CPS puts classes on hold through the end of the week

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COLUMBIA - The Columbia Public School district announced Wednesday it's putting classes on pause through the end of the week to make some adjustments to "alternative learning expectations" for students and staff.

Citing the changes in duration for guidelines related to COVID-19, the district said it expects the "community [to] begin to struggle beyond the inconvenience of staying home and the real challenge of job loss and economic instability." The district originally planned to return to regular schedules on April 13. Since then, the federal government extended its recommendations for COVID-19-related procedures to continue through at least April 30.

"We are receiving feedback from our community that what was being asked of our students is beyond the capacity many families can handle," the district said in a letter to staff and families. "Our teachers are trying to do what they do: teach. And students want to keep doing what they are supposed to do. But we are all trying to do business-as-usual in a context that is anything but usual."

The changes for April 1 through April 3 are as follows:

  • For middle and high school students: no assignments will be due, no grades added to gradebooks and no tests given.
  • For elementary students: packets will be the main source of instruction and no new packets will be added. Fifth graders using Schoology won't have any assignments due those three days.

For all schools, the district said teachers are expected to keep engaging with students, checking in with them and providing opportunities to connect.

The district said it would provide updates in the coming days to describe what the expectations will be moving forward.