Columbia School Board votes to extend superintendent's contract

Thursday, March 22, 2012 | 4:03 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — The Columbia School Board voted to extend Superintendent Chris Belcher's contract and sell almost $60 million in bond issues at its work session Thursday morning.

What the board voted on:

  • The board voted to extend Belcher's contract for another year. His salary and benefits would remain the same. The five board members present at the time of the vote unanimously approved the extension. Michelle Pruitt and Helen Wade were not present for the vote.
  • The board also approved the sale of almost $60 million in bond issues. Of that, $33 million came from the $120 million bond issue approved by voters in April 2010, and the rest came from refinancing previous bonds. The six board members present for the vote unanimously approved the bond sale. Helen Wade was not present for the vote.

Also discussed at the meeting:

  • Chief Academic Officer Sally Beth Lyon, Assistant Superintendent for Elementary Education Peter Stiepleman and Assistant Superintendent for Secondary Education Wanda Brown updated the board on work that has been done to improve student performance under the Comprehensive School Improvement Plan since it was approved.

    Some areas discussed included work the district is doing toward improving student literacy, expanding early childhood education, providing mental health services, increasing the number of students taking the ACT and implementing programs to decrease course failures and to help students graduate on time. 

What's next:

The next school board meeting will be 6:30 p.m. April 9 at West Junior High School, 401 Clinkscales Road.

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