Columbia Board of Education to Vote on In-Person Instruction
The Columbia Public Schools Board of Education is voting tonight on whether
middle and high school students will return to in-person instruction.
If the decision to send middle schoolers back to in-person learning is approved, they would
return Nov. 30. It is expected that the high school return date will be Dec. 7.
A previous decision made by the board, sent public schools students ranging from pre-
kindergarten to fifth grade back to the classroom on Oct. 19.Elementary schools are dealing with their share of difficulties.
Due to staff shortages and other complications, many elementary schools have elected to return
to virtual learning. West Boulevard Elementary was the latest school to make the decision
President of the Columbia Missouri National Education Association Kathy Steinhoff said that
there are many positives and negatives weighing on the decision to resume in-person learning for
middle and high schoolers.
“Bringing back these students will help their social and emotional state, but it may impact their
learning,” Steinhoff said.
While the initial switch to virtual learning was a difficult transition, Steinhoff said that since they
have gotten used to the system, it would be more beneficial to make safety and health the first
Steinhoff said she is unsure if public middle and high schools in the Columbia area would be
able to execute a proper plan to bring students back on such short notice.
Columbia Public Schools Spokesperson Michelle Baumstark said that any decision made by the
Board of Education will be in the students’ best interest. CPS is stressing the importance of in-person learning.
“I think we all agree, as a community, that we want out students to be in-person,” Baumstark
Baumstark said that the board will only make the decision if it deems it is safe for everyone
involved to return in-person. The 14-day rate per 10,000 people for COVID cases in Columbia is currently at 81.3. This is thehighest mark since early September.