Hope Public Schools Extends COVID-19 Pivot

By Ken McLemore/Hope Public Schools, 01/7/22 1:15 AM

HOPE – Based upon guidance from the Arkansas Department of Health and the Arkansas Department of Education (Division of Elementary and Secondary Education), the Hope Public Schools announced today the extension of its pivot to virtual instruction through Wednesday, Jan. 12.

“Based on current trends, we will continue the instructional pivot through Wednesday of next week. Students will return to school for face-to-face instruction beginning Thursday, Jan. 13, 2022,” HPS Superintendent Dr. Jonathan Crossley announced.

Dr. Crossley said the pivot period will be used to monitor impact numbers and he outlined guidance regarding vaccination and vaccination boosting that will apply beginning Jan. 12.

“If you have not received a booster shot for COVID-19, you will need to receive a booster to be considered fully vaccinated,” he said.

Maximum effectiveness timelines to receive a booster after initial vaccination vary as follows: Moderna, six months; Pfizer, five months; and, Johnson and Johnson, two months.

“The booster shot will allow the quarantine timeline to be 5 days instead of 7, 10 or 14 days,” Crossley said. “As the ADH discussed with us today, there is a distinct difference in the effects of the COVID-19 Omicron variant between boosted and un-boosted persons.”

Crossley said additional guidance includes:

●      If a staff member or student tests positive for COVID-19, a 10-day isolation period will be applied.

●      If both parties are wearing a mask, exposed individuals do not have to quarantine. This highlights the importance of wearing masks correctly.

●      Any student or staff member who has been quarantined on, or before, January 7, 2022, is eligible to return to class on January 13, 2022. This applies only to quarantined individuals.

The Bobcat Clinic will host a COVID-19 vaccination clinic for HPS students ages 5 years and older on Jan. 12.  Students must register with the Bobcat Clinic and a completed registration packet is required prior to vaccination, according to Bobcat Clinic Director Gretchen Carlton.

A vaccination consent form must also be completed prior to vaccination, Carlton said.

Vaccination appointments may be arranged by calling 870-722-2733, option 2, during regular clinic hours.

Student meals for the extended pivot period will be available Monday, Jan. 10, in the bus line at Yerger Middle School from 12-2 p.m.

“If your child has COVID-19 symptoms, please keep them home,” Crossley said. “If you are exposed to COVID-19 and are required to quarantine, please stay home. This will allow us to combat rising numbers in our district.”