Masks, social distancing, and sanitizing to be part of Monday’s reopening of local schools


As Arkansas schools prepare for Monday’s reopening, representatives from two area districts shared with White River Now some of their plans to keep students and staff safe during the coronavirus pandemic.

Stacey Lindsey, the new principal at Batesville High School, told White River Now’s Gary Bridgman her campus is instituting a number of changes, including social distancing and masks.

In the classrooms, desks will be spaced apart, hand sanitizer stations will be mounted on the wall, and each room will be equipped with disinfectant spray. Tables in the cafeteria and commons area will also be disinfected and spaced apart in a socially distant manner. And every BHS student will be required to wear a mask, Lindsey said.

Students are also encouraged to bring a full water bottle in the morning because the water fountains will remain off for sanitary purposes. Lindsey said there will opportunities to refill the bottles throughout the day.

“We are gonna try to keep every child safe and every staff member on ‘the hill,” Lindsey said.

Similar changes will be a part of Monday’s reopening south of the river, as well.

“We have plans in place, and we know that we’re going to have to make adjustments along the way, so we just ask our parents, patrons, and guardians to be patient with us,” said Southside Superintendent Roger Rich.

Rich said the elementary campus will have a staggered start due to traffic, and kindergarten students will arrive at 8:15 a.m.

And Rich said that while the Southerner tradition of welcoming visitors has been a tradition, access to district campuses will be restricted until state guidelines are relaxed.

Both administrators told White River Now they welcome questions to their offices regarding the changes. Lindsey can be reached at (870) 793-6846. Rich can be reached at (870) 251-2341.

White River Now News Team

Get up-to-date local and regional news along with the latest sports and weather every weekday morning by listening to Gary B. on Ozark Newsline, broadcast from the First Community Bank Newsroom on Arkansas 103.3. White River Now updates are also aired weekday mornings on 93 KZLEOutlaw 106.5, and yourfm 99.5. Have a news tip or event to promote? Email White River Now at Be sure to like and follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Add don’t forget to download the White River Now mobile app from the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store.

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