Columbia Public Schools to host forum about objectives

Monday, November 30, 2009 | 12:01 a.m. CST; updated 11:07 p.m. CST, Monday, November 30, 2009

COLUMBIA — Parents and others interested in helping develop a five-year plan for Columbia Public Schools are invited to a forum on Thursday evening at the Activity and Recreation Center.

The event, dubbed "World Cafe," is part of the district's effort to create a Comprehensive School Improvement Plan. Attendees are asked to RSVP with Linda Chickos at 214-3400 or

If you go

What: Columbia Public School’s World Cafe

When: 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday

Where: Activity and Recreation Center, 1701 W. Ash St.

Admission: Free, but attendees are asked to RSVP with Linda Chickos at 214-3400 or by e-mail at

The forum is an opportunity for anyone to ask questions and discuss the plan, district spokeswoman Michelle Baumstark said. Tables will be set up for each committee  in the plan. Each committee stands for one of the five objectives, which are:

  • Student performance
  • Governance
  • Highly qualified staff
  • Parent and community involvement
  • Facilities, instructional resources and support

The forum is also meant to allow community members to raise major concerns they don't see being addressed.

Each committee is establishing its own objectives, Baumstark said. A breakdown of the committees’ objectives and progress can be found on the CSIP committee Web site.

School Board President Jan Mees, who is co-chair of the steering committee overseeing the plan, recommends looking over the objectives before attending the meeting, but she said it’s not required.

Each station will seat about 10 people and include a moderator. The moderators are members of the School Board and the district and improvement plan committees. Baumstark said that depending on how any people RSVP, there might be multiple tables for each committee.

The forum is one piece of the entire timeline for the plan. School Board Vice President Tom Rose, who is steering committee co-chair with Mees, said the committees have been working on setting the objectives since September. A full plan is expected to be presented to the School Board in June, although parts of it are likely to go before the board earlier.


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