HPS maps next steps during closure

HOPE – Meeting by video conference Thursday, the administrative leadership of the Hope Public Schools established the next steps for the Hope district in response to the mandatory closure of public schools in Arkansas resulting from the COVID-19 illness.

HPS Superintendent Dr. Bobby Hart emphasized the need for administrators, principals, teachers, students and parents to stay connected during the extended closure.

“Our district is trying hard to keep in contact with students,” Hart said. “All of our buildings have AMI packets in place for future days beginning March 30.”

Plans were mapped out for the distribution of Alternative Method of Instruction materials for students during the next phase of the closure. Each of the five campuses in the district will announce their plan prior to the end of the 10-day period for which AMI packets were already prepared when classes were dismissed on March 16.

Hart said the packets did not include AMI days for the Spring Break holiday, March 23-27, which were not class attendance days.

Report cards for the third academic quarter will be mailed to students on March 31.

Hart said services for Special Education will be delivered online where possible, and he urged parents to contact the campus principal where their student attends for guidance.

“We hope all parents and students are staying healthy and we look forward to seeing each of you upon our return to ‘normal,’” Hart said. “Please feel free to email your child’s teacher, principal or me if we may serve you in any way.”

BOBCAT CLINIC

The Bobcat Clinic on the Hope High School campus will re-open Monday and maintain regular hours; but, the staff will only admit patients after a pre-screening, Clinic Director Gretchen Carlton said.

“We will be open Monday-Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.,” Carlton said. “We will continue following the Arkansas Department of Health recommendations and CDC guidelines. All staff, visitors, and patients will be screened upon arrival at the clinic. The door will remain locked to ensure no-one comes in without proper screening.”

She said patients should call prior to arriving at the high school campus

“This will allow the staff to perform telephone screening, as well as help limit the number of people in the clinic at any one time,” Carlton said.

Appointments should be made by calling 870-722-2733, option 2, to speak with a receptionist.

Carlton said a plan for offering “telemedicine” services is also being developed to begin operations March 30.

“This will be an option for patients to talk with the nurse practitioner without leaving their home,” Carlton said.

Eligibility guidelines include:

--Patients must have been established patients of NP Kristin Price with at least one face-to-face visit at the Bobcat Clinic.

--NP Kristin Price must be the “primary care physician” for the patient.

--Patients must have a phone or computer with either text/video or valid email/video option available.

“Patients will be told whether they are a candidate for ‘telehealth’ visits when they call the clinic for an appointment,” Carlton said.

CAMPUS PHONES

A telephone message forwarding system will be put into place for telephone calls to all HPS campuses that will instruct the caller to leave a voice message which will be automatically forwarded to the email of the person to receive the call. All telephone calls to the main offices of each campus will be handled in this manner, Hart said.

He said each campus telephone system is equipped with a call directory of all campus personnel which callers who do not know the extension number of the person they wish to contact should use. Once the caller has connected to the campus extension for the person they wish to contact, the caller should leave a voice message.

MEALS services

The HPS and Aramark Food Services have provided some 5,630 free “grab and go” breakfast/lunch meals for Hempstead County children ages 18 and under since the beginning of the mandatory school closing.

Aramark Food Services Director Cortney Nutt and HPS Nutrition Director Deanna Gilbert announced a new schedule for the free meals, which will be delivered to pickup sites by HPS school buses on Mondays and Wednesdays.

“Monday drop off will be two days of breakfast and lunch meals for each child,” Nutt said. “Wednesday drop off will be three days of breakfast and lunch meals for each child.”

Families may pick up meals at any site regardless of the HPS campus their student attends, Nutt said. She said meals will continue to be provided at the Clinton Primary School campus bus drive from noon to 1 p.m. on Monday and Wednesday.

“Families will need to remain in their vehicle as they drive up to pickup meals,” she said. “Children must be present to receive meals.”

The new schedule bus bus includes:

Bus 1 – Fulton City Park, 11 a.m.; Hope In Action, 11:35-11:50 a.m.; Caney Creek Estates office, 11:55 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.; Mockingbird Circle, 12:20 -12:35 p.m.; Hope Fair Park, 12:40 – 1 p.m.

Bus 2 – Patmos Fire Station, 11 a.m.; Yerger Middle School, 11:45 a.m. – 12:05 p.m.; Yerger Terrace, 12:10 – 12:25 p.m.; Peaks Apartments, 12:30 – 12:40 p.m.; South View Apartments, 12:45 – 1 p.m.

Bus 3 – Hope Amandex Apartments, 11 a.m.; Calvary Baptist Church, 11:25 – 11:40 a.m.; Rising Star Baptist Church, 11:55 a.m. – 1:05 p.m.; Life House Church, 12:15 – 12:35 p.m.

A printable version of the schedule will also be provided online at each campus website and Facebook page.

HAPS acceptances

April is typically the acceptance month for new students at Hope Academy of Public Service. HAPS Principal Dr. Carol Ann Duke said those acceptances will still be received by the school.

“Regarding the return of your letter of acceptance, you may either mail the letter to the school at 601 W. Sixth Street, Hope, Arkansas, or email your reply to me at carolann.duke@hpsdistrict.org online,” Duke said.

The new student/parent orientation for new 2020-2021 academic year students originally set for April 7 has been postponed, she said.

“Please continue to watch social media and other news outlets for more information,” Duke said. “We appreciate your continued support. Do no hesitate to contact me with comments or questions.”