School administrators prepare for return of students - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Paragould, AR -- Lauren Payne Reports

School administrators prepare for return of students

By Lauren Payne - bio | email feedback

Jonesboro, AR (KAIT) - Kindergarten teacher Kathy Rowe is putting the finishing touches on her classroom.

"It is crunch time.   We have to be ready by the 19th because the kids are coming whether we're ready or not so we really take that extra effort to make sure that we are," said Woodrow Wilson Principal, Michael Allen.

Part of getting ready is making sure the students have everything they need to be ready for the first day of school.  Unavoidable budgets cuts for some families may mean fewer supplies--but Allen urges parents not to worry.

"We're committed that whether students can have those supplies or not they're not going to be without supplies," said Allen.

"Our board made the commitment several years ago to buy the supplies for kindergarten and first grade," said Walnut Ridge Superintendent, Terry Belcher.

With that, in addition to private donations and community support, Belcher says no child will go without.

"We're going to  try to keep the desks clean, the door knobs clean, the bathrooms clean the best we can," said Belcher.

Belcher says Walnut Ridge is one of the few school districts that had a child with a confirmed case of swine flu last school year. He says they are cleaning and disinfecting now, and that will continue through the school year.  With the threat of swine flu still on the radar for districts around the country, and in light of last school year's case in Walnut Ridge, Belcher says they're covering all of their bases.

"It's just a checklist, and making sure we double check the list so that we can do all we can to prevent that," said Belcher.

"We want to be proactive and make sure that we're doing our best to stem the tide of what may come," said Allen. 

Allen says part of being proactive is making sure the kids know how important it is to wash their hands, and making sure the things they touch are clean as well.

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