Roadmap to Reopening: Frequently Asked Questions - UPDATED JULY 6, 2020

Posted on 07/06/2020

June 30, 2020

Cabot Panther Students, Parents/Guardians, Teachers, and Staff,

Cabot Public Schools is committed to providing a safe and healthy learning environment for all of our students. We understand parents have many questions regarding the upcoming 2020-2021 school year. This correspondence is to provide you with as much information as we can at this time to help alleviate some of your concerns.

Cabot Public Schools will follow the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) guidelines and the “Arkansas Ready for Learning” plan issued by the Arkansas Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) for reopening in the fall. We have also established multiple working committees comprised of administrators, staff, teachers, students, parents, and community leaders to help develop reopening plans based on guidance from public health officials and state agencies. 

In accordance with DESE guidelines, on-site, in-classroom instruction for students will resume on August 13, 2020. Cabot Public Schools will provide a completely K-12 digital learning option (Cabot Panther Digital Academy) for interested students. Specific information and details on how to apply will be emailed to parents on July 1st. Information will be posted on our district website, www.cabotschools.org, and our social media pages (Facebook: CabotPublicSchoolDistrict, Twitter: @cabotsd).

Even though classes may look different this fall, please know Cabot Public Schools is working to create the safest educational environment possible. We will continue to work with the ADH and DESE to ensure the district is “Ready for Learning.” 

Later this summer, as state directives for the fall become clearer and our plans are further developed, we will share more information with our Panther families. In the meantime, this document will continue to be updated with the latest information and can be found on our district website in the yellow announcement box titled: Roadmap to Reopening.

While we continue to work through the details, we hope the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) section below will address some of your concerns. If you have any questions that are not answered here, please feel free to email: covid19questions@cabotschools.org. If you would like someone to call you back, please include your name, your student’s name, and your phone number in the email and a district employee will contact you as soon as possible to help answer your questions. 

Again, thank you for your continued patience and support as we work together to navigate this new educational roadmap.

Spanish Version


Cabot Public Schools FAQ’s Regarding COVID-19 Guidelines For 2020-2021 
**UPDATED - JULY 2, 2020**

1. What is the first day of school for students?
School will begin on Thursday, August 13, 2020.

2. Can you guarantee students and staff will not become ill?
No. While the well-being of our students, staff, and families is of utmost importance, we cannot guarantee no one will get sick. Every risk cannot be mitigated, but we will do all we can to ensure everyone’s safety.

3. What are the requirements for face coverings?
We receive guidance regarding COVID-19 topics weekly if not on a daily basis. Currently, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) are strongly recommending all individuals 10 years old and over to wear a face covering. However, the ADH has not issued a directive to require face coverings. 

Based on this guidance, Cabot Public Schools will be strongly recommending students in 5th grade and above to wear a face covering. 

4. Will face coverings be provided for students?
The district will provide cloth face coverings for every student. If they are not required, face coverings will still be made available.

5. Will bus transportation be provided?
Yes, the district will provide bus transportation for students. If there are any changes to bus schedules, stops, or routes, information will be communicated to parents.

6. Will students have to wear face coverings on the bus?
Due to the bus being a confined area where physical distancing is not feasible, it is strongly recommended that students under age 10 wear a face covering where practical. All students age 10 and over are strongly recommended to wear a face covering at all times while on the bus. We will follow ADH and DESE directives and guidelines.

7. What will the school day look like for my child?
Administrators are working diligently to create schedules that include minimizing close physical interactions. Our goal is to maintain as normal of a day as possible while mitigating risk.

8. How will students socially distance in the classroom?
Classrooms will be arranged to maximize spacing between students and teachers to the extent possible. We will make every effort to conform to social distancing guidelines.

9. Where will my student eat lunch?
Based on current ADH guidelines regarding limited capacities in cafeterias, we are working on adjusting lunch schedules and possibly using alternative areas if necessary. Other measures will include proper sanitation of all areas after every meal service.

10. Will my student still be able to have recess or play on the playground?
Yes, students will have outdoor play time.

11. Will students still have extra classes like P.E., art, music, and library?
Yes, students will still have the opportunity to participate in activity classes.

12. Will students be able to attend field trips?
We anticipate field trips in the fall will be limited. We will follow ADH and DESE guidance.

13. Will water fountains be available?
Students are encouraged to bring filled water bottles as water fountains will not be available. Hydration stations will be available for students to fill their water bottles if needed.

14. Can I still send money with my child to school to pay for lunch and any fees?
We highly encourage parents to use online payment systems including EZSchoolPay and RevTrak.

