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Elementary students return to schools across Columbia

Parents drop off students as they return to in-person classes at Paxton Keeley Elementary.
Parents drop off students Monday as they return to in-person classes at Paxton Keeley Elementary.


Elementary students across Columbia are returning to the classrooms Monday for the first time in seven months.

The Board of Education approved last week the return of pre-kindergarten through fifth-grade students to school buildings four days a week to learn in-person.

Families are being asked to conduct self-checks prior to coming to school each day. The self-checks include making sure your student has no fever or chills, no cough, no shortness of breath, no sore throat, no headache, no muscle aches, no nausea, vomiting or diarrhea, no new loss of taste or smell, no new runny nose or congestion and no close contact with a person with COVID-19 in the last 14 days.

Watch a report from the morning drop-off at Paxton Keeley Elementary in the player below.

On Twitter, CPS spokeswoman Michelle Baumstark said about 6,000 in-person elementary students returned Monday and another 2,000 elementary students are continuing through virtual learning in the CPS Elementary Mizzou program taught by CPS teachers.

CPS Superintendent Peter Stiepleman said the district has 30,000 disposable masks on hand, along with 6,500 cloth masks, 1,500 face shields for teachers, 1,200 clear masks for deaf and hard-of-hearing students and 3,000 8-ounce bottles for disinfectant spray.

Stiepleman said the community donated 750 masks to the district, while the State Emergency Management Agency provided CPS with 80,000 masks including 4,000 child-sized masks.

The district asks the community to be cognizant of increased traffic, school zones, bus stops and students walking or biking to school.

Also, no outside visitors are allowed inside schools.

According to a CPS spokesperson, the district supplied buildings, individual classrooms and buses with hand sanitizer and cleaning supplies. In an email to media, the district spokesperson said "all high-touch surfaces in the classroom and throughout the building will be continuously cleaned."

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Zach Boetto

Zach Boetto anchors the weekend morning and weekday 9 a.m. & noon newscasts for ABC 17. You can find up-to-the-minute information on Zach’s social media, @ABC17Zach on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.


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