columbia public schools

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

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.

Columbia school board considers start times

Dec 3, 2012
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.

Maoling Xiong / KBIA

Columbia's very public discussion about a proposed Enhanced Enterprise Zone in the city made an appearance at Monday night's School Board meeting, where residents said the policy could negatively impact education funding by reducing tax revenue to schools. The EEZ policy has been supported by some economic development groups to encourage new-business development in the city.

Five Columbia residents spoke out against the EEZ policy in the Columbia School Board's public comment session Monday night.

Jessica Reese / KBIA

What if there was one political convention where all political parties were represented? Well, a group of people not even of voting age did just that in Columbia. Oakland Junior High 9th graders spent the last two months preparing for a mock political convention representing local, state, and national candidates.

Regional news coverage from the KBIA newsroom, including:

  • Dave Spence sues Gov. Jay Nixon for defamation
  • Columbia teachers elect union representation
  • Sickle cell center opens in Columbia

Students learn how to respond to campus shooters

Oct 12, 2012
John Murden / Flickr

The Columbia Public School district is training students to respond to active shooters on school grounds.

The Lange Middle School Cinema Club created an instructional video that demonstrates the "A.L.i.C.E" active shooter response method. A.L.i.C.E stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Escape. This new procedure teaches students that in certain situations it may be necessary to counter the intruder.


Columbia Public School administrators looked at the amount of sleep kids receive Wednesday night at the World Café Community Conversation, and focused discussion on school bus routes.

About two hundred parents, teachers, and committee members talked about changing Columbia’s school bus routes from a two-tiered system to a three-tiered system.

But adding a new tier of school bus routes would mean schools’ start times would have to change as well.

Superintendent Chris Belcher says that’s one of the questions up for discussion.

taylor.a / FLICKR

Four candidates are contending this month for the open position in the Columbia Board of Education. The position was formerly occupied by Paul Cushing who resigned to take an out of state job.

The four applicants are freelance media producer Rex Cone, Tim Parshall, the assistant director of the Assessment Resource Center at MU, Bill Kinney, an ear, nose and throat physician, and Executive Director of Central Missouri Community Action, Darin Preis.

Current board members will select the replacement.

Sudipto_Sarkar / flickr

Columbia's school board has come out in favor of a state ballot measure that would raise the state's cigarette tax and possibly bring money to public schools.

Proposition B is a proposed tobacco tax on November's ballot. It would raise taxes on cigarettes purchased in Missouri, which is currently ranked 11th in smoking rates and has the lowest cigarette tax of any state. The proposed tax would move Missouri to 36th place in nation-wide cigarette taxes and some of the money collected would be used to fund public schools.

Lee Jian Chung / KBIA

Columbia Public Schools are having a difficult time finding enough part-time substitute teachers. So the School District is considering hiring full-time substitutes to help solve the problem. Columbia Public Schools’ spokesperson Michelle Baumstark explains full-time substitutes would have to fill in wherever they were assigned. Part-time substitutes don’t have to.

File Photo / KBIA

The Columbia School Board has also approved a plan to allow public school teachers in the district the ability to have a specific organization represent them in negotiating their salaries. School Board members voted unanimously to approve the representation at a budget meeting Monday night.

For representation , teachers can choose the Columbia Missouri National Education Association, or maintain the current system, which involves an informal mode of communication between teachers and administrators.

Columbia considers new kindergarten assessments

Sep 11, 2012
dyetochange / FLICKR

The Columbia School District is considering new kindergarten readiness assessments.

The Columbia Board of Education addressed the program at its meeting Monday night. Assistant Superintendent for Elementary Schools Peter Stiepleman says that better assessments are necessary because the children entering kindergarten have a wide variety of experience.

Chinese soon offered in some Columbia Public Schools

Sep 11, 2012

A new Chinese language program will be taught at several Columbia public schools. The program is a partnership between Columbia Public Schools and University of Missouri’s International Program and Confucius Program. Three Chinese teachers will be training Columbia School teachers the language so they can start the program in fall of 2013.

The Institute signed the memorandum on Friday for the program and Spanish teacher John Becker is happy they have it set in stone.

Wednesday will be the eighth time -- since the school year began less than a month ago -- that some students at Columbia public schools are dismissed early because of the heat.

Jefferson and West Junior High schools don’t have air conditioning. Five Columbia elementary schools had units installed during the summer. But, Michelle Baumstark, spokesperson for Columbia Public Schools, says it may take more than a year to complete the remaining two schools.

jeremy.wilburn / Flickr

Students in the Columbia Public School system who took Advanced Placement exams in 2012 outscored their peers across Missouri. Some of the district’s highest scores came in Psychology and Biology.

Camille Phillips / KBIA

The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education released the state’s 2012 school test scores Tuesday. And while the data show a small but fairly consistent improvement across most subjects, Columbia still has some work to do in a few categories.

The Missouri Assessment Program, or MAP, tests students from third grade through high school in areas such as communication arts, math and science. For the 2012 school year, the Columbia district met all 14 state standards to remain an accredited district.

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

Parents with students in the Columbia Public School District may have easier access to their child’s school records in the upcoming school year.

CPS students will pay more for their food

May 11, 2012
Ben+Sam / flickr

Lunch prices at Columbia Public Schools will rise next year.

Elementary schoolers learning through video game design

Apr 16, 2012
Lee Jian Chung / KBIA

Benton Elementary School revised its curriculum this year to focus more on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics or STEM fields. One volunteer is picking apart a favorite pastime among his students, video games, to teach them about all these subjects.

Lucas and Kiren are video game designers based in Columbia. They are currently working on a video game called ‘Alphamon Apple’s Adventure’ which they think is going to turn a few heads.

Lee Jian Chung / KBIA

This week on the show, a club at Benton Elementary teaches math, science and technology to students using video games. Plus, we’ll introduce you to the new principal of Shepard Boulevard Elementary in Columbia.

Columbia public schools get a revenue bump

Apr 6, 2012

Columbia public schools are 7-and-a-half million dollars richer after voters approved a 40-cent tax levy in Tuesday’s election.

The Missouri House of Representatives passed a new bill today (Thursday) granting school districts the choice to put advertisements inside and outside their school buses.  House Bill 1273 would help generate revenue for schools that allow advertising on their buses.


This week on the show, you’ll hear from a couple of the candidates running for the school board here in Columbia. In Tuesday’s election, voters will pick two of the four candidates, who will each serve three year terms.


KBIA has interviewed the candidates for Columbia school board in its studio. Here are the full-length interviews. You can hear excerpts of these interviews on the air on KBIA's "Exam."

Exam: Talking with Columbia's school board candidates

Mar 26, 2012

This week on the show, you’ll hear from a couple of the candidates running for the school board in Columbia.

Exam: March 12, 2012

Mar 12, 2012
Rachel Rice / KBIA

This week on Exam, we talk with the future Principal of Battle High School in Columbia about her plans for the school, and we’ll tell you about the University of Missouri’s partnership with China.