Continuity of Services...COVID-19 Guidelines & Updates

As Part of the American Rescue Plan Act, Manila Public Schools will continue to update our plan for the safe continuation of services.  MPS will continue to follow  guidelines and to post re-entry plans and updates on this website.  Parents my call (870) 561-4419 or send questions or comments to [email protected]

All stakeholders are also encouraged to give feedback regarding plans for the use of ARP funds by completing the American Rescue Plan Survey

April 5, 2023

Stakeholders reviewed the ARP plan and discussed program outcome data addressing learning loss (curriculum improvements, summer school, tutoring, extended day and technology).  The district reported that student attendance was back to pre-COVID numbers.  At this time, there were no changes made to the last ARP Revisions made in October, 22. ARP October 22 Update.pdf

October 3, 2022

Stakeholders reviewed the ARP plan and made revisions in order address recruitment and retention issues within the district.  The district has already exceeded the 20% required for learning loss and the revision reflects an allocation of approximately 30% for learning loss practices. Stakeholders also addressed back to school guidelines and made no changes since the last updates. ARP October 22 Update.pdf

August 22, 2022

Please refer to the following updates:


Re-entry Guidelines 2022-2023


Ready for Learning-Continuity of Services Plan Update

April 18, 2022

The ESSER committee updated the ARP plan according to the newly revised template.  Expenditures were moved to the appropriate program code but no changes were made in the intent of the plan.  Re-entry guidelines and Ready for Learning Plan were reviewed and updated. ARP Plan, April Revision

March 28, 2022

The ARP plan was reviewed and adjustments were made to reflect current expenditures.  No changes were made in the intent or purpose of the plan; it was changed only to reflect current financial status after adjustments in costs and expenditures. 

February 7, 2022

Manila School District COVID Guidance Update

On February 2, Governor Hutchinson, in conjunction with the Arkansas Department of Health, made the decision to change the Covid-19 guidance to help balance the educational and physical well-being of students and staff.

Quarantine: Beginning immediately, Manila Schools will no longer contact trace or quarantine students.  Manila students currently quarantined may return to school as soon as possible.

Positive: Any Manila student or staff member who tests positive must report his/her case to the appropriate building principal’s office or nurse. 

A positive case requires the following:

*Stay home for at least 5 days.

*If you have no symptoms, or your symptoms are resolving, you may return to school after the 5th day.

*Continue to wear a mask around others through the 10th day.

*If you have fever, continue to stay home for 24 hours after fever has resolved.

**Interscholastic athletic activities may be subject to additional health and safety protocols adopted by the Arkansas Activities Association.

August 10, 2021

Manila School board took no action to change the mask policy.  At this time, masks are optional but the recommendation is to wear them.  Other 2021-2022 re-entry guidelines such as social distancing, cleaning and sanitizing will continue to be practiced as stated in the re-entry guidelines issued for the 2020-2021 school year (below).

 April 29, 2021

Due to the absence of positive COVID cases, and the number of immunizations completed, the Manila School Board voted to change the mask policy and make the wearing of masks on campus optional. 

 March 31, 2021

We are thankful to our students, staff, and families for being so determined to keep our school open by following the face covering and social distancing guidelines for the past year.  Numbers are steadily decreasing in the school and community because of these efforts.  Normalcy is our goal and we want that as quickly as possible.  However, after listening to health professionals, the Manila School Administration and Board feel for that to be achieved, we need to stay with the current mask policy for the remainder of this school year.  We understand there are differing opinions regarding the mandate, but we believe this is the safest decision for all students and staff members.

November 11, 2020

During our previous move to blended instruction, staffing numbers had become insufficient to allow for face to face instruction.  At this time, Manila Public Schools has 9 positive student cases of COVID, 3 positive staff cases, 16 students awaiting results with a total of 187 staff and students in quarantine.  These numbers are spread throughout the district and are not contained to one building.  It is for this reason that we are giving students the option to participate in blended instruction OR to attend school face to face.  Beginning Thursday, November 12th through Friday, November 20th, students will have the choice of completing assignments at home through Google Classroom OR by attending school as usual.  On Monday, November 23rd and Tuesday, November 24th  buildings will be closed for face to face instruction and students will attend through blended only.  November 25th-27th is the Thanksgiving holiday, and all campuses and blended instruction will be closed.

On the dates where students may choose blended or face to face (November 12th through 20th), buses will run as usual and meals will be served at school as usual.  If you are choosing to attend blended on those days, lunch may be picked up at the elementary and high school circle drives from 11:00 until 12:00.  Please call the office if you are planning on picking up a meal so that we can plan for the appropriate number of take-outs. School will resume normal face to face instruction after the Thanksgiving holiday.

We appreciate all that you do to help support student learning both at home and at school!

July 14, 2020


These updates are in addition to the original guidelines posted on June 17. Re-entry guidelines may change as we move closer to opening, and as we continually seek guidance from DESE, the CDC and the ADH. Please revisit the website often for continued updates.

School Start

The Department of Education has moved the start date for school up to August 24th.

