Local schools prepare to welcome students back Monday


Winter weather forced several schools to move to remote learning last week

GRAVETTE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) – The winter storm also caused a headache for rural school districts like Gravette, one challenge for some families was getting access to internet services.

“I’d love to say we have a system and we got it all figured out but we’re struggling just like everyone else,” Bob Joneson said.

Bob Joneson is a father of five. Two are high schoolers, two are in elementary and the youngest is in pre-k. They typically attend school in person.

“The schools I think have done a good job making sure it’s not overwhelming,” Joneson said. “I think it gives me more respect for what teachers do day in and day out to keep these kids on task and doing assignments.”

Superintendent Maribel Childress says the district chose to not take multiple snow days to avoid creating a gap in learning and continue to help students who are getting ready for the upcoming ACT.

“It was important for us to do virtual and not just snow days where there was no school so we could continue to help our students prepare for that, get extra tutoring and support if they wanted that,” Childress said.

All while being mindful of scheduled power outages.

“One of our schools had no tech Tuesday to try and help the community conserve energy,” Childress said.

Joneson says going virtual was a lesson in making due with what they have.

“Typically what I’ve been doing is using my phone as a hot spot,” Joneson said. “We’re fortunate to have anything at all when it’s all said and done it’s amazing what we can do when we’re limited with what we got.”

Joneson says the kids were able to go out and enjoy the snow in their free time and they are all ready to get back in the classrooms on Monday.

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