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2020-2021 School Announcement
2020-2021 School Announcement
Benton School District
Thursday, August 06, 2020

To Benton Parents/Guardians, and the Community,

Please read through the following for more information regarding the 2020-2021 school year. This addresses the first two weeks of school for students from Kindergarten to High School Seniors.

The Benton School District is committed to returning to on-site learning beginning August 24th. We understand that there will be a degree of apprehension on the part of many parents, students, and staff members. The safety and well-being of our students and staff are of primary importance to our District. We also understand the Governor’s desire to return to on-site instruction five days a week starting on August 24th. The Benton School Board, District Administration, and Staff believe a more measured approach is warranted. Unfortunately, we do not have complete control over this. We have developed a plan, which we believe will address several of the concerns we have and still allow the District to open for onsite instruction for all students at the earliest time possible.

On Monday, August 24th, we will welcome back students whose last name begins with the letters A-M (including those students choosing Virtual only instruction for the first semester, if parents choose to do so). All other students will remain off campus that day. On Tuesday, August 25th, students whose last name begins with the letters N-Z will return to school (again virtual only students may attend should parents choose to do so). All other students will remain off-site that day. On August 24th and 25th, District staff members will work to distribute books, devices, and any other necessary items so that we can immediately pivot to off-site instruction at a moment’s notice should the health and safety of our students and staff warrant such a move. On Wednesday, August 26th, all students will be off-site for a virtual learning opportunity. This will allow staff, students, and parents to have the opportunity to work with the devices, learn to upload assignments, and work with the devices and the district’s Learning Platform (Google Classroom). Teachers will be available virtually that day to answer questions and assist students and parents with technical issues related to the platform. This will also allow District staff to deep clean and disinfect the campuses. On Thursday, August 27th, the first group of students (last names beginning with A-M) will return to campus to work with staff members to clear up any issues or difficulties that the students have. The same format will follow on Friday, August 28th, for the second group of students (last name beginning with N-Z).

Week two will be very similar to week one with a divided schedule continuing and a cleaning day occurring on Wednesday with all students offsite for a virtual learning opportunity. We do realize that supervision of children not at school may be a problem, so beginning week two we will allow all students to return to campus (if parents do not have other options) on each of the four on-site days. Please note that this may not allow us the maximum social distancing opportunities, but we do understand the need to strike a balance. Please note that all students will be learning off-site on Wednesday.

It is the District’s intention to re-evaluate the situation after two weeks to see if there is need to continue with a split grouping, while also giving parents the option of bringing all students to campus, and to determine if the Wednesday off-site virtual experiences will continue. That announcement will be made prior to the Labor Day Holiday.

Our goal is to run regular school bus routes beginning August 24th. As everyone is aware, school buses are not designed with 6 feet social distancing as an option. Students will be required to wear masks and the buses will be cleaned and disinfected daily. Parents can assist us with social distancing on buses by providing transportation, when possible, until this crisis ends.

We hope the measures being taken will help parents and students feel comfortable with returning to campus this fall.  However, there are virtual opportunities available to those not ready for an on-campus return.  Benton Teachers will deliver Benton School District curriculum.  Some limited courses may be offered through Virtual Arkansas on an as needed basis.

                Week One August 24th through 28th:

  • Monday- Students whose last names begin with A-M return. Virtual only students may also attend this day.
  • Tuesday- Students whose last names begin with N-Z return. Virtual only students may also attend this day.
  • Wednesday- Students and Faculty will participate in an Off-Site Virtual Day experience. All learning will take place remotely. This will allow the district to deep clean and disinfect all campuses and buses.
  • Thursday- Students whose last names begin with A-M will return to campus. Virtual only students may also attend this day.
  • Friday- Students whose last names begin with N-Z will return to campus. Virtual only students may also attend this day.
  • Monday- Students whose last names begin with A-M return. Virtual only students may also attend this day. All students who receive extra services such as speech, OT/PT, or special education services or students of parents who do not have childcare available may attend all four on-site days.
  • Tuesday- Students whose last names begin with N-Z return. Virtual only students may also attend this day. All students who receive extra services such as speech, OT/PT, or special education services or students of parents who do not have childcare available may attend all four on-site days.
  • Wednesday- Students and Faculty will participate in an Off-Site Virtual Day experience. All learning will take place remotely. This will allow the district to deep clean and disinfect all campuses and buses.
  • Thursday- Students whose last names begin with A-M will return to campus. Virtual only students may also attend this day. All students who receive extra services such as speech, OT/PT, or special education services or students of parents who do not have childcare available may attend all four on-site days.
  • Friday- Students whose last names begin with N-Z will return to campus. Virtual only students may also attend this day. All students who receive extra services such as speech, OT/PT, or special education services or students of parents who do not have childcare available may attend all four on-site days.
  • Monday- Labor Day Holiday- Schools are closed
  • Tuesday- TBA
  • Wednesday- TBA
  • Thursday- TBA
  • Friday- TBA

Week Two August 31 through September 4th

Week Three September 7th through September 11th

Kindergarten Information

Kindergarten assessment will be Monday, August 24th, and Tuesday, August 25th. Wednesday, August 26th, will be used as a backup date for assessment.

Open House will be Wednesday night, August 26th, from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. There will be 15-minute segments assigned to parents. Due to regulations on large group events, only one parent and the student will be able to attend to meet the teacher and bring their supplies. Both parent and student must wear masks.

School will begin on Thursday, August 27th, for students with last name beginning with A-M. Students with last name beginning with N-Z will begin school on Friday, August 28th. Students with last name beginning with A-M will participate in remote learning on Friday, August 28th. Kindergarten students will follow the same schedule as all other students beginning week two.