Parent update from Supt. Bobby Ashley (updated)
David Cooke
Tuesday, April 07, 2020

Parent Update from Superintendent Ashley, April 7, 2020: 

As you have already heard the Governor has announced that school will be online only for the rest of the 2019-2020 school year.  Please know our teachers miss their students and they are eager to see them again! So many have expressed their sadness at not being able to greet and work with your kids face to face.  They have been reaching out in a variety of ways and will keep doing so. We are working on plans for our seniors, kindergarten and other groups that have had to miss important events such as graduation as soon as it is safe to do so and will update you through our district and school websites and Facebook pages. 

It is our goal to meet the needs of all of our students, those that have access to internet, as well as those that do not, those that have access to transportation, as well as those that do not, and those who have parents that work, as well as those that are not able to work during this time. We want to do our best to meet the needs of all of our students and we realize this will take time; we will have to change our plans, we will have to utilize multiple options, and we will have to be understanding of the many different situations our families are being faced with each day. With that being said, our plan (as it currently stands) is as follows:

AMI Work Update:

Students should already have AMI work through AMI Day 15, which is Friday, April 10, 2020.  If your student needs this previously passed out work, please call your school office, and as always if you have questions about the work contact your child's teacher.

AMI work for the remaining days until the end of the school year will be ready as follows:

  • Primary- Packets for each week will be ready for pick-up in person at the school Monday and Wednesday from 9:00-3:00 and Friday from 9:00-12:00 and can be accessed online on the Primary School’s website and Facebook page each week.

  • Elementary- Packets for each week will be ready for pick-up in person at the school Monday and Wednesday from 9:00-3:00 and Friday from 9:00-12:00 and can be accessed online on the Elementary School’s website, Facebook page, and Twitter each week.

  • Middle- Students were emailed all AMI assignments and paper packets can be picked up in person outside the middle school lobby. 

  • High School- Students have access to all assignments through Echo on their computers and will be emailed updates regularly.  New information can be accessed by following the BHS Facebook page.  

  • Chickasaw Academy ALE- 3rd-5th grade students will get their packets from Mrs. Dawson at the elementary school and should contact her for information.  6th-8th grade students can pick up a packet at the middle school lobby and have been emailed as well. 9th-12th grade students have access through Echo on their computers and are emailed updates.  Anyone who does not have access to a computer in 9-12 should contact Mrs. Walling or Mr. Miller.  

  • For great additional extension work to keep your child engaged in the learning process the Arkansas PBS stations are showing AMI lessons and programming Monday through Friday. This is available on cable, satellite, YouTube TV, Apple TV, and Roku. You can find out more information on how to access these great programs at https://www.myarkansaspbs.org/onair/channelinformation and there is a new app called Engage PBS Arkansas that gives you additional access.  

Having trouble getting the shows on your TV?  Technical staff are available to help.

 *  Email: info@myarkansaspbs.org

 *  Phone Number:  501-682-2386

 

Meal Service:

A breakfast and a hot lunch are being handed out each day from 10:30am-12:30pm at the Primary, Middle and High School Cafeteria entrance. Meals are for your child, age 0-18, but can be picked up by a parent or relative. Starting on April 20th the meals will be given out on Mondays and Wednesdays only, but you will be given two days worth of meals on Mondays and three days worth of meals on Wednesdays. 

We are following safety recommendations such as gloves, masks, daily temperature checks/screening of employees, etc, when preparing and serving food at our drive-up location.

 

Internet/Device Needs: 

If you need internet access for the work at BHS and do not have Internet access at home, there are several locations around the district and town with free Wi-Fi access. 

  • Blytheville Elementary School: Parking lot in front of the 5th grade building. School-issued devices should automatically connect.

  • Blytheville Middle School: Front of building parking lot. School-issued devices should automatically connect.

  • Blytheville High School: The parking lot to the south of the front entrance. This is normally where teachers park. Also, the parking lot between the cafeteria and main building.

  • Blytheville Administration Building: The rear parking lot closest to the building.

  • Haley Field: The home side bleachers.

  • The downtown area: Ritter Communications has put several Wi-Fi access points throughout Main St. for free public access.

Again, keep in mind that online instruction is a learning process for many teachers as well as students. It will continue to evolve and may not work for everyone. Communicate with your teacher and/or building principal if you need something different. Those that have been able to meet online with their students in some capacity have found it very rewarding for both the teacher and the student but it is simply not an option for everyone.

 

 

Friday, April 10th District Holiday:

Friday, April 10, was a previously scheduled district holiday on our school calendar. The school and district offices will be closed on Friday.

Student/Teacher Contact:

Teachers are reaching out to students and parents to communicate via phone, email, regular mail, and through platforms like Zoom and Facebook.

Students in grades 6-12 have email capabilities and teachers, counselors and principals are reaching out to them that way. Email is not regularly used by some of our Middle School students, so (again) reach out to the school for help with passwords, logging in, etc. if this is an option for your child.

Seniors:

• Seniors are receiving email communication from Ms. Parker to help with scholarships and other resources, so checking email regularly is important. Seniors who are not in good standing should be contacted by BHS and MUST complete the requirements they provide in order to graduate. 

• Seniors must complete their AMI work until they receive a letter from the high school, Ms. Blankenship, and Ms. Parker to meet the requirements for graduation for Blytheville School District. If you are enrolled in a college class you must complete it for college credit. Ms. Parker also will provide you with additional information for AP classes and the possibility of taking your final AP exam from home. 

Communication:

• The administrative leadership team continues to receive updates and communication daily from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) about how to proceed with instruction and support our students and families. We will continue to update our community through our website, social media and all call systems as new directions from Governor Hutchinson and DESE are issued.

• Even though our offices are closed to visitors, we are monitoring email and we have office phones forwarded to mobile phones when off campus during the day.

My apologies for the length of this letter. It is an attempt on our part to keep everyone as informed as possible. We are blessed to live in a community that is supportive of our school system. It has been said that it takes a village to educate a child and I believe that this statement has never been truer than it is today. We will get through this together and be stronger for it. It has truly been a blessing to witness staff working together to provide meaningful instruction for our students. We love our community, we miss our children, and we look forward to the day when we can return to normal operations and get to physically see our students every day.

Bobby Ashley, Superintendent