 PPE and Sanitation

...All classrooms doors will remain open to avoid constant contact with door knobs/handles. All outside doors will remain locked with no visitors allowed inside the building.
...Hand sanitizing stations will be made available to students.
...Students will not be allowed to drink from water fountains but will have access to water filling stations. Students should bring their own refillable water bottle to school.
...A cloth mask will be provided for every student. Guidance on masks wearing will be released as CDC guidelines become more clear.

 Student Early Check-Out

...Sign-out for students K-6 (leaving early) will be in the elementary entry way.
...Sign-out for students 7-12 (leaving early) will be in the high school entry way.

Parents can speed up the sign-out process by calling the appropriate school office and requesting that the student be sent to the sign-out location.


Pre-K students will be checked in and out at the door each morning and afternoon. Temperatures will be checked before the student enters in the morning. Parents will not be allowed in the Pre-K building. If a student must be checked out early, the parent will call the Pre-K office to arrange for pick-up.

June 17, 2020


While planning for the fall re-opening of school, Manila Public Schools will abide by the guidelines issued by the Arkansas Department of Health and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.  We know that these guidelines are fluid; therefore, our plan for re-entry will change accordingly. Our goal is to provide the best educational experience while keeping our students as safe as possible. 

School Schedule and Transportation

For now, the plan is to begin the 2020-2021 school year on August 13th.  The school day schedule will remain the same with daily attendance on campus following the same arrival and dismissal times as prior years. Bus transportation will be provided.                                                                                                                                                                    

Extra Classes, Extracurricular, and Sports Activities

Students will continue to participate in activity classes such as PE, art, music, library. GT, etc.  We anticipate sports and other extracurricular activities will take place in the fall with possible modifications. We are awaiting further guidance from ADH and DESE.

Breakfast and Lunch

Although cafeteria seating and meal schedules may change to accommodate limited capacity, students will have the opportunity to eat breakfast and lunch at school.

Curriculum Needs

We know students will begin the school year with gaps in learning due to the pandemic school closure.  Administrative and curriculum teams are currently working to devise a plan for remediating skills. This plan may include onsite before and after school tutoring, mobile tutoring (long-route buses) or offsite tutoring through ZOOM.  Parents and students will receive more information on these plans.

Special Considerations for Social Distancing, PPE, and Sanitation

When school resumes, social distancing will be observed as much as possible.  Every effort will be made to arrange spaces or seating assignments (buses, classrooms, playground, cafeteria, library, etc.) in a manner that provides social distancing.  In the event that social distancing is not possible, students will be expected to wear face coverings. Students are encouraged to bring their own face covering to school.  MPS will provide masks on a limited basis. Students will have access to hand sanitizer and will be allowed extra time for hand washing. Routines for hand sanitation (before school, after recess, between classes, etc.) will be established at the beginning of the school year. Every effort will be made to keep our students healthy!

Cleaning and Sanitizing will be a high priority.  Facilities are currently being sanitized, and extra cleaning will continue in the fall.  Highly touched surfaces and restrooms will be cleaned throughout the school day.  In the event an individual tests positive for COVID-19, guidance from ADH will be followed which could result in a brief closure of school in order to provide additional cleaning and sanitation.

School Closures

In the event that school closes again, a plan has been developed for remote learning.  Every student will have access to a personal computer.  Kindergarten will have IPads and 1-12 will have Chromebooks.  Google Classroom (LMS) will be used for assignments and teachers will use ZOOM when delivering live lessons.  Teachers are currently being trained in this method of instruction and delivery, and students will learn to use it during the school day when they return in the fall.  In circumstances where internet connectivity is impossible, instruction will be downloaded onto SD cards and made available to students for upload.  A parent training video on how to use Google Classroom will be made available to parents and the community later this summer.

By developing this plan for blended learning, students who become ill or quarantined for a short amount of time, can continue their education while at home.  Blended learning (the combination of onsite and offsite instruction) will become the norm. 

Questions and Concerns

We understand that you may have questions and concerns as the fall approaches. We will do everything we can to keep you informed as changes occur.  Please feel free to contact any of the following administrators:

Jason Evers, Superintendent, [email protected]

Robin Baugher, Ready for Learning Lead, [email protected]

LeAnn Helms, High School Principal, [email protected]

Sherry Mason, Elementary Principal, [email protected]


May 11, 2020…Thank you Parents and Caregivers!

First, everyone from Manila Schools hopes you and your family are safe and healthy as you read this letter.  Thank you so much for your patience and understanding as we have been adjusting, like you, to the drastic changes in life over the last many weeks. We are extremely appreciative of our students, parents, and families for their flexibility and resilience during these trying times. 

With distance learning in full motion, our goal is to provide on-going educational opportunities and practice for students while school buildings are closed but also to eliminate as much stress as possible for students, parents, and teachers. This has been hard work that wouldn’t be possible without your efforts and support. YOU are truly heroes! We know you and your children are moving mountains to keep learning going during this time and we are so grateful for the support you have provided your children. Your support and partnership have been critical in helping our students cope, remain safe, and learn— even as you have confronted enormous stresses of your own. Thank you for everything you are doing and remember that it’s okay if the learning isn’t perfect – don’t stress.  Some things you can do are read to your children, cook or do projects together, go on walks or drives and discuss things you see.  All of those things promote vocabulary and new learning.  Also, don’t forget to take time to do the things you love, whether that is riding bikes or practicing your favorite sport like fishing, basketball, baseball, or gymnastics.

