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RETURN TO LEARN

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Dear Columbia School District Family,

I hope you are enjoying the beautiful weather and a restful summer with your families.

We know that Columbia School District’s plan for returning to school in the fall is important for all of our families, and today I want to provide an update on our progress.

Within the next several weeks, we project that we will be able to share Columbia School District’s Return to Learn Plan. Over the past month, the Return to Learn committee has been collaborating and formulating the district re-entry plan to share with our families.

Right now, we recognize that, we must abide by the health safety requirements, precautions, and guidelines in order to help keep our students, staff and the greater community safe. We are affirming that Columbia School District will begin on the start date previously communicated to families:

  • First day for Columbia School District is still Wednesday, August 26 (gr. K-12), and the first day for Preschool will be Monday, September 14, 2020.
  • School will be in session five days per week, Monday-Friday
  • The published 2020-2021 school calendar will be followed.

To conduct Face-to-Face instruction, certain safety measures must be in place to protect everyone’s safety. Columbia School District is following the guidelines from the Jackson County Health Department, Executive Order 2020-142, and the CDC to develop the expectations outlined below for students and employees to follow when school starts in the fall:

  • Based upon the Executive Order 2020-142, and the Phase we are in when school begins, face coverings may or may not be required, for particular grade ranges. The Columbia School District hopes that we will be in Phase five (5) or six (6) when school begins.
  • 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.
  • Restrict visitors and guests in our school buildings.
  • Maximize instructional space and scheduling flexibility.
  • Employee enhanced cleaning procedures with additional hand sanitizer stations.
  • Identify and separate space in school for isolation of symptomatic students.
  • Discontinuation of perfect attendance incentives for the 2020-21 school year.
  • Safety protocols and procedures
    • Arrival/Dismissal will be staggered with multiple entry points being utilized to reduce congestion.
    • Breakfast/Lunch will be pre-packaged.
    • Restroom breaks will be staggered.
    • All spaces will be sanitized frequently with enhanced cleaning procedures.
    • Allow the use of a water fountain for bottle or cup refills only.
    • Columbia School District will provide all students and employees with two (2) reusable washable masks (face coverings) to be used as directed by the State of Michigan.
  • Safety considerations of physical spaces
    • Classrooms will be reorganized to maximize available space.
    • Sharing instructional materials will be limited.
    • Larger spaces will be repurposed to accommodate social distancing as often as possible.
  • Student educational opportunities that remediate, accelerate, and enrich learning
    • Teachers will formatively assess students to diagnose lost learning while also focusing on grade level content to advance students academically.
    • Teachers will monitor student progress and adjust supports as needed in order for appropriate academic growth.

In addition, we want our families to know that we will continue to offer Child Care (before and after school) this fall.

Over the next few weeks we hope to share with you the outline of the district’s Return to Learn instructional model. Specific detailed information about the safety protocols and procedures that will be in place at your student(s) school will be sent out in early August.

We thank you for your continued support and patience as we work to provide the best for your children, in education and safety.

Educationally yours,

Pamela Campbell

Superintendent