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Columbia School Board sets Battle Elementary boundaries

Monday, April 14, 2014 | 10:50 p.m. CDT; updated 6:27 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, April 15, 2014
Helen Wade, Paul Cushing and Jonathan Sessions were sworn in as members of the Columbia School Board on Monday. They were elected to the board in the general municipal election April 8.

COLUMBIA — The Columbia School Board on Monday approved a more condensed attendance boundary for Eliot Battle Elementary School, which is set to open for the 2015-2016 school year.

The boundary, referred to as "Scenario One" during the meeting, will draw about 365 students from Two Mile Prairie and Alpha Hart Lewis elementary schools into the new school, said Peter Stiepleman, assistant superintendent for elementary education.

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The smaller boundary will leave space available in the school for community growth, Stiepleman said. He added that most of the families who attended two public forums preferred the smaller boundary.

The district expects 241 students from Alpha Hart Lewis and 124 students from Two Mile Prairie to change schools.

The projected numbers don't take into account whether fifth grade students and siblings will be able to remain at their respective schools, School Board President Christine King said. The board will vote on that during next school year.

Battle Elementary has three wings, and there's room to build a fourth.

Nature School

Stiepleman told the board the proposed nature school is still projected to open for the 2015-2016 school year, and its projected cost hasn't changed.

The board approved a $64,500 grant request to the Columbia Public Schools Foundation for materials and equipment for the proposed school.

"CPS Foundation will support everything that is inside the four walls of the nature school," Chief Academic Officer Sally Beth Lyon said.

Other agenda items

The board approved Stiepleman's three-year superintendent contract. His salary will be $165,000 for the 2014-15 school year.

The newly elected board members were sworn in at the beginning of the meeting. Incumbents Jonathan Sessions and Helen Wade and former board member Paul Cushing took their oaths of office for their three-year terms.

The board voted for King and James Whitt to continue as board president and vice president for the next year.


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