Columbia Public Schools will hold a series of virtual webinars in a program, called Parent-Community University, about schools reopening in the fall.
These meetings will allow parents and community members to learn more about the programs and long-range planning of the district, according the district website. Sessions will begin Tuesday and be held at various times until Aug. 6.
Classes are set to begin Aug. 25.
Parents with children in elementary, middle or high school can find information about the webinars, which will be either live or recorded, on the district’s website.
The webinars are divided into four sections: social-emotional, academic, getting ready for school and technology. Stress management for caregivers, technology troubleshooting and Q&As about certain classes are topics to be discussed.
In addition, the Columbia School Board will hold a special meeting Aug. 4 to discuss fall reopening plans further.
The district announced during a June School Board meeting that it would allow families to choose between online instruction and in-person classes next year.
Families were asked to review their options and respond to a survey indicating whether they would be attending in-person or online by June 30.
Superintendent Peter Stiepleman told KMIZ on July 21 that about 85% of families had responded to the survey. The district is working on contacting the remaining families who hadn’t responded, he said.
“Right now, about 80% of our families have chosen to be in-person, and 20% have asked to start the year online,” he said.
The reopening plan released by the district said students will be encouraged to stay within stable groups to minimize exposure. Large gatherings, such as schoolwide assemblies, will not take place.
The district will ”expect” students to wear masks in the fall semester but allow exemptions, including students with special needs, anxiety, trauma or ADHD. Teachers might need to wear see-though facial shields, so students with hearing impairments can read lips.
The reopening plan said that buildings could close temporarily if a student or employee tests positive for COVID-19. Long-term closures would happen if attendance drops significantly or an order to close comes from the state or county health officials.
More information about other matters can be found on cpsk.org.