The Smackover-Norphlet school district announced on the district blog Tuesday that they will move to virtual learning, or AMI (Alternative Method of Instruction), starting today and continuing through Friday, Jan. 14, "due to a significant amount of COVID cases [and/or] quarantines for students and staff."
At the regular board meeting Monday night, superintendent Jason Black said quarantine numbers were up to 24% of students in the district along with 14 to 15% of staff.
The district will observe the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday on Monday, Jan. 17, and "hope the adjustment will allow for the majority of our students and staff to return to school on January 18," according to the blog.
School cafeterias will be closed Wednesday through Friday.
The blog post also details information concerning student AMI packets, as well as information for Smackover High School-SouthArk students.
According to the release, "complete AMI paperwork that was sent home at the beginning of the year" should be used by students during the AMI period with today as day one; Thursday as day two; and Friday as day three.
AMI work can also be accessed from the smackover.net website and or the Buckaroo Blog.
Currently quarantined students are also asked to move to AMI work from Wednesday through Friday.
SHS SouthArk students can, according to the post, attend their classes in-person or participate virtually.
The SNSD is currently following newly updated Arkansas Department of Health quarantine procedures requiring students who test positive for COVID-19 to quarantine for five days and return to school on day six if they have no fever for 24 hours. Those students and staff are asked to wear a mask for days six through 10 following their exposure to someone with the virus.
Students or staff exposed to COVID-19 also are required to quarantine for five days or participate in the district Test to Stay option and are also asked to wear a mask if they successfully return on day six.
According to a recent ADH report on active COVID cases in schools, Smackover-Norphlet had 36 active cases, as of Jan. 10. Since the school year started, 129 cases had been identified in the district as of Jan. 10, including 21 in faculty and staff and 102 in students. These numbers do not reflect faculty and students out due to COVID-19 exposure.
SNSD superintendent Jason Black could not be reached for comment by press time on Tuesday.
For more information, see the district's blog at thebuckarooblog.wordpress.com.