Courtesy / Springdale Public Schools

Springdale Public School District is among four districts in Arkansas participating in a COVID-19 rapid test pilot program this autumn to help reduce the need to quarantine due to exposure to the virus. State leaders are also monitoring Thaden School, a private grades 6 through 12 school in Bentonville, which no longer is required to institute quarantines due to having a high vaccination rate among faculty, staff and students. 

Courtesy / Gema Zamarro

Gema Zamarro, a professor & 21st Century Endowed Chair in Teacher Quality in the Department of Education Reform at the University of Arkansas and adjunct senior economist at University of Southern California's Center for Economic and Social Research, has been measuring the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on gender, and more recently on public school teachers. Her and research colleagues' findings are helping to shape federal, state and local policy.

Courtesy / Paris Arkansas School District

Last week the the Paris Arkansas school board approved $1,500 bonus checks for all employees who are fully vaccinated for COVID-19 by November 1. The distrcit is also offering $50 gift cards for students, 12 and older, who show proof of vaccination any time throughout the 2021-22 school year. Students under 18 must have parental consent before getting vaccinated. The incentives apply to staff and students who have already been vaccianted. 

Yustinus Tjiuwanda / Unsplash

Most Arkansas students will be attending classes in just a couple of weeks as a new school year launches. This academic year comes after an odd school year which also produced low test scores for Arkansas students. Sarah McKenzie from Office for Education Policy at the University of Arkansas provides some insight. 

Courtesy / Arkansas Department of Education

The Arkansas Department of Education has issued a set of new COVID-19 guidelines to prepare for the coming school year.  All public schools are scheduled to hold in-person classes despite the spread of the COVID-19 Delta variant. Lucas Harder, policy services director for the Arkansas School Boards Association provides insight.

courtesy / Arkansas PBS

This summer, Arkansas PBS will expand its original content to help combat summer learning loss after a year of education disruptions from COVID-19. The new, six-week series, 'Rise and Shine,' is partnership with Arkansas teachers of the year and the Arkanasas Department of Education and airs weekdays from 8 - 11:30 a.m. beginning July 6. 

Jared Middleton, a teacher with the Springdale Public School District, is concerned about overreach that could limit educators' ability to teach the complete history of the United States. He organized a rally this month so he, and others, could express their concern.

The Single Parent Scholarship Fund of Benton County, in Bentonville, and the Single Parent Scholarship Fund of Northwest Arkansas, headquarted in Fayetteville, are merging July 1st. CEO Tyler Clark says the process took 14 months and will offer applicants more opportunities to further education.

Courtesy / Cherokee Nation Foundation

After canceling in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Cherokee College Prep Institute is shifting to a virtual platform for 2021. The program, open for Cherokee and other native high school students, provides access to college planning and financial aid resources. 

Courtesy / Bentonville Public Schools

Lacrosse is growing in popularity in Arkansas and Saturday at noon the first-ever state championship match will feature teams from Bentonville and Little Rock.