School bells ring in Texarkana, Arkansas

“We promised our kids we are back to having fun,” superintendent says
"So when they pull in, they are going to see an armed security officer at every campus. And...
"So when they pull in, they are going to see an armed security officer at every campus. And that makes parents feel real good about it. Our students’ safety is first and foremost," said Becky Kesler, superintendent of Texarkana, Arkansas, School District.(Source: Fred Gamble/KSLA News 12)
Published: Aug. 17, 2022 at 4:01 PM CDT
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TEXARKANA, Ark. (KSLA) — Summer vacation is over for students, faculty members and staffers in Texarkana, Arkansas.

Wednesday (Aug. 17) marked the first day of the school year, and teachers and kids returned with smiling faces.

“We are expecting a great year,” said Becky Kesler, superintendent of Texarkana, Arkansas, School District. “We have been planning for this day since last spring.”

School leaders estimate that around 3,800 students are enrolled for this school year.

Kesler explained that there is a big emphasis on security on the district’s nine campuses.

“So when they pull in, they are going to see an armed security officer at every campus. And that makes parents feel real good about it. Our students’ safety is first and foremost.”

And the superintendent said no student will go without the necessary supplies to be successful this year. The school district has purchased and is providing needed items for all students, Kesler said.

The school year is beginning with a vote of confidence to teachers and other staff members. The School Board is giving a $5,000 bonus to certified teachers and a $2,500 bonus to classified staffers.

“We had a lot of smiling faces this morning, but our teachers and staff are definitely smiling,” Kesler said.

The superintendent also said that some of the mandatory COVID-19 safety guidelines have been lifted.

“We promised our kids we are back to having fun. We are having fun. We are having pep rallies, letting kids enjoy school again.”

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