HUNTSVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — In Madison county, the Huntsville School District welcomes students and staff back to schools with new safety guidelines in place for those on campus and resources for those learning remotely.
A local high school student said he’s glad to be back in class and hopes the school year can be as traditional as possible.
“Wearing mask is horrible I don’t like it but to prevent other people from getting the virus it’s just what you have to do,” said Chandan Villines, a senior at Huntsville High School.
He wants to finish out his last year of schooling alongside his classmates.
“I really hope basketball continues and especially all of the dances and proms, and just really hope that I can participate in those activities.”
This school year has a different look amid the pandemic desk are spread apart, students and staff are wearing masks, and everyone must practice social distancing.
“You have to hold yourself back from not going up to each other. I mean us guys, we dab each other up all the time.”
“It’s a lot of prompting and reminding, especially the high school kids, they miss their buddies, they want to hang out. That is a natural tendency at that age,” said District Superintendent Audra Kimball.
About 650 students have taken the virtual route. Director of Technology Bailey Cotton said internet access is a challenge for many in rural communities. To help, 200 hotspots have been ordered but access is still limited.
“We’re going to take into account how close they live to the existing hotspots. We do have, if you include our school parking lot 17 different spots throughout our county,” said Cotton.
Students can complete their work at those locations or just download their assignments. Cotton said hotspots will be given to students with the biggest needs.
For those on campus, Villines said he has faith his classmates will do their part to keep everyone safe.
“I just want to see all of my senior class all of us go out with a smile on our faces and know that we have succeeded in life.”