ARTESIA — The Artesia Public Schools this afternoon laid out their plans the pick-up of belongings for students district wide, summer meal service, and continued counseling and social work services.
APS Superintendent John Ross Null issued a letter to students’ families thanking them for “the roles you have played in making the [continuous learning] plans work to the greatest extent possible.”
“I am very proud of the extensive planning done by our staff and the diligence of families participating to the best of their abilities,” Null said. “Although there have been challenges to sustaining the plans over the last several weeks, I know the efforts and intentions of all involved have been to put the needs of our children first.”
PICK-UP/DROP-OFF OF BELONGINGS AND EQUIPMENT
Null stated that APS staff has been busy preparing any belongings left by students at their respective schools for pick-up and has established a schedule for collecting those items while simultaneously returning any items students may have at home that belong to the schools.
All schools will be following the same schedule, as outlined below, so that parents may visit all of their children’s schools during the same time period and be able to select a time frame that works best for them. Null noted, however, that each school’s plans for exchanging items is unique, so parents should be watching for information from principals and prepared to follow staff guidance when arriving at the schools.
The pick-up/drop-off schedule is as follows:
Monday, May 18
• Last Names A-H: 8-11 a.m.
• Last Names I-P: 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
• Last Names Q-Z: 2-5 p.m.
Tuesday, May 19
• Last Names Q-Z: 8-11 a.m.
• Last Names A-H: 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
• Last Names I-P: 2-5 p.m.
Wednesday, May 20
• Last Names I-P: 8-11 a.m.
• Last Names Q-Z: 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
• Last Names A-H: 2-5 p.m.
Students should return all school items at the same time, including textbooks, library books and laptops. Zia Intermediate School and Park Junior High School students should also return any gear and equipment from athletics and other activities at these times.
Athletes and band members in grades 9-12 should follow the equipment return schedule detailed in the public notices at the bottom of Page 1 of Thursday’s and today’s editions.
Plans will be in place at the schools to maintain safety and social distancing. Parents are urged to follow the instructions of the staff.
SUMMER PROGRAMS, MEALS
Null stated that while the APS remains hopeful its schools’ typical summer plans will be able to move forward – including summer school, athletics and activities – that remains at the discretion of government and health officials.
“The safety of our students, staff, families and community are of utmost importance, so we will adhere to the guidance of our government, the Department of Health, and the Public Education Department,” Null said. “We will continue to communicate with you through local media, email, and the Remind app as new information becomes available.”
Null noted that the district has made the decision to continue food service to students during the summer months, and details on that program will be forthcoming.
The APS acknowledges that factors such as the abrupt end to the typical school year, economic hardships, illness, and concern about illness have resulted in unusual amounts of stress for families and notes that, despite the school year coming to a close, the district is still available to help.
The Social Worker/Counseling Support on the APS website, bulldogs.org, will remain active and contains contact information for the district’s counselors and social workers.
“I believe a positive outcome of these circumstances has been improved communication between home and school, and I know more contact information has been shared,” Null said. “Please don’t hesitate to reach out to any of us for assistance.”
Null made the final statement in the APS’ letter to families:
“One of our district’s priority statements reads: ‘A mutually beneficial relationship has been established between the community of Artesia and the Artesia Public Schools. We realize our dependence on one another to assist students in acquiring and displaying admirable qualities and values. Our valuable partnerships with families, local foundations, industries and city government enable us to provide valuable educational experiences for students that would otherwise not be possible. Together, we are the City of Champions.’
“Our dependence on one another has probably never been more crucial than now, and I know I am gaining a new appreciation for the blessing it is to work for the Artesia Public Schools and serve the citizens of Artesia. Together, we have accomplished much the last eight weeks, and there is much left to do. But I know our partnership will enable us to get things done and done the right way.
“Finally, we are optimistic and excited about the future, and we look forward to working with kids in person again soon. Please stay safe but remain hopeful and confident about our future. Remember — it’s great to be a Bulldog!”