Superintendent's Messages
Monday, July 20, 2020
Dear JVPS Parents,
In response to the changing COVID-19 Pandemic, the Jemez Valley Public Schools has been focused on opening schools for the 2020-21 school year as safely as possible.  This has required us to think differently about how to teach students as we move forward into this new school year. In a Special Board Meeting on July 15th, the JVPS Board of Education listened carefully to parent and community thoughts about school Re-Entry.  After thoughtful consideration, the board voted that JVPS students will return to school in a virtual, online environment for the first quarter of this school year with reconsideration of a hybrid or fully face to face (f2f) approach after these first nine weeks.  As I'm sure you all can imagine, this was not an easy decision for many reasons but is a decision that I support given the rise in Covid cases, in this and surrounding states.  While we all want normalcy for our kids, I fear we aren't there quite yet. I am proud to be associated with a community that expressed differing viewpoints with compassion, support, civility and thoughtfulness.  Working together for the good of our kids and in support of our schools indicates an remarkable level of emotional skill and is a credit to all of our communities.
New guidance is being provided weekly by the New Mexico Public Education Department (NMPED) and I am creating a document for you with specific schedule, attendance and grading information that I hope to provide as soon as possible.  Unlike the original NMPED Spring guidance which emphasized attendance flexibility, socialization, extra credit grading, and low pressure expectations, we must now increase academic rigor, time on task, and attendance to ensure student grade level achievement of high academic standards.  Teachers will be required to teach the full curricula, meet required instructional hours, and students will be required to attend daily to their virtual lessons.  It is important to note that education in this environment offers us all challenges that will add additional complexity to our lives.  Attending to our children and their educational needs is not new for our parents but to assist in this new virtual environment, you will be provided additional training and weekly expectations from school so you can assist.  
The following learning provisions will occur as follows:
  • High powered hot spots have been leased and will be placed in communities and locations that best provide connectivity;
  • iPads and keyboards will initially be disseminated to most students;
  • Chromebooks have been ordered for grades 3 - 12 and will be provided to those students once they arrive;
  • Hard copy learning packets will be provided via school bus delivery to all who request (be watching for a survey asking about your preferences re this); 
  • Books will be distributed as required by each teacher;
  • A daily schedule will be provided to each student which will instruct them as to when and how to log on;
  • Special education IEP instructional services and hours will be provided by qualified instructional support providers (as they were in the Spring);
  • Parent/adult training will be provided online or telephonically so parents can assist (especially) younger students; and
  • Breakfast and lunch will be provided to all JVPS students on school days via school bus delivery as they were in the Spring.
Depending on individual family choices and connectivity, students may receive instruction in the following ways:
  • Online via computer with packets provided for support as requested; or
  • Telephonically with hard copy packets provided for students to demonstrate their knowledge.
At a special legislative session this summer all school districts were asked to add 10 days to the calendar.  Pending the school board's approval of a revised calendar, please plan tentatively that the first day of school for students will be August 10, 2020.  
We all wish, for the sake of our kids and their future, that we were starting this school year with all of the excitement of the traditional setting. It will take all of us working together to ensure a successful school year in a world where COVID-19 lives among us. Together, we can continue to provide quality education while protecting the health and well-being of our students, staff and community.  We look forward to partnering together with you in this effort.
Susan Passell, Ed.D., Superintendent
Jemez Valley Public Schools

April 8, 2020
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March 27, 2020

Dear Valued Parents, Students, and Staff,


This communication confirms that, due to the coronavirus pandemic and pursuant to the order of Governor Lujan Grisham, the Jemez Valley Public Schools, along with all New Mexico Schools, will remain closed through the remainder of this school year.  School districts have been asked to submit a plan to the New Mexico Department of Education that describes the continued education of our students which will reflect the JVPS Remote Learning Program communicated to you earlier this week. After Spring Break and once our plan is complete, we will be in contact with additional information regarding the continuous learning of our students through the end of this school year.


Our teachers, while not necessarily physically present at school, will be planning and implementing lessons, remotely.  They will also be available to you during office hours for tutoring students and clarifying content.  We urge parents and students to take advantage of these provisions.  A schedule is being drafted for your use in this way and will be provided once finalized.  After Spring Break other JVPS staff will continue to work which will include answering parental and student questions, addressing concerns, and bringing your feedback forward on this work in progress.  Your input is important to us as we cannot improve our services to you without your feedback.  Your thoughtful and creative ideas are always welcome.


Our feedback from parents on breakfast and lunch provisions has been extremely positive, therefore we are happy to continue this provision and process, as is.  Over half of our teachers have voluntarily ridden the bus to hand out meals over these past weeks but once their focus shifts to increased lesson planning, we may be reaching out for parent volunteers who are willing to serve in this way.


