HOPE – The Hope Public Schools will be ready to welcome students Back to School for the 2020-2021 academic year on Aug. 24 both on campus and online.
“We have been planning our return to school since April and we can’t wait to get started,” HPS Superintendent Dr. Bobby Hart said.
Innovative planning for the return to general instruction both on campus and via the HPS Hope from Home Virtual Academy has been ongoing in response to the COVID-19 crisis, Hart said.
“Whether on-site or virtual, we are glad you have chosen us and we want to help your reach all of your goals,” he said. “Our desire is that you have the best school year yet, and we believe we have put things into place that will make that happen.”
Consequently, when HPS students arrive on campus or log-in online on Aug. 24, there are a number of things all students in the district can expect on the first day of school.
--Face masks will be worn by all students, faculty and staff during the school day on school buses and on campus. All students, faculty and staff are to be issued three cloth face masks by the end of the first day of school.
--Social distancing under the Arkansas Department of Health/CDC guideline of 6-feet apart is to be observed during all class transitions on campus.
--All students, faculty and staff will undergo temperature screening upon entry into campus buildings.
--All students have been issued school supplies and electronic devices required for their classes, whether on campus or online. Supplies and devices should not be shared.
--Breakfast and lunch meals will be provided for all students, both in virtual and on-campus settings, in the manner prescribed by district guidelines. Some students will take meals in classrooms and others will eat in the campus cafeteria. No meals may be brought to school from off-campus.
First day of school and campus information videos for HPS campuses have been posted on campus websites at www.hpsdistrict.org online. Click the “Schools” option in the toolbar of the district website for campus choices.
Students riding HPS buses will be required to observe specific rules riding to and from campus, including:
At the bus stop: Social distancing 6 feet apart; each rider should wear a face covering.
At the bus door: Use hand sanitizer provided before boarding.
Go to your seat:
>Take the open seat in rear of bus farthest from the front door.
>The Bus Driver will eventually assign seats for the year.
>The seating chart for your bus will be followed all year.
>New riders will be assigned seats as “practical and feasible.”
4. While riding the bus:
>Wear face covering the entire time.
>Keep your hands to yourself.
>Practice social distancing by staying in your assigned seat.
5. Arrive at school:
>Bus unloads one seat at a time from the front.
>Stay in your assigned seat until your turn to get off the bus.
>Wear your face covering while getting off the bus.
>Go from the bus to your assigned building entrance.
6. Returning home: Follow rules 1-5 to go home.
HPS Facilities and Transportation Director Maurice Henry asks parents to join the HPS in assuring the safety of each student.
“We ask that parents be aware their students are getting used to the COVID-19 guidelines,” Henry said.
He said the district will work to provide timely information, but use of the Here Comes the Bus online application may be delayed because of changes in the first week of school.
“We will try to keep parents updated about bus routes through our social media,” Henry said.
He asked parents to remind students about face masks, social distancing, keeping hands free rules, and arriving at the bus stop early.
“If they could arrive five or ten minutes early that would be good because differences in the number of students on their bus may mean it arrives earlier,” Henry said.
A series of videos posted on the district and each campus websites is available for tutorial and other information regarding use of software for the Hope from Home Virtual Academy.
The video links package offers five groups of videos, including:
--Grade level informational videos about the Lincoln Learning virtual application students will use for academic work.
--Student “help” video for Lincoln Learning and assistance video on BUZZ.
--“How to” videos on navigation of BUZZ, locating courses and features for students.
--Course content videos on key course navigation points.
--Course assessment videos.
The video links and information are available at www.hpsdistrict.org in the News section of the website, and were posted Aug. 11 and 12. The information is also available on the district and each campus Facebook pages.
All HPS facilities and buses have been cleaned, disinfected and treated for both sanitary and anti-pathogen protection. The district contracted with Ecovasive Arkansas Infection Control to treat all 600,000-square feet of facilities space and 40 school buses. Facilities and buses will continue to be sanitized based upon Arkansas Department of Health and CDC guidelines.
The Bobcat Clinic on the Hope High School campus will be open from 8-11 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday during the school year. HPS students who are registered patients may fulfill required health immunizations through the clinic.
All HPS students, whether attending school on campus or online, must meet Arkansas Department of Health immunization requirements for enrollment in school. Required immunization information is available on the HPS and campus websites at www.hpsdistrict.org online.
All visitors to the Bobcat Clinic will be temperature screened at the clinic entrance on 18th Street. COVID-19 testing patients should call the clinic from their vehicle, and a staff member will perform the test at the vehicle.
Contact the Bobcat Clinic for appointments at 870-722-2733, option 2.
The HHS Bobcats have begun pre-season workouts under guidance from the Arkansas Activities Association with an eye toward playing a full schedule, according to Head Coach Phillip Turner. However, tickets to Bobcat home games seating will be limited based upon Arkansas Department of Health/AAA guidance. There will be no reserved seating. Ticket information will be announced prior to the ‘Cats home opener against Nashville on Sept. 4 at Hammons Stadium. HHS has one non-conference game scheduled Aug. 28 against Little Rock Hall in Little Rock.
BACK TO SCHOOL QUESTIONS
Campus contact information for back to school questions includes:
--Clinton Primary School, 870-722-2723.
--Beryl Henry Elementary School, 870-777-6222.
--Hope Academy of Public Service, 870-777-3454.
--Yerger Middle School, 870-722-2781.
--Hope High School, 870-777-3451.
Frequently Asked Questions regarding the return to classes may be found in the “Hope United: A Plan for Education” document on the HPS website.