PARAGOULD, Ark. (KAIT) - One of the first schools in Region 8 opened their doors Thursday, beginning the new school year.
It was the first time students returned to Crowley’s Ridge Academy since March 17.
The school expects the students in grades K-12 to social distance. Grades four and up will be required to wear a face mask or face covering.
The private school worked effortlessly over the break to prepare for students.
“Our school is like any other school, public or private, this whole thing has really shaken to the core what we do,” administrator Terry Austin said. “We’ve had to rebuild on the fly lots of protocols, policies, procedures just on how we will do school.”
Custodians have done extra cleaning and sanitizing. Grant opportunities allowed the school to purchase a fogging machine that sprays areas with disinfectants.
Austin said the buses will be disinfected twice a day and cleaners will be made available throughout the day to classes.
“We’re going to do as we always have, the best we can to take care of the children. That may mean we pivot on the fly to something that suits their needs better and keeps them safer and healthier,” he said. “As long as they’re on this campus, we’re going to do everything we can in our power to make sure they’re safe, cared for, and loved and make sure their school experience is as normal as possible.”
All of the preparations are in an effort to keep COVID-19 out of the school.
Austin said the school could not resume without the hard work of the faculty and staff.
“Everyone has picked up and taken on extra burdens because they know that it’s important. They know that we have to do these things to be ready to have a school here,” he said. “I want to thank them, all of them, personally, for that.”
On Thursday, school nurse Leigh Ann Taylor said she was ready to see the children.
“My hope for the school year is that we can stay in school. We love school, our children love school,” Taylor said.
Taylor said the main goal for the school is to keep the students and everyone safe.