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    2022-2023 District Support Plan


    August 22, 2022 - Welcome to the 2022-2023 school year.  With the new school year comes changes to the COVID -19 protocols.

    The Fort Smith Public School District remains committed to the reduction of communicable diseases spreading on school campuses.

    • One of the most important things that FSPS will continue to do is practice high level cleaning protocols designed with CDC guidance to disinfect buildings, classrooms and touch points daily.
    • Individuals may choose to mask at any time although it is not mandatory.
    • The student health guidelines outlined in the 2022-2023 Student Handbook will be followed.  Students with communicable diseases (including COVID-19) that could be transmitted in a school environment should not attend school to diminish the spread of their condition to others.


    If a student or staff member tests positive for COVID -19, please refer to the current Arkansas Department of Health guidance.


    Additional information can be found on the CDC website including the Isolation Calculator.



    We are not currently reporting COVID 19 positive cases through the school nurses or district Point of Contact (POC) since this is not an Arkansas Department of Health state mandate.

    Ready for learning 2021-2022

    This page will provide new updates as we plan for safe continuation of in-person learning and continuity of services under the district's Ready for Learning Plan. For more information, please visit the Arkansas Division of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) End-of-Year COVID-19 Guidance for Schools or view/download the End-of-Year COVID-19 Guidance for Schools PDF.


    District Mask Policy Ends May 28

    The Board voted on Monday, May 24, at its regularly scheduled Board Meeting, to end the current district mask mandate effective at the end of the school day on Friday, May 28. Beginning Tuesday, June 1, masks are optional for all employees and students, and includes all summer activities in district buildings and schools.

    End-of-year Update - May 7, 2021 

    Read the End-of-Year Update on FSPS Website


    Fort Smith Public Schools sent a Request for Feedback on April 29, 2021 to gather additional input from stakeholders on safety planning for the remainder of the year. The link to the Request for Feedback form was text messaged and emailed to more than 33,000 contacts including parents, teachers, staff and students. The form closes at 4 PM on Monday, May 3, 2021. 


    Fort Smith Public Schools opened the Ready for Learning Update for public comment on April 13, 2021. The plan and a link to a public comment form was text messaged and emailed to more than 33,000 contacts including parents, teachers, staff and students. To date the form has received 190 comments. The form closes on April 23, 2021.

    Ready for Learning Update- April 2, 2021

    • FSPS Ready for Learning Committee met on March 17, 2021 - Consensus: Use “abundance of caution” moving forward. Recommend continuing with mask requirements and limiting building access to parents, volunteers and visitors through the end of the school year. Additionally - generally agree that elementary students could be allowed to play together without class zone boundaries as long as students continue to wear face coverings and sanitize their hands before going out to play and after coming in from recess. 

    • FSPS Board of Education discussed current FSPS mask mandate and COVID safety procedures on March 29, 2021 - Consensus: Continue with current mask requirement and established safety procedures through the end of the school year - reevaluate this summer to determine if there is an ongoing need for the mask requirement and other COVID safety measures.


    Quarantine of Close Contact


    The information below was shared originally as part of the Ready for Learning Plan for the 2020-21 school year. 

    As a school district, Fort Smith Public Schools is committed to working with district stakeholders to continue preparations for the reopening of schools for on-site instruction for the 2020-2021 school year. Consistent with guidance from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, our goal is to offer on-site instruction enhanced by the use of blended learning strategies beginning August 24, 2020 in all FSPS school buildings. In this context, Blended Learning means that students will have access to the coursework for their classes in a traditional on-site classroom, as they have participated in the past, or through the use of lessons uploaded by their instructors. The online education content and assignments are expected to be comparable to in-person classroom instruction. In addition, programs that are more geared to meet the needs of students who want an exclusively online experience are available through FSPS Virtual Option for students in Kindergarten-9th Grades, and Virtual School for 10-12 Graders at Northside and Southside.

    Unique Challenges

    This year, we face unique challenges in our efforts to provide on-site instruction and other key services. Conditions continue to change on a daily basis. Due to construction in many of our buildings and other factors, we must be prepared to modify and adjust our approach as the year progresses. Meeting these changing needs is likely to require continual review and varying degrees of modification to traditional procedures and practices. It may require shifts to different modes of instruction for days or weeks at a time. Flexibility, coupled with a continued commitment to meeting the needs of students, will be key to our success.

    Building on Experience

    The community can take pride in the way that district team members rallied to respond to the needs of students and families when school buildings closed in March in response to the pandemic. Teachers provided resources such as engaging web sites, optional activities, and live video conferences. Based on this experience, the acquisition of new equipment, and the implementation of a new professional development program, the district is now better equipped to pivot to off-site instruction for all learners if it becomes necessary.

    • We are acquiring portable Wi-Fi hotspots for students

    • We have accelerated our district-wide 1:1 implementation so that all students in grades K-12 will be issued a Chromebook

    • FSPS Teachers are participating in an 18-hour Blended Learning Academy

    More information will follow. It is important to acknowledge that there are limitations to what we can accomplish. Your patience is appreciated, and your questions help to ensure that we do not miss an important issue.

    Questions, Comments or Concerns

    If you have questions, comments or concerns, please send an email to: questions@fortsmithschools.org.