DECATUR, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Governor Asa Hutchinson announced Tuesday fully vaccinated students in Arkansas no longer have to quarantine if they’re exposed to COVID-19.

KNWA/FOX24 spoke to school districts in both Benton and Washington Counties who say this will help ensure students and staff will be in the classroom more next year.

Steve Watkins with the Decatur School District said last year, absences caused by quarantines impacted everyone.

If a child needed to be out, he said teachers had to change lesson plans and parents had to scramble to get childcare.

It’s huge for our staff as we plan for next year as well as the students themselves with the learning loss.

STEVE WATKINS, SUPERINTENDENT, DECATUR SCHOOLS

Watkins said with this new guidance, parents and teachers will also be less likely to have to miss work.

In terms of how the school’s monitoring who’s vaccinated, Watkins said for now he thinks the district will treat vaccination cards like a sick note.

He said next year if a student has been exposed to COVID-19, they could be required to show proof of their vaccination to avoid needing to quarantine.