Columbia reveals latest plan to return students to the classroom

The Columbia School Board announces a plan to bring students back to the classroom.

The Columbia Missourian reports the board presented the plan last night, saying students will phase into in-person hybrid learning, but only when the COVID-19 positivity rates decrease.  The rates are figured on how many cases occur per 10,000 people.  The district says that rate needs to be at 50 cases to begin hybrid learning, but the case rate is currently at close to 80. 

The Missourian reports the district shared a four-part plan to phase in students by grades targeting the youngest students first.  The final phase targets middle and high school students. 

The district says staffing will also play a part in when students return to the classroom.  Currently 130 district employees are in quarantine. 

The district defended its stance on continuing fall athletics, saying those too have returned in phases.  Superintendent Peter Stiepleman told the Missourian, there’s a difference between students sharing a classroom for a 7-hour school day, as opposed to sharing space during a 2-hour sporting event.