Kindergarten Returns Full Time Starting March 1

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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Cara Yeates

Cara Yeates ’21 designed a Blue Devil social distancing marker that has been painted onto the sidewalks leading into Columbia High School.

Every morning, students disembark school buses at Columbia High School, or walk up the hill from the student parking lot, and prepare to enter the building while they wait for temperature checks and to show their COVID-19 screening confirmation.

But how does a school ensure high school students are spaced out appropriately? At Columbia, they used extensive planning and the art skills of a talented student.

“I saw an email from Ms. Gordon asking if anyone was interested in helping with a stencil for social distancing and I said ‘why not?’,” said Cara Yeates ’21, who is a member of Columbia’s Art Club.

During the later part of the summer, Ms. Yeates drew a design using the Blue Devil trident and encircled it with the words “Social Distancing – Stand Here.” Then she came into school, printed the design, traced it and cut it out with an Exacto knife.

With the stencil complete, Frank Asenbauer and Brock Kilmartin from Buildings and Grounds began painting the social distancing markers outside of school, starting at each of the three entrances to school and moving out along the sidewalks.

Principal Michael Harkin said there are about 100 social distancing markers in total.

“The markers created by Cara have allowed us to organize our arrivals in a safe and orderly manner,” Mr. Harkin said. “And they look great!”

As Columbia reopened school this week, with many new health and safety procedures in place, Ms. Yeates was happy to see her artwork displayed so prominently.

On the first day of school, she and her classmates stood on the Blue Devil markers and maintained six feet of distance from each other.

“It was actually really cool,” Ms. Yeates said, “helping out the school and keeping people safe.”