A couple of questions that are surely on the minds of many of our parents and students surrounds Prom and Graduation.  Pursuant to State guidance, these well-attended events will need to comply with the social distancing requirements in place at that time.  If the distancing restrictions are not lifted prior to these events, we would need to look at postponing them into the summer or possibly holding a virtual Graduation.  I understand that neither of these options can adequately or timely reflect the sense of accomplishment, excitement, tradition and celebration that our students have envisioned for so many years.  I regret terribly that this pandemic has affected, especially our seniors, so acutely and I feel, with them, a sense of deep disappointment.  We want to do the best we can to honor their work therefore, our class sponsors will be in touch with student leaders to discuss this and, once again, we urge all parents and students with ideas on how we can make these events meaningful and celebratory to contact us with your creative ideas as well.  


I want and need to partner with parents now, more than ever, so please remain engaged with these communications which are the best means I have to keep you updated on your child's education.  To reach us with your thoughts, concerns, questions and ideas please email or leave a voicemail at (505) 842-0902, ext. 700 or 575-834-7391 ext. 700.  


Yours, in the service of kids,


Dr. Susan Passell, Superintendent

Jemez Valley Public Schools


March 18, 2020
In prior communication, we notified you that the Governor strongly encouraged all districts to move Spring Break into these three weeks of closure to alleviate any more missed instructional time.  The Jemez Valley Board of Education met Tuesday night and approved rescheduling Spring Break to fall within this three-week period: March 26 - April 2nd.  However, they also designated Thursday, April 9th and Monday, April 13th as closure days. In order to meet the required number of instructional hours, the Board approved the calendar to have instruction on the following two Friday's: April 17th and April 24th to avoid tribal holiday activity absences that would have occurred.

This means our previously scheduled Spring Break will no longer be April 9 - April 16th but will instead be Thursday, March 26 - Thursday, April 2nd. Additionally, to avoid tribal holiday activity absences, school will be out on Thursday, April 9th and Monday, April 13th. To make up these two days, students will be required to attend school on Friday, April 17th and Friday, April 24th.

Please be advised that staff are not manning the phones during this closure but will periodically check their messages. Please be patient with as we return calls. If you would prefer to email staff, you may click here:

Revised District Calendar


March 15, 2020

Parents and Students,


Despite that JVPS is currently not in session as per the governor’s health order, all of our families are in our thoughts as we continue to refine opportunities for our students during this closure.  

Breakfasts and Lunches – Jemez Valley Schools will be delivering breakfasts and lunches to our student’s bus stops beginning Monday, March 16th through Wednesday March 25th between 8:00 a.m. and 8:30 a.m.  These Grab and Go meals will be given to students / parents at the bus stop so watch for those meal deliveries.  It would be helpful if you would inform us if you’d like to opt out. To opt out, please leave that message on the cafeteria phone by calling 505-842-0902 ext 327 or 575-834-7391 ext 318.

Food Pantry- The Food Pantry will be open for food dissemination this Wednesday from 10 am until supplies last, but we will limit the numbers of people inside the Pantry so please be patient as we try to serve everyone in need as quickly as possible.

Spring Break - The Governor has asked us to move Spring Break into these three closure weeks to alleviate missed instructional time.  The Jemez Valley Board of Education will meet this coming Tuesday evening to consider this change to our instructional calendar.  If the school board approves the change, students will be scheduled to be in school during our previously scheduled Spring Break.  This has not been firmly determined yet, but we wanted to give you a heads up of this potential calendar change. 

Parent Teacher Conferences – We want to ensure that all parents timely receive student progress information so teachers will be in contact with you to confirm conferences either telephonically or at a safe in-person distance.  Please work out a conference delivery that is comfortable to both you and your child's teacher.

Keeping Learning Going – Research is clear that time away from school results in a loss of skills.  To help maintain our student’s skills, JVPS has identified academic resources for students that are listed on our website by grade level.  Pueblo-based students can access these online opportunities via your pueblo education departments.  Secondary students enrolled in Edgenuity classes are highly encouraged to continue work on those courses as receiving credit for those courses requires timely completion which will not stop due to this three week closure.  Online links to these curricular resources can be found on the JVPS website under the Students tab, and classroom teachers can help answer some of these questions as well.

Prom – We are sorry to have to report that this Friday’s Prom must be postponed in order to keep our kids healthy.  We realize this is disappointing to students, just as the cancellation of athletic events has been, so we are working as quickly as possible to reschedule Prom at a later date this year. 

Lingering Questions -  We realize that we are providing a lot of information via these robo calls which is not an ideal way for you to have all of your questions answered.  It is completely understandable that some of you may have additional questions or require additional clarification.  We are trying to schedule small Q & A sessions at some point next week if we possibly can.  Also, please feel free to contact us via the following phone number 505-842-0902 ext 700, or 575-834-7391 ext 700.                                       

In closing, we hope everyone in our Jemez Valley family remains healthy.  Please be safe out there.