Doors open, computers on


School’s back in session at GMCS. But not for everybody.

Superintendent Mike Hyatt said all schools are open and safe. Hyatt says Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham has deemed Gallup McKinley County Schools safe, something Hyatt points to in response to the temporary restraining order that was issued against the district when he pushed to open classrooms against the orders of Education Secretary Ryan Stewart.

Despite that conclusion, many parents are currently opting for an online education for their students. Hyatt said he hopes to see that change over time, as families are reassured about the indoor environment.

While students can study off-campus, all teachers are required to report in-person or online for teaching duties.

Hyatt said 75 percent of all GMCS teachers went above and beyond and attended work in-person during the first two days of their contract, demonstrating the level of commitment they have for the students.

“Currently only Pre-Kindergarten through third grade can attend school in-person along with students with a disability at all grade levels,” Hyatt said in an email Aug. 19. “These classes will be capped at 5 students to a 1 teacher ratio.”

Disagreements over school re-entry methods between GMCS and the McKinley County Federation of United School Employees led to a temporary restraining order issued against the district from State District Court Judge R. David Pederson for violating New Mexico Secretary of Education Ryan Stewart’s Aug. 4 order concerning onsite and online learning.

Hyatt told the Gallup Sun Aug. 19 that negotiations between GMCS and McFuse concluded Aug. 18, the same day McFuse issued a statement announcing the successful resolution of the litigation against GMCS.

Hyatt is eager to put the disagreements in the past and turn the focus to students’ educational needs.

By Beth Blakeman
Associate Editor