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Return to Staggered In-Person Learning

Dear Columbia High School Families:

Greetings Columbia High School parents and guardians! I appreciate your support, understanding, and flexibility as we responded to this unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic. Our priority is the safety of our students and employees while educating to the best of our ability.

As a district, Huntsville City Schools has decided for those students not enrolled in the Huntsville Virtual Academy (HVA) to return to the school buildings to engage in face-face instruction. Therefore, all non-HVA students will return to school, starting Monday, September 21, 2020, using a COHORT 1(A) or COHORT 2(B) staggered schedule. Therefore, students will be assigned to a specific cohort and will report to the school building on their designated days for in-person instruction.

On the days students are not receiving in-person instruction, the expectation is that students will receive instruction remotely and join the class via videoconferencing platforms. We are aware that some remote-learning non-HVA families may have reservations about returning face-to-face; therefore, those families may opt for their students to continue in remote learning until the end of the first nine weeks. The end of the first nine weeks is Friday, October 23, 2020. The HVA students will continue in the method of learning at home for the duration of the first semester.

Cohort Explanation for In-Person Learning

  1. Student whose last name is A-M are in COHORT 1.
  2. First day of face-to-face learning is Monday, September 21, 2020.
  3. Student whose last name N-Z are in the COHORT 2.
  4. First day of face-to-face learning is Thursday, September 24, 2020.
  5. Students with multiple siblings or relatives sharing addresses will follow the cohort of the oldest child in the home. For Example: If Jonathan Blanch (1st Grade at Williams Elementary), Tonya Roberts (7th Grade at Williams Middle School), and Jason Hillard (11th Grade at Columbia High School) will follow the Cohort 1(A), because Jason Hillard is the oldest in the home.
  6. The principals within the Columbia Feeder Pattern have collaborated to ensure that this transition back to face-to-face learning is as smooth and stress free as possible by using the guidelines established above.
  7. Cohort 1 at the High School is the same as Cohort A at the Middle and Elementary schools
  8. Cohort 2 at the High School is the same as Cohort B at the Middle and Elementary schools.
  9. Students will attend school face-to-face according to the schedule below.
  10. If your child is in the COHORT1(A) OR COHORT 2(B), the calendars will indicate the days your child will attend school face-to-face. 

Cohort 1 and 2 Schedule thru 1st Semester

Please follow the below schedule to know which days students should attend in person and which days they should remain home for learning.

Cohort  1 Cohort  2
September: 21- A, 22- B, 23- A, 28- A, 29- B September: 24- A, 25- B, 30- A
October: 12- A,13- B, 14- B, 19- A, 20- B, 26- A, 27- B, 28- A October: 1- A, 2- B,15- A, 16- B, 21- B, 22- A, 23- B, 29- A, 30- B
November: 2- A, 3- B, 9- A, 10- B, 16- A, 17- B,18- B,30- A November: 4- A, 5- A, 6- B,12- A,13- B,19- A, 20- B
December: 1- B, 7- A, 8- B, 9- A, 14- A, 15- B, 21- B December: 2- B, 3- A, 4- B, 10- A,11- B,16- A, 17- A, 18- B, 22- B

E-Learning Days for All Students

  • November 23rd- A
  • November 24th- B

Bell Schedule/Class Change

  1. We will follow our regular "Bell Schedule" for traditional in-person and HVA Learning.
  2. Students will change classes with heavy supervision and monitoring in the hallways.
  3. Students should walk on the right side of the hallways and follow the directional signs designating the flow of traffic in the hallways and the stairways. The markings will be clearly visible on the floors.A/B Day Block Schedule.

A/B Day Block Schedule

Crimson and Gold Bell Schedule (Mondays)

  • Seminar will be every Monday
Block Time
1st 8:30-10:01
3rd 10:06-11:41
5th 11:46-1:41
Lunch Wave 1 (2nd Floor) 11:46-12:14
Lunch Wave 2 (1st Floor) 12:30-1:00
Seminar 1:46-2:04
7th 2:09-3:40

Crimson and Gold Bell Schedule (Tuesdays-Fridays)

Block Time
1st/2nd 8:30-10:01
3rd/4th 10:06-11:41
5th/6th 11:46-1:56
Lunch Wave 1 (2nd Floor) 11:46-12:14
Lunch Wave 2 (1st Floor) 12:30-1:00
7th/8th 2:01-3:40

Schedule Notes

  • Students will eat lunch and breakfast in their classrooms
  • Crimson Days (A Day)- Students will meet blocks 1, 3, 5, and 7
  • Gold Days (B Day)- Students will meet blocks 2, 4, 6, and 8
  • On Mondays only, students will attend Seminar between blocks 5 and 7


Please stay abreast as we continue to communicate in a variety of ways, including those listed below.

