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Columbia Public Schools

Columbia Public Schools COVID-19 update includes details on youngest students going back to classrooms


Columbia Public Schools Superintendent Peter Stiepleman updated the school board Monday on COVID-19 and classes, including a plan being developed to get some students back in class before others.

"The board of education has said for the last several meetings that its focus would be on our return," said Michelle Baumstark, a spokesperson for CPS."

The agenda for the Columbia Board of Education's meeting included an update from Stiepleman with information on technology services, contact tracing, teaching and learning, athletics and activities and initial planning for a phased-in return for students in pre-kindergarten through second grade.

"Looking at getting our younger students back into class sooner rather than later, they need additional support," Baumstark said. "So having them in person would certainly be easier."

Watch Stiepleman's presentation live in the player below.

The number Columbia Public Schools keeps tabs on to decide whether or not to go fully online has been on a steady decline since Sept. 7, when it hit 91.4.

The number that CPS uses to determine how classes will be conducted, the 14-day rate of cases per 10,000 people in the district, hit 80.4 on Sunday.

With that number above 50, classes are likely to continue online, after consulting with health officials. CPS says if the number is between 10 and 49, students will go to class twice a week.

If the rate falls below 10, students will be in class five days a week.

"We creeped up to be number six in the nation as a hotspot and so that definitely reflects on what we can and cannot do as a school district when it comes to in person learning," Baumstark said.

Also on the agenda, an update on year-to-date revenue and expenditures compared to the budget and the effect the COVID-19 pandemic has had district finances.

The Columbia Missouri National Education Association, a union that represents CPS teachers in public bargaining, and Columbia Missouri State Teachers Association also presented reports.

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

Zach Boetto

Zach Boetto started working with ABC 17 News in June after graduating from California State University-Channel Islands with a degree in organizational communication. He reports weekday evenings and weekend mornings.


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