The four candidates running for three spots on the Columbia School Board answered questions Tuesday at the Columbia NAACP Candidates Forum.
Advocates long have said get-tough suspension and arrest policies in schools have contributed to a "school-to-prison" pipeline that snags minority students.
The teams from Battle High School, Hickman High School and Rock Bridge High School competed in track and field events.
Deputy Superintendent Nick Boren has spent 29 years in education and has been with Columbia Public Schools since 2007.
School Board candidate Helen Wade wants to emphasize achievement gap evaluation and "manage the district's funds in a careful, student-centered manner."
Education officials say more than 62,000 Missouri students are enrolled in unaccredited or provisionally accredited school districts.
Candidates weighed the merits of reversing the 2006 freeze in teachers' salaries against raising the base-pay for all teachers.
The district's website will also get a new domain name. Middle schools will reduce number of class periods from nine to seven beginning in the 2014-15 school year.
The "Speak Your Mind" forum covered physical, emotional and psychological bullying at Hickman High School on Wednesday evening with students, teachers and community members in attendance.
School Board candidate Joseph Toepke said he'd like to see if there is a better way for the district to partner with different organizations to plan more strategically for the next generation of schools. He also discussed his belief that all children are exceptional.
The candidates also discussed evaluating Columbia Public Schools' college and career preparation programs.
School Board candidate Jonathan Sessions said he wants to build a budget that maintains current programs and keep promises to the community to stay on course toward continuous improvement.
Candidates said that community support and involvement make the school district stand out, two candidates support extending the school year in future.
After reviewing security footage from the bus, Shepard Boulevard Elementary School notified the Columbia Police Department of the incident. The bus driver has been charged with third-degree assault.
School Board candidate Paul Cushing said he supports non-traditional schools and would like to see more vocational training for Columbia students. Cushing is one of four candidates in the April 8 school board election.
The elementary school's multi-age approach to learning would likely make the move with students and faculty.
Four-member teams have until Friday to take an online test dealing with protecting income, using credit, saving and investing.
In an event organized by MU and Columbia Public Schools, children had a chance to engage with science in fun ways.
Peter Stiepleman, who will become superintendent of Columbia Public Schools in July, said one of his priorities will be focusing on enrichment, opportunity and achievement gaps within the district.
Stiepleman is a former principal of West Boulevard Elementary School. In 2010, he was hired as assistant superintendent for elementary education for the district.