Education

As part of its ENGAGE Arkansas initiative, which aims to reengage students who have struggled to adjust to shift in learning during the pandemic, the Arkansas Department of Education has launched a statewide community resources portal. The portal includes information for nearly 2,000 organizations in every county in the state and 32 different categories of community services.

Courtesy / Arkansas Department of Education

More than 60 percent of Arkansas parents say their child is learning the same or more while attending school during the COVID-19 pandemic. That's one of the findings of a survey developed by the Arkansas Department of Education's Office for Family Engagement and the University of Arkansas's Office for Education Policy. The results of the survey were presented to the State Board of Education on Friday.

Courtesy / Boys & Girls Club of Benton County

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to restrict activites for kids, after school programs are slowly reopening and finding ways to give young students an outlet during uncertain times.

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Mental health professionals are reporting more children and adults are seeking out their services during the pandemic. We speak with parents, teachers and therapists to find out how the global health crisis is impacting students as they attend school in person, virtually and everything in between. For more information about the free and anonymous Stay Positive Arkansas program, click here.

For our final conversation of 2020, Michael Tilley, with our partner Talk Business and Politics, discusses flood-related repairs in Fort Smith, a program to help students failing high school classes and an eventual tax hike on some alcohol sales in the area.

Courtesy / Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

The J.B. and Johnelle Hunt Family Ozark Highlands Nature Center opens to the public Dec. 11. The grand opening Dec. 10 will be livestreamed on Facebook. The new center features exhibits, indoor classrooms, an indoor archery and airgun range, pavilions, trails and 25 acres of restored prairie.

Courtesy / Springdale School District

Two days before the Thanksgiving holiday, the superintendent of the Springdale School District announced all schools would be pivoting to remote learning until Dec. 7. Superintendent Jarred Cleveland said there were too many staff who had tested positive for COVID-19 or had to be quarantined due to possible exposure that they weren't sure there would be enough substitute teachers to fill those roles for a number of days.

Courtesy / Fort Smith Public Schools

Three months into the school year, we check in with two teachers we spoke with ahead of the start of the school year in August. One is a French teacher at Fayetteville High School, the other is a fourth grade teacher at Ballman Elementary School in Fort Smith. They discuss the added workload, student compliance with safety measures and their concerns about the upcoming holidays.

Courtesy / Inside Higher Ed

As COVID-19 continues to disrupt education, high school students applying for college are facing more challenges. While many universities are dropping mandatory standardized test scores for admissions, students may still need them to apply for scholarships or receive financial aid.

This month, the Siloam Springs School District has had to transition to virtual learning at two of its schools for two weeks because of COVID-19. According to Superintendent Jody Wiggins, the virus was spreading among staff at Northside Elementary, which shut down on Nov. 2, and among students at the Intermediate School, which shut down on Nov. 9.

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