How COVID-19 has affected relationship between BHS staff and students


Different learning options, communication changes, different roles — yes, COVID-19 has affected many aspects of education in Arkansas public schools.

The two assistant principals at Batesville High School, Steven Robertson and Kevin Bledsoe, talked about those changes when they recently visited with White River Now’s Gary Bridgman on the radio program, “Pioneer Update,” sponsored by Citizens Bank.

Bledsoe said the primary roles of principals and assistant principals in the Batesville public school system have changed to meet the needs of students.

“In years past,” Bledsoe said, “our primary roles have dealt with student attendance and student discipline. We’re still dealing with the student attendance side of it although even that aspect has changed. With a good percentage of our kids doing remote learning, we don’t have the school discipline anymore.

“We’re doing a lot of primary communication with families and reaching out to families and students in need of services — so that’s kind of where our roles have changed. We’ve gone from trying to communicate and get kids out of class and talk with them and counsel them to finding them at home and talking with them and counseling them and talking with their families and parents.”

Robertson said, even when it comes to remote learning, parents and students have a choice at BHS.

“We have what we call remote learning, where the student will sign onto the computer and to the teacher’s class, and see that teacher and see the lesson be presented in real-time,” Robertson said. “And then we also have a second option, which is virtual, where they work at their own pace with a program we have called Edgenuity. Then, they can sign into that whenever they have time and log on to do their lessons that way, not through the Batesville High School teachers.”

Bledsoe said every student in grades six through 12 has been issued a Chromebook, a mobile computer to take home or wherever they can access the internet and connect with the school or an app and electronically do their school work.

The assistant principals also said they communicate with the teachers to assist in making sure students don’t “fall through the cracks,” saying they are there to help the student in any way to complete their work.

Listen to the entire edition of “Pioneer Update” featuring Robertson and Bledsoe below.

“Pioneer Update” can be heard each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday morning around 8:50 on Arkansas 103.3 KWOZ and 93 KZLE.

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 Your FM 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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