PRAIRIE GROVE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Schools back in session across NWA this week, with Wednesday, August 26 being the latest day schools could reopen in the state.
Prairie Grove High School staff welcomed many of its students to campus Wednesday morning.
There the bells rang for the first time in months, as students made their way through the halls, and into their classrooms for the first day back.
School officials said there are several safety measures in place to keep everyone safe. Everyone is wearing a mask, hand sanitizing stations have been placed throughout the school and everyone must social distance.
We spoke with Principal Jed Davis about reopening plans.
How did the first day go? Were students receptive to the safety measures in place?
“It has been really good. Kids were wearing their masks as they entered the building and are doing a great job of social distancing. We have enough cloth masks to give every student in our building two, and we also have hundreds of disposable masks in case a student forgets theirs. Our families and parents have done a great job of sending their students to school with a mask. We didn’t have to hand out any masks today. We know that won’t always be the case, but it shows that our families and students understand their responsibilities. All our teachers have been given masks and face shields as well, and each classroom is equipped with sanitizer.”
A big concern with parents is social distancing, especially when kids are out of the classroom. How will you enforce social distancing?
“We have administrators and other personnel in the hallways helping enforce it, and in the classrooms, the teachers are doing a great job of keeping them as distanced as they can. Because of all the measures that cities and businesses have been taking in the last few months, you can tell that students are used to it at this point.“
What were the biggest challenges with reopening?
“Our district personnel have done a tremendous job of making sure all our classrooms were cleaned really well and that each classroom had disinfectant and sanitizer ready for the first day. I think the biggest challenge is that we had quite a few students that originally were going to do school virtually but decided to come in person. This is great and we are glad they wanted to come, it was just a challenge getting them into classes as quickly as possible and trying to keep each classroom as small as possible to try to maintain social distancing.“
What is the plan in place if a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19?
“We have a nurse that is in charge of tracing. Our students have assigned seating in the cafeteria’s and classrooms so if there is a positive case we can trace the students that were around that particular student.“
For more on the school’s plan click here.