Eureka Springs board approves back-to-school plan
By Haley Schichtl
The Eureka Springs School Board approved the Ready For Learning plan, which will be posted on the school's website once it is approved by the state, at its meeting Monday, Aug. 10.
The plan includes providing personal protective equipment and cleaning procedures. Every student and staff member will get three washable masks, and the school also will have disposable masks in case anyone forgets theirs.
The plan also includes teacher training, student and parent support, a communication plan and a plan to address unfinished learning from last year.
All students will be given a Chromebook, and there are now wi-fi hotspots throughout the city, including the Eureka Springs Carnegie Public Library —even from the outside and when it is closed — Eureka Market, McDonald's, Subway, school parking lots and others to be determined based on student need. All students will have to use a digital learning management system. Those in grades 5 through 12 will use Google Classroom, and kindergarten through grade 4 will use SeeSaw.
Superintendent Bryan Pruitt said that this year, students who qualify for reduced price lunch will get their lunches for free.
"The students fill out free and reduced lunch forms. So they'll have to pay, or their lunch is free or it's reduced," Pruitt said. "Any that comes back classified as reduced, we'll pick that up and pay for it."
In addition, all instructional staff will be provided free cafeteria lunches this year.
The school board also accepted a bid to turn the infield of the track into a soccer field and make a few other changes for about $690,000.
"We have to move the discus and shot put out from the infield for safety reasons, so we had to make a new field on the back for that, and also a parking lot and a driveway to it," Pruitt said.
In other business, the board approved the revised school calendar, which has a start date of Aug. 14 and an end date of May 28.
The school board's next regular meeting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 14.