On Friday, Rio Rancho Elementary faculty and students celebrated the school’s recent listing as one of ESPN’s Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools for 2022. It was the only elementary school on the list. Rio Rancho Elementary was recognized for its inclusivity measures pertaining to school sports that includes all learners including those with intellectual disabilities. One of the people at Rio Rancho Elementary to celebrate the day was Sen. Martin Heinrich. “I’m here today because what you’re doing is super cool,” Heinrich told a group of Rio Rancho Elementary students.
Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham spoke at the 5th annual Bloomberg American Health Summit in Philadelphia Tuesday where she said “in New Mexico, starting right now, no one pays for a meal in school.”
The statement was said to a roomful of applause, however it is not accurate. “Free school lunches for all New Mexico K-12 students will be part of the governor’s agenda that she will pursue in the upcoming legislative session,” spokeswoman Nora Meyers Sackett said. “For the past two school years, federal funding waivers enabled all students to eat for free – the governor’s initiative will ensure that every New Mexico student has access to free and healthy, high quality school meals by covering the price of breakfast and lunch for tens of thousands of students that currently do not qualify for free or reduced-price meals.”
As the details have not been made public, Albuquerque Public Schools spokeswoman Monica Armenta said that APS “supports programs intended to cover meal costs for all students.”
APS currently has about 45,000 students of about 89,000 students who qualify for free or reduced meals, Armenta said. Statewide, about 75 percent of students qualify for free school meals, according to Public School Review. The 2023 legislative session begins Jan.
Two state agencies are providing child care assistance to parents who need help during the coronavirus pandemic. The Children, Youth and Families Department (CYFD) and the Early Childhood Education and Care Department (ECECD) made changes to the state’s early childhood policies in response to Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s public health emergency declaration due to the spread of COVID-19, a type of coronavirus. The state is encouraging families to stay home as much as possible during the global pandemic. But if families need assistance with childcare during the public health emergency, the state has made changes to offer assistance. The state is also offering various forms of assistance to child care providers to encourage them to stay open during this time of crisis.
Albuquerque Public Schools announced Friday that, in light of school closures around the state to aid in halting the spread of COVID-19, the district will offer meals to students at 89 schools around the city.
According to APS, meal locations will have a drive-up line to pick up the meals. The district said no one should enter school buildings to pick up food and that students must be present to receive meals. Students can pick up meals at any of the participating schools, with the exception of New Futures, a school for young parents. New Futures students can only get meals at that school.