New wave of COVID-19 cases pause in-person learning at 13 San Juan County schools

Three districts move seniors to remote learning to save graduation

Joshua Kellogg
Farmington Daily Times
  • The Daily Times has identified 13 county public schools which shifted all students to remote/virtual learning in May.
  • The most recent announcements were from the Bloomfield School District with five schools moving to virtual learning.
  • Three schools in Farmington Municipal Schools "voluntarily shifted to at-home, remote learning" due to COVID-19 cases.

FARMINGTON — San Juan County public schools are going through another wave of voluntarily shifts to remote learning after COVID-19 cases caused multiple issues for the districts, including staffing issues.

The Daily Times has identified 13 county public schools that shifted students to remote/virtual learning in May after COVID-19 cases caused students and staff to quarantine, limiting the numbers of staff available to teach in-person.

It was previously reported that 10 public schools in the county in April were closed to in-person learning due to COVID-19 cases.

Five Bloomfield schools go virtual

The most recent announcements were from the Bloomfield School District with five schools moving to virtual learning.

Central Primary Elementary School moved to virtual learning on May 10 through May 24 due to four positive COVID-19 cases amongst staff and students, according to Superintendent Kim Mizell.

Naabi Ani Elementary School, Bloomfield High School and Charlie Y. Brown High School moved to remote learning on May 11 through May 20.

The Bloomfield Early Childhood Center moved to virtual learning on May 13 through May 20.

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Education

Naabi Ani had six cases of COVID-19 reported, according to Mizell. Bloomfield High and Charlie Y. Brown along with BECC shifted to remote learning as a precautionary measure.

The move will help the high schools ensure graduation ceremonies will be held.

The Aztec and Farmington school districts each took steps to cancel in-person learning for graduating seniors to avoid possible COVID-19 exposure and possibly missing their commencement ceremonies.

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For BECC, 40 students had to quarantine due to possible COVID-19 exposure on a school bus.

Mizell cited several issues, including teachers who have to quarantine after COVID-19 exposure, as a reason for the moves.

Mizell previously told The Daily Times teachers who are fully vaccinated do not have to quarantine following exposure to a positive COVID-19 case.

Three Farmington schools make the shift

Three schools in Farmington Municipal Schools "voluntarily shifted to at-home, remote learning" due to COVID-19 cases, according to Farmington Municipal Schools spokesperson Renee Lucero.

Mesa View Middle School was in remote learning from May 3 until May 10, and Farmington High School from May 11 to May 18.

Hermosa Middle School moved seventh and eighth graders to virtual learning from May 7 through the 17. It had previously moved sixth graders to virtual learning through May 10.

More:Now that San Juan County is Turquoise, high schools are planning 2021 graduations

In-person learning was paused in part due to staffing issues among substitute teachers, according to Lucero.

“This year, (Farmington schools) has experienced a large decline in the number of available substitute teachers and, obviously, a much larger need for substitute teachers,” Lucero said.

CCSD decision affects three schools

Three schools in the Central Consolidated School District moved to virtual learning in May, according to according to CCSD Spokesman Roberto Taboada.

Kirtland Central High School shifted to remote learning on May 6, Judy Nelson Elementary School on May 7 and Ojo Amarillo Elementary School on May 9.

Once a school hits two confirmed COVID-19 cases, district officials proactively shift to remote learning in order to avoid major spread, Taboada said.

The schools are set to return to in-person learning 10 days after the shift to virtual learning.

Two Aztec campuses also affected

Two schools in the Aztec Municipal School District temporarily halted in-person learning recently due to positive COVID-19 cases.

Vista Nueva High School and C.V. Koogler Middle School students are all taking part in remote learning for the week of May 10 and are set to return on May 17, according to school district social media pages and Superintendent Kirk Carpenter.

One positive case of COVID-19 was confirmed at each school.

Joshua Kellogg covers breaking news for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 or via email at jkellogg@daily-times.com.

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