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.
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.
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 “amazon.com” for kids. He says the district has purchased a password to access the site for every 4-year old in the district.
Superintendent Chris Belcher says Columbia Public Schools will be under heightened security tomorrow following rumors and chatter about a possible planned violent act at one of the district’s schools. In a letter to parents today, Belcher said the district and the Columbia Police Department have investigated the rumors and can’t find any credible evidence.
Columbia Public School district spokesperson Michelle Baumstark says three Columbia schools were experiencing sporadic power outages Thursday morning due to a winter storm in the area. Baumstark says the outages at New Haven elementary school, Parkade elementary school and West Junior High School started around 9:45am Thursday.
Following today’s fatal school shootings at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., Columbia Public Schools administrators have spent the day discussing safety strategies and offering assurance to principals, educators and parents.
Columbia Public Schools spokesperson Michelle Baumstark called today’s incident a “nightmare” – but one that schools have to prepare for: "You know we really hope that we never ever have to use the emergency plans, but it is important to have those in place."
A classroom at Columbia's Jefferson Junior High, which will be a middle school next school year. The Columbia Board of Education is considering a three-tiered system for transportation and start times at Columbia schools.
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.