Amid uncertainty about the duration of COVID-19 outbreak, Columbia Public Schools is providing support with food, technology and academics.

The district's school buildings are closed through April 12. Grab-and-go meal delivery for students in need will begin March 30 at some regular bus stops.

Eight buses will run multiple-stop routes on weekdays with time-specific stops. Students can meet the bus at the designated stop and time to pick up their meals.

The Food Bank for Central & Northeast Missouri provides a list of all the partner agencies that are providing food, including many community and faith-based groups, to help bridge the gaps.

To practice social distancing, The Food Bank Central Pantry is changing from an open store to a drive-in service.

*Columbia and Boone County are coordinating the community’s mass care/human services and volunteer/donations management response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

To get help: For up-to-date information about social service and health care resources for residents of Boone County, visit Get Help (Covid-19).

To give help: CoMoHelps is a joint effort of Heart of Missouri United Way, City of Columbia, Boone County, and Community Foundation of Central Missouri to coordinate monetary donations and volunteers in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The first shipment of student Wi-Fi hotspots arrived and were mailed to students this past Friday. The district is also expecting an additional shipment early this week to fulfill the remaining student and staff requests.

The hotspots will work with all district devices in the household, both iPads and laptops, with filtered internet access. Instructions on how to connect the hotspots are included and a multilanguage video on the connectivity is available on the district website.

For students needing internet access, Spectrum and Mediacom have options available. Additionally, CPS-filtered Wi-Fi is available from any of the school parking lots.

As classes move online, the district is implementing alternative methods of instruction and academic resources are available online. Teachers are also communicating directly with students and families.

The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education announced that state assessments will not be administered this year.

Additionally, the city has a site set up for those interested in volunteering to help where there are needs:

  • Education reporter, spring 2020. Studying data journalism Reach me at, or in the newsroom at 882-5700.

  • Elizabeth Brixey is a city editor at the Columbia Missourian. She oversees coverage of education. She can be reached at (573) 882-2632 and

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