Education

After four hours of hearing from school and police department officials, as well as the public on Tuesday, the Fayetteville City Council essentially rejected a grant that would have funded two more school resource officers in the Fayetteville School District. While some residents offered their support, critics of the SRO program pointed to statistics that show more than half of the arrests made by Fayetteville SROs since 2016 were of Black students.

Ahead of the first day of school on Monday, we speak with Siloam Springs Schools Superintendent Jody Wiggins about how his district has been preparing for reopening. He says it included launching a virtual academy ahead of schedule.

Courtesy / Division of Elementary and Secondary Education

Arkansas Department of Education Secretary Johnny Key has participated in Governor Asa Hutchinson's coronavirus response briefings throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. In a two-part interview, we speak with Key one-on-one as the state prepares to reopen public schools on Aug. 24.

Courtesy / Division of Elementary and Secondary Education

Arkansas Department of Education Secretary Johnny Key has participated in Governor Asa Hutchinson's coronavirus response briefings numerous times. In a two-part interview, we speak with Key one-on-one as the state prepares to reopen public schools on Aug. 24.

According to Fort Smith Public Schools Superintendent Doug Brubaker, about 22 percent of the district's 14,000 students will be learning virtually come Aug. 24. Brubaker also discusses personal protective equipment, coronavirus case reporting protocols and the multitude of other changes the district has had to make to be able to start the school year during the pandemic.

University Relations / University of Arkansas

Fall classes on the University of Arkansas's Fayetteville campus begin Aug. 24. Over the summer, the U of A hosted a series of virtual forums for faculty, students and staff on what to expect and how to prepare for return to campus. The final summer forum was hosted by Chancellor Joe Steinmetz last week. We provide highlights, as well as analysis from Provost Charles Robinson. 

Courtesy / Hendrix College

Hendrix College in Conway will begin the fall semester remotely for the safety of their 1,100 students. School leaders say external circumstances like high positivity rates and delays in testing results make their plans for timely contact tracing and quarantining not feasible at this time.

Book Aims to Ease Kids' Fears of Masked Teachers

Aug 13, 2020
Courtesy / UAMS

To help little ones cope with fears that may come with having an instructor with a partially covered face, Arkansas State University Childhood Services and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences partnered to create an informational book called My Teacher Wears a Mask. The book helps children understand the mask is for safety and contains activities adults can complete with kids to help them feel more comfortable with masks.

Courtesy / Movista

Bentonville Public School students will be returning to the classroom either in person or virtually on Aug. 24. According to Superintendent Debbie Jones, about 25 percent of Bentonville's 18,000 students will be learning from home. We discuss that and range of other reopening considerations

The Fayetteville School District continues to plan for a most unusual start to the school year. The district has had to alter plans more than once. Public Information Officer Alan Wilbourn discusses what it's been like.

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