COVID-19 | Updates

Information regarding the operations of the Columbia School District will be forthcoming. This situation remains fluid, and we ask for your patience as we work to respond to the ever-changing events. Please remember that all official notifications regarding school closure will come from the Office of the Superintendent.

January 2021 Updated Procedures:


  • We will no longer send students/staff home due to exposure to symptoms.
  • We will continue to send home individual students/staff with 2 or more symptoms. In order for them to return they have to meet the following guidelines:
    • 48 hours fever/symptom free, and 
    • A negative RT-PCR (Panel) within 3 days of returning to school/work. A rapid test will NOT be accepted
    • Or, a release from a doctor to return to work/school
    • Or, quarantine for 14 days.


  • We will continue to contact trace those who may have been exposed through close contact with a positive case. They will have to quarantine following these new guidelines:
    • Individuals can quarantine for 14 days Or,
    • If they choose to return after 10 days they will have to take a RT-PCR (Panel) with negative results. The test will have to be given within 3 days of the date they will return to work.
      • Ex: You are exposed on Thursday. You will quarantine immediately, take a RT-PCR (Panel) 7-9 days later (the following Thursday, Friday or Saturday) and if it is negative you may return on Monday.
      • You MUST quarantine a minimum of 10 days, returning on day 11 only with a NEGATIVE RT-PCR (Panel)  test.
      • Please keep in mind that a panel test takes 2-3 days to get results.

Exception to Quarantine for Exposure:


If an individual can produce a positive test in the last three months, they do not have to quarantine after being exposed to a positive case. They will still have to follow the guidelines if they are experiencing 2 or more symptoms or if they receive a positive test.

Positive Test:

  • The person may return 10 days from the date of the test. We will no longer use the date of symptoms as the beginning of the quarantine.

Practice These Preventative Measures:


  • Avoid close contact with sick people.​

  • While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible.

  • Stay home if you are sick.

  • Cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze.

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands; germs spread this way.

  • Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.  If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.

  • Practice social distancing, which the CDC defines as remaining out of congregate settings, avoiding mass gatherings, and maintaining distance (approximately 6 feet) from others when possible.

Updates | Letters From The Superintendent

Dear Wildcat Family: As we wrap up the month of June, we officially bring the 2019-20 school year to an end. As we look forward to the 2020-21 school year, I want to update you on the planning that is occurring within the Columbia School District. This morning, the Re-Opening of Schools Committee met to share ideas and brainstorm ideas for a safe return. As you are aware, this situation is ever-changing. I want to thank all of our faculty, staff, and parents for responding to our survey. If you have not done so, I encourage you to participate. Results indicate that our stakeholders want to open schools as “normal” as possible with all necessary precautions. With that in mind, that is the goal of the Columbia School District administration. As we move closer to the start of school, the precise measurements of our re-opening plan will be released next month. Please be aware that information regarding registration for school will be forthcoming as well. To ease the burden on parents and staff next year, I am excited to announce that every child in the Columbia School District will receive free breakfast and lunch. Students are still encouraged to bring their meals if they so choose. I hope that everyone has a safe and happy 4th of July! Respectfully, Jason Q. Harris, Ph.D. Superintendent
Dear Wildcat Family: In my year-end letter, I outlined three possible scenarios for the 2020-2021 school year. At last week’s school board meeting, I informed the Board of Trustees that the Columbia School District administration’s goal was to open the 2020-2021 school year as “normal” as possible on August 3. We realize this intention will come with significant obstacles, and we want you to know that we are striving daily to overcome each one. Numerous questions remain, and August 3 is still a long way away. As a part of the plan to reopen schools, the Columbia School District is convening a community committee to discuss the methods of CSD reopening. The formation of this committee will occur in the upcoming weeks. The areas of consideration will focus on the following: • Academic Programming -Scheduling and daily time operations to determine the need for required flexibility should a short-term shutdown occur with an analysis of the impact on the family, community, local businesses, and the School District. • Operations Programming – Building preparation for faculty, staff, and student arrival. • Transportation Department- operations complying with CDC guidelines at the start of school, and as the school year moves on. The CSD will send a survey to parents, requesting how many will be seeking their child to be transported by address, grade level, and school building to assist the CSD Transportation Department. CSD Transportation Department will develop a plan for the District to follow as we work our way through the school year. • Food Services-review the intention to feed students in their classrooms. Everyday area/ Cafeteria eating will be suspended in the beginning to better provide social distancing for our students and staff. Contingencies to move to standard eating plans will be developed should CDC guidelines allow common area grouping. • Community Communication- CSD will continue to build upon its communication system to keep families aware of all issues of COVID-19, and the impact on the operations of the school district. A method of confidential notification from parents to the school and from school to parents will ensure information of contact with positive testing results. Awareness will help the School District and the Community of Columbia maintain as safe an environment as possible. The CSD is preparing training and methods to improve distance learning should the need arise on a short- or long-term basis. • Protocols for student and parent entry are under development and will be provided to the Community to explain how students will enter and leave the facility at all times. Facial coverings will be suggested to be worn as a part of the protocol and will continue until the CDC and MSDH guidelines recommend change. As CDC guidelines and Governor mandates allow, all protocols will be adjusted. The CSD Community will receive continued communications of all adjustments. The CSD will continue daily monitoring of the impact of COVID-19 in the Columbia School District area and surrounding counties that could affect the families, faculty, staff, and students of CSD. The District will work closely with the Marion County Health Department and the Mississippi Department of Health as we navigate the Jason Q. Harris, Ph.D. Superintendent school year. Plans for all extra-curricular events and daily operations will be a continual process of review and adjusted based on the best method to provide for the safety of our Community. I realize that summer break just started, and the start of school may not be on everyone’s mind at the moment. However, I want to assure you that it is on the mind of every administrator in the Columbia School District. In closing, we realize a lot of questions remain, and information changes daily. Please know that we are focused on providing the safest possible learning environment for all students. I trust you are having a relaxing summer, and I look forward to sharing information with you as it becomes available. Respectfully, Jason Q. Harris, Ph.D. Superintendent