SPRINGDALE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday, many are wondering if schools will return to in-person classes after the break, or if they’ll go fully remote.  

“It has been a hard semester for everyone when you think about it,” said Rick Schaeffer with Springdale Public Schools.

This year, schools have had to dramatically change the way children learn.

“They don’t teach you how to deal with pandemics,” he said. “They don’t teach you what its like to have everyone in your classroom wearing a face covering.”

Schaeffer said many didn’t expect to make it this far into the year still in a classroom.

“You know a lot of people didn’t think we’d be in school after the second week and here we are in week number eight,” he said.

Since the semester began, students and teachers across the state have contracted COVID-19.

One Arkansas superintendent, even dying from the virus.

So at what point does the governor order schools to go remote full time?

In a statement addressed directly to KNWA/Fox 24, Governor Asa Hutchinson said the following:

“Actually, the schools are performing better than expected in terms of controlling the virus on campus and the number of active cases.  From our data and from speaking with educators, the conclusion is that the positive cases with students or faculty generally come from activity in the community or sports and not from classroom work.  The data does not support going all virtual and a broad consensus is developing that there are some real shortcomings to virtual learning with many students and that classroom instruction is essential as the primary option.”

Governor Asa Hutchinson

“I know there’s some colleges that have planned it that way, when they send their kids home for Thanksgiving break thats going to be it. The University of Georgia is doing that and maybe some other schools but at this point we’re not considering that,” Schaeffer said.

Even though the Springdale School District does not plan on going remote after the break, it along with the Rogers School District have set aside two days in October for students to learn how to  work remotely.

Schaeffer said, “There was no directive from anyone to do this. I think it was just Dr. Cleveland just thought that it would be a really good thing for our district to do.”