columbia public schools

Ryan Famuliner / KBIA

As the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education releases the latest round of MAP scores, Columbia Public Schools Superintendent Chris Belcher says, frankly, he isn’t worrying all that much about the scores this year. But he says they do still highlight one serious, known problem.

Superintendent Belcher says the MAP scores this year should be taken with a grain of salt, because the state is going through a transition period. The MAP tests will be replaced as part of the state’s planned implementation of common core standards in 2014-15. Belcher says Columbia teachers are already thinking beyond the MAP test, and have targeted their curriculum at preparing students for the new assessments, instead.

KBIA

The dog days of summer are over for many students in the area, and will be ending quickly for many more. The fall semesters at the University of Missouri, Stephens College and Columbia College all begin on Monday.

All students in Columbia Public Schools go back tomorrow, except for kindergarteners, who get a few more days of summer and start school this Thursday.

Thursday also marks the start date for Jefferson City Public Schools.

Moberly students return to school this Wednesday.

Students in Fulton and Kirksville started last week.

Kellie Kotraba, Columbia Faith & Values / KBIA

 Boxes of tissues lined the sanctuary of Missouri United Methodist Church on Saturday morning, but laughter frequently filled the air as family, friends and community members gathered to remember Columbia educator Eliot Battle.

Battle died in June from injuries sustained in a car accident, and he is most remembered for his role in desegregating Columbia’s public schools. The city’s newest high school is named after his wife.

Robert Couse-Baker / flikr

The U.S. Department of Education announced it’s giving $7.7 million to the state of Missouri to improve low achieving schools through the Department’s School Improvement Grant program.  

MU Cooperative Media Group

A little more than a week after celebrating with his family and community the opening of Columbia's Battle High, long-time Columbia educator Eliot Battle, has died. Columbia Public Schools spokesperson Michelle Baumstark says Battle died last night, Tuesday, June 11th, from injuries sustained after a car crash Friday. Battle had been hospitalized following the accident.

school bus
svadilvari / Flckr/Creative Commons

In a new annual report from the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the Columbia Public School District’s bus fleet comes in just below the state average on school bus maintenance standards. The report looks for defects in school buses and deems them approved, defective, or out-of-service. Columbia Public School district had 23 buses ruled defective and four put out of service, meaning that 85 percent of the district’s 188 buses were approved as up to standard. The state average for approved buses is 89 percent.

Katie Link / KBIA

The Columbia Board of Education has voted against a measure that would have allowed two school officials to carry guns on campus. Board members voted 4 to 3 to reject the idea at a regular board meeting last night.

Kids' summer lunch program begins

Jun 10, 2013
Douglass Park
City of Columbia

The Columbia/Boone County Department of Public Health and Human Services will start a summer food program from Monday, June 10, at Douglass Park in Columbia.

This is the 13th year of providing nutritional summertime lunches in Columbia. Because the program is federally subsidized, the U.S. Department of Agriculture mandates that every meal contain a serving of milk, protein, grains, fruit and vegetables. Meals will be prepared by Columbia Public Schools and served by volunteers. There will be five volunteers serving pre-wrapped food and drink as cafeteria line. 

KBIA News

Columbia’s Frederick H. Douglass High School celebrated its largest graduating class since the building reopened as a desegregated high school in the 1980s.  

“This day, we celebrate the triumph and determination and hope of, hear this number, people, 72 graduates,” Douglass principal Eryca Neville announced to a roaring auditorium, packed full of proud family and friends. 

taylor.a / FLICKR

A State House Representative introduced a bill today that may change school calendars across Missouri, but would affect school districts differently.

As the new Battle High School in Columbia opens this fall, each student will begin to receive an iPad mini.

The Columbia Public School district will purchase 1,100 new iPads as part of a new technology pilot program. District Spokesperson Michelle Baumstark said the addition of the new technology is Columbia Public School’s way of changing its teaching methods to keep up with the change in the way students learn.

J Haymes photography / Flickr

The Columbia School Board decided to allow the use of cell phones in schools.  Christine King, president of the Columbia Public School Board of education, said this policy will help students access school material through their phones.

“We want to provide the technology of online instruction through a variety of ways to students.  In order for them to use their iPhone, for example, to look up whatever it is they need to do for a class, we have to allow them to bring that into school,” said King.

Columbia Public Schools

Columbia Public Schools announced in a press release this afternoon that Jennifer Mast will be the new Principal at Rock Bridge High School at the end of this school year.

Columbia Public High Schools to start later next year

Mar 12, 2013
Evan Townsend / KBIA News

High school students in Columbia Public Schools will begin school a bit later in the upcoming school year.

Columbia's Board of Education voted 6 to 1 to approved a new three-tier transportation system, which will stagger school start times for the upcoming school year.

