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Arkansas teachers express concern of returning to school as COVID-19 cases rise

"Parents don't know, teachers don't know. No one really knows what to expect,” said Jennifer Almond, assistant principal at Benton’s Caldwell Elementary School.

BENTON, Ark. — Just 34 days from the start of school, educators are getting ready to head back to the classroom while facing the unknown.

"Parents don't know, teachers don't know. No one really knows what to expect,” said Jennifer Almond, assistant principal at Benton’s Caldwell Elementary School.

Though districts are working hard to safely get students back into the classroom, anxious thoughts only grow for educators like Almond.

One concern is how they will function within a school while Covid-19 cases are on the rise

"It's the anxiety that goes along with that unknown and what that's going to be like for everyone,” said Almond.

Some are eager to get back into a routine.

RELATED: Arkansas pediatrics group says it can't support statewide return to school

Ringgold Elementary 4th grade teacher Lacee Glidewell returned to her classroom Monday for the first time since March 12, when schools across the state abruptly closed its doors.

"My calendar was the same the day I left,” said Glidewell. 

“I didn't even change my desk calendar yesterday because I really wanted to remember and use that to fuel this year for us to not take advantage of us having our kids in the classroom for those who are able to come."

Glidewell is confident with Benton's newest COVID-19 measures that everyone will be safe.

The district has installed hand sanitizer stations in classrooms, ordered PPE for all students and staff.

"We are talking about adjusting schedules so things are staggered so kids aren't all in the hallway at the same time,” said Glidewell.

RELATED: 'Safe schools or no school': LREA demands full virtual learning until coronavirus cases decline

Despite concerns some may have, Almond refuses to let her worries get the best of her.  

“We are working really hard to make sure we are ready to go at the best of our abilities,” said Almond.

“We will handle one day at a time, one situation at a time. I still plan to be at the doors with my mask on greeting kids and parents making sure they feel welcomed when they walk in our doors and that they feel loved throughout the day."

These feelings of uncertainty come from all parts of the state.

The Pulaski County Special School District said Tuesday, it's in open communication with teachers who have concerns. 

Administrators there are doing what they can do to ease those worries.