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CPS Sends Survey to Parents

A growing city population and new schools is causing the Columbia Public Schools administration to look for better ways to operate the district, which could mean changing school starts.The district emailed a survey to parents asking for feedback on the topic Tuesday evening. Some parents are not thrilled about different starting times, but district officials say they only have a couple of options. “We have two options, which would be elementary starting first, high school second, middle school third, or middle school first, high school second, elementary starting third,” said CPS spokeswoman Michelle Baumstark.The district is considering the changes because their schools are getting too full and they need to expand buildings. Despite the survey just being sent out, officials say they are already receiving feedback.”I sent it out last night at about six o’clock, so it’s certainly getting a lot of attention,” said Baumstark.”That will affect it if they start late, because you know if they start late, they will finish late, so the activities, the homework, the sports, it will affect it, so it won’t be a good idea,” said parent Woldu Tekle.One parent says it is already difficult getting students ready in the morning, so he is against elementary schools starting even earlier.”There’s nothing as hard as that, because we try to get the kids up, get their bags packed, and then drive them to school,” said Felix Adah.As parents juggle their jobs in addition to getting children ready for school, most say they do not need this change. That is something the school district says they are aware of.”And we certainly know that this is something that can have a large impact on our community, and we definitely want to give everyone an opportunity to give us some input and tell us what they think,” said Baumstark.The survey for parents is due January 7th. Once data is compiled, the findings will be shared with the transportation committee before going to the Board of Education for a vote.

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