May 20, 2020
Dear NMSBVI Students and Families,
I am hoping that you are all safe and healthy. As we come to the close of this extraordinary school year, I wanted to thank you for adapting to the new way of learning and to congratulate you on a job well done during the 2019-2020 school year! NMSBVI misses seeing you in person and we look forward to next year, hoping we can be together.
I know that as summer approaches, there is concern about next year. At this time, the goal of the state of New Mexico is to allow staff and students to safely re-enter schools at the start of the next school year and to plan for a quick and safe response to any resurgence of COVID19. That being said, NMSBVI has been planning for re-opening by creating a variety of plans so that we are prepared. We have been in close contact with New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH), the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the Governor’s Office, the New Mexico Public Education Department (NMPED), Higher Education (HED) and the Special Education Division of NMPED. We will follow all of their guidelines in order to ensure a safe, healthy education for our students and staff. Because we have two separate campuses in two different communities AND we serve students from around the state, the plan for each school and each student will be driven by the health of the surrounding community(ies).
For our youngest students and families, our Birth to 3 Department continues with distance learning through telehealth models and will continue with this model through the summer at this time. After the summer, telehealth will continue to be an option for our young students. We will determine phase-in scenarios for face to face services similar to the ones mentioned below, but in keeping with recommendations from the NMDOH and the Family Infant Toddler Coordinator.
We have created the attached plans for the following scenarios: (These scenarios may change) • Continuous Learning from Home (School Buildings Closed) • Partial Building Opening with Full Precautions (to exclude those in High Risk categories or in High Risk areas of the state) • Full Building opening with Full Precautions • Full Building Opening with Standard Precautions
Please know that NMSBVI may need to move among the different scenarios during the next school year, so we are making plans to make those moves as easy as possible. Above all, we will be led by our mission statement:
NMSBVI, an innovative leader and unifying entity in the field of educating students birth-high school who are blind or visually impaired, will identify and ensure quality education through collaborative relationships with students, families, and local/ state/national partners to provide outstanding advocacy, training, resources, and support services, thus ensuring that all students who are blind or visually impaired will become independent, productive members of their communities.
NMSBVI also has a comprehensive plan and decision tree that will guide us in the event of a COVID19 positive case in any of our programs. We have updated our cleaning and sanitizing protocols as recommended. These will be available on our website.
Please take time to enjoy your summer with your families (and hopefully friends). Please stay vigilant in this fight against COVID19. The more we do now, the better our future will be!
Patricia Beecher, Superintendent
MS Word Version Letter to Families
PDF Version Letter to Families