Santa Fe Indian School To Continue In Distance Learning For Remainder Of Year Due To Unique Health And Safety Issues

SFIS News:

SANTA FE — The Santa Fe Indian School Board of Trustees voted to stay in distance learning for the rest of the semester due to the unique health and safety issues faced by New Mexico Pueblos and other tribes.

The SFIS academic programs for both mid school and high school will continue to offer rigorous and culturally responsive learning opportunities through live, virtual instruction.

SFIS will not participate in sports as long as campus is closed to in-person learning. Athletes (8th-12th) may participate in their home school districts if they make the team. The NMAA has granted an exception for our SFIS student athletes to participate/try out for athletics at their home district schools while maintaining their enrollment at SFIS for the 20-21 school year.

The SFIS Counseling Center will continue to provide individual, family and group counseling. Licensed clinical counselors support all high and middle school students via Telehealth/telephone.

The Student Living program staff also continue working remotely with all students to ensure their academic and social/emotional success, including virtual enrichment and family engagement activities.

“We are keenly aware of the impact on our students, especially the seniors who have already sacrificed major milestones in their high school experience,” Superintendent Roy M. Herrera said. “Until we can bring students back to campus with an assurance that we have set their safety and that of their communities as the top priority, we will remain in distance learning.”

Previously, Dec. 14, 2020, the SFIS Board of Trustees voted to continue SFIS Campus Closure and Distance Learning for 3rd Quarter (Jan. 7-March 12, 2021). The decision was based on the fact that many of the Tribal communities remain closed amidst the winter surge of COVID-19 cases. Tribal leaders and parents expressed concerns regarding in-person, on-campus learning.

Despite the State of New Mexico greenlighting public schools’ re-opening plans beginning in February 2021, the Board of Trustees’ decision to reopen SFIS in a hybrid model or otherwise is based on the health and safety of the Tribes.

As a unique school community that transports students in and out of Pueblos daily, the responsible course of action is to reduce student movement between multiple communities. In normal years, roughly two-thirds of the student body of over 700 live in the dorms, with most returning to their home communities on the weekends; one-third of students are day students who ride in daily on one of three northern or three southern Pueblo bus routes.

Visit www.sfis.k12.nm.us for more information.

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