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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.