Columbia School District community, I want to thank you for your support throughout this year partnering with our district to ensure a safe learning environment for all our students. This will be a year we will not soon forget. As we begin to transition and look ahead to better days, I am excited to officially announce that we will be making a shift in our reopening plans for students across the district. While I would like to say we can make the necessary adjustments for all students across the district, unfortunately space and distance requirements make this not practical for some of our buildings and grade levels. With that said, CSD plans to adjust our reopening plans beginning January 19th for our kindergarten and high school students. District officials were able to adjust these groups due to a combination of class sizes, building square footage, and ability to maintain the required distancing and safety requirements.
Beginning Tuesday, January 19th, kindergarten students will begin going to school full time (8-2:30 pm) four days a week Tuesday-Friday. Monday's will continue to be an online day so these students will continue to connect via their Chromebooks with staff on Monday. Our kindergarten class this year is small enough to get the whole group back into the classrooms at this time. Recent adjustments to the lunch room and classrooms will allow us to welcome our youngest learners back on-site full time.
As for our high school students, beginning Tuesday, January 19th HS students that are failing one or more courses will be expected to join us full time, four days a week (Tuesday-Friday). Again, Monday will continue to be an online day. This will provide our HS students additional support prior to the end of the semester (January 29th) for those students that are failing courses. Beginning Tuesday, February 2nd HS students will begin going to school full time (8-2:30 pm) four days a week (Tuesday-Friday). CHS is able to bring back all high school students due to the square footage of the building and their ability to maintain distancing requirements. Because we've implemented a cap on class sizes as well as adding additional staffing and safety measures, we are fortunate to be able to offer a seven period day, four days a week. Beginning February 2nd, the HS campus will transition to a closed campus for students. This means that students will be required to stay on campus when they arrive in the morning and not leave for lunch. These additional safety measures are critical to ensure that students remain on campus during the day where safety protocols and procedures are in place to limit the spread of COVID. This is important to enable students to maintain a full day schedule so that we are not forced to go back into a hybrid or remote learning schedule which is a possibility if case counts were to rise or an outbreak were to occur.
We remain steadfast that the best learning environment for students across our community remains in the classroom. We have the ability to provide this safe learning platform for both staff and students through this endeavor. While safety will continue to be of primary concern, we will continue to pursue any and all options available to bring all students back on-site in a manner that supports both the academic and social-emotional needs of the youth in our community. Unfortunately, due to space, social distancing, and staffing issues we are still not able to adjust our schedule for students in grades 1-8. If that becomes available in the future, we will notify you promptly. We understand that none of this has been easy for our community, but we appreciate your support throughout this pandemic. We are committed to make the most out of this and know that better days are ahead for our students, district, and community.