COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)
The Columbia Public Schools Board of Education will have a special session to discuss the return to school on Aug. 4.
The school board will talk about several topics, including sick leave for staff and when they would decide to shut schools back down.
Stiepleman said that the return depends on several factors, including student attendance, staffing, state guidance and local increases in confirmed cases of COVID-19.
"March 17 was our last day," Stiepleman said. "We closed based on the fact that students stopped coming to school. We saw a very quick decline in student attendance from 90 percent to 70 percent to 64 percent, at which point it isn't feasible for us to stay open based on the fact that school funding is based on students coming to school"
The district is scheduled to resume classes on Aug. 24. Stiepleman said that as of Tuesday morning, approximately 85 percent of CPS families had responded to the survey choosing whether their students would be learning in-person or online.
"Right now, about 80 percent of our families have chosen to be in-person, and 20 percent have asked to start the year online," Stiepleman said.
Stiepleman also anticipates having some families who chose the in-person classes to change their minds.
The district has also held multiple webinars for families and employees of the district to address questions and concerns. Stiepleman said they plan to host another internal webinar for faculty.
"Never are we going to compromise that sacred trust we have with our community with the health and safety of our employees," Stiepleman said.
The Aug. 4 meeting will be live-streamed on CPSTV and recorded for those unable to attend. It can also be viewed on the district's website.