  1. Columbia High School
  2. Social Media on Facebook  or Twitter
  3. Schoology- Newsfeeds and notifications and posts from your child’s teachers


  • SchoolCast will be used as needed
  • A SchoolCast is a Rapid Notification System and a Dashboard Information Letter has been mailed to all students who attend Columbia High School
  • Please follow the directions to customize your contact information, if needed
  • This is very important for all parents to stay “in the know” concerning important information from the school

Risk Mitigation Protocols

We have put these parameters in place to ensure your students’ safety as they return to traditional learning.

  • Nurse will be on site daily. A separate area is in place for students that become ill and exhibit symptoms of COVID-19 at school
  • All Faculty, Staff, and students are required to wear a mask covering their mouth and nose while on the school premises
  • While on the premises, we emphasize social distancing by putting 6 feet between yourself and others
  • Hand Sanitizer and disinfecting spray in all classrooms and work areas. Students are encouraged to bring personal sanitizer and use often to reduce the spread of COVID-19
  • When feasible, desks and table surfaces should be cleaned during transition times
  • Paper towels in all classrooms and work area
  • Rubber gloves available
  • Rooms disinfected daily
  • During transitions, visual markers will be used to ensure proper social distance protocols are being maintained
  • Overall facilities will implement cleaning and disinfecting frequently. This includes classrooms and restrooms
  • Water fountains will be disabled at this time. Students will be allowed to bring individual water bottles
  • Water bottles can be refilled in the bottle filling stations
  • Breakfast and lunch will be eaten in the classroom
  • During this time, we will not allow visitors to see teachers or students during school hours

Arrival Times And Procedures

  • Students may begin arriving on campus at 7:30 am
  • Students will remain in their vehicles until the school opens at 7:30
  • Students will report to the following designated areas where students will be supervised and social distancing will be enforced

 Designated Student Areas 

  • Freshmen (9th Grade) – Auditorium

 Students should enter at the auditorium entrance

  • Sophomores (10th Grade) – Large Gym
  • Juniors (11th Grade) – Small Gym
  • Seniors (12th Grade) – Cafeteria

10th-12th Grade students should enter at the gymnasium entrance

  • Buses will arrive at the front entrance of gymnasium for bus riders and car riders will be dropped off at the car drop off point on the north side of the building
  • Students who arrive to the school between 7:30-8:20 a.m. will be social distanced in a holding area before reporting to classes at 8:20 a.m
  • Holding areas will be dismissed on a staggered basis to minimize crowding in the hallways
  • Morning Traffic pattern:Traffic at Columbia is one way! Freshmen will need to be dropped off at the auditorium (indicated by a yellow star on the bottom of the picture). All other drop off students will be let off at the green star on the North of the building


  • Hallways will be dismissed on a staggered basis to minimize crowding in the hallways
  • Students located on the Science and Math hallways will exit via the gymnasium
  • Students located on the Art and Social Studies hallways will exit the main front entrance
  • Car riders and student drivers will need to leave immediately form the campus
  • Bus riders should report immediately to their bus and not loiter
  • Students participating in after school activities should report directly to their meeting location

Classroom Set-Up and Procedures

  • Classroom desks will be set up in rows implementing social distance guidelines
  • Social distancing will be followed to the greatest extent possible
  • Teachers will have a procedure to ensure students do not have restroom breaks at the same time
  • Teachers will use Schoology to upload assignments
  • Teachers will teach daily according to the bell schedule, students should log on daily to receive live lessons. and lessons will be recorded and placed in Schoology as a reference each day

Videoconferencing Platform Guidelines

Teachers will use Zoom as the preferred videoconferencing platform for remote and HVA students. The following guidelines should be followed when joining a class for live instruction virtually. These guidelines are put in place to authenticate the student’s identity and for the safety of student and teachers.

