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District initiates CPS Prime Delivery Service

Columbia Public Schools (CPS) started a new initiative to connect schools with students called CPS Prime Delivery Service on Sept. 28. The program uses buses to ship supplies such as textbooks to students’ houses. An idea of the Hickman High School and Douglass High School principals, Tony Gragnani and Eryca Neville respectively, CPS Prime is a way to support students during virtual learning.

Until now, students and parents have had to drive to their home schools to pick-up supplies. Now, buses will bring the necessary supplies to a person’s doorstep. RBHS activities secretary, Ramona Kroenke, manages and schedules the CPS Prime program.

“The whole reason the system was set up was to help get books and materials to those students who have no way to get to their specific school to pick them up,” Kroenke said. “[RBHS] is set up as the ‘top of the pyramid’ for CPS Prime Deliveries.”

The school acts as a filtration step for the new district-wide system, as orders from elementary and middle schools are sorted at RBHS. Kroenke works to create bus routes that minimize driving and maximize schedule efficiency for every delivery day.

[RBHS] is set up as the ‘top of the pyramid’ for CPS Prime Deliveries.”

Ramona Kroenke, RBHS activities secretary

These routes do not rule out students based on where they live. Deliveries can go to any student, regardless of whether or not they are eligible for bussing services to and from school. RBHS receptionist, Michele Parker, is in charge of student pick-ups at RBHS during virtual learning and said she believes that CPS Prime will help students. 

“CPS Prime is getting needed materials into students’ hands that otherwise wouldn’t get them,” Parker said. “It helps families who have parents working outside the home and can’t get to school during school hours to pick up needed materials.”

Junior Carmen Marr, a strong advocate for education equity, said she believes that physical materials are necessary to make virtual learning accessible for all. 

“While certain things cannot make [their] way to the students, such as lab materials, many students I know have difficulty using online libraries and textbooks,” Marr said. “Additionally, these resources can ensure that students with poor internet access can have access to textbook materials. A delivery system seems like the safest and easiest way to do this.” 

CPS Prime is getting needed materials into students’ hands that otherwise wouldn’t get them.”

Michele Parker, RBHS receptionist

With changes such as virtual learning and a four by four schedule, students are in a new learning environment. Virtual learning contrasts traditional in-person learning in the availability of resources. Marr said she believes that the program offers support for students to access materials that help them in this unusual setting.   

“It will assist students with difficulties reading from screens and those with poor or limited internet access to read books and access materials,” Marr said. “Students may not fall behind in class as easily.” 

Kroenke said that once school is back in person, the service will lessen. She, however, also said that she believes that until then the program will be very flexible and aimed at helping as many students as possible.

“We feel our delivery system has helped many students and families in our district,” Kroenke said. “It’s great to see faces light up because we have been able to help them out.” 

How do you think CPS should support students in the virtual learning setting? Let us know in the comments below.

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