LAS CRUCES - A winter weather forecast and a potential for icy road conditions in the Mesilla Valley has prompted Las Cruces Public Schools to shift all classes to remote learning for Thursday, Feb. 3. If conditions persist, a decision for Friday will be made as soon as possible.
District officials consulted with the National Weather Service in Santa Teresa and met with the Doña Ana County Office of Emergency Management for an update on Thursday morning’s expected snowfall and sustained freezing temperatures.
Temperatures will dip below freezing beginning Wednesday evening and may not rise above 32 degrees until Friday. The latest forecast calls for 1 to 3 inches of snow in the Mesilla Valley overnight Wednesday into Thursday morning.
“Closing our buildings and ensuring students and staff do not have to travel on icy roads was a decision we needed to make sooner rather than later,” said Superintendent Ralph Ramos. “We understand families and educators have to plan, and with our flexibility to go remote, this is what we need to do.”
Considerations for extending remote learning into Friday or announcing a delay are an option, according to Ramos. Parents are encouraged to check the district website, www.lcps.net, for updates as soon as they are available. Text message notifications will also be sent, along with push notifications using LCPS’s new app, available for download on the Apple Store and Google Play.
Warming stations and salt spreaders: Here's the city's plan for dealing with expected inclement weather
What parents should know
Teachers were advised to send students home with any instructional material and technology, if possible, and to update Canvas for additional support. Secondary students are reminded to check their Canvas pages for assignments and communicate with teachers if necessary. Teachers will be available during designated times to meet with students via Zoom. Teachers will communicate these times to students and families.
Because buildings will be closed, there will be no meals prepared or available for pick up on Thursday.
Athletic events, practices and all school-sponsored activities have been postponed until further notice. An in-person campus visit for fifth graders going into sixth grade at Camino Real Middle School, originally scheduled for Thursday night, has been rescheduled for 5 to 6 p.m. Monday, Feb. 7.
Testing locations closed
School buildings that were open as COVID-19 testing sites with Premier Medical Group and Curative will also be closed Thursday. District officials advise parents, students and staff to consult with the New Mexico Department of Health for available testing locations.
What about Gadsden?
The Gadsden Independent School District, which serves students in southern Doña Ana County, announced about 4:30 p.m. Wednesday that all classes would be remote Thursday. Also, no extracurricular activities will be held Thursday.
Visit www.gisd.k12.nm.us for further information.
What about Hatch?
The Hatch Valley School District, in northern Doña Ana County, is implementing a two-hour delay to the start of school.
What about NMSU and DACC?
The New Mexico State University main campus and Doña Ana Community College campuses will delay opening Thursday until 11 a.m.. This includes students and nonessential personnel.
Road conditions can be monitored anytime using the New Mexico Department of Transportation’s website, www.nmroads.com.
The Doña Ana County OEM offers county residents information on emergency preparedness and additional resources in the event of inclement weather. Their website can be accessed at https://www.donaanacounty.org/emergency/info-and-resources.
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This article originally appeared on Las Cruces Sun-News: Las Cruces schools go remote Thursday due to expected icy NM roads