While most schools in the state of Arkansas will be starting school on Monday, the Pine Bluff and Dollarway School Districts will start August 25.

While most schools in the state of Arkansas will be starting school on Monday, the Pine Bluff and Dollarway School Districts will start August 25.

Students are expected to attend school daily following social distancing guidelines and adhere to seating charts. Students will participate in blended learning using Edgenuity Learning Management System.

Virtual learners will also be taught by Pine Bluff School District Teachers through Edgenuity. Virtual students will have some flexibility to work at their own pace within specific parameters but must stay on track to complete all assignments by the end of the semester.

“We are excited to introduce Edgenuity, the new learning platform that our students and staff will be using this fall,” said Dollarway School District Superintendent Barbara Warren in her parent newsletter. “Edgenuity’s learning management system (LMS) gives educators the tools they need to ensure their students are successful. The features and capabilities of the Edgenuity LMS help free up time for educators to do what they do best— help students.”

Students will be screened and required to wear a face covering or a mask that covers their nose and mouth on the bus. Students will be required to sit in assigned seats for social distancing purpose.

Breakfast will be served in classrooms. Lunch schedules and menu options will be modified. Virtual student meals will be available for pick-up.

Dollarway School District will have identical expectations and guidelines. Virtual students will be taught by Dollarway School District Teachers. The first Wednesday of each month are Virtual Learning Days. All students will engage from instruction at home using Edgenuity.

On Tuesday, classes will start for 1st -12th grade at 8:00 a.m. Pre-K and kindergarten will stagger the first day and arrive at 9:00 a.m.

The Watson Chapel School District will start Monday, August 24.

“We will have students in classrooms in all of our buildings, and students will be learning virtually,” said Watson Chapel School District Superintendent Jerry Guess. “Teachers have prepared for onsite instruction considering guidelines from The Department of Health and Center for Disease Control guidelines. I believe we are ready for students to arrive Monday and will be welcomed into the buildings and classrooms.”

Guess said it is critical that students honor the expectations for safety that they have been given.

All students fourth through twelfth grades will be required to wear masks at all times. Kindergarten through third grades are strongly encouraged to wear masks at all times. All students riding buses will be required to wear a mask during the bus ride. Staff are expected to wear masks and teachers will have face shields in addition to masks.

The district has implemented and established a re-entry plan to ensure the health and safety of their students, staff, and community residents and followed protocol last week when some of their staff at Coleman Intermediate School were exposed to COVID-19.

“When district staff was notified, immediate action was taken to ensure the safety of all persons at the campus,” said Marcia Merritt, Coleman Intermediate School Principal, in a notice to the patrons of Coleman Intermediate School located in the Watson Chapel School District. “Safety protocols have been initiated by our district Point of Contact, Nurse Rose Sullivent, and the Arkansas Department of Health has followed up with further recommendations.

Merritt said at the present time, Coleman Intermediate School is functioning with no evidence of the viral spread of the disease.

“We have followed and shall continue to follow the recommendations outlined in the Watson Chapel School District Re-Entry Plan In Response to COVID-19,” said Coleman. “We ask that as you send your child or children to school, please emphasize that this virus is a serious threat to all our wellbeing and all rules and procedures shall be followed during this pandemic. Safety is always a main concern of our school and district.”