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Columbia Public Schools starts virtual semester Tuesday

Columbia Public Schools officials spent the Labor Day weekend working through technical issues with iPads issued to kindergarten thru eighth grade students.

The district says a vendor for the devices made a change that causes problems when connecting to the internet.

CPS superintendent Peter Stiepleman says nothing compares to the challenges he has faced during this pandemic.

The district decided to teach most students completely online, as the school year finally starts Sept. 8. Stiepleman says, when coronavirus conditions improve, they may start bringing younger kids back in-person, even before going below the threshold listed on the district’s case tracker.

“Let’s say we’re in a better position. I think that’s when we can then in those conversations with the board say ‘this is when we are ready to start phasing in.’ We’re not below 50 [daily cases] on our tool, but we see that we’re at a regular and consistent rate of 30, we’re gonna start with our [pre-kindergarten and kindergarten].”

The CPS board of education next meets on Sept. 14.

Stiepleman spoke on CEO Roundtable. He says about 100 staffers, mostly teachers, have either tested positive for the coronavirus or had to be quarantined since Aug. 19. Listen to his full interview here:

(This story was last updated at 6:53 a.m. Tuesday.)

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