School board to vote on boundary shift, air conditioning bid

Saturday, March 10, 2012 | 6:00 a.m. CST

COLUMBIA — The Columbia School Board will meet at 6:30 p.m. Monday at West Junior High School, 401 Clinkscales Road, Cafeteria B. It is expected to vote on an elementary school boundary shift and a bid for air conditioning improvements.

What the board will vote on:

  • The board is expected to vote on a boundary shift that would rezone about 76 students who currently attend Alpha Hart Lewis Elementary School to Parkade Elementary School for the 2012-13 school year. The area under consideration was originally part of the Derby Ridge Elementary School zone, and students were moved to Alpha Hart Lewis in fall 2010.

    Current projections put Alpha Hart’s enrollment at 730 students next year. Assistant Superintendent for Elementary Education Peter Stiepleman proposed the potential boundary shift to the board at its February work session to be voted on at the March meeting.

    According to the board’s meeting agenda, this switch could mean that by 2013, some students would have attended three elementary schools in four years. To minimize the "emotional impact" on students, the agenda said the affected neighborhood will not experience another boundary shift when the new elementary school opens in 2015.
  • The board is also expected to vote on an air conditioning bid for Two Mile Prairie Elementary School. The project would be completed in summer 2012.

Other agenda items to watch for:

  • The board will hear a presentation on mental health needs in Columbia Public Schools from Betsy Jones, director of secondary guidance, and Susan Perkins, coordinator of elementary guidance.
  • Deputy Superintendent Nick Boren will present an update on projects from the 2010 bond issue.
  • Ridgeway Elementary School principal Ben Tilley will talk about Ridgeway’s work toward becoming Columbia’s first small autonomous school. As a small autonomous school, it would have more flexibility in staffing, budgeting, curriculum material and assessment, governance and the school calendar, district spokeswoman Michelle Baumstark said.

What’s next?

The next board meeting after Monday's will be the board work session at 7:30 a.m. Thursday, March 22, at West Junior High School.

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