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Lee H. Dunlap/Staff

Harrison School District workers volunteer to help distribute meals for students who are now home from school this week due to the schools being closed to help in prevention of the spread of coronavirus. Meals are prepared at the high school cafeteria and will be distributed to selected campuses to be picked up by the students. Volunteers who helped Tuesday included (from left) Tiffany Robertson, Sandy Tennyson, Julie Gilbert, Heather Thornton and Tammy Stahler.

For the rest of this week, school buses will be positioned at select Harrison School District campuses from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. During these times, district personnel will distribute bags containing a lunch for that day, as well as a breakfast for the following morning, to any child under the age of 18, regardless of whether they are a current Harrison student, free of charge.

School buses will be positioned at:

• Woodland Heights Preschool (520 Womack Avenue)

• Eagle Heights Elementary School (500 N. Chestnut Street)

• Forest Heights Elementary School (1124 S. Tamarind Street)

• Skyline Heights Elementary School (1120 W. Holt Avenue)

• Harrison High School (925 Goblin Drive)

Children are encouraged to pick up meals at the location that is most convenient for them, regardless of which school they attend.

“By serving the meals in this drive-through setting, we are ensuring that our custodial staff has an appropriate amount of time to follow the recommended public health guidelines for a thorough cleaning of each of our campuses, as well as minimizing the risk of potential exposure to diseases,” Dr. Stewart Pratt superintendent of schools said.

Schools were closed this week and the district office will close Friday, March 20, for cleaning. They will remain closed through our previously scheduled Spring Break, which concludes on March 29. Please continue to monitor local media, our social media accounts and our website for further updates.

Pratt added, “Again, there are no confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19 in the Harrison School District at this time. We remain in constant communication with local, state and federal health officials, as well as the governor’s office and state education leaders, who have the sole authority to re-open our campuses. As soon as we have more information to communicate, we will ensure we distribute it to all of you.”

As the COVID-19 coronavirus situation continues to evolve, the Harrison School District remains committed to ensuring the health, safety and education of every child in the Harrison community. We recognize that many students and families need a viable option for low-cost, healthy and nutritious meals at this time.

Pratt told the Harrison Regional Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors that school directors met with the Ozark Unlimited Resources Cooperative last week in anticipation of schools closing. “The OUR Cooperative is a great group of people who really care about the kids of this district. They wanted to present a unified plan for all of the schools in the county.”

The expanded backpack program is also going to continue with the help of volunteers and provide 14 meals to cover spring break.

Largent added, “This is the best news. People forget how critical school meals are to families.”

Pratt said, “We have a ton of volunteers, which is such a blessing.”

The Chamber will also be a place anyone can call if their family is in need of help with meals — whether school age children or senior citizens. “Yes, call us and we will put you in contact with the correct agency to fill that need,” Largent said.

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