Home Education Column: COVID-19 testing key opening Hobbs schools

Column: COVID-19 testing key opening Hobbs schools

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I believe parents should be given choices regarding the education of their children.

As an example, Hobbs Schools lets parents complete out-of-zone applications which allow their children to attend schools in a different part of town than where they reside when space is available. I’ve also been asked my thoughts about parents living in one community and sending their children to a different school district. Parents are surprised that I agree with their choices. Each child is unique and has a specific learning style that may or may not fit with a particular campus/ district. Part of a parent’s responsibility is to ensure their children are being taught in an atmosphere conducive to the practice that best fits their child.

That brings me to our current learning situation. I’ve been excited about starting an online school in Hobbs for several years. There was always one reason or another why we were not able to accomplish this task. Budgets were tight some years and in other instances, we had teacher shortages, etc. The COVID 19 pandemic forced HMS to expand into the online educational arena. I believe this will be a program that will continue to flourish after the pandemic has come and gone. It gives parents another choice for their children. Great leadership prior to my years in Hobbs had the vision of offering students multiple opportunities to graduate; regular classes through HHS, Alternative High School, home bound, credit recovery classes at HHS, summer school, zero hour classes are just some of the opportunities Hobbs has offered our students.

But the pandemic has limited our opportunities because Lea County is considered in the RED. The New Mexico Public Education Department has two criteria for opening up schools for face-to-face learning: 1). Test positivity of less than 5 percent. Positivity compares the number of positive cases to negative cases and

2), Average daily rate less than 8 positive cases per 100,000 people.

At this writing Lea County is currently 13.18 positive cases per 100,000. In order to achieve the daily positive case rate, we must take the virus seriously, wear a mask, social distance and wash our hands. We must decrease the number of infections. Achieving the second goal requires more people to test who are not symptomatic. We need an increase in negative tests. A survey shows that 67 percent of all our parents want children back in school. Seventy-four percent of our teachers want children back in the classroom. In order to give our parents a choice of whether to bring their children back into the building, we must adhere to the criteria set by PED and reduce our infections as well as get more people to test.

Use the following link https://cvtestreg.nmhealth.org/ to register for your COVID test. I took the test on Tuesday and was pleasantly surprised. My wait time was less than ten minutes and it was far less uncomfortable than I anticipated. Let’s come together as a community and help get our kids back in school. Sign up for a COVID test and reduce our positivity.

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