The Columbia School Board heard from a representative of Cooperative Strategies on Thursday morning about possibly adjusting elementary school attendance areas for the 2020-21 school year.

Cooperative Strategies was the company that helped the district make major adjustments to the middle and high school attendance areas last year, according to previous Missourian reporting. The company presented at the School Board’s monthly work session.

Evaluating the attendance areas is an annual requirement, district spokesperson Michelle Baumstark said. If the adjustment occurs, it will be minimal compared to last year’s attendance changes to the middle and high schools, she said.

“We have an obligation as a school district to make sure that we are maintaining appropriate building capacity, as well as educational capacity, within each of our school buildings,” Baumstark said.

Randy Gooch, the district’s chief operations officer, said during the work session that the School Board had considered making adjustments last year but decided to wait.

If the School Board decides to move forward with the adjustment plan, Cooperative Strategies will be conducting focus groups, online surveys and community meetings in the upcoming months to gauge public response.

The School Board’s November agenda has not been set yet, Baumstark said, but the next steps for elementary school attendance areas will be determined in future meetings.

Supervising editor is Hannah Hoffmeister.

  • Education reporter, fall 2019 Studying print and digital journalism Reach me at, or in the newsroom at 882-5700

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