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From the State House of Representatives

Beginning in-person school again in Arkansas is not easy. A lot has changed since March 2020. Everyone has a lot of questions.

In an effort to help answer questions from educators and parents, the Arkansas Department of Education has made new resources available.

This week, the department released the Arkansas Ready to Learn Healthy School Guide. We have posted a copy on our website www.arkansashouse.org .

The guide was written and assembled by a team of medical, behavioral health, and education experts from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Arkansas Children’s, the Arkansas Department of Health, the Arkansas Division of Elementary and Secondary Education, and partners. The goal of the guide is to bring together good health information.

This information includes the latest scientific advice, guidelines, and best practices. Every school is different. This guide can help school officials, educators, and families plan for in-person learning.

In addition to the guide, the Arkansas Department of Education has established a Ready for School Resource Call Center. The purpose of the call center is to provide Arkansans with information and resources regarding the reopening of schools. The Ready for School Resource Help Line: 1-833-353-6050.

The Help Line is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. Bilingual support is available. The Help Line is made possible through a partnership between the Arkansas Department of Education and the Arkansas Department of Health, Arkansas Bilingual Resource Network, Arkansas Children’s, Republic of the Marshall Islands Consulate, and UAMS.

The Arkansas Department of Health and Arkansas Department of Education also have a hotline available for school district and school questions about:

• Students or staff who may have COVID-19

• How to isolate students or staff so they don’t spread the virus if they have it

• How to quarantine people who may be close contacts to students or staff who may have COVID-19

The ADH and ADE hotline number: 1-833-504-0155.

The Department of Education is making decisions every day. Some decisions may change as we learn new information about the virus that causes COVID-19. We will continue to pass along information as it becomes available.

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