ASK Continues Remote Instruction as COVID Rates Increase

November 5, 2020

News

By Shay Spell

As elementary students in the Rio Rancho district return to in-person learning amid rising cases of Covid-19, scholars at The ASK Academy question if they will go back to school at all this year. The ASK Academy is not a part of the Rio Rancho Public School District, so it has separate guidelines. 

 High School Director Edward Garcia said there are a multitude of steps ASK must follow before a reopening.  “It comes to the safety of it. We are following the CDC guidelines, as well as the governor, and Doctor David R. Scrase of the New Mexico Department of Health, and Human Services guidelines, and when they give us the, okay, then we will be able to open.”

As of right now, those guidelines are wearing a mask, maintaining social distancing, limiting contact with commonly touched surfaces or shared items, washing hands for 20 seconds,  and be in groups smaller than 6.  Both the middle school and high school are currently completely virtual. 

Daniel Busse, the Middle School Director, said, “We would expect it to follow that same sequence of middle school and then high school, but we have not been given direct guidance.”   

After saying this is only a possibility, Busse added, “We would follow whatever PED tells us.”

Dr. Alexandra Boyd, the Chief Executive Officer of The ASK Academy, said that although this is a difficult time, learning is happening. “The skills that we are learning together this semester will benefit us in the future,” she said.  In the online platform, scholars are learning important communication skills and how to navigate various online platforms, something that they will use in their future careers and future education.  

“Our commitment is the safety of our scholars and staff, that’s why I’m here at school now. We are here every day working on that, looking at ways from pick up and drop off to passing time to maintaining a safe lunch environment,” Garcia said.  

 In a survey conducted by The Catalyst last week, 40% of scholars don’t want to go because of the risk of exposure, and the other 60% of scholars want to go back as long as the staff and scholars follow the guidelines. 65 scholars responded in total. 

To continue to ensure the health of the ASK community, the school is hosting a drive-thru flu clinic on Wednesday,  November 18 from 1 to 4 p.m. It’s free with insurance, and it is for staff, scholars, and their families. 

Scholars and families without insurance can receive a flu shot at any one of the spots on the New Mexico Department of Health web site, where shots are free or a minimal cost. The link can also be found here: https://www.nmhealth.org/publication/view/marketing/5356/.

A survey conducted by The Catalyst shows that 60 percent of the student body feels it safe to return to school.

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