CPS to add new learning plan for students

Posted on 13 August 2020 at 3:19pm

COLUMBIA- Columbia Public Schools will be implementing a new plan for middle and high school students. 

In an email sent to parents on Wednesday, CPS said it is likely there will be shifts in how in-person learning is offered throughout the school year, and because of that, middle and high schools will offer a 4x4 schedule for students that have chosen in person learning and virtual learning.

The webinar also showed what hybrid learning would look like.

"We are looking at doing a 2-day in person instructional model," said Dr. Jennifer Rukstad, Assistant Superintendent for C-P-S. 

Students would attend in-person two days a week and have online learning with limited teacher access the other three days. Students who choose all online would work with a teacher four days a week.

Rukstad used a metaphor of a car to describe how the school year is going to look. 

"We've always had this car, it's been a reliable car, it's called public education...specifically how middle schools and high schools run. It's been reliable, it has its quirks, it has its downsides, but it's pretty predictable," said Rukstad.

She said the district is now trying to drive that car with a bicycle handle instead of a steering wheel.

The 4x4 scheduling plan for middle and high schoolers would mean students no longer take classes for the entire year but instead take fewer courses and then switch at the quarter or semester.

Parents now have until Sunday to change their minds on which option they choose for their student.  

CPS will decide whether to use the hybrid model based off the active number of COVID cases in the community. If the cases jump to 50 or more cases per 10,000 people, the district would move to all online. Reduced student and staff attendance could also do that.

The district will let families know by August 24 how the school year will start on Sept. 8.