NWA schools add dealing with COVID-19 to agenda


In the past month, multiple schools in Northwest Arkansas have had staff or children test positive for virus.

NORTHWEST ARKANSAS (KNWA/KFTA) — Tuesday Fayetteville Montessori School confirmed another staff member has tested positive for the coronavirus.

But, it’s not the only school that has had to deal with positive COVID-19 cases.

In the past month, multiple schools in Northwest Arkansas have had staff or children test positive for virus.

“Cleaning, cleaning, cleaning, and cleaning some more,” said Rick Schaeffer, the communications director for the Springdale School District.

In the Springdale School District, cleaning has become second nature.

“And the object is, obviously by the time we start school on Aug. 13, parents can feel very safe that their kids are coming into a very clean, germ free environment,” he said.

Earlier this month, five employees in the district tested positive for COVID-19, but Schaeffer said they have since recovered.

“See all the workers in the building are wearing masks at all times, there’s hand sanitizers all over each of our schools, now they’re putting them in all of our classrooms,” he said. “We’re taking every precaution we possibly can.”

The district is the largest in the state, with 31 different schools.

Schaeffer said every single building is being cleaned so children can return safely this fall.

Over in Fayettevillle, Fayetteville Montessori School has had two staff members test positive for COVID-19 and one student.

It found out about a staff member testing positive about a week ago, then the child and additional staff member just this week.

“When we found out about the first positive case, we did shut down,” said Emily Snoderly, the director of education at the school. “But for right now we are not looking to closing any buildings. What the ADH has advised us to do is just close down individual classrooms.”

Moving forward, Snoderly said it’s tightening up on a few things, including visitor restrictions.

“Face masks for teachers, temperature checks for students and employees at the door, and parents are actually not allowed in the buildings,” she said.

Both schools say that despite having to jump through the hurdles COVID-19 presents, they just want to welcome kids back into a safe classroom in the fall.

Snoderly said, “Students and families will hopefully feel comfortable coming back in the fall.”

“We’re going to make sure that each of our kids is absolutely safe when they come to our schools,” said Schaeffer.

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