Mid-Missouri teachers to face new challenges in the fall

1 month 2 days 21 hours ago Wednesday, June 10 2020 Jun 10, 2020 Wednesday, June 10, 2020 11:03:00 AM CDT June 10, 2020 in News
By: Stephanie LaChance, KOMU 8 Reporter
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COLUMBIA — The Columbia Public School district is  leaving it up to parents whether or not to send their kids to school in person or online. This choice will impact how teachers are planning next year's curriculum and what their day to day will look like.

Kathy Steinhoff, President of CMNEA, Columbia Missouri National Educators Association said CPS teachers are taking surveys on what they prefer to teach, in-person or online. 

"I think we are happy that there is some flexibility to let people make decisions that are best for them, but we are concerned that when we take the survey if everything is going to match perfectly."

Steinhoff is also a teacher at Hickman High School, and has been an educator for more than 30 years.

"We need to educate our youth but we also are concerned about our safety of our students and staff for that matter," Steinhoff said. 

Steinhoff said COVID-19 is a concern for teachers.

"It is hard to do this without teachers being exposed to more people in this situation."

The Columbia Public School Board of Education presented their updated COVID-19 plan for the 2020-21 school year at a meeting Monday evening. 

The updated plan leaves families the choice of traditional five days a week in-person learning or online learning. 

Steinhoff said this time has been a challenge for their teachers to be apart from their students.

"It has been difficult," she said. "We are a group of people who really want to do education well."

CPS sent a letter out to families on Monday explaining what the curriculum would look like. Online learning for elementary education will be taught by CPS teachers using curriculum written and supported by the University of Missouri. For secondary online learning, CPS teachers will teach the material virtually using CPS Online coursework.

"I am really curious to see once these surveys are taken by our families, how many students are interested in sending students back and how many prefer to stay online," Steinhoff said.

CPS parents can expect to receive more information about the re-entry plan by June 22. Families will then choose their preferred option as well. 

"Just know that our teachers are committed to doing what's best for our students," Steinhoff said. 

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