Substitute shortage, COVID-19 infections forces Carlsbad High School back into remote learning
Carlsbad Municipal School District announced students at Carlsbad High School would return to a virtual learning environment only, as the school grapples with 13 cases of COVID-19 among staff and a shortage of substitute teachers.
On Feb. 26, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Gerry Washburn alerted the public that 12 teachers and one substitute had entered quarantine as a result of the virus.
"Due to the severe shortage of substitute teachers we have made the difficult decision to return the high school to remote learning temporarily," he wrote.
The remote learning began March 1 and extended to all grade levels of the high school.
Though Carlsbad High School did make the New Mexico Environment Department COVID-9 watchlist with two rapid responses noted, the school was not ordered closed by the state, which requires four or more rapid responses to be considered for closure.
"Teachers will provide online synchronous and asynchronous instruction while students engage at home," Washburn wrote.
"A group students will meet on Monday and Tuesday and B group students will meet on Thursday and Friday for the next two weeks."
Washburn said he expected hybrid learning to begin again March 15 for the A group and March 18 for the B group.
He noted that the District would update the public should the reentry plan change.
Carlsbad schools began hybrid learning again Feb. 8 after Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham relaxed COVID-19 rules in January. Students were scheduled to attend class two days a week in-person and attend virtually three days a week across the district via to a hybrid learning process approved by PED.
Substitute teachers needed
Carlsbad Public Schools is hiring substitute teachers and support staff.
"If you can substitute only in the morning or the afternoon; if you can substitute only on one day a week; if you can substitute at all, we need you," a flyer shared by the district reads.
Substitutes are required to pass a background check though Carlsbad schools said it would pay for substitute teacher certification license. Applicants must have a high school diploma or GED.
Those interested can connect with ESS at 559-871-9316 or CMoreno@ESS.com.
Eddy County War still on
Fans are being excluded from attending the first Carlsbad Cavemen football game on Friday, Feb. 5.
The Caveman face the Artesia Bulldogs at 7 p.m. in Carlsbad. The event will be broadcast and live streamed for the public.
Despite the closure of Carlsbad High School, officials said the game would proceed as scheduled and under rules imposed by the New Mexico Athletic Education.
The New Mexico Public Education Department ruled that athletic practices and games could return in February. Teams were asked to adhere to NMAA and NMPED requirements, including social distancing at those practices.
Jessica Onsurez can be reached at email@example.com, @JussGREAT on Twitter at by phone at 575-628-5531.