State says schools should offer in-person classes 5 days a week


UPDATE: In response to the revised directive issued by the Arkansas Division of Elementary and Secondary Education, Fayetteville Public Schools will alter the Traditional/Blended/Hybrid Learning Option to meet this new directive.

The Traditional Learning Option will now include five days of on-campus face-to-face instruction for the fall semester.   

The Home Campus Virtual Option will still be available for families who prefer students to take all classes online for the fall semester.

Fayetteville Virtual Academy is another long-term placement option for students to take all classes online. An application process is required for this option.  

Fayetteville Public Schools will provide a new survey to families allowing them the opportunity to re-select their options for learning for their children for the fall semester of 2020-2021 school year. 

“After reviewing the initial Ready for Learning guidance from the state, our district team and Ready for Learning committee developed a hybrid plan that we felt best addressed the safety of our students and staff members while they are on campus,” said Dr. John L Colbert, Superintendent. “However, with today’s new directive from Secretary of Education Johnny Key, we will adjust our plan accordingly, continuing to prioritize the safety of our students and staff members to the best of our ability.”

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — The Arkansas Department of Education updated its back-to-school guidance on Wednesday after a district in Northwest Arkansas announced its intention to return for only two days a week of in-person classes.

Fayetteville Public Schools Superintendent Dr. John L. Colbert announced his district’s plan to reduce in-person classes to two days a week in July.

Colbert laid out three options for classes this fall. Two of the choices were all virtual. The third is a  “traditional blended calendar,” which has students and teachers in virtual classes three days a week, and in-person classes the other two days.

An update on Wednesday to the Division of Elementary & Secondary Education’s “Guidance for Schools Regarding COVID-19” titled “Clarification Regarding Onsite Learning,” states:

In order for schools to meet the obligations of the law to provide a general, suitable, and efficient school system that maintains equal opportunities for an adequate education, it is expected that all school districts offer, at a minimum, relevant and engaging onsite learning opportunities each day of the 5-day school week (4daysif approvedby (sic) the board because that is an exception allowed by statute).School districts that do notofferonsite (sic) educational opportunities each day create inequity that impedes the state from ensuring its responsibility is met.

Districts are encouraged to provide additional options for parents and students that allow for flexible schedules and virtual learning options, but districts must first provide an onsite option where students can access educational resources, school meals, and other needed support daily.

“We’ve been made aware that some districts were making plans that were fewer than five days, and we felt like the clarification was needed today to make sure districts understood we do have a statewide responsibility,” said Education Commissioner Johnny Key.

“This is not a change in our stance at all since March,” Key said.

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