At least five school districts have made adjustments in operations this week because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The junior high and high school of Bryant Public Schools shifted to remote learning Friday to give teachers a day to prepare for continued off-site learning until the Christmas holidays should cases continue to increase, said Devin Sherrill, the district's director of communications.
There are 60 active positive cases in the district, which has about 9,400 students and 1,000 staff members, according to the Bryant Public School website, which updates case numbers every Friday.
"We are seeing an increase in the number of positive cases and close contacts on those two campuses," Sherrill said. "This led us to believe we need to do some planning should we come back from Thanksgiving and need to pivot to virtual should our numbers keep increasing."
Bryant Junior High and High School students are scheduled to return to in-class instruction Nov. 30, a Monday.
Sherrill said the district might consider pivoting to remote learning for the rest of the semester if the situation does not improve.
"We will continue to monitor the data to verify that decision," she said, adding that contact tracing has indicated that most positive cases are a result of community spread outside of school, not from within the district.
The Little Rock School District also experienced an increase in cases this week, with the district reporting 12 new positive cases Friday and 67 quarantines. The district logged five new positive cases and 53 quarantines Thursday.
The Little Rock district updates its covid data daily online.
The district announced that basketball practice at Central High School is canceled through Dec. 1.
Magazine School District also announced, in a Facebook post, an off-site learning day Friday "to assist in keeping everyone safe and healthy." Students will not have class next week and will return to school Nov. 30.
C.B. Partee Elementary School, part of the Brinkley School District, pivoted to virtual learning Friday because of teacher absenteeism linked to sickness and a shortage of substitutes, the district said on Facebook. Those students will return to on-site learning the Monday after Thanksgiving break.
The Rose Bud School District also shifted off-site Friday because of covid-19, according to a Facebook post. Students will return Nov. 30.
Arkansas State University in Jonesboro, which has seen a spike in positive cases on campus over the past couple of weeks, reported 73 active cases Friday, a significant decrease from the 125 ASU reported on the same day last week.
As of Friday morning, the University of Arkansas at Little Rock logged 18 active cases on campus.
The University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, reported 111 active cases on campus, with 37 new cases added Thursday, according to the university's website.
Henderson State University in Arkadelphia reported four positive test results among students Friday.
Harding University in Searcy documented 70 positive cases among faculty members and students Thursday, the last day the university updated data online. Harding reports 364 recoveries since Aug. 17.
Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia documented 32 active cases on campus, with three new positive cases Friday. Since July 6, SAU has logged 194 cumulative positive cases.