  • Students cameras must be on during the entire duration they are participating in the live session
  • Students are to use their HCS log-in credentials to log into the live sessions
  • Students are to use the HCS device provided by Huntsville City School
  • Students should log-in at least five minutes prior to the beginning of class
  • Students should enter the session with their microphone muted
  • Teachers will use the waiting room function and admit students in the sessions
  • Students should find a quiet place and participate fully in the live sessions

Standard Student Supply List

Below is the recommended supply list for students. Please note that teachers may require other supplies not listed for specific courses. Students will need to carry supplies in a bookbag. No lockers will be issued at this time. Students will not be able to share materials in the classroom.

  • Loose leaf paper
  • Pack of graph paper
  • Pencils
  • Colored Pencils
  • Dry Erase Markers
  • Highlighters (4 pk: blue, green, pink, yellow)
  • Pens
  • Erasers
  • Scissors
  • 3 Ring Binder(s)
  • Subject Dividers
  • Spiral ring notebooks for each subject
  • Subject folders
  • District Issued Device
  • Facial Covering
  • Headphones
  • Water Bottle
  • Individual Hand Sanitizer
  • Graphing Calculator for Algebra/Geometry is RECOMMENDED

Dual Enrollment and HCT Classes

  • Students who are enrolled in Dual Enrollment Classes at Drake or Calhoun and students enrolled in HCT travel courses, will attend those courses during the blocks on their schedules
  • Bus transportation will be provided for those courses that are meeting at this time, if the course is virtual, those students would report to the library to work on the course virtually during those class periods
  • If being transported by bus, students should sit one student per seat

Cell Phone Usage

  •  Per HCS Policy, cell phones are not permitted to be used during the school day
  •  Cellphones should be kept in the student’s bookbag and turned off during the school day

Student Parking

  • All student drivers must park in the student parking lot at the gymnasium entrance
  • All student drivers must have a CHS parking decal
  • Parking decals are $15.00. Students must have a copy of their driver’s license, car registration, and insurance to purchase their decal

Check-In and Check-Out Procedures

  • To check-in and check-out students, parents must report to the office and present their ID in order to check-out or check-in your student. Masks must be worn upon entering the building
  • For check-outs, parents will have to wait in the designated area and the office will call the student to the office for check-out. Parents or guardians will not be able to access any other part of the building


  • Students will participate in PE in very light physical activity in their street clothes with athletic shoes
  • Students are encouraged to wear comfortable clothing with tennis shoes on days when they attend PE
  • Students will participate in non-contact, social distanced games and activities, students will not dress out or use the locker rooms and gymnasium lockers
  • Activities will be planned with social distancing in mind. At times, students will be allowed participate in activities in other locations within our campus, such as, the track or football practice field

Huntsville Virtual Academy (HVA) & Remote Learning

  • "Live” instruction will be provided for HVA and Remote students following the same bell schedule outlined above
  • Each teacher will record their “live” lessons and post them in Schoology for later review and for the flexibility of HVA students. Remote students should report to class as if they were in the building for in-person learning via videoconferencing platforms

Procedures for Making Changes from HVA  to Non-HVA Students/Traditional Setting

We understand that our families have different needs, so Huntsville City Schools is offering several options.

Parents need to select one of the options listed below by September 9th:

Huntsville Virtual Academy (HVA) Students:

  • May choose to unenroll by completing the unenrollment form below to return to on campus instruction:

Huntsville Virtual Academy – Unenrollment Form 

  • May choose to remain in HVA through the rest of the first semester. This option requires no further action from HVA families
  • Non-HVA Students may choose to enroll in HVA by completing the online enrollment form below:

Huntsville Virtual Academy – Enrollment Form 

  • May choose to remain in remote learning until the end of the first nine weeks (October 23rd). After October 23rd, these students will join other non-HVA students with on campus instruction. Parents seeking this option should notify both their school principal, Melissa Lindsey and student data generalist, Larrisha Irvin 
  • May participate in the staggered schedule described in this letter. This option requires no further action from non-HVA families

This is the Columbia “Return to School” notification to families of the student Cohort 1 or Cohort 2 and the safety and wellness protocols in place at CHS to mitigate COVID-19 risks. Please, follow the guidelines when returning students to school of A-M and N-Z including the specifications regarding siblings with different last names.

If you seek guidance or have questions regarding returning to traditional face-to-face or continuing remotely, please reach out to me to discuss next steps.

HCS administrators will continue to collaborate with local health and city leaders to evaluate conditions throughout the return to school process and for remainder of the first nine weeks. We will continue to work to ensure our students are successful no matter the learning format. Please let us know if you have questions or concerns. You may contact us at, (256)428-7576.


Clifford Porter, Ed.S.
Columbia High School