We are confident that our children will continue to meaningfully engage and progress during these unprecedented times.  The list below details key takeaways and resources that may be helpful to you and your family.

Parent Resources for Covid-19 -

Reach out to teachers, administrators, or other families for help. We all need a support team during these unprecedented times.   Everyone is very willing to help no matter how big, small, easy or hard!  (school work, food needs, or emotional support, etc. -  assistance is available). Stay Strong! Stay Healthy! 

May 4, 2020 

The governor and department of education has issued new warnings/guidelines regarding any type of school gathering until after further notice.  For this reason, we are postponing all decisions regarding school activities including, but not limited to, Prom, Jr. Ring Ceremony, and Graduation.  This does not mean these activities have been cancelled, but merely postponed.  We are currently working on plans for a virtual graduation ceremony in the near future.  This does not mean that there will be no traditional ceremony, that is still to be determined.  

April 13, 2020…Updated Schedules for Spring Events

The Jr. Ring Ceremony will remain scheduled for May 12th. We will have a drive-up ceremony that will allow students to pick up their rings individually and safely. There will be a designated area with a backdrop to allow for pictures. The exact time and more details will be provided as the event gets closer.

The Prom is rescheduled for Thursday, June 25th. It will be held at Harmony Gardens in Jonesboro as previously planned. If the state continues to practice social distancing and the restriction of large gatherings, then we will be obligated to cancel prom.

We have rescheduled High School Graduation for June 29th. Graduation will be held in the main gym. If the state continues to practice social distancing and the restriction of large gatherings, the date for graduation will remain the same but a drive-up graduation will be planned. If we are forced to have graduation in this manner, more details will be provided as the event gets closer.

We have rescheduled Kindergarten graduation for August 7th. We will have the ceremony in the main gym at 6:00 pm

April 8, 2020  

This past Monday, Governor Asa Hutchinson announced that face to face instruction would cease for the remainder of the school year.  We miss our students, and we want you to have the best education that we can provide, but we also value your health and your safety!  We will continue the school year through online and AMI instruction.  We want to assure students and parents that we will take into consideration these difficult circumstances when issuing grades. Grades for the fourth nine weeks will not be lower than the third nine weeks; however, participation in online and AMI work will IMPROVE grades for the fourth nine weeks and semester.  We want to reward your efforts!   We know that seniors have experienced the greatest disappointment with the loss or interruption of many senior traditions.  While all spring activities have been postponed at this time, we assure you that we are working to find alternatives to our original graduation and prom.  We look forward to our time with you again!

AMI work for April 20th-May 1st may be picked up on April 17th or after.

AMI work for May 4th-May 15th may be picked up May 1st or after

April 3, 2020

Student assignments will be available in both digital and paper form.  Students are asked to choose one or the other.  Do not complete paper forms if participating in online instruction.

If students cannot access assignments digitally, paper AMI packets may be picked up on Fridays from 9:00 am until 9:00 pm in the elementary and high school foyers and in front of the middle school. After completed, students may scan or take a picture with their phone, and email the assignments back to their teachers.  Paper AMI packets may be returned to the same locations as a last option.  Assignments will be graded for a participation grade for the 4th nine- weeks period.

Wi Fi will be available in the parking lot of the high school gym (password: golions96), the Etowah fire dept., the Manila Water Park, and Manila Fire Station (these locations should be ready next week).

Devices may be checked out at each building. See the building principal if you would like to participate in online instruction and need a device to do so.

March 19, 2020

Governor Hutchinson announced today that school would not resume until April 17th.  We are working through details to educate and feed students during these difficult times.  Teachers will be preparing additional AMI plans for students to work through and we will keep you informed as food distribution sites are added or changed. We are aware there are concerns regarding prom, graduation, school trips, etc. These concerns will be addressed as we move closer to these important dates.  We care about your health and safety in these uncertain times.


Dear Parents, Faculty, Staff and Students:

The Manila School District will be closed Monday, March 16 through Friday, March 27.  For the dates of March 16-20, we will be using AMI days.  March 23-27 will be Spring Break, as scheduled. AMI packets have been sent home and/or are available online.

Administration, custodial, maintenance and technology staff should report to work Monday, March 16 to assist with preparation and planning for continued support of our students during this time.

Further actions will be evaluated over the next two weeks and communicated at that time. To stay informed on this matter, we encourage using a reputable source such as  Our School District will continue to leverage our school website, Facebook, and School Messenger to inform our students and parents of additional information and continued updates.

We appreciate your patience and cooperation while we all navigate this unprecedented situation. 

Thank you.


The original 2020-2021 CARES\READY FOR LEARNING PLAN.pdf may be accessed here.