Dear Parents:

I know the 2019-2020 school year and the current times with the COVID-19 virus are very challenging. In my 27 years of education, I can honestly say it has been the most unique and challenging of my career. With the many uncertainties around us, I want you to know that the entire staff of Benton Public Schools remains dedicated to the safety and betterment of your child.

With guidance from the State and Federal Government continually changing, we cannot state with certainty what the restrictions and procedures will be for the upcoming school year. It is our position to keep the schools open for as long as possible unless safety would be compromised. With that being said, parents will have an option on whether they wish to have their students learn from home or send them to school. This decision will stay in effect for an amount of time yet to be determined. We will be seeking your decision on this matter as we get closer to school, and more information is known. When the school buildings are open, we fully anticipate bus transportation provided for those who usually ride the bus.

There is the possibility of school being closed for an undetermined amount of time during the next school year. We do not have any guidance if/when this will or will not occur. Whatever the outcome of that decision may be, we will remain committed to continue learning and provide all the services for your child that we possibly can. Knowing that the end of the 2019-2020 school year was less than ideal, we have sought feedback from staff, parents, and students on how we can be better prepared should that situation occur again. If school were to be closed and learning was to continue, we are confident the changes we have made and will continue to make will be better for you and your child.

Currently, each school building is forming a committee of staff, students, and parents to help determine the best decisions for the school. If you are interested in joining one of these committees, please contact your child’s principal.

While this last year and summer have been very stressful and challenging, I want to personally thank you for the care and support you have shown to the district. Without a supportive community, this district would not be as great as it is. I look forward to seeing the students on August 13th and, as always, IT’S A GREAT DAY TO BE A PANTHER!


Dr. Mike Skelton