Site Coordinators share their thoughts:

The new school year is less than one week away. What is top of mind and top of heart as site coordinators get ready to welcome back students?

Katrina Ortiz, Nava Elementary School Site Coordinator

The longer we have remote learning, the more pronounced the inequities for students in our schools. Students who have a family member that work in an office, or have a job where they use a computer are likely to have the home support they need to connect digitally and navigate the online curriculum. These kids can stay on pace with the academic requirements.

About half of the families in my elementary school are essential workers. Their children rely on school services and daily hands-on support because these parents have no experience with digital technology. These kids can't keep up. One by one, I am working closely with the teachers and administrative team to connect each family with resources and structure to succeed with distance learning. Every day, we will get a little closer to lessening this divide.

Thomas "Sinte" Torrez, Capital High School Site Coordinator

Of course my heart is with the entire school. I pray that these kids come back and focus on their futures. Education, health and learned skills are key to success. Our schools DO have a lot to offer our students. I hope that students see that. My focus this year is going to be getting my (now) high school seniors to the finish line to received their well deserved diplomas. "Resilience, health and personal wealth" is my mantra going into this year!

Heather Sellers, Capital High School Site Coordinator

I have a picture in my mind of what distance learning looks like for my students. Most are living with multiple people in a very tiny and cramped space. Younger siblings are cranky, parents are super stressed, these students do not have a space of their own. If they have WiFi to log onto the school portal, how can they possibly maintain their focus listening to a teacher lecture or doing assignments with these distractions? I will be in constant communication with these students - helping them structure their day and motivating them to keep moving forward with their studies. Essentially, I will be trying to help them create the structure at home that normally is available for them at school.

The work of Communities In Schools of New Mexico is designed to create greater equity and access for all kids - from Pre-K through the 12th grade, ensuring students can stay in school, graduate and achieve in life. In Santa Fe, many CIS students don't have access to essential learning resources.

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