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Columbia Public Schools

Columbia Board of Education pushes start date back to Sept. 8

COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)

UPDATE 7:45 P.M.: The Columbia Public Schools Board of Education approved a revised reopening plan that pushes the start date back to Sept. 8.

Several board members voiced concern about the amount of time parents and students will have to prepare for the start of classes with the new start date.

"I personally think a week notice is way too little for our families. I mean, we're already hearing from our community that they want answers now," said board member Blake Willoughby.

The district was aiming at lining the start date up with the next order to go into effect in Boone County.

The board also voted to allow hybrid in-person learning to be added to the plan as a possible option where students would attend classes in-person for two days a week and online for three.

The board did not decide what model of learning the district will use for the school year.

If the district decides to use the hybrid option it would monitor COVID-19 numbers in the community and within CPS zip codes.

The district would have in-person classes if the 14-day case rate per 10,000 people was 0 to 9. The district would use the hybrid method if the rate was from 10 to 49, and would have classes online if the rate was at or above 50.

"It makes sense or at least it's defensible because it wasn't just a, 'It feels like that's what we should be doing right now,' but rather the numbers tell you," said Superintendent Peter Stiepleman.

CPS families will now have the chance to change the way their students attend class.

Stiepleman said the district would like to have classes in-person but noted the five-day average of positive cases in Boone County has continued to rise since the district sent out its original reopening plan.

"Many families have emailed me to advocate for a full return to school. Many have indicated that in some way we are surrendering to fear. We are not," Stiepleman said. "The CDC, like us, recognized there is a real concern from parents and staff concerning the safe return to school."

He said the district has been working closely with the Columbia/Boone County Health Department while discussing what the return to learn will look like.

Watch a playback of the meeting in the player below.

ORIGINAL: Columbia Public Schools leaders are working to narrow down what the beginning of the coming school year will look like.

The board of education is scheduled to meet at 5:30 p.m. on Monday.

During the meeting, the board will review a revised reopening plan for the 2020-21 school year.

Under the new plan, the fall semester would start Sept. 8 instead of the original plan for Aug. 24.

The meeting comes less than a week after the board held a special session on reopening schools. Columbia/Boone County health officials recommended the district push back its start date.

The Columbia Missouri National Education Association also released a report in July recommending a start date after Labor Day at the earliest.

The revised plan will also include three different ways of learning.

The first option will be hybrid learning where 50% of students will attend school during the week.

The other option is online where students will take classes online but will still be taught by CPS teachers.

Under the last plan, students would have in-person classes, but only when the health department's recommendations allow.

Check back for updates on this developing story.

Boone / Columbia / Coronavirus / Education / K-12 education / News / Top Stories / Top Stories

Sydney Olsen

Sydney Olsen reports in the evenings during the week and on the weekend.

Comments

1 Comment

  1. “Concern about the amount of time parents and students will have to prepare for the start of classes” is a legitimate concern, caused by the Boards inaction. None of the others listed are. How remarkable, that the Board of Education seems to be incapable of critical thought. The rising case count, without a corresponding rise in death count, which there isn’t, is meaningless. What matters an increase in cases if there is little to no increase in people dying from it? Then there is the indisputable FACT that children simply aren’t dying from it at all. And a corresponding FACT that there is minuscule incident of transmission from children to adults. There is no considerable reason NOT to open schools. Other than the maintenance of newly found power discovered by those currently inflicting it. There is an agenda in play, and it has nothing to do with anyone’s health.

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