NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Schools across Arkansas are beginning to send home interim reports for the first nine weeks of school. Many school districts expected their halls to be a lot less active as many students have opted for either a blended learning experience this year or all virtual. “In some cases, there is a fear of being on-site,” Deputy Commissioner Ivy Pfeffer said.
She wants people to know that learning is happening no matter what happens this year, “The overall message is we are ready for learning, we want to make sure that learning can take place anytime, anywhere, no matter what the circumstances are and no matter if we have interruptions or not.”
The North Little Rock School District has had upwards of 413 students not report to school at all, on-site or virtual. Interim Superintendent Dr. Keith McGee says, “You can’t ignore school. We want you to know that we have a very outstanding virtual program that we’re very proud of and we want you to know you’re not going to be out there by yourself.”
Dr. McGee has said many of those students who have been absent is not because of technology issues but parents still fear for their students’ safety from Covid-19. “We’re not hearing too much about the technology but it’s the fear of Covid-19. Young and old, some kids live in different households that have, their parents or their grandparents they have underlying conditions,” he said.
The district has launched the “Mask On or Log On” campaign to reach out to those students who have not reported to school yet. The campaign was created by the district’s communications department but is student-led. Dr. McGee said, “Just let the kids know that we’re missing them and that it’s okay to come back because they want to see them back on-site or see them online.
School districts have been given an extended deadline until September 30 to drop those students who have not reported to the school.