It's official, Arkansas public schools will begin the 2020-2021 school year the week of  August 24. The school year was originally planned to being August 13 but Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced during his daily press conference that school will be delayed almost two weeks and will begin August 24 and no later than August 26.

Gov. Hutchinson said the change in date is to give the school districts more time to prepare. State education officials will work with local districts on health and safety in dealing with COVID-19

Arkansas Education Secretary Johnny Key said the delay will also give more time to plan for social distancing, teacher training and to acquire personal protective.

The Arkansas Governor also talked about the response levels for on-site learning. According to

The first is a limited response, which is limited or no closure needed, contact tracing and a 14-day quarantine initiated.

The second level is moderate response,- in the event of a moderate spread of the virus and may require building dismissal or the possibility of staggered schedules and encourage alternative transportation.

The last level is critical response - this would mean there is a substantial spread of the virus. There would be an extended period of building dismissal. District closure will be determined in conjunction with ADH and ADE.  Officials will restrict on-site access and remote learning would go into effect.

The response levels for on-site learning will be released to local school districts for guidance and feedback.

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