Breaking News
More () »

New COVID-19 guidelines lead Arkansas schools to plan for future

Schools are deciding what changes they need to make, as well as if they're going to move forward with prom and graduation now that they have more flexibility.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark — With Governor Asa Hutchinson converting public health directives to guidances on Friday, not much changes for Arkansas public schools.

Come next week, your child will still head to school with a mask on and they'll continue to social distance inside their classroom.

The mask mandate is still in place for at least 30 more days.

RELATED: Gov. Hutchinson extends COVID-19 mask mandate for 30 days

"The requirements for quarantine are still in place. We know wearing a mask and social distancing help to ensure students are not going to have to quarantine and there won't have to be disruptions in learning,” said Ivy Pfeffer, deputy commissioner with the Department of Education.

After districts learned of the governor's public health directive-to-guidance update, most will soon determine if they move forward with prom and graduation now that they have more flexibility.

"We still expect that districts pay very close attention to that guidance for things like requirements for quarantine if students are not socially distanced or if they aren't wearing masks,” said Pfeffer.

On Friday, multiple districts released statements regarding the governor's announcement as many of them learned of the changes alongside the general public.

Cabot Public Schools asked for patience as they work to figure out how it will impact schools, Bryant Schools said they will work to determine if changes need to be made, and any proposed changes will go to the school board.

Just moments after the governor spoke, Bauxite School District announced they will host a prom.

RELATED: Bauxite schools end virtual Fridays, encourages all students to get back to in-class learning

The Department of Education praised districts statewide for their work to stop the spread of COVID-19.

They only hope with these adjustments that they'll continue doing the right thing.

"If there is an outbreak, then that will cause more disruption. And in the end, it's going to potentially cause us to pull back on the flexibility that's been given,” said Pfeffer.

The Arkansas Activities Association said they will continue to follow previous directives, so this means high school sporting events remain the same for now.