When: Columbia Borough school board meeting, Sept. 17.
What happened: The board unanimously approved a motion to allow student-athletes districtwide to play sports this fall with or without spectators in attendance.
Background: The district, according to a statement from the school board, will proceed with fall sports while “following current guidelines from PIAA, LGH, District 3, and the L-L League.” In accordance with current state regulations, this means the district would limit in-person attendance to 25 for indoor and 250 for outdoor events. The board, however, continues to discuss various measures meant to deter or bar spectators from attending athletic events hosted at its schools.
Livestreams: Superintendent Tom Strickler said plans are underway to livestream events on YouTube over the fall semester. The public would access these streams with data provided on the district website. The board also will consider an option to livestream games in classrooms with a 25-person attendance limit per room.
What’s next: Despite a recent federal court ruling that Gov. Tom Wolf’s policy limiting the size of gatherings violates the U.S. Constitution’s right of assembly, Strickler wrote in an email that district administrators will continue to follow “the direction of the governor, unless the board directs differently.”
Resignations: The school board accepted the resignation of Cole Knighton, who abruptly resigned as a board member via letter Sept. 7. To fill this open seat, the district will announce a vacancy on its website and welcome members of the community to apply for the position by Oct. 9.
Appointments: Last month, Michael Smith resigned as principal of Columbia High School, effective Sept. 30. Robert Kedney, who served as assistant principal at both the middle and high schools, will succeed Smith as interim principal. He will serve until Jan. 31, 2021.
New books: To address a lack of inclusive literature at the high school’s library, the board approved plans to acquire over 60 books on topics such as mental health awareness, social activism and the LGBTQ community. This purchase will be funded with a $600 mini-grant from the Columbia Education Foundation.