State delays start of school year

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

By Haley Schichtl

Arkansas schools will now begin in-person, blended and virtual school on Aug. 24 rather than Aug. 13.

Eureka Springs Superintendent Bryan Pruitt said he was not surprised to hear the school year will start late.

“I think they want to try to get us in here and have as normal school as we can, but if there is this big wave they think will come, it probably won’t last long,” Pruitt said.

Pruitt said the push back was both for safety reasons and because some schools were having trouble getting personal protective equipment as well as some technology in on time. He said the extra time should also be helpful for the teachers, since they are having to change their teaching methods so much.

“The first week back, it’s going to be weird. It’s going to take a little time to get everything under control and going,” Pruitt said.

Pruitt said there will still be 178 school days, whether they are virtual or on-site. With school starting two weeks late, there will be some adjustments to make.

“There’s five days built in for snow days, so we’ll use those,” Pruitt said. “Whatever they come up with, we’re going to do the best we can to educate our kids, get them prepared and keep them safe.”

Berryville Superintendent Owen Powell said the later start to the school year will create some issues to be resolved.

“If we left the calendar as is, that pushes us into the summer. That creates a problem for summer school, for all our maintenance that has to be done in the summer,” Powell said. “We’ll be able to figure it all out, but it will take some time.”

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