School Board to vote on policies, approve new members

Friday, April 6, 2012 | 2:36 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — Columbia Public Schools will vote on a new academic plan for Ridgeway Elementary School, budget adjustments, salary recommendations and policy amendments at its meeting Monday.

The meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. at West Junior High School, 401 Clinkscales Road, Cafeteria B.

At the meeting, recently elected school board members incumbent Christine King and Paul Cushing are set to be sworn in by Deputy Superintendent Nick Boren. This will be the first meeting of the new school board. 

District spokeswoman Michelle Baumstark said there will be a reception at 5:30 p.m. Monday at West Junior High for board member Michelle Pruitt, whose term is ending.

Nominees for the next board president and vice president will be presented and voted on at the meeting. The new president and vice president’s terms will start immediately at Monday's meeting. Tom Rose is currently the president and King is the vice president.

What will be voted on:

  • The school board is expected to vote on the designation of Ridgeway Elementary School as a small autonomous school that would use collaboration between parents, school administrators and a “Small Autonomous School Board”. Baumstark said in a previous Missourian article that as the district's first school of this kind, Ridgeway will have more flexibility in staffing, budgeting and curriculum.
  • The board will vote on budget adjustments for the 2011-12 school year and on salary recommendations for various district employees. These recommendations include an increased proposed salary for paraprofessionals, custodians and instructors in nutrition sciences.
  • The board will also vote on amendments to various policies. The amended policies include ones about employee criminal background checks, employee suspension and prohibiting discrimination, harassment and retaliation.

What else to watch for:

  • The superintendent will present an update for the school district’s proposed budget for 2012-13. The proposed budget was discussed at the board’s Finance Committee meeting Wednesday night.
  • There will be a presentation about a partnership that is putting together a plan for a Montessori preschool program at Grant Elementary School.

What's next?

The next meeting after Monday's will be a work session at 7:30 a.m. April 19 at West Junior High.

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