Courtesy / Fayetteville Public Schools

On July 15th, the Fayetteville School District announced its reopening plan, which included two days of in-person instruction and three days of virtual learning under a hybrid model. The district had to revise its plan last week after the Arkansas Department of Education issued a directive stating all districts have to offer five days of in-person instruction. The new mandate has frustrated both teachers and parents.

Governor Asa Hutchinson / YouTube

Arkansas's cumulative COVID-19 cases jumped by more than a thousand today. Governor Asa Hutchinson announced the state received 1,011 positive test results in the last 24-hour monitoring period. There were also six additional deaths and nine additional hospitalizations. Fourteen counties reported at least 20 new cases. Pulaski County had 182 with a 100 cases originating at the correctional facility in Wrightsville. Sebastian County reported 43 new cases, Washington County had 41 and Benton County had 32. Today's briefing focused on the start of school and the upcoming elections.

Courtesy / Walmart

The pandemic has changed nearly everything, including back-to-school shopping for students, parents and teachers, so stores like Walmart are trying to find new ways to reach customers to provide items that weren't essential before, but are now.

New cases of COVID-19 increased by 912 today, including 754 community cases. Governor Asa Hutchinson said there were 158 new cases in correctional facilities, most of those at the Delta Regional Unit in Chicot County, so the state is planning to test each inmate at Arkansas's 19 correctional facilities. Pulaski County had the most new community cases with 79, Sebastian County had 51, Washington County had 42 and Benton County had 20. The governor also reported 18 more deaths from the virus bringing the total to 508.

Altrusa International of Washington County will give away backpacks with school supplies, personal care packages and food boxes this weekend during a drive-thru event at Prairie Grove Elementary School.

Courtesy / Whit Pruitt, University of Arkansas


On Tuesday, the Walton Family Charitable Support Foundation announced it was awarding the University of Arkansas $194.7 million to establish the Institute for Intergrative and Innovative Research with the goal of increasing collaborative scientific research and encouraging commercialization and entrepreneurship. The gift also set aside funds for a building, 20 new faculty and the founding of a Bentonville campus.

Courtesy / Arkansas Education Association

Following Governor Asa Hutchinson's Thursday briefing with Arkansas Secretary of Education Johnny Key regarding school reopening in the fall, the Arkansas Education Association issued a statement expressing somce of its concerns with the plan and reopening overall. We speak with AEA Executive Director Tracey-Ann Nelson about the statement.

Governor Delays Start of School Year, Outlines Response Plan

Jul 10, 2020

Gov. Asa Hutchinson has announced the 2020-2021 school year start date will be pushed back from Aug. 13 to the week of Aug. 24, but no later than Aug. 26. He also announced a three-tiered response system for when a student or teacher tests positive for COVID-19.

Courtesy / Springdale School District

With about 22,500 students in kindergarten through 12th grade, the Springdale School District is the largest in the state. The district also has many students of Latino and Marshallese descent, which are two communities that have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. We discuss the district's reopening plans come fall with Superintendent Jared Cleveland, who started his new position on July 1.

Courtesy / University of Arkansas

This week, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, released new rules stating that international students whose universities opt to go entirely online in the 2020 fall semester must return home or face deportation. U of A Director of International Students and Scholars Michael Freeman says because the university plans to have both in-person and online classes, the new rules should not impact students here.