ECSE and District Policies

     The district posts information regarding school closings and late start on the district website (, local TV stations ().  Alerts can also be received via text message by signing up for ParentLink at

     Late Start for Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE)

    • No morning sessions at all locations
    • No session for extended day programs (Hearing Impaired sessions at Rain Forest)
    • No itinerant services will be provided in the community
    • No evaluations will take place at CELN before noon

    Severe Weather Procedures during dismissal time:
    Severe weather may impact school dismissal procedures. In the event severe weather does occur during dismissal time, Columbia Public Schools will take the following safety precautions:
    • If a tornado warning is issued before or during dismissal time, all buses will be held and students will remain in their respective buildings until an all-clear is issued by the school district.
    • If buses are already en route during a tornado warning, the driver is instructed to find the closest school or appropriate shelter (if available) and evacuate the students to a safe location inside until an all-clear is issued by the school district.
    • Please refrain from phone calls to the buildings and school district offices during this time. As appropriate, Columbia Public Schools will communicate with parents via CPS Alert, the district's text messaging system. You may sign up for text message alerts here.

    The Columbia School District is concerned about the safety of all students and monitors the weather very closely.


    Illness/Medical Concerns
    Please refer to the school nurse page (link) for information about our policies regarding illness/medical concerns.


    We value each family's right to confidentiality.  In order to help protect our students right to privacy, we ask that you fill out a confidentiality agreement at orientation. If you wish to visit the classroom, you will need to speak to your child's teacher and also contact Amy Wilson, ECSE coordinator, to set up the visit a few days in advance.  Her phone number is 573-214-3950 (option #3).


    Special Needs Transportation is an IEP team decision.  Special Transportation should only be considered after all options with Regular Transportation have been exhausted.
    • Once the IEP team has decided that Special Needs Transportation is required for your child, the case manager will turn in paperwork to the Special Services office.  To arrange for the transportation please allow three to five days for the paperwork to be processed.
    • When deciding your child’s pick up/drop-off  location please consider that it must be a consistent location.  It is not possible to change the location on a day to day basis.  If the location you picked doesn’t work on a certain day then it is your responsibility to transport your child.
    • To make any changes to your child’s transportation you will need to contact their case manager/teacher at school.  The case manager will once again have to notify the Special Services office in writing of the change, so once again please allow a three to five day window before the changes take effect.
    • Once your child’s transportation has been processed and is ready to take effect, Hope McCrary from the ECSE office will call you with the bus number(s) and pick up/drop off times. Please know there is a 10 minute window on either side of the pick up/drop off times that you are told.
      • All ECSE students must be walked to the bus by an adult as stated in the IEP.
      • Adults should wait at the bus steps as the child enters the bus; upon return home adult should wait at the bottom of the steps as the driver unbuckles the child and brings them to the front of the bus
      • There is no food or drink allowed on the bus at any time due to safety.
    • Please Note: If you have waited 10 minutes and the bus has still not shown up to pick up/drop off your child, or if you would like to report another bus related issue please call STA at 214-3860 who will help you find a solution to your issue. 
    • For many of the children on Special Needs Transportation the IEP team must determine who assists/supervises the child on and off the busThe bus driver cannot leave the bus:
    • When no one is home at drop off,
      • First, the driver will stop by the house twice to ensure that no one is home.
      • Second, attempts will be made by Student Transportation of America, Trish Delcourt at Special Services, and the school to contact you through whatever phone numbers you make available.
      • If you cannot be reached at any of the numbers you have given us your child will be taken back to your home and the police will be called to meet you there along with a CPS administrator.
    • Make sure the school district always has the most up to date contact information on you,  your family, and emergency contacts.
    • Please note: when your child is ill or is not going to be riding the bus for the day please notify the bus company at 573-214-3860.  

    The Columbia Public School District does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, disability, age, or use of leave protected by the Family and Medical Leave Act:


    • in the recruitment, selection, treatment, and promotion of employees
    • in the admission and participation of students in the educational programs or activities,
    • in vocational opportunities, 
    • in the treatment, counseling, and placement of students.