When: Columbia Borough school board meeting, Nov. 19.
What happened: The school district has switched to remote learning until at least Nov. 25.
Background: Interim Superintendent Gregory McGough said the district’s public health team was notified about a potential COVID-19 case “from the community” that would “impact teachers and students at all three (district academic) buildings.” Because contact tracing protocols had left schools districtwide severely understaffed, students were dismissed early the day of the meeting, McGough said.
What’s next: School nurses will contact students and staff members identified as at-risk. These individuals are advised to quarantine for two weeks and get tested if symptoms arise. Despite an initial expectation to resume in-person classes Nov. 25, McGough said the district will reevaluate when it knows more.
Robotics: Katherine Hewick, a science teacher at Columbia Middle School, was recently involved in a virtual workshop hosted by the Capital Area Institute for Math and Science at Penn State Harrisburg. For her participation, the district will receive six programmable robots — total value of $1,600 — and one year of personalized support from Sphero, a consumer technology and toy company based in Boulder, Colorado. These bots, according to McGough, will be used to launch a robotics program at the high and middle school campus.
Donations: The Lancaster County Solid Waste Management Authority, Susquehanna National Heritage Area and Columbia Crossings partnered to provide the school district with 500 refillable water bottles for student use. Additionally, the elementary school has received 30 wireless mice from the Columbia Borough Fire Department.