PAPA Returns to In Person April 6, 2021



Please complete the survey by Wednesday, 3/17 to let us know if your child will return to school in person or remain virtual.  Please email if you have additional questions.

March 13, 2021

Dear PAPA families,

This evening PAPA’s Governing Council rescinded the vote to remain in virtual learning, thus opening the door for the return to full in-person learning on April 6, 2021. Please see the attached letter from the Governing Council.  Parents will have the choice for their child to return to full, in-person learning or to remain in a virtual setting, Monday through Friday, for the remainder of the year. This is not a hybrid alternating schedule and any student who opts into in-person learning will attend all classes each day, adhering to COVID-safe practices.   Following this letter, I ask you to indicate your choice for in-person or virtual learning by Wednesday, March 17.  Below are details to help you make an informed decision.

In Person Day to Day Logistics:

PAPA will follow and enforce COVID-safe practices recommended by the Public Education Department (PED) and the NM Department of Health (DOH).  PAPA staff will review COVID-safe practices upon re-entry in all classes to ensure understanding by all students.  We are asking for staff and students to follow the edict, “if you see something, say something” to encourage and support each other to adopt these practices.  These practices include:  maintaining social distance from one another to the greatest extent possible, wearing masks covering the nose and mouth as well as specific singing masks for choir and appropriate masks and bell covers for wind and brass instruments, washing hands regularly, cleaning learning spaces (desk and chair) upon exit from classroom, and completing COVID screening upon campus entry.  Classes will be held outside as the weather and space permit (choir, band, dance and other classes).

Teachers will check students into their classes each morning through exterior doors and ensure all students complete the COVID screening prior to arrival on campus or upon entry. We ask parents to be sure to keep students who are feeling sick at home. Tables and desks will be separated to allow maximum distancing and plexiglass shields will be used for tables and teacher desks.  The bell schedule will be modified to allow longer passing periods (5 minutes) to allow for one-directional halls, to the extent possible. Common floors and halls have socially distanced markers and posters are in all halls to remind students of COVID-safe practices. Restrooms have maximum capacity notices, and some sinks are disabled to allow for greater distance.  Water fountains are disabled. Each period students will clean their desk and chair (dish soap and water) prior to leaving class.  Halls and classrooms are outfitted with hand sanitizer. Most classrooms have sinks with water and soap for handwashing.  Food and drinks (other than water) are not permitted in the classrooms as masks must remain on except when eating. Hot lunches will be served in two separate sessions, (middle school/high school). Students will socially distance in the lunch line using markers on the floor and then eat outside as weather permits. Lunches will remain free of charge for the rest of the school year. Students may bring lunch from home if they choose. Sharing of food and outside meal deliveries are not permitted.

Student Supplies:

Parents will need to supply face masks for their students.  Face masks must cover the mouth and nose and fit snugly against the sides of the face in order to contain respiratory droplets. The types of allowable face masks include: 1. Face masks made of two or more layers of cloth. 2. Disposable masks for people who forget to bring their masks to school. 3. Face masks with a clear plastic window or that are made of clear material. 4. Surgical, procedural, N95 or KN95 face masks that are approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration The following face coverings are NOT substitutes for face masks: • Masks that have exhalation valves or vents • Bandanas • Scarves • Neck gaiters (also known as a neck fleece).  Extra masks are available as needed in the front office.

Each day students need to bring: two masks, a fully charged PAPA-issued or their own laptop, a water bottle filled with water, a towel to sit on outside, instrument (with bell covers for wind instruments), personal learning supplies like paper, notebooks, pencils, pens, colored pencils, and scissors as needed. Students will need to come to school dressed for dance class by wearing appropriate clothing for movement (changing in restrooms is discouraged) and wear clothing that is appropriate for learning in changing climates, outside and with increased air flow indoors.

Cleaning and Sanitizing:

Custodians will clean and sanitize commonly touched spaces throughout the day.  Restrooms will be cleaned and disinfected twice daily.  Electrostatic and gravity-fed disinfectant sprayers will be used daily on all surfaces. All classrooms have two HEPA filters, the HVAC system meets the PED/DOH requirement for filters, has 10% outside airflow, and is currently in the middle of a $225,000 upgrade of the HVAC system. PAPA has met or exceeded all PED/DOH recommendations and passed all inspections.  Deep cleaning will occur daily and teachers will run exhaust fans at the end of each day. Students will be encouraged to wash their hands throughout the day. Hand sanitizer is available in every classroom and in hallways. Most classrooms also have sinks, soap, and paper towels. Students with allergies or sensitivities to hand sanitizer may use soap and water instead.

Class Meeting Time and Day Changes for All:

We will have classes Monday through Friday through the remainder of the year as indicated on the 2020-21 school calendar.  The bell schedule will be sent out in early April.  The first bell rings at 7:55am.  Students should report to campus before then to allow adequate time to complete COVID screening and check in to class before the tardy bell rings at 8:00am. Students will be dismissed at 3:18pm and 4:16pm for students who have an 8th period.  Lunches will be served according to the new bell schedule which separates students into two lunches, one for middle school land the other for high school. Students who remain in a virtual learning mode will need to follow the new schedule so they will be with their peers for the correct time.


PAPA teachers and staff want everyone to be safe and healthy.  If your child does not feel well or has a fever, they are not to come to school and should participate in class virtually that day.  If your child has COVID like symptoms or has been exposed to COVID please contact an administrator for guidance and information on COVID testing.  If your child will be absent from in person school, please call the attendance line (830-3128 x5 or and let us know if she/he will participate virtually or is too ill to do so. If there is a COVID-positive case on campus, PAPA staff will notify close contacts, exposed students/staff will be required to quarantine at home for ten days and participate in school virtually, and the affected rooms will be closed and deep cleaned. Students that are a close contact of a family member will need to quarantine for 20 days after the last confirmed positive COVID case in the home. If you have questions about quarantine and how long or if your child needs to quarantine call the school and speak to an administrator.

Attached is an FAQ from PED.

Virtual Participation:

If your family decides your child needs to participate virtually for the remainder of the year, school will continue much the same as it has since August.  Teachers will plan synchronous (via Zoom) and asynchronous classroom activities for virtual students. Virtual students will follow the bell schedule that will be published in early April. Academic and social/emotional support will be provided to virtual students by our support staff.  More information is forthcoming.


Please complete the survey by Wednesday, 3/17 to let us know if your child will return to school in person or remain virtual.  Please email if you have additional questions.


We are excited to welcome students back on campus and look forward to a safe return to full in person school on Tuesday, April 6, 2021!


Thank you for your support!

Melanie Dunn-Chavez, Executive Director



Melanie Dunn-Chavez, Executive Director

Public Academy for Performing Arts

11800 Princess Jeanne Ave, NE

Albuquerque, NM 87112
(505) 830-3128 Office, (505) 550-1911 Cell