Melbourne Schools Re-Entry Plan 2020 - 2021

Melbourne Schools

Re-Entry Plan for 2020 – 2021

Melbourne Schools will follow the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) guidelines and the Arkansas Ready for Learning report issued by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education in planning for re-opening in the fall.  We hope the following information helps answer many of the questions you may have about re-opening of schools.

We strive to provide as safe an experience as possible that includes a robust educational experience, with opportunities for social interaction and extra-curricular activities while adhering to guidelines provided by the Arkansas Department of Health.


School will begin on August 24, 2020. 



    • Our traditional blended learning environment, which will be our standard educational option as we move forward in the 2020-2021 school year.  Students who choose the traditional blended learning model will be required to follow all safety regulations established by the district as directed by the Arkansas Department of Health, the Arkansas Department of Education Division of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) and our Governor.
    • This option should not be seen as a preferred model for all students, and families should consider the following, as well as other traits, that are critical to a successful digital learning experience for students. Students should be self-motivated, independent learners, efficient time managers, and strong communicators. Furthermore, we need to ensure that students who choose this option are computer literate, academically prepared, demonstrate a strong personal commitment to their educational future, and have the needed technology to participate in this learning type.
    • Bearkatz Learning Online option allows students in grades k-12 in our community to choose online instruction that is modified, monitored, and designed or approved by our certified staff.
    • The Bearkatz Learning Online is a form of digital learning where content is delivered via the Internet to a digital device by an assigned Melbourne teacher. This learning will allow families to work with our staff to learn on a schedule that best fits their personal needs. Examples of learning include lessons on Google Classroom, email, discussion forums, message boards, pre-recorded videos, etc. Teachers will schedule frequent opportunities to communicate through Google Meet, phone calls, and other media in order to maintain the essential social and emotional development as well as to provide direct academic support for our students
    • The curriculum taught to students in grades K-6 will match the district’s traditional blended learning curriculum as closely as possible. The 7-12 curriculum will be Virtual Arkansas along with Melbourne School District teachers’ curriculum to best match what students in our traditional blended learning environment are receiving. Our desire is for students to progress through Arkansas State Learning Standards whether they are in our traditional blended learning environment or enrolled in the Bearkatz Learning Online.


It is important to note, whether families choose digital or traditional blended-learning, students and families should attempt to complete the entire semester within that learning environment. District staffing will be set based upon student/parent response to digital learning and cannot be easily changed once school begins. However, please know that we will have systems in place to support students in their respective learning environments and intervene as best as possible. If it is in the student’s best academic interest to move from one environment to another, then we will work to ensure they are in the best situation. Parents/guardians must keep in mind that if a student returns to traditional blended learning from the Bearkatz Learning Online, he/she will be placed where a class seat is available.

In order to staff and schedule accordingly, we need to know if you plan to enroll in Bearkatz Learning Online by July 22, 2020 in order to provide the best learning experience for our students.  Applying by July 22nd will also ensure that you are on the enrollment list for courses. If you apply after July 22, 2020, your student may possibly be placed on a waiting list if courses are full.



All students whether in Bearkatz Learning Online or our traditional blended program will participate in our district’s assessment system.

Students will be assessed to determine individual strengths and deficits. These assessments will determine if students need additional support. At the secondary level, missed skills from a previous course will be embedded in the next course in the sequence.  We have curriculum teams working to ensure every student receives a robust education meeting state standards.



Prior to the return of staff and students, CDC Guidance for Reopening Buildings will be followed to create a safe environment. 



Parents will be expected to screen their children using the current screening guidelines from the Arkansas Department of Health prior to entering any school bus or building. 

  • The health screening form is available on the district website 
  • Please do not send your student to school if the answer to any question on the form is “Yes” or if your student has a fever. 
  • Students will need to be fever free for 48 hours, without medication before returning to school.

District staff will be required to complete the same screening and will record responses on a form provided by the District prior to entering any school bus or building.



