K-12 Education

School Board seeks to increase communication, community involvement

At the Columbia School Board's retreat Tuesday, members and other district officials brainstormed ways to involve the community further in its policy-making process.

Columbia Public Schools eliminate DARE program, consider alternative methods

School resource officers will no longer teach DARE because of concerns that they are taking time away from patrolling to lead DARE classes at elementary schools. The district is considering integrating drug education into the health curriculum.

Two Montessori schools to open in Columbia

Windsor Street Montessori Elementary School will open Sept. 1. The school already has 21 children enrolled for the fall. The Montessori Center for the Young Child will open just after Labor Day and is expected to enroll up to 34 children.

Columbia School Board to discuss resource officers, teacher evaluations

The Columbia Public School District has agreed to pay half of school resource officers' salaries and has also recommended extending teacher evaluation cycles.

Columbia literacy, math coaches look to new roles after budget cuts

With their remaining positions eliminated in Columbia School Board's 2009-10 budget, the district's literacy and math coaches prepare for their next step.

Teachers seek alternatives after Columbia School Board boots field trip budget

The elimination of the elementary and middle schools' field trip budgets won't prohibit schools from planning field trips, but classes will now have to find alternative funding sources, such as the PTA, which already sponsors trips.

Missouri names first female commissioner of education

Chris Nicastro was selected as Missouri's first female education commissioner Thursday. She will start on Aug. 1.

Nixon endorses common core of state educational standards

With Gov. Jay Nixon's blessing, Missouri has taken its first steps toward adopting a common core of primary and secondary educational standards, pending the appointment of a new state education commissioner. Among other expected advantages, the standards would allow officials to compare Missouri test scores to those of other states.

New school superintendent Chris Belcher answers questions from community

Chris Belcher visited with the Missourian the day before beginning his career as the Columbia School District superintendent. He answered questions from members of Columbia's education community.

Ideas in works for Columbia Public Schools' stimulus funds

Columbia Public Schools officials are still determining how to spend the $6.3 million chunk of federal stimulus money it expects to receive.

Summer school start in Columbia shows increase in enrollment

Nearly 7,800 Columbia Public Schools students enrolled in summer school this year, said Roy Moeller, manager for EdisonLearning, the district’s free summer school program; that's an increase of 929 students since 2008.

The first day of school was June 15.

Missouri Center for Safe Schools to close in January

The Kansas City-based center, which trains school districts to respond to disasters and emergencies, lost its $219,000 funding and will close in January.

Hotel pricing addressed as Columbia wins bid to keep tournaments

Columbia will remain the location for two annual high school sports tournaments, and tourism officials say they are working with local hotels in an attempt to control prices during tournaments.

Columbia School Board to cut 70 positions in 2009-10 budget

The School Board passed a balanced budget that included cutting 70 positions. These cuts follow 80 position cuts last year, which concern some board members.

New Columbia School Board member coaches youth basketball

Working on the Columbia School Board is another way for Jim Whitt to serve youth. Whitt was sworn in on Thursday evening.

Mass vaccinations against swine flu could begin with students

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Tuesday that swine flu vaccinations could begin with schoolchildren this fall and urged school districts to begin preparing now.

Columbia Public Schools' 2009-2010 budget reflects deep cuts

The draft budget for Columbia Public Schools shows more than $4.4 million in cuts. See a partial summary of the budget here.

Balanced School Board operating budget awaits approval

The Columbia School Board is likely to pass its first balanced budget in eight years this week, with trims to positions and services. The public may comment on it before the vote on Thursday evening.

Investigation into felled trees at Rock Bridge High School continues

The six trees, together worth between $4,200 and $4,800, were found cut down on the last day of school. Contrary to rumors, they were not "memory trees" planted in memory of a student who died, Rock Bridge officials said.

Student charged with hacking grade system

A 16-year-old student at a high school in New York is facing charges of identity theft and unauthorized use of a computer for blocking teachers' access to the system.