School in Texarkana starts new year with new name... and mask mandate

Harmony Leadership Academy
Harmony Leadership Academy(KSLA)
Published: Aug. 17, 2021 at 3:00 PM CDT
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TEXARKANA, Ark. (KSLA) - The name has changed, but the mission remains the same: providing Texarkana, Ark. students with a quality education.

For more than 50 years, the school on Forest Street in Texarkana was called College Hill Jr. High-Middle School. Tuesday morning (Aug. 17) parents and students were greeted with a new name as they returned for the first day of school. The school is now called Harmony Leadership Academy and is an elementary school. However, the most noticeable change for the nearly 4,000 students in the district is a mask mandate.

Harmony Leadership Academy
Harmony Leadership Academy(KSLA)

“The reason why if you are wearing a mask and come in contact with someone who has COVID, you do not have to quarantine. We lost so much instructional time last year due to quarantines of close contact,” said Becky Kesler, superintendent of the Texarkana Arkansas School District.

Kesler says about half of their parents are not happy with the decision, but it’s all about keeping students and staff safe. She says the first day of school went well.

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