Rock Bridge High School posts city's highest graduation rates

In this file photo, a Rock Bridge senior celebrates graduation. Rock Bridge posted the CPS' highest four-year graduation rates in a 2019 state report card.

Columbia Public Schools officials are celebrating the latest report card from the state, saying it shows improvements in student attendance and schools continuing to hit targets in college and career readiness and graduation rates.

“We are encouraged by our continuing performance and improvement in certain areas,” district spokesperson Michelle Baumstark said.

In language arts and mathematics, most Columbia schools appear to be on track for academic achievement, according to the state measures. For English language proficiency, only two of CPS’ 31 schools — Douglass High and Blue Ridge Elementary — got a status rating of “floor,” which indicates underperforming expectations. Four — Benton, Alpha Hart, Blue Ridge and Douglass — were at a “floor” in math.

How Columbia schools scored

By the Missouri education department’s definition, “exceeding” is the top ranking, followed by “on track,” “approaching” and “floor.”

Field 1 Field 2 Field 3 Field 4 Field 5 Field 6
School ELA: Percent proficient or advance ELA Status Math: Percent proficient or advanced Math status Attendence percentage
BLUE RIDGE ELEM. 22.2 Floor 13.9 Floor 87
FAIRVIEW ELEM. 57.5 On Track 63.6 On Track 96
ULYSSES S. GRANT ELEM. 64.3 On Track 64.6 On Track 93.5
Locust St Expressive Arts Elem 54.7 On Track 50.4 On Track 97.2
NEW HAVEN ELEM. 41 Approaching 38.1 Approaching 85.5
WEST BLVD. ELEM. 29.2 Approaching 27.7 Approaching 88.2
SMITHTON MIDDLE 48 Approaching 45.3 Approaching 90
JOHN B. LANGE MIDDLE 30.2 Approaching 27.6 Approaching 78.3
THOMAS BENTON ELEM. 28.7 Approaching 21.3 Floor 87.2
ALPHA HART LEWIS 22.2 Approaching 22.2 Floor 84.2
CEDAR RIDGE ELEM. 42.1 Approaching 38.5 Approaching 92.4
DERBY RIDGE ELEM. 31.5 Approaching 25.4 Approaching 81.3
MARY PAXTON KEELEY ELEM. 53 On Track 57.6 On Track 95.7
MIDWAY HEIGHTS ELEM. 72.4 Target 81.6 Target 98.1
MILL CREEK ELEM. 63.1 Target 74.8 Target 96.3
PARKADE ELEM. 37.2 Approaching 38.2 Approaching 84.5
JOHN RIDGEWAY ELEM. 56.7 On Track 58.7 On Track 95.4
TWO MILE PRAIRIE ELEM. 41.8 On Track 44.3 Approaching 92.2
OAKLAND MIDDLE SCHOOL 28 Approaching 27.6 Approaching 83.2
WEST MIDDLE SCHOOL 53.2 On Track 45.9 On Track 89.7
BEULAH RALPH ELEMENTARY 58.9 On Track 58.2 On Track 94.3
RUSSELL BLVD. ELEM. 65.1 Target 56.1 On Track 94.4
SHEPARD BLVD. ELEM. 33.7 Approaching 32.2 Approaching 93.2
ELIOT BATTLE ELEMENTARY 28.4 Approaching 26.4 Approaching 85.6
JEFFERSON MIDDLE SCHOOL 51 On Track 47.8 On Track 90.2
ANN HAWKINS GENTRY MIDDLE 61.1 On Track 63.6 On Track 94.2
ROCK BRIDGE ELEM. 54.5 On Track 57.6 On Track 96
DAVID H. HICKMAN HIGH 58 On Track 39.8 On Track 81.7
MURIEL W. BATTLE HIGH SCHOOL 49 Approaching 11.4 Approaching 74.8
ROCK BRIDGE SR. HIGH 70.5 Target 47.3 On Track 89

The district declined to comment on each school’s performance, citing that it hasn’t reviewed the data.

Overall, Columbia schools hit or exceeded state’s expectations in college and career readiness and graduation rate, Baumstark said. Indicators such as assessments, advanced placement and postsecondary placement are listed as at “target” in the report.

Columbia’s average four-year graduation rate is at 89.5%, which is considered “on track.” Its five-, six- and seven-year rates are all above 92%.

Rock Bridge High posted the district's best four-year graduation rate, at 93%. 

Columbia public high school graduation rates

Four year graduation rates at Columbia's public high schools, according to state data.

High School Graduation rates
Rock Bridge 92.6
Battle 90.5
Hickman 88.1
Douglass 71.6

In terms of attendance, Columbia schools are listed as “on track,” indicating that 85% to 90% of its student population attends school 90% of time, and that the district is making at least a 2% increase in a three-year period.

Baumstark said attendance has been a focus for CPS, noting that the district’s three-year average is 1.2% below the desired target.

“This is an area that has been consistent for us,” she said. “We are encouraged to see that improving, and we will keep working toward that.”

The report also shows the district is at “approaching” level for both English and math for academic achievement. Baumstark said the district saw some improvement in basic literacy skills, especially at the elementary levels when students move from third to fourth grade.

“We will continue to build on the successes moving forward,” Baumstark said.

The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s Annual Performance Report, or APR, keeps track of school districts’ performances through five criteria: academic achievement, achievement among minorities, college and career readiness, attendance and graduation rate. Eliminated this year: the overall APR points grade for districts.

CPS also has its own internal system to measure its students’ performance, Baumstark said.

“Ultimately, it comes down to what we are doing to the individual students in regards to support and intervention to help them be successful,” Baumstark said.

  • Education reporter, fall 2019. Graduate student. Reach me at or in the newsroom at 882-5700

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