COVID-19 Updates and Information

The Board of Education has approved two changes to the instructional model: 1) Kindergarten students will resume five days a week of in-person learning starting on Monday, March 1. The Full Remote Program is still available to families. 2) Live Virtual Wednesdays will be eliminated for students in grades 1-5 starting March 10 to provide one additional in-person school day every other week. March 10 will be an in-person school day for B Day students and A Day students will have a remote day. The schedule will alternate going forward.

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Columbia gymnasiumStudents will be coming back to a much brighter gymnasium at Columbia High School when school starts in September. Three dozen old bulb lights were replaced with high-efficiency LED lights by the District’s Buildings and Grounds department over the summer. The lights provide a brighter space and will save the District thousands of dollars.

“It’s the biggest impact we can have – energy savings,” said Jim VanBuren, Columbia’s supervising head custodian. He, along with Head Maintenance Mechanic Matt Banks and Groundskeeper Bob Robinson, researched the new lights and then used a lift to replace the old bulbs.

(L to R): Bob Robinson, Matt Banks and Jim VanBuren.

(L to R): Bob Robinson, Matt Banks and Jim VanBuren replaced the gym’s old bulbs with new high-efficiency LED lights this summer.

“It was very much a team effort,” Banks said.

The District received a $3,258 rebate check from National Grid and will see annual savings of more than $3,000 in electricity and maintenance costs. By doing the work in-house, the District avoided using a contractor which estimated the work at $50,000.

Each of the old bulbs weighed 50 pounds, and when they needed repairs in the past, it took two hours to replace. The new lights take seconds to simply screw in. They also flip on immediately, as opposed to the warm-up time the old bulbs needed.

“This was employees taking initiative,” said Buildings and Grounds Supervisor Brian Craft.

The success of the project will be clear to see during Columbia athletic events and the daily use for physical education classes.

“It’s a great upgrade,” said Athletic Director Michael Leonard. “Everybody will see the difference.”