UPDATE: Arkansas Public Schools Closed for On-Site Instruction Through the End of the School Year
Gov. Asa Hutchinson today announced the closure of on-site instruction for K-12 schools will be extended to the end of the school year based upon the public health conditions. Education will continue through alternative methods of instruction (AMI). Arkansas AMI, the partnership between DESE and Arkansas PBS, will be expanded beyond April 17. Districts will continue development of AMI content so that instruction of students will continue at home. Districts in need of assistance are encouraged to contact the local educational service cooperatives.
Guidance for Arkansas Schools Regarding COVID-19
Gov. Asa Hutchinson released a proclamation that details action to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The proclamation can be accessed at http://bit.ly/ArkProclamation
. Because Arkansas has been planning a COVID-19 response for months, the state is well-positioned to begin containment efforts. The Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) will continue to act as the lead agency to work in concert with other state agencies to respond to the COVID-19 virus.
In an effort to effectively field concerns related to school closures and school/student-related concerns of potential positive COVID-19 cases, the Arkansas Department of Health has designated a hotline for school personnel to utilize to report concerns. Additionally, Arkansas Children’s Hospital has designated a hotline number to field concerns related specifically to the known presumptive positive case at ACH mentioned in the March 12 press conference. For all other concerns, individuals should use the MAIN COVID-19 Hotline number. These pertinent numbers are listed below:
School Personnel Designated COVID-19 Hotline: 1-833-504-0155
Arkansas Children’s Hospital Hotline: 1-800-743-3616
MAIN COVID-19 Hotline: 1-800-803-7847
Questions? Districts can email education questions to firstname.lastname@example.org..
Arkansas Better Chance (ABC) Program Guidance
All Arkansas Better Chance (ABC) programs may utilize the Arkansas AMI guides in place of current AMI plans, or they may continue with local plans. Preschool providers who are not part of ABC are also encouraged to utilize these resources for children and families. The following is an informational video regarding Alternate Methods of Instruction for extended learning days due to COVID-19:
Preschool programs should continue to partner with educational cooperatives and school districts to ensure children, age 3-5 with disabilities continue to receive a Free Appropriate Public Education. Special education guidance documents that also apply to preschool-age children with disabilities can be accessed at Considerations for Special Education Instruction.
UPDATE: Learning Resources for School Closure in Arkansas
Arkansas AMI is provided through a partnership between Arkansas PBS and DESE. Arkansas PBS will alter daytime programming to provide grade band content. To learn more, please visit Arkansas Alternate Methods of Instruction.
UPDATE: School Health Services COVID-19 School Closure Guidance
The purpose of this guidance is to ensure school personnel have the most up-to-date information for operating school health programming during the COVID-19 outbreak. Please visit School Health Services School Closure Guidance.
Sign Up for Regular Updates on the State's Response to COVID-19
UPDATE: COVID-19 Guidance for Emergency Meal Service and Distribution
To learn what should food service workers and volunteers can do to prevent the spread of coronavirus, go to COVID-19 Guidance for Emergency Meal Service and Distribution. (PDF)
Baylor’s Emergency Meals to You During COVID-19 Guidance
USDA has partnered with Baylor University to offer an alternative method of delivering meals to your students during these unprecedented times. The program is called Emergency Meals-to-You. This program is focused toward districts with rural families, for whom traditional meal service options are a challenge. Districts that want to apply should visit Baylor's Emergency Meals to You Guidance
Additional Resources and Guidance Regarding COVID-19
Status Updates & Guidance on COVID-19 From the Arkansas Department of Health
COVID-19 Health Care Resources
UAMS Health, the Arkansas Department of Health, Arkansas Children’s Hospital, other health care providers and state agencies are working together to address the COVID-19 pandemic in Arkansas. In an effort to decrease possible exposure to patients, hospitals are limiting the numbers of visitors. Arkansans with questions or concerns about possible symptoms are asked to refrain from going directly to the hospital and instead utilize other screening resources available across the state like those found at COVID-19 Health Care Resources
Arkansas Division of Emergency Management (ADEM) COVID-19 Information
UPDATE: UAEX.edu Offers Arkansans Chat Bot for COVID-19
The University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service (UAEX) has created a chat bot to answer any questions Arkansans may have about the COVID-19 pandemic. The bot offers research-based articles with best practices. Visit https://www.uaex.edu
/ and scroll to the bottom of the page. The chat bot is on the right of the UAEX page. (See image).
Frequently Asked Questions About COVID-19
Please visit the CDC's Frequently Asked Questions and Answers page.