BENTONVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — A majority of one Bentonville school is forced to go virtual after a positive case of the coronavirus on campus.
At Northwest Arkansas Classical Academy, kindergarten through eighth grade will have to learn remotely as the school cleans the building.
Jake Kurz, the director of communications for Responsive Ed, which is over the academy, said “Really it goes to show what one case of COVID-19 can do.”
Kurz said having to send these students home for two weeks is a domino effect of having a small staff.
“With a handful of employees, a shortage of substitute teachers, we’re forced to close the school because we’re not able to staff it,” he said.
He said a large number of students were already learning online, so it shouldn’t cause too much trouble.
But one Bentonville mother, who does not want to disclose the school her daughter attends, said going virtual is one of the hardest things she’s had to do.
“I don’t know if it was more the platform or the teacher they chose to be in charge of the virtual, but it ended up being almost just like an online checklist,” said Dana White. “When you’re just relying on a kid to be able to speak up and say ‘I’m having a hard time with this, sometimes that’s only something that can be identified by the teacher.”
White said she finds herself constantly having to put in extra work just to make sure her child gets the education she needs.
Kurz said he understands how difficult something like this can be.
“We realize that for some families who have to work this is an inconvenience and we are sensitive to that and especially for the young students it is more challenging,” he said.
But, he emphasizes that this is temporary, and the positive case number is small.
“Some families were concerned about a large outbreak and we really don’t have any evidence of an outbreak of COVID-19, just a single confirmed case,” said Kurz.
Kindergarten through eighth grade students will return to the classroom on Oct. 22.
High schoolers will not be affected by the closure.