columbia public schools

7:45 am
Fri November 1, 2013

CPS breaks ground for new elementary school

Leaders of Columbia Public Schools hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony before breaking ground for a new elementary school near Battle High School in Columbia, Mo., on Oct. 30, 2013.
Credit Colin Hope / KBIA

Columbia Public Schools broke ground Wednesday for a new elementary school near Battle High School.

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3:31 pm
Fri October 25, 2013

Columbia Public Schools purchases property for new school

Credit Twix / Flickr

Columbia Public Schools reached a deal to purchase property for new elementary school.

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8:33 am
Mon October 21, 2013

CPS has yet to announce new elementary school location

Columbia Public School Board
Credit KBIA File Photo

Columbia Public Schools has yet to announce the location of a new elementary school in the southwestern part of Columbia.

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4:24 pm
Wed October 16, 2013

Columbia Public Schools renews bus contract

Credit Twix / Flickr

The Columbia School Board is renewing its yearly contract with First Student. The transportation system for elementary and high school students is constantly changing to make the out-of-school environment as pleasant as possible.

First Student Manager Craig Caldwell said the recent change from a two tier system to a three tier system is expected to prevent tension on the buses.

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5:54 pm
Fri October 11, 2013

Mid-Missouri schools receive $95,000 to fund innovative programs

Credit Lee Jian Chung / KBIA

Assistance League Mid-Missouri has awarded more than $95,000 in funding for programs proposed by teachers. The programs -- designed by teachers -- emphasize new approaches to learning that could enrich the current curriculum. 

Assistance League Mid-Missouri leads the Links to Learning awards as part of their community-based philanthropic efforts. Columbia Public Schools spokesperson Michelle Baumstark said the awards support activities teachers wouldn’t be able to do otherwise.

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3:43 pm
Wed October 9, 2013

Columbia Public Schools to seek $50 million bond issue

Credit Katie Link / KBIA

Leaders of the Columbia public school district plan to seek another $50 million bond issue in April, followed by new $40 million bond proposals every two years until 2020.

The Columbia Daily Tribune reports the $50 million bond issue on the April ballot will require a 4-cent tax increase. The subsequent $40 million bonds in 2016, 2018 and 2020 would require no tax increase.

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3:26 pm
Wed September 4, 2013

Hickman principal to take leave of absence

Tracey Conrad
Credit Columbia Public Schools

Hickman High School announced today that Principal Tracey Conrad will be taking an indefinite leave of absence.

The Columbia Daily Tribune reports that Conrad's absence is due to a family concern.

Assistant principal Eric Johnson will serve as the school's interim principal until Conrad returns.

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4:29 pm
Wed August 28, 2013

Columbia high schools to get food truck for lunch service

Credit bookgrl / Flickr

A food truck will soon be part of the lunch time choices for students at Columbia high schools.

The district says the truck will bring more food options and help with overcrowded lunch rooms at its high schools. The district ordered the truck on Monday.

Laina Fullum is the nutrition services director for the district. She says the pork and chicken offered on the truck will meet U.S. Department of Agriculture standards for school lunches and will be available for the free or reduced-lunch program.

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11:33 am
Fri August 23, 2013

Columbia test scores still highlight achievement gap

Columbia Public Schools Superintendent Chris Belcher, flanked by school district officials and board of education members, discusses MAP test results with reporters on August 22, 2013
Credit 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.

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7:40 am
Mon August 19, 2013

Summer vacation ends soon for students

Credit 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.

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1:25 pm
Mon July 1, 2013

Community celebrates life of Eliot Battle

Carolyn Battle Thomas and Muriel "Jeanne" Battle Browder listen to their older sister, Donna Battle Pierce, share memories of their father, Eliot Battle, during a Celebration of Life.
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.

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5:43 pm
Thu June 13, 2013

Low achieving Missouri schools could get a boost from the federal government

Credit 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.  

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9:32 am
Wed June 12, 2013

Eliot Battle, a long-time Columbia educator and leader in desegregation, has died

Credit 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.

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8:57 am
Wed June 12, 2013

How safe are Columbia's school buses?

Credit 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.

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9:00 am
Tue June 11, 2013

Columbia school board members reject guns-in-schools proposal

Columbia school board members last night rejected a proposal that would have put allowed two officials on school campuses to carry guns.
Credit 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.

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7:21 am
Mon June 10, 2013

Kids' summer lunch program begins

Credit 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. 

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8:10 am
Mon May 20, 2013

Douglass High celebrates largest graduating class since becoming desegregated

Seventy two students received their diplomas on Saturday, May 18, as Douglass High School celebrated its largest graduating class since becoming a desegregated high school in the 1980s.
Credit 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. 

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11:45 am
Thu April 25, 2013

House bill would bar schools from starting classes before September

taylor.a FLICKR

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

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9:40 am
Thu April 25, 2013

Battle High School students set to receive iPad minis this fall

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.

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8:45 am
Thu April 18, 2013

Columbia Public Schools to allow cell phones in schools

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.

4:49 pm
Fri April 5, 2013

New Rock Bridge Principal a familiar face

Jennifer Mast
Credit 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.

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9:19 am
Tue March 12, 2013

Columbia Public High Schools to start later next year

Battle High School Principal Kim Presko speaks in favor of the new transportation plan to the Columbia Public School board at the Columbia Public Schools building Monday evening.
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.

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11:50 am
Fri February 22, 2013

Columbia schools reconsider arming security directors

Håkan Dahlström Flickr

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

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9:38 am
Fri February 22, 2013

Missouri student success on Advanced Placement tests doubles

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.

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10:06 am
Wed February 20, 2013

Rock Bridge dedicates new auxiliary gym, welcomes needed facilities

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.

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10:09 am
Tue February 12, 2013

Discussion continues on Columbia Public Schools start time

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.

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12:54 pm
Mon February 11, 2013

Belcher has new proposal for Columbia school start times

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.

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9:48 am
Mon January 28, 2013

Columbia Public Schools planners narrow possible elementary school sites to three

Columbia Public Schools Assistant Superintendent Peter Stiepleman explains the terrain of the site at Scott Boulevard and Route KK to board member Jan Mees at the site tour for a new elementary school in southwest Columbia on Saturday, Jan. 26, 2013.
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.

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6:00 pm
Wed January 16, 2013

Columbia Public Schools unveils electronic reading program

An increasing number of schools across the country are introducing tablet technology into the 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 “” for kids. He says the district has purchased a password to access the site for every 4-year old in the district.

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