All middle schools, as well as seven of the district's elementary schools, will begin school at 7:20 a.m. The remaining elementary schools will begin at 8:20 a.m., and high schools will start at 9 a.m.

classroom
Håkan Dahlström / Flickr

A Columbia school district committee is looking into allowing two district employees to carry firearms.

taylor.a / FLICKR

The number of Missouri students succeeding on Advanced Placement Tests has doubled in the last decade.

Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education spokesperson Sarah Potter said AP tests saved a great deal of money for students in 2012.

“Potential cost savings for the students and families are more than fifteen million dollars by taking these exams and getting college credit,” Potter said.

Although Missouri is showing improvement among the students who do take the test, the number of students taking the test is low.

Rachel Wittel / KBIA News

The Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors hosted a ribbon-cutting event Tuesday to dedicate Rock Bridge High School’s new auxiliary gym. This project was part of the $120 million bond issue approved by voters in 2010.

The gym cost $4.1 million and seats 300 to 500 people. Its construction lasted less than a year, and many other projects funded by the 2010 bond issued remain in progress.

“We’ve been spending money just about as fast as we can to get the most out of our investment,” Columbia Public Schools Superintendent Chris Belcher said.

taylor.a / FLICKR

Changes to the Columbia Public School transportation schedules remain under debate. The Columbia Board of Education convened Monday to discuss, among other things, the new three-tier schedule designed to reduce the number of busses and improve the quality of service.

This schedule would push high school start times back back to 9 a.m. Middle schools and some elementary schools start between 7:20 and 7:30 a.m. The rest of elementary schools would begin at 8:20 a.m.

Chris Belcher
Kristofor Husted / KBIA

At the Columbia Board of Education meeting tonight, Superintendent Chris Belcher is expected to propose a new plan for school start times.

Instead of high school students starting first at 7:20am, like in previous proposals, Belcher is recommending they begin at 9:00am after the elementary and middle schools. He says research supports his proposal.

Laishi Zhou / KBIA

After nine months of discussion and research, Columbia Public Schools narrowed 14 options for the location of a new elementary school down to three.

Members of Long-range Facilities Planning Committee and the Board of Education took a site tour at three sites Saturday to better inform their decisions.

Watch the show and join the conversation on the Intersection website.

students in classroom
Brad Flickinger / Flickr

Columbia Public Schools announced Wednesday an expansion of an electronic reading program throughout the district.  With the myON reader program, students can log on to a website and have access to thousands of free electronic books.

Superintendent Chris Belcher calls it “amazon.com” for kids. He says the district has purchased a password to access the site for every 4-year old in the district.

Chris Belcher
Kristofor Husted / KBIA

Superintendent Chris Belcher says Columbia Public Schools will be under heightened security tomorrow following rumors and chatter about a possible planned violent act at one of the district’s schools. In a letter to parents today, Belcher said the district and the Columbia Police Department have investigated the rumors and can’t find any credible evidence.

Ryan Famuliner / KBIA

Columbia Public School district spokesperson Michelle Baumstark says three Columbia schools were experiencing sporadic power outages Thursday morning due to a winter storm in the area. Baumstark says the outages at New Haven elementary school, Parkade elementary school and West Junior High School started around 9:45am Thursday.

School playground shadow
/ Dreamstime

Following today’s fatal school shootings at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., Columbia Public Schools administrators have spent the day discussing safety strategies and offering assurance to principals, educators and parents.

Columbia Public Schools spokesperson Michelle Baumstark called today’s incident a “nightmare” – but one that schools have to prepare for: "You know we really hope that we never ever have to use the emergency plans, but it is important to have those in place."

Columbia Public Schools making schools safer

Dec 11, 2012
students in classroom
Brad Flickinger / Flickr

Improvements in safety are on the horizon for many of Columbia’s public schools.

Class at Jefferson Junior High School
KBIA

The Columbia School District's Board of Education has agreed to move forward with a three-tier transportation system for district schools. The three-tier system means that elementary schools, middle schools, and high schools will have staggered start times allowing busses to have layered pickup and dropoff times. At a regular board meeting last night, board members said the next step is getting community feedback.

The board is issuing a survey later this week asking parents, teachers, and students for feedback about the potential three-tier system.

Case of whooping cough at Hickman High School

Dec 3, 2012
School playground shadow
/ Dreamstime

The 15th case of whooping cough has been reported in Boone County. Columbia Public Schools are working to prevent further cases of whooping cough after a confirmed case in the school district.

school bus
svadilvari / Flckr/Creative Commons

The Columbia Public Schools Board of Education is considering making changes to school start times next year. This idea is currently being discussed among the school board with multiple proposals.

School playground shadow
/ Dreamstime

Columbia’s Ridgeway Elementary and Battle High schools have jointly applied to a national voting competition for a grant to help fund ongoing educational programs. The Clorox Power a Bright Future grant program is granting a 50-thousand-dollar grand-prize to the school that receives the most votes on its website.

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