FOLEY – Foley students are returning to the classroom this fall – with conditions.

The I.S.D. 51 School Board Monday approved starting the school year with in-person learning for all grade levels. Superintendent Paul Neubauer says in-person learning is the recommended model based on Benton County’s current 14-day COVID-19 case numbers.

Neubauer says a wide range of measures will be taken to keep school facilities clean and encourage social distancing:

  • All students and staff will wear masks and remain six feet apart from one another.
  • Classrooms will be reconfigured so all students will face the same direction.
  • Teachers will be able to rotate small groups of students into temporary “satellite areas” in the event a classroom isn’t able to offer adequate social distancing.
  • Students will also outside when possible.
  • Buildings will be frequently cleaned and disinfected.

Neubauer says school officials will try to give families as much lead time as possible should the district switch to distance learning due to a spike in Benton County COVID-19 cases.

“We will be monitoring the data closely so there are no surprises,” he said. “We want our families to know ahead of time.”

The school year for Foley students begins Sept. 8.