Reopening Resources For Going Back To School In Northwest Arkansas

We know it can be overwhelming so we’ve assembled a list of area schools with links for everything you need to know.

Find your school system below! And hang in there, we’ll all get through this together.

Schools to Start in Arkansas on August 24

Gov. Asa Hutchinson and Secretary of Education Johnny Key provided an update on July 9, 2020. Access the video recording at https://youtu.be/-rrzU1zVtuc?t=60.

Guidance on the Use of Face Coverings 

The Arkansas Department of Health has issued Guidance on the Use of Face Coverings by the General Public during the COVID-19 pandemic. More from the Division of Elementary and Secondary Education can be found here.

Secretary of Education Johnny Key said districts all over the state are engaged in the Arkansas Ready for Learning planning process. Secretary Key highlighted plans from a few districts as a way to benchmark best practices:

  • Jacksonville-North Pulaski: Their plan includes a continuum of options that include on-campus and remote learning. They plan to offer blended learning in which classes will be on campus aligned with a traditional school day with technology ready to pivot to online learning if warranted by changing conditions due to COVID.they also have a virtual option available for parents that want it. They have also clearly defined their safety precautions:
  • Operational and classroom modifications that allow for social distancing;
  • Staggered schedules for lunches, and
  • Eliminating gatherings such as assemblies.
  • Mountain Home: They included a medical doctor and two infection preventionists from Baxter Regional Medical Center in their ready for learning committee along with parents, teachers and other community members. They have seven very specific actions they have listed while starting with a strong instructional plan while addressing student wellness including mental health. They also described how the recommended enhanced cleaning procedures will be implemented in the various school settings. These are all based on the recommendations that have come from the Arkansas Department of Health. Committees of teachers have worked hard to ensure the plans were in place and operational in the classroom and in the building.
  • Quitman: They have used the August 24 and 25 dates to stagger the return of students so they can acclimate students and teachers to the revised practices and procedures. All students will be coming on campus on August 26.
  • Stuttgart: The district has used social media effectively using videos at each building so families and community members can understand the precautions being taken and the changes to routines such as morning drop-off and school meals.
  • Springdale: The largest district in the state and the most diverse. Included students and members of the Marshallese and Latino communities on their Ready for Learning committees. They’ve instituted a multi-phase communications plan that was deployed over the summer to provide families with the most up-to-date information about the district’s Ready for Learning plan. Teachers are also using video tools to send personal messages to students and families to help increase the comfort level with the necessary changes such as masks and social distancing that students will encounter when they return to school.

Secretary Key said the Department of Education will continue to work with districts as they prepare their plans for the return to school.

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