Last week, the New Mexico Public Education Department (NMPED) released details to public schools about their requirements for face masks this school year. Based on the current NMPED COVID-19 Response Toolkit, Rio Rancho Public Schools has some flexibility to allow middle and high school students and staff to attend school without a mask so long as they provide evidence of full vaccination. Or, the district could choose a more restrictive approach requiring everyone to wear a mask.

Last night, the RRPS School Board heard both options presented from District Leadership and voted 3-2 for the following face mask rules for middle and high schools students in Rio Rancho Public Schools: 

  • For Middle & High Schools (Vaccinated Individuals) - All students in middle or high school who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 are not required to wear face masks while on campus if they provide documentation of full vaccination and receive an RRPS issued Mask Pass.
  • To request your mask pass and provide proof of vaccination, please fill out the special form using the orange button in the next column
  • Each school will have a system to distribute passes.
  • Students must wear their mask until they receive their pass.
  • Students must have their Mask Pass with them each day and show it to administrators, teachers, bus drivers, security, etc. as requested. If they forget their pass, they will be asked to wear a mask.
  • Face masks will be provided to those who forget their Mask Pass.
  • Vaccinated students can continue to choose to wear a mask

  • For Middle & High Schools (Unvaccinated Individuals & those who do not have a Mask Pass) - All individuals who are NOT fully vaccinated against COVID-19, or those who do not provide documentation of full vaccination, will be required to wear a face mask while:
  • In a school building;
  • On school transportation;
  • Or at an indoor school-sponsored event.

  • For Middle & High School Staff Members- Vaccinated staff members who show verification of full vaccination will not be required to wear a mask. Guidance will be sent to staff members.

  • Students WILL NOT be segregated based on their vaccination status.

  • If this plan becomes to difficult to enforce, if COVID-19 cases rise in the schools or community, if rules are not followed, etc., the Board may choose to require masks for all.

NMPED Response Toolkit does not allow for flexibility at the elementary schools:

  • For Elementary Schools - All individuals in elementary schools (students, staff, visitors, volunteers, contractors, etc.), regardless of vaccination status, are required to wear a face mask while:
  • In a school building;
  • On school transportation;
  • Or at an indoor school-sponsored event

For All Grades & RRPS Campuses - Masks are not required outdoors for any individual (vaccinated or unvaccinated)