FORT SMITH, Ark. (KNWA/ KFTA)— With the start of a new school year ahead, Fort Smith is just one of the many school districts across the country who will face yet another school year during the pandemic.

Schools Superintendent Dr. Terry Morawski joined Fox 24 Morning News to talk about what students and families can expect leading into the 2021-2022 school year. Morawski said looking back at the previous year, it shows that the students and staff of the Fort Smith School District are resilient and can adjust as needed.

“I talked to our staff in a back to school meeting and I talked about re-pivoting constantly. People are willing to accommodate and do what’s best for everyone’s safety” said Morawski.

On August 9, the Fort Smith School Board authorized Morawski to implement a mask requirement for students. This comes after Pulaski County Circuit Judge Tim Fox issued a preliminary injunction against Act 1002, the law banning mask requirements by government entities.

Morawski has implemented a a 60 day mask mandate leading to the start of the new school year which begins on Monday, August 16. The board also approved an emergency regulation on face masks for teachers.

“We’ll just continue to monitor the situation and make changes s needed. I think there was hope in the summer, early in the summer that maybe this year would be different, but with the Delta variant and everything that’s going on, we realized that we need to re-establish some of the policies we had last year and procedures.” said Morawski.

To learn more about the Fort Smith School district’s Back-to-School plan, learning options, and COVID-19 guidelines, visit the district’s website.