Preliminary overview of the Return to Learn Plan for the 2020-21 school year

Dear Columbia School District Families,

I know that you have been anxiously waiting for the details on our plan to return to school on Wednesday, August 26.  This letter and the links will give you a broad overview of the ideology behind the Columbia School District plan, which will be available in the next several weeks.

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected every aspect of our lives. The procedures in our school buildings must change to ensure the highest health and safety guidelines. Working in concert with the Jackson County Health Department and following the guidance and recommendations by the CDC, State of Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, Governor’s Office, and the Michigan Department of Education, we are developing a re-entry plan for Columbia School District.


While we believe that the most effective instruction for your child happens in a classroom Face to Face with our highly qualified teachers, there will be an online Virtual option available for those who elect not to attend in-person. 

Click the two links below to read more about the two different options that parents can choose between to have their students educated this fall: 

  1. Face to Face Learning: This plan also details how Transportation, Food Service, Recess, Cleaning, Extracurricular Activities will be handled in our facilities: 

  2. Virtual: This plan succinctly breaks down how online learning will take place at the grade levels (Elementary and Columbia Central Jr. – Sr. High School): 

  3. WHAT IS YOUR CHOICE? To help us plan for August, we are asking parents to complete a survey with their choice for instruction for the upcoming school year.  Click here to take the survey.  Please complete it by August 3, 2020.

  • Per the MI Safe Schools: Michigan’s 2020-21 Return to School Roadmap, staff and students may be required to wear a mask (face covering) dependent on the recovery phase we are in at the time. There will be times indoors or in enclosed spaces that 6 feet of physical distance cannot be maintained.

  • Students and staff will be required to be fever free for 72 hours without use of fever reducing medication before returning to school.

  • To maintain safe social distancing, lunch times will be staggered and available open space will be maximized.

  • Restrict visitors and guests in our school buildings.

  • Maximize instructional space and scheduling flexibility.

  • Employee enhanced cleaning procedures with additional hand sanitizer stations.

  • Discontinuation of perfect attendance incentives for the 2020-21 school year.

For more detailed information on the procedures for masks, social, distancing, cleaning, etc. on Columbia School District buses and within our schools, please click here to review the Face to Face Return to Learn District Overview.

We understand that these documents can’t answer every question about re-opening, however, we hope it gives you the framework necessary to make the best decision for your family, whether that’s returning to school, or online learning. Individualized school plans are being created and will be communicated to families and posted on school websites in mid-August. If you have additional questions in the meantime, please email

If the number of cases of COVID-19 reaches a level where local and state officials determine that school cannot meet in person, eLearning will resume with improvements based on the parental and staff feedback we received. We feel confident that if we have to return to eLearning that we can continue to provide a quality education while also offering social emotional supports.


Pamela Campbell

Pamela Campbell