15. Will CPS have Pre-K for the upcoming school year?
Yes. The first day of school for Pre-K students will be Friday, August 14th. K-12 begins Thursday, August 13th and Pre-K will host family conferences on that day. 

We know young children learn best through hands-on activities engaged with adults and other children. So, we are working with our school district and local health departments to help ensure a safe and healthy learning environment for our students and staff. During the week of July 6, we will be communicating with our Pre-K families the health and safety guidelines that will be implemented to ensure the safety of our children, families, and staff. 

Cabot School District Pre-K is a Monday-Friday full day program. The hours are 7:50 a.m.-3:20 p.m. with drop off beginning at 7:30 a.m. each morning. Regular attendance is expected in order to promote consistent interactions with other students as well as keep continuity of instruction.

If your family is interested in the Home Based Preschool option through the Cabot Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY), please contact Jennie Gates at (870) 255-1234 or email her at jgates@wilbur.l12.ar.us for more information.

16. Will extracurricular activities and sports be offered in the fall?
Yes. Many student athletes have currently returned to campus to begin practice based on ADH and Arkansas Activities Association (AAA) guidance. We anticipate there will be sports activities in the fall with possible modifications required by ADH and AAA.

17. Will there be any restrictions on band and/or choir?
We are still waiting on guidance from ADH.

18. What precautions will be taken for cleaning and sanitizing?
Disinfecting, sanitation, and cleanliness continue to be a high priority on all our campuses. Extra attention will be given on high touch surface areas. Restrooms will also be continuously cleaned throughout the day. Students will be expected to wash or sanitize their hands throughout the day.

19. Will students and adults be screened daily?
At this time guidance from ADH and DESE does not include taking temperatures.

20. What happens if a student comes to school sick?
The student will be screened by the school nurse. If the student has a temperature over the ADH guidance, they will be sent home and will need to be fever free for 48 hours without medication before returning to school. The student will be required to check in again with the school nurse upon returning to school.

21. What happens if an individual tests positive for COVID-19?
The district will be in close contact with ADH directly and follow ADH’s guidance. 

22. Can I visit the school, classroom, or eat lunch with my student?
Under current ADH guidance, visitors will not be allowed in the school except for the reception area. Parents will not be allowed to eat with their child. Visits to the school will be limited to essential activity.

23. Can I walk my child into the school?
No, parents and guardians may not walk them into the school, but they may walk their student to the school entrance.

24. What about students who have special needs or students with compromised immune systems and pre-existing conditions?
The district will be prepared to accommodate students with special needs through both onsite and remote instruction. Our Special Education instructors will be taking extra precautions when working with students. If parents have concerns about their students who may be at high-risk for COVID-19, they may be interested in exploring our digital option which allows the students to continue their education from the safety of their home.

25. How will you help fill any gaps in learning for my student from the previous year?
The district curriculum team, along with classroom teachers and administrators are continuing to work in order to revise district curricula so that missed essential standards and skills will be addressed when students return.

26. What happens if schools are mandated to close again?
This is where “blended learning” for traditional students comes in. With blended learning, students will learn content through in-classroom instruction with their teachers as well as through Google Classroom. Students will learn how to use these digital learning systems by participating in lessons throughout the week while at school. In the event of a school closure, or if a student becomes ill, students will be able to easily pivot or transition to online learning at home. Blended learning will become part of our new normal.

27. If I do not want my student to return to school in this traditional format, what are my options?
A survey was sent to parents on June 10th in order for us to collect data on families that may be interested in a completely digital online learning experience for K-12 students. For families considering the Cabot Panther Digital Academy or other learning options, click HERE.

28. When will parents be able to apply for the Cabot Panther Digital Academy?
Applications will be emailed to parents on Wednesday, July 1st. The deadline to submit an application is Sunday, July 12th. Information will be posted on our district website, www.cabotschools.org, and our social media pages (Facebook: CabotPublicSchoolDistrict, Twitter: @cabotsd). 

FYI: There is not a set deadline to apply for Academic Center of Excellence (ACE) or ACE North.

29. Why do parents need to make a decision on the Cabot Panther Digital Academy by July 12th?
While July 12th may seem early in regards to school opening on August 13th, there is a substantial amount of work and preparation that goes into reopening school. To staff and schedule accordingly, we need to know your intention by the deadline in order to provide the best learning experience for our students. Applying by July 12th will also ensure that you are on the application list. If you apply after the deadline, your student may possibly be placed on a waiting list. 

30. Can I change my decision about digital learning?
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.


31. I understand that I will not be able to walk my child into school and only to the front entrance. Will there be someone who can help them get to their classroom, especially on the first day?
Our principals know they will need to be prepared for these situations. While at this point we are not able to allow large groups of parents in the school, we understand this is an important part of the first day of school and we will work on a way to make it as positive as possible. Once we have a plan we will share with parents. We want to assure you that we will take care of your kids.

