by Superintendent Daniel Benavidez.

The release explains that the district has provided additional sanitation in buildings and technology for students and staff, including:

  • Approximately 900 touchless hand sanitizer stations are being installed in school buildings, offices and district buses.
  • 25,000 surgical masks and 260 touchless thermometers have been delivered to the district.
  • The district is ordering more disposable personal protective equipment to minimize exposure to illnesses, including face shields and face covering with filters.
  • 1,200 iPads have been ordered for kindergarten through second grade students.
  • 1,800 MacBook Airs have been ordered for high school students.
  • Google Classroom has been approved to provide all instruction in the upcoming school year.
  • Principals will use the preexisting visitor management system to check for symptoms of COVID-19, in addition to how the system is used to check visitors' backgrounds for criminal offenses and creating records of approved visitors.
Sophomore Carissa Arthur participates in class on Jan. 17, 2018 at the Bond Wilson Technical Center in Kirtland.

"I want to thank the board of education for approving the change in the date for the first day of school. I also want to thank the CCSD staff for their work on making sure we are ready to provide the quality instruction and services our students and families deserve, and that we do it safely," Benavidez said in the release.

Noel Lyn Smith covers the Navajo Nation for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4636 or by email at nsmith@daily-times.com.

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