High school seniors eligible for graduation
By Haley Schichtl
Arkansas public schools are closed through April 17, and seniors who are in good standing at the end of the third quarter are now eligible to graduate, according to Gov. Asa Hutchinson.
Seniors who are taking credit recovery will still have to complete the courses. Graduation ceremonies will likely be postponed, but the Eureka Springs School District says it will keep students updated on when the rescheduled ceremonies will be held.
Spring ACT Aspire tests and K-2 assessments have been waived by the U.S. Department of Education.
Eureka Springs superintendent Bryan Pruitt said the schools have gotten five more Alternative Method of Instruction (AMI) days, giving the students a total of 15 days to use, which will last them through the newest closure extension.
“We’re going to start delivering meals,” Pruitt said. “We’ve got eight bus routes … and we’re going to deliver two meals each day, Monday through Friday. It will be 11 or 12, and they’ll get a breakfast and a lunch.”
Pruitt said the school has Chromebooks for every student in the district, but will only use them for grades 7 and above, with paper packets for the younger students.
“When we deliver those meals, we’ll deliver new AMI packets and pick up the old stuff,” Pruitt said.
Pruitt said the school is also looking at ways to help students with disabilities more while the school is closed.
“Students that work with Youth Bridge and Burrell Health — they still need therapy,” Pruitt said. “We want to make sure they have that opportunity available if possible.”
Pruitt said the superintendents have a Zoom meeting at 10 a.m. daily with the Ozarks Unlimited Resource Education Service Cooperative in Harrison to get updates from the state, and they try to watch all of Hutchinson’s press conferences.
“We’re thinking about the kids; we want them to stay safe. We’re going to get through this,” Pruitt said. “We appreciate the kindness and generosity we’ve seen in our school district and our community.”