ESPAÑOLA, NM – The primary role of the Espanola Public Schools is to educate our community’s children. But EPS also provides a broader social and economic benefit for individuals, families and our community at large.
During these unprecedented and challenging times in the shadow of the COVID-19 global pandemic, we are all reminded of how public education influences us, both in the fabric of our daily lives and the welfare of our entire community.
In both my personal and professional life, I have weathered many storms and, in large part, I consider myself to be strong, self-assured and focused. However, the news of Governor Lujan-Grisham and Education Secretary Stewart to shutter our schools and suspend all in-person instruction through the end of the semester brought profound and overwhelming emotion and sadness.
My heart is absolutely broken for our students and families who will not only miss quality instruction, but also lifetime memory making moments such as performing well in a band recital, competing in sporting events and academic competitions, traveling in and out of the state, as well as the social emotional relationships and friendships that are nurtured and interconnected within the school setting.
I am very proud, and humbled and in complete awe of our employees who are going above and beyond to meet the needs of others. We should take comfort in knowing that all are stepping up to do their part, from our custodial and maintenance staff, student nutrition staff, transportation staff, teachers, administrators, counselors, technology and support staff and many others.
In times of crisis, we are finding ways to collaborate and work together to find innovative ways to solve complex problems and serve others.
EPS has continued to develop a Continuous Learning Plan to provide instruction either technologically or non-technology based for our students. Wit the lead of our site administrators, the teachers will continue to receive support to meet the needs of our students.
We have become familiar, and we are learning to become proficient with holding virtual meetings and also learning new and innovative ways to do our business. Our educators, administrators, and support staff are among the best, and I have full confidence that they are ready for the challenges that lie ahead of us.
As you know, our governor issued the stay-at-home order for the state. It is critically important that we each do our part as we follow the directives of the order, including limiting contact with others outside our immediate households, practicing social distancing, and strictly adhering to the stay-at-home order by limiting outings to only essential tasks.
We must be responsible for our actions and continue to do our part in protecting and caring for others.
At the end of this crisis, there will be many valuable lessons learned. But perhaps the greatest lesson is that we come to fully realize that as humans, we have a fundamental need for belonging and connecting to others.
This need cannot be fully satisfied virtually. We can never replace the sense of belonging that comes with participating together in this journey called life.
In times like these, our community values are tested. When faced with fear, it is easy to turn our focus inward toward self-preservation. However, that has not been the case in in Espanola. In fact, in our wonderful city and surrounding communities, I have witnessed just the opposite. I see community agencies reaching out and stepping forward to work together.
We must continue to be united and support each other with compassion, grace and love as we navigate this global health pandemic.
EPS is committed to continuing to support our families and the communities in the district and beyond. We don’t know how long it will take us before we can return to the classroom, but we are committed to doing everything that we can to support our students and their families as we all address these challenges together.
It is with great anticipation that we all await the day that we get to see our students and staff reunited again.
I will continue to update you on district initiatives throughout this trying time.
Yours in Education,
Fred Trujillo, Superintendent Espanola Public Schools