Melbourne Schools will follow all recommended practices given by ADH.  The appropriate cleaning agents and other sanitizers will be used including hospital-grade disinfectants.

The following additional measures will be in place from the first day of school:

  • Hand sanitizer dispensers have been installed throughout all buildings.
  • Frequent wipe downs of high touch areas.
  • Elementary students will not change classrooms
  • All buildings will be fogged/sanitized nightly.

The following measures will be taken in the event of a positive COVID-19 case:

  • Current CDC guidelines for cleaning and disinfecting when someone is sick will be applied.
  • ADH will be contacted with details about the level of exposure at the school site and a request for guidance will be made.



Providing safe access to clean water for hydration is essential to maximizing readiness for learning in our schools.

  • Standard push bar/push button water fountains will not be accessible. 
  • 2 touchless water bottle fillers on site at the elementary campus.
  • 4 touchless water bottle fillers on site at the high school campus.  (HS, Gym, Fieldhouse)
  •  Students will bring water bottles from home and refill at the touchless bottle filler stations.
  • Parents please label your students’ water bottle.


  • Elementary students will have outdoor recess when the weather is appropriate.
  • Playground equipment will be cleaned and disinfected before use and between uses.


Persons must be prohibited from entering the school except:

  • School or District staff,
  • Students enrolled at the school,
  • Parents picking up ill or injured students, and
  • Professionals providing necessary services to students and staff.

Temperature screenings will be performed on those individuals permitted in the facility.

**No lunch deliveries or lunch visitors or volunteers will be allowed at this time.


Classrooms will be arranged to provide more space between students when possible.  That might mean all desks are arranged in rows facing in a single direction.  We will make every effort to provide distance but not limit students’ ability to interact and communicate with others in their classroom. 



We are currently designing a modified version of our open houses and will be sending more information soon. 




Melbourne Schools will follow the ADH guidelines concerning face masks.  Currently, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) is recommending face coverings for all students and staff including children under the age of 10 when appropriate.    We are strongly recommending face coverings when physical distancing cannot be achieved particularly on school buses.  Students and staff with health issues and special needs will not be asked to wear face coverings.   Students will be highly encouraged to wear face coverings in areas with a high concentration of students where social distancing cannot be maintained.   In the event we have an increase in the number of positive cases, face coverings could be required.

  • Melbourne Schools will supply 3 cloth masks for students.
  • All face coverings should cover both the mouth and nose at all times in order to be effective. 
  • Physical distancing will be practiced when feasible.
  • Face coverings are highly recommended in the student union, hallways, and at your lockers.


  • Students should wear masks on the bus. 
  • Buses will be fogged/sanitized daily.
  • Hand sanitizer will be available for student use on the buses.
  • Bus schedules or stops have not been changed.


  • The school day will operate as normal as possible with all classes implementing ADH and ADE guidance.
  • Cafeterias and other common areas will operate at the capacity guidance provided by ADH to maximize physical distancing as feasible.
  • We plan for students to attend school daily following a very similar schedule to the traditional school day.


Students will be sent home if their temperature is above the allowed limit in ADH guidance.  A designated area will be used to separate any student who becomes sick.  The student will need to be fever free for 48 hours without medication prior to returning to school. 



Implementation of some guidelines will vary depending on the building.  Principals will consider each item below, and post building-specific plans, maps, and schedules.

  • Hallway Traffic
    • Travel in hallways will be reviewed and modified to maximize physical distancing where feasible.
  • Drop-off/Pickup
    • Drop-off and pickup procedures will be reviewed and might be modified to maximize physical distancing.
    • All parents will remain outside of the buildings except under extenuating circumstances, such as an ill or injured student.  Parents must be screened before entry to the building.
  • Other Operations
    • Consider rotating teachers rather than students.
    • When congregating, face coverings are highly recommended.
    • All other large group gatherings will follow current ADH guidelines, be modified, or cancelled. 
      • Decisions regarding the structure or cancellation of large group gatherings will be made at the District level.