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  • Sara Doan, Northeast Arkansas News

Governor makes final decision about schools this fall

JONESBORO, Ark- Governor Hutchinson announced primary and secondary schools will host in person classes this August, but as one local superintendent says, “things will be different” as online and live class options will be available for students.

“We are going to be prepared this fall, to be able to present and teach new material to students whether they are at home or at school,” Nettleton School District Superintendent James Dunivan. “We know we have to have multiple delivery methods to do that so the Google Classroom and Zoom, the videoing of lessons and live lessons which will be for teaching students at home. This will change education forever.”

Dunivan says the live lessons will be real time video instruction for students who aren’t in the classroom.

He is expecting “quite a bit” of students learning at home this fall, but he thinks they will all be back in person by the spring.

Permanent health and safety changes are coming this fall as well.

“Installation of hand sanitizer dispensers,” says Dunivan. “We have bought many thermometers; we will be taking temperature of children on a regular basis now from now and into the future.” If mask are not required, they will be optional for all students, staff, and guests.

They are also looking at more staggered lunch times and decreasing class sizes but are awaiting on size recommendations by the state and CDC.

Dunivan says they still have one obstacle to face before school.

“I don’t know what running busses will look like, I don’t know if schools will even run busses the first month,” says Dunivan. “If you have to spread them out, you could only carry so few I don’t know if you could run a bus. Just all kinds of questions that are unanswered right now.”

Dunivan says they are actively figuring out the bus issue.

The district is also sending out a survey to families next week asking them their preference on in person or online learning for the fall.

The announcement of schools holding in person classes comes the same day as over 700 new COVID-19 cases were reported in the state.


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