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Columbia School Board gets progress report on Early Childhood Learning Center

Columbia School Board
KBIA File Photo

The district’s first Early Childhood Leaning Center is scheduled to open in January 2017.

District Superintendent Peter Stiepleman said the district has been looking for ways to help unify the early childhood learning program in the district. Early education programs currently are spread out throughout the district in various buildings. However, he said the new building will greatly benefit both Columbia teachers and Columbia’s youngest learners.

“It’s been a real challenge for us because we have a commitment to early childhood education and we also have to balance that with the need for space,” Stiepleman said. “So often we’re moving programs around from building to building.

Recently a group of administrators took a trip to visit a few Kansas City area school districts early childhood centers in order to get an idea as to how they want the new building to look.

“[It] Would give us the opportunity to combine our early childhood special education, our parents as teachers and some of our preschool programs under one roof,” said Assistant Superintendent for Elementary Education Ben Tilley.

Construction on the building is expected to begin July 2015.