Schools across the state of Arkansas will be closed for on-campus instruction for the remainder of the year, according to Governor Asa Hutchinson as stated during the latest COVID-19 press conference held Monday afternoon, April 6th.
Many districts will continue to supply packets to be picked up and dropped off on site to provide resources for students who do not have reliable internet connections.
Governor Asa Hutchinson reports that the decision was made out of concern for public health in our state.
As far as new cases go, the state is now up to a total of 875 people who have now tested positive for the coronavirus. No additional people have been reported to have passed away from the illness, as the death toll has stood at 16 since Sunday, April 5th. There are also 74 people currently hospitalized from COVID-19 and there is now one new county. With the addition of Izard, 65 of the 75 counties in Arkansas have reported positive coronavirus cases.
With tests continuing to increase, and school out for the rest of the year, Elementary and Secondary Education Secretary Johnny Key encourages flexibility to be practiced as the home-bound situation is new for many families, and additional learning support may be needed for students who are struggling to adjust.
Many questions still remain unanswered for educators and students alike following Monday’s school closure announcement. The issue of SAT/ACT testing for high school students seeking college admissions and attendance requirements varying in state public school districts still linger, as Secretary Key reports theses issues and similar concerns have begun to circulate upon the closure news. Although its “too soon to tell” how these issues will be addressed, one thing is now certain for Arkansas public school students as schoolwork will still be implemented through AMI packets and internet-based instruction. Officials report that internet capacity should be expanded where feasible in order for teachers to upload assignments and students to receive their work. Another issue addressed regarding the school closures is child nutrition. Secretary Key reports that meal programs will still be supplied so long as campuses comply with the Arkansas Department of Heath’s regulations.
More updates will be reported on the COVID-19 Pandemic developments as information is released. Again, there are total of 875 people who have tested positive for the coronavirus in the state of Arkansas. No additional people have been reported to have passed away from the illness, as the death toll still stands at 16. There are 74 people hospitalized from COVID-19 and there is now one new county. With the addition of Izard, 65 of the 75 counties in Arkansas have reported positive coronavirus cases.