Spring Break came to an end on Monday, but because returning to the actual school building is not an option since the state closure of school buildings, students, educators and parents entered their second week of virtual learning.
The Hamburg School District and Crossett School District officials are working around the clock to get Alternative Method of Learning packets and resources to students.
“Educators have been in information overload,” Hamburg Superintendent Tracy Streeter said. “There is not a script for us to follow in these uncertain times, however, we have a great team of people working at Hamburg School District that have worked relentlessly the last several days to get plans in place that will benefit our students, families, and staff.”
Streeter said Gov. Asa Hutchinson has provided school districts with a great deal of flexibility in making decisions on how instruction will be delivered.
The district is keeping its social media accounts updated to get the word out and keep parents updated as much as possible. As of Monday morning schools in Arkansas were set to be dismissed until April 17. Officials have said, however, that date could be pushed back depending on the state’s health status.
Students in both Crossett and Hamburg School District will be using AMI, or Alternative Method of Instruction packets during the dismissal.
Each school in Crossett has different methods and dates for turning in the work and all administrators have been actively putting that information out through social media. Crossett High School packets are available to print online, and Crossett High School principal Anthony Boykin said that they can be mailed if requested. Boykin also said there is a drop-off directly inside the high school building at the front office.
Crossett Middle School Principal Lynn Parker said that CMS packets for March 30 to April 3 are being mailed this week and therefore the deadline is extended, however, the packets students received on March 13 are due April 6. There will be drop-off areas outside the building.
Crossett Elementary School has a drop-off in front of their school as well for Days 1-10.
Parents and students who have questions can contact their school office or their teacher.
In Hamburg, school administrators are focused on getting the plans for online learning out to parents and the methods vary by building.
Streeter also said the Hamburg district will utilize the school’s feeding program to help with the delivery and gathering of AMI packets as needed.
“If at any time you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call or email your child’s principal,” Streeter said.
Both school districts will continue their feeding program, which makes lunches available to students even though the schools are closed.
Hamburg will provide feeding boxes on Monday and Wednesday of each week. A post on the district’s social media account said this week only they will make deliveries door to door, in order to give additional AMI packets out.
The statement said, “Starting Monday, April 6 we will use the seven designated pickups, which are Noble/Allbritton Elementary cafeteria, Portland Elementary cafeteria, Wilmot Elementary, Parkdale, Fountain Hill School Parking Lot, the Ashley County Fairground, Pine Street Park and Mount Olive Church. On Monday, we will provide food for Monday and Tuesday. On Wednesday, we will provide food for Wednesday-Friday.”
Streeter said doing the deliveries that way, “will allow our people time to sanitize after all food preparation and work on a rotation that will provide a safe environment for our workers. The safety of our people is important to us as well.”
Crossett School District will deliver lunches on April 1 from 12 p.m. until 1 p.m. and the packages will include meals for three days.
District officials asked that people be on lookout for the buses to prevent them from missing anyone.
The Arkansas Department of Education has given schools guidance on high school seniors.
“If they are on track to graduate at the end of the third nine weeks, they will be considered to have met the graduation requirements for the state of Arkansas,” Streeter said.
“For those seniors that are not on track to graduate, we will work with him/her to support them anyway we can to obtain the graduation requirements if at all possible.”
Streeter said there is a team of people working diligently at HHS pulling transcripts, grades, and any other data that will determine graduation status, class rank, college credit, AP classes, GPA, etc. There is also a group that is helping check on seniors for the purpose of scholarship applications, college admission applications, etc.
“As far as prom and graduation, we will follow the guidelines given to us concerning social distancing and not gather in large groups at this time. We cannot make a determination if or when either of these events will take place,” Streeter said. “Our heart goes out to these seniors.”
The ACT test that was scheduled for the Crossett campus has been canceled, but there will be an ACT test given at Crossett High School on June 13.
The AP exams have not been cancelled, but will be changed and details on those changes will be released on April 3.
Crossett High School Yearbook Advisor Kristi McDuff is asking that students and parents help document this time in the yearbook by sending in quarantine photos. There have also been competition and “spirit week” ideas posted to the school’s social media page in an effort for students to remain as connected as possible. Photos can be sent to Clanton at email@example.com.
Hamburg High School has started a door-decorating event to celebrate seniors. The announcement said for seniors to decorate their door with their things representing their senior year such as their athletic jerseys or something they make to represent a club or event they were active in.
Photos can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.