Arkansas Schools Change Schedules

On Oct. 2, the Arkansas Democrat Gazette reported that starting Oct. 12 the Jacksonville/North Pulaski School District will dedicate Mondays as a virtual day for students in sixth grade through the senior class. They plan on keeping this schedule until the end of January and reassessing then. 

According to the article, the district says this is because of the concerns for their teachers and their heavy workload because of the mix of virtual learning and in-person learning. These Mondays are to allow teachers to get caught up and plan accordingly for the upcoming week. 

Parents were given the option to allow their students to learn from home on these Mondays or attend on campus. All instruction whether in person or at home will be provided virtually for the students. 

On these virtual Mondays, teachers do not teach any new lessons, so students can get caught up on any missing or upcoming assignments. 

In Conway and in Fayetteville, similar action has been taken to allow virtual days on Friday. 

North Little Rock School District and Benton School District have been approved to incorporate virtual days on Fridays later in the month of October. These virtual Fridays will begin on Oct. 16 for Benton schools and on Oct. 23 for NLR schools.  

These school districts hope to lighten the load for their teachers and offer students some time off. 

After observing these other districts to see how this works for them, it is possible schools all around Arkansas might begin to implement similar types of learning days into their own schedules. 

The Tiger News Instagram asked students how they would feel about adding one of these virtual days once a week and it was an overwhelming yes from those that took the survey. 

“That would be great, especially since teachers are constantly posting assignments,” sophomore Ta’Miyah Williams said.

The health benefits of a day away from campus were noticed by students as well. 

“I think having Wednesday as a virtual day would make a lot of sense for sanitization and all,” junior Amelia Johnson said. 

On Friday, Oct. 2, the Little Rock School District announced that they would put into place their own adjusted schedule. Every Wednesday his semester the school day will be shortened and students will get out at 1:15. The district will evaluate at the end of the semester and adjust the plan if needed. 

Junior Mary Clark Allen is happy about the new schedule change. She wants to use this extra time to get homework and reading done for her classes.

“I’m kind of excited because I think we all need some time during the week to catch up,” Allen said. 

Other students responded to the Tiger Instagram and said that they would be sleeping, catching up on homework, and studying.