32. Will there be an open house, will we be able to meet the teacher, or see the classroom?
We are working on a modified open house. We understand that parents and students need to meet teachers and become familiar with their classroom before we open on August 13. This will also help with students and parents who are new to our district, to that school, and/or are feeling anxious about the first day.

33. When and how will students be receiving their schedules and learning where classrooms are located?
Schedules are typically ready 5-10 days before the first day of school. We will work on a plan to have buildings open so that students can find classrooms in advance of the first day. Once those plans are finalized we will communicate with parents.

34. Will kids be allowed to play together or have to stay 6 feet apart?
We will do our best to encourage the six foot rule for kids, but we all realize that we must be reasonable in how we work through those types of issues. We want school to be a safe and caring place and have to be careful about making it too “institutionalized.”

35. Will my child’s teacher be teaching her classroom students as well as online digital students?
Staff that is teaching in a traditional classroom will not be assigned students in the digital academy. We will have staff specifically assigned to work with our students that are offsite and they will not be working with a classroom of students at the same time.

36. What if a student wants to play football or another sport, or be on dance/cheer but wants to do digital learning, is that possible?
Students enrolled in the CPDA will not be on campus for classes or activities.The best choice for a student in that situation is to consider our Academic Center of Excellence (ACE). The overwhelming majority of the work is done online but we have a minimal number of hours each week that a student will need to meet with teachers. ACE will make sure the student is being successful academically. This would also allow the student to participate in any other elective they choose.

37. If my student is enrolled in the CPDA, will they be allowed to come to school to attend band class?
Students in the digital program will not be allowed to return to campus for electives. In this situation, ACE is the best option.

38. Can students in the digital programs still go to prom, homecoming, and graduation?
Yes, they are Cabot School District students enrolled in our programs so they can attend prom, homecoming, and graduation.

39. Will it be possible for my child to attend school part of the day and do the rest of their curriculum online?
For K-6, the options include traditional (in-classroom) blending learning or the (at-home K-12) Cabot Panther Digital Academy. You cannot do half a day in school, half a day at home. For 7-12, the ACE option does provide flexible scheduling in a small school setting. Students do most of their work online but they are required to come meet with teachers a minimal number of hours each week.

40. Will attendance still be taken regardless of in-class or virtual instruction?
Yes, attendance will be required and taken regardless of the learning environment.

41. Will the semester attendance policy still be in effect for semester test exemption?
Our Cabot High School and Cabot Freshman Academy administrative teams are currently having conversations about this. As it’s a potential policy shift, we have to make sure we address it in an appropriate manner. We will have more information/guidance on this in the next month or so.

42. What are the electives for the Cabot Panther Digital Academy?
We have a limited option of electives through CPDA. Currently, we offer Financial Literacy (grades 10, 11, 12), College & Career Readiness (grades 11, 12), and Health (grades 9, 10, 11, 12). In addition, students may also complete P.E. as a project based course through the program.

43. If my student enrolls in CPDA, will they have different teachers for each core curriculum, or will they have only one teacher? 
If a teacher has dual certification, they would be teaching more than one core subject.  This would completely depend on staffing and the certification of the teachers. They can only teach subject areas in which they have a license.  

44. Will those enrolling in the CPDA be able to take Pre-AP and AP courses?
Our secondary courses will be offered via APEX Learning. At this time, APEX does not offer Pre-AP courses.

45.  I filled out an application for the CPDA, how will I know if my application is approved?
The district will send out official notification through email the week of July 13th.

46. If we are in the CPDA, will my student be able to have her picture taken and be in a yearbook?
Yes, our CPDA students are part of our district and will be assigned to a home school. As such, we will have a plan for ensuring they get their pictures taken and be represented in a yearbook.


47. Did Cabot consider a hybrid schedule such as A/B?
Yes, we considered all options. The challenge with a hybrid schedule is that students attend in-person instruction on set days during the week and the other days are online. The primary challenge would be for parents that work and have children that could not care for themselves on the days they were not to be at school. We did not feel this was a good option for our community at this time. We believe that providing the option for a totally digital curriculum for those students that are able to work from home was our best option. In-class instruction is by far the best for many students. We believe that we need to maximize this setting for students as much as possible since we've already missed so much last spring.

48. If I'm enrolled in the CPDA, do we still qualify for discounted tuition through ASU Beebe for concurrent classes?
Yes. You can take online or in-person classes at ASU Beebe and still receive the discount. They just need to know you are still a registered student at Cabot High School.

