The Columbia Public Schools Foundation (CPSF) donated funds to the Columbia Public Schools (CPS) to provide high school students an opportunity to pursue additional online courses during the month of May.
The $25,000 donation to CPS allows the district to offer the online courses while the school year is still considered in session by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. The donation will fund up to 325 high school students taking online classes in May.
“We are happy to help the Columbia Public Schools during these unprecedented times,” said Cindy Mustard, CPSF board president. “These funds help with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, allowing high school students to enroll in online courses earlier and filling a need for the schools.”
In order to graduate high school in Missouri, high school students must take state-mandated courses. Many students take advantage of online course offerings each summer, enrolling in courses like personal finance, health and physical education. Taking the courses over the summer allows students to have more flexibility in their regular school-year schedules for courses more closely aligned to their future goals.
“Our students will benefit from access to ‘summer’ courses during this rare time while we are all staying home and working together to keep our community safe,” said Dr. Jennifer Rukstad, CPS assistant superintendent for secondary education. “This is only possible because of the vision and generosity of the Columbia Public Schools Foundation.”
Allowing students to enroll in the online courses in May also gives more students a chance to take the summer classes, as the regular June session typically fills up quickly.
“Columbia’s students are given so many opportunities through their high school coursework allowing them to pursue promising careers even before they enter college or the workforce. This donation benefits children from every high school and will help keep them marching toward their bright futures,” said Dr. Peter Stiepleman, CPS superintendent.
The Columbia Public Schools Foundation is a private foundation established by community volunteers dedicated to the enrichment of public education through community giving. The Foundation has funded projects in every school, allocating more than $1.2 million to enhance education in the Columbia Public Schools. CPSF was founded in 1996 and has supported teachers and students for more than 24 years.