Columbia Public Schools to discuss boundary changes in March forums

Monday, February 28, 2011 | 6:30 p.m. CST; updated 7:18 p.m. CST, Monday, February 28, 2011

COLUMBIA — A series of forums this month will give the community a chance to comment on the process of reconfiguring Columbia's school attendance areas.

The first forum will be at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Hickman High School media center. It will be the first of eight forums to be held at various public schools during March.

During the forums, the Secondary Enrollment Planning Committee will collect feedback to help rearrange boundaries that account for the addition of Muriel Williams Battle High School and the transition of ninth graders from junior high schools to high schools.

The boundary changes will take effect in fall 2013 with the opening of the new high school, according to Michelle Baumstark, the district’s community relations coordinator.

After the changes, intermediate schools will serve grades 6 through 8, and high schools will serve grades 9 through 12.

The district is reconfiguring its boundaries to reduce the number of grade-level transitions to two— from elementary to intermediate and intermediate to high school— and to make the student bodies represent the diversity in the community.

After the forums, the committee will begin to redraw the boundaries, keeping the following factors in mind:

  • Current and projected secondary school enrollment.
  • Bus transportation routes.
  • Plans for subdivision growth.
  • Road development.

The committee will present the plan to the School Board, along with transfer and grandfathering policies for students who wish either to remain at a certain school or move to another in conflict with the boundary changes.

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