HOT SPRINGS, AR– Governor Asa Hutchinson today announced the details of an agreement with Facebook, Inc. to expand the company’s Techstart program to all Arkansas public high schools. The Arkansas & Facebook Techstart Partnership was a first-of-its-kind partnership with the social media giant. Under the original agreement announced earlier this year, Facebook donated approximately 400 Virtual Reality (VR) classroom kits, including computers, cameras and the Oculus Rift equipment necessary to administer the Techstart program to approximately 250 schools. This new agreement will expand the donation to all of the more than 360 public high schools in Arkansas. In addition, each school will receive an Oculus Rift touch controller and 30 virtual reality viewers. Continue Reading →
Texarkana, AR – Monday will mark the first total eclipse in the United States since 1918. Like many parents, I wondered what would be the safest thing to do. I thought about taking kids out of school, watching it on television or the Internet, or maybe just sending the approved glasses with the kids to school. I had asked that they find out what was being done at school. We had heard nothing until today when Texarkana Arkansas School District Superintendent Becky Kesler issued a statement. Arkansas side citizens have come to expect a thoughtful and professional approach from Dr. Kesler, and with her message she did not disappoint. As would be expected, the care of the students was the main concern for the district. The memo indicates that live streams will be available in school, those with approved glasses and permission slips may view the event, and that the outside transition of classes will be limited. The message further noted that a parent or guardian could check a child out for the event and the school would not count that day against attendance. The Four States News commends the Arkansas School District and Dr. Becky Kesler for taking advanced precautions and putting plans in place to ensure this educational event can be safely experienced. Taking the additional step of allowing children to leave school so that they can experience the event with guardians or parents shows a forward-thinking step above and beyond what is required. A copy of the memo may be viewed online at the Texarkana Arkansas School District Facebook page.
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A government advisory commission assembled in the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting has issued a proposal for preventing similar events that is raising eyebrows. Continue Reading →