Newport extends virtual learning, closes 2 elementary classrooms

Virtual learning to continue at area school

NEWPORT, Ark. (KAIT) - A week after announcing it would pivot to virtual learning after recording several positive COVID-19 cases in its sixth-grade building, the Newport School District announced Wednesday it would keep the building closed through this week.

On Sept. 30, school administrators announced students would work from home while janitors deep cleaned the entire building. The original plan was for students to return to on-site learning the following Monday.

By Friday, Oct. 2, the district announced that virtual learning would continue until Wednesday, Oct. 7.

“This is a precautionary measure,” the district stated at the time. “If your child was a close contact with the person that tested positive you will be contacted with further instructions about quarantine.”

On Wednesday, Oct. 7, Superintendent Brett Bunch announced that while they have taken “necessary steps to sanitize the building,” it will remain closed and students will continue virtual learning until at least Monday, Oct. 12.

“The majority of those tested or in close contact will be off quarantine by Monday,” he stated. “So, we will resume regular classroom instruction on Monday, Oct. 12.”

Bunch added that after consulting with the state, they have closed two classrooms at the elementary school and have sent home several people from the 7-12 grades who were close contacts.

“We continue to monitor our students and are taking temperatures three times a day throughout the day,” Bunch said.

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