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Below the overview of the district are links to KBIA's coverage of Columbia 93 district schools, updated as more stories are published. Columbia 93 at a glanceThe Columbia 93 school district currently includes 32 different schools. In 2014, the district had a k-12 enrollment of 17,204 students, which is 2% of the total k-12 enrollment for the state. Enrollment has been slightly increasing in recent years, 2% since 2011. While a small percent, that amounts to almost 400 more students. There have also been major re-drawing of attendance areas with the addition of Battle High School. Middle school attendance areas shape high school boundaries 00000178-cc7d-da8b-a77d-ec7d2f9e0000The changes have affected all schools in the district, including causing high school attendance to increase and overcrowding at one middle school at least.

Columbia Public Schools Looking to Close the Achievement Gap

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The Columbia Board of Education and Columbia Public School administrators are looking to close the achievement gap.

A 2016 performance report identifies a seven percent decrease in performance from 2015 for subgroups such as CPS students of color, low income students and special education students who have a significantly lower performance than their white counterparts.

Closing the achievement gap has been on the agenda for CPS for several years, but they have been struggling with how to effectively handle the situation and are now planning to take action.

The incorporation of equity training will help teachers understand how factors such as age, race, gender and background affect their perspectives on students and how to better handle interactions.

“The teachers are unaware of some of the stressors that the kids may endure at home and by helping them to understand, based on what we know about some of the kids’ home life, teachers may be more empathetic or understanding and be able to deal with things that come up, more readily,” Board of Education member Paul Cushing said.

Cushing said providing the best education for all students is important to achieve the goal.

CPS also plans on forming partnerships with other agencies such as Boone County Schools Mental Health Coalition and also working together toward reducing referrals of black students to juvenile authorities.

The overall goal for CPS is to get students excited about coming to school.

“This is an issue that is obviously bigger than the public school,” Board of Education member Jonathan Sessions said. “It’s a systemic community issue. It’s one that while we can make great strides in the Columbia Public Schools, we cannot do it on our own.”

CPS plans to meet at 6:30 p.m. on April 10. That’s just one week after the Board of Education elections.