Superintendent's Messages Regarding COVID-19

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FMS Superintendent Dr. Eugene Schmidt aims to update students, staff, families and the Farmington community regularly during this school closure due to Coronavirus (COVID-19). Dr. Schmidt's most recent message is displayed below. Updated messages are emailed to parents and then posted here. 

 

Superintendent's Letterhead

June 1, 2020 

Farmington Municipal Schools students, staff, families and community,

As the calendar is flipped into June, our state has begun reopening. This means teachers will soon return to schools to clean rooms and bag up student possessions. The District’s Safety Team has taken on the task of reopening our schools within the guidelines set by the New Mexico Department of Health and with the health and safety of our students and staff as a priority. Principals and school leadership teams will be reaching out to students and families about procedures for coming back to schools and for picking up items such as year books and personal property and/or dropping off district materials such as laptops, library books, uniforms and instruments. While our state has begun reopening, we ask that social distancing norms be followed during these events, including wearing a mask, providing a six-foot distance between each other when possible, washing your hands before and after pick up and/or drop off and sanitizing items when you return to your home. I’m thankful to the District Safety Team for providing guidance and to our entire staff for remaining flexible and steadfast for the past three months. Again, look for communication from principles and schools, as these pick up and drop off events are happening as soon as tomorrow in some schools. 

Last week, the New Mexico Activities Association Board of Directors met and announced new guidelines for schools to resume summer activities. This will be the first summer the NMAA regulates school-based athletics and activities during the summer. FMS Athletic Director Frank Whalen and coaches from across our district have created plans and procedures for practices and workouts within the guidelines of the NMAA. Mr. Whalen and the District Safety Team will meet this week to coordinate our district’s efforts to create safe and healthy conditions for our staff and students. Be looking for communication from coaches and school leadership in the coming days. These practices will not be the same types of practices our athletes are accustomed to, but I am confident that our coaches and teams will make the best of their time. A helpful video from the NMAA regarding the timelines can be found on its YouTube Channel

The district’s meal service is shifting to the summer meal program, which means some meal distribution sites will be changed. I’m pleased that our transportation staff, student nutrition staff and finance staff have found a way to continue meal delivery to neighborhoods further from school sites and town. This service has been popular with our community and accounts for about half of the more than 4,000 meals distributed each day. Updated information about locations and bus stops can be found here. Remember, there is no meal service this week and the summer meal program will start on Monday, June 8. 

Summer break does not have to mean a break from learning. Special thanks again to the Boys and Girls Club of Farmington for partnering with FMS and hosting an online summer K-5 enrichment program. Registration is still open for the July session and can be found at this link. High school students in need of credit recovery are encouraged to contact Rocinante High School at juyoung@fms.k12.nm.us or ljones@fms.k12.nm.us

When our students return to school, they will all enter a Marzano Institute certified Level I High Reliability School. All nineteen of our schools earned national certification last week and I am proud of their work. This is a really big deal and few schools across the nation qualify for this status, which reviews a school's climate and work environment as safe, supportive and collaborative. When you see a teacher, support staff or school leader, I encourage you to give them a "two thumbs up” for a job well done. 

As my last housekeeping note, our district is still hiring for select positions. These positions are listed here. We have openings for teachers, those with a Bachelor’s Degree wishing to become teachers, nurses, support staff and more. Our district is looking forward to adding new members to Team FMS and #risingtoexcellenceineverypursuit together. 

During the month of June, I will continue to write to the community on Mondays. I may add more timely bits of information, important reminders and other thoughts "From the Superintendent." For now, my final encouragements include to vote and shop small. Tomorrow is New Mexico’s general primary, voting can be done in person or by dropping off your absentee ballot. For those that haven't mailed in your absentee ballot, it would be best if you dropped it off at the voting convenience centers in town. The election is tomorrow and ballots must be received by the election office as of June 2. For everybody else, who is a resident, citizen, aged 18 or older and registered to vote, you can do it in person tomorrow. And finally, find local and small businesses to support in the coming days and weeks. We have been waiting for our town to reopen, let's show it by shopping and dining in a safe social distance kind of way.

 

Respectfully,

Dr. Eugene Schmidt

FMS Superintendent