49. Will the G/T program be part of the CPDA?
Gifted/Talented services will be provided to K-6 identified students. However, G/T services will not look identical to what has been offered in the past. Meetings with G/T teams are taking place over the next few weeks to work on details. 


50. What do I need to do if I plan on sending my student back to school for in-person instruction?
If you are a returning student (which means you attended the district last year), you do not need to do anything at this time. At the end of July we will ask parents to go online to update information. We will share the link to do this when it is available. 

If you are brand new to our district, new student registration is currently taking place. Please click the link below to enroll your student in the Cabot School District. http://www.cabotschools.org/administration/student-registration/new-student-registration

51. If I have multiple students in the district, can I choose different learning options for each one?
Yes. For example, if you have two students and one would like to do the traditional in-classroom blending learning option and the other would like to apply for the Cabot Panther Digital Academy that is definitely an option for families.

52. What about school supplies?
K-6 has a one-time $25 supply fee that includes a class t-shirt. All supplies are purchased by the school and provided for your student. Each student will receive their own supplies and will not be shared with other students.

*Pre-K has no supply fee but we ask families to send a backpack with their child and a lunch box if they are bringing their lunch from home.

Secondary Supply Lists (7th-12th) – Supplies are class specific. Information will be released at a later date.

53. Is there a supply fee for the Cabot Panther Digital Academy?
Yes. There will be a K-6 one-time $25 online portfolio fee. This will include materials that will need to be sent home for students to complete their assignments. 

54. I still have questions. Can I email a question or speak to a staff member over the phone to help me discuss the best option for my student? 
Yes, you can email your questions to: covid19questions@cabotschools.org. If you would like someone to call you back, please include your name, your student’s name, and your phone number in the email and a district employee will contact you as soon as possible to help answer your questions. 

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Cabot Public Schools

Elementary Schools (Grades PreK-4)

Central Elementary
36 Pond Street, Cabot, AR
(501) 743-3564
Fax: (501) 843-4503
Eastside Elementary
17 Bellamy Street, Cabot, AR
(501) 743-3563
Fax: (501) 843-5619
Magness Creek Elementary
16150 Arkansas Hwy 5, Cabot, AR
(501) 743-3565
Fax: (501) 843-7567
Mountain Springs Elementary
3620 Mountain Springs
Road, Cabot, AR
(501) 743-3575
Fax: (501) 605-1300
Northside Elementary
814 West Locust Street,
Cabot, AR
(501) 743-3568
Fax: (501) 843-6032
Southside Elementary
2600 South Pine Street, Cabot, AR
(501) 743-3567
Fax: (501) 843-6229
Stagecoach Elementary
850 South Stagecoach Road,
Cabot, AR
(501) 743-3574
Fax: (501) 605-1221
Ward Central Elementary
1570 Wilson Loop Road,
Ward, AR 72176
(501) 743-3569
Fax: (501) 843-9744
Westside Elementary
1701 South Second Street, Cabot, AR
(501) 743-3566
Fax: (501) 843-5802

High School (Grades 10-12)

Cabot High School
401 North Lincoln Street, Cabot, AR
(501) 843-3562
Fax: (501) 843-4231

Academic Center of Excellence
(Grades 7-12)

Academic Center of Excellence
21 Funtastic Drive, Cabot, AR
(501) 743-3520
Fax: (501) 843-0283

Cabot Freshman Academy

Cabot Freshman Academy
18 Spirit Drive, Cabot, AR
(501) 743-3576
Fax: (501) 941-1505

ACE North
(Grades 9-12)

401 North Lincoln, Cabot, AR
(501) 743-3546
Fax: (501) 941-3156

Special Programs

404 North 2nd Street, Cabot, AR 72023
(501) 743-3543
Fax: (501) 941-2613

Cabot Learning Academy

Cabot Learning Academy
813 West Locust, Cabot, AR
(501) 743-3540
Fax: (501) 843-3138

Central Administrative Office

602 North Lincoln Street, Cabot, AR 72023
(501) 843-3363
Fax: (501)843-0576

Middle Schools (Grades 5-6)

Cabot Middle School North
1900 North Lincoln Street, Cabot, AR
(501) 743-3571
Fax: (501) 605-0413

Cabot Middle School South
2555 Kerr Station Road, Cabot, AR
(501) 743-3570
Fax: (501) 941-7432

Junior High Schools
(Grades 7-8)

Cabot Junior High North
38 Spirit Drive, Cabot, AR
(501) 743-3572
Fax: (501) 605-8472

Cabot Junior High South
38 Panther Trail, Cabot, AR
(501) 743-3573
Fax: (501) 941-7746