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Columbia Public Schools address overcrowding

Columbia Public School superintendent, Dr. Stiepleman, will present to the Board of Education recommendations on how to address the overcrowding for Gentry and Jefferson Middle School.

The presentation is only information, no action will be taken at Monday nights meeting.

The Board of Education meets each year around October to discuss whether adjustments need to be made for the boundaries of schools.

Gentry Middle School was designed to hold 706 students, with their 13 trailers, they can hold up to 871 students. Currently, 864 students are at Gentry Middle School, and that number is only projected to increase.

The 2017-2018 school year is projected to have 896, and 2018-2019 is projected to have 903.

In April, voters approved a bond issue that includes money to buy land and a design for a new middle school in south Columbia. In April of 2018, the school will seek voter approval to approve to build the school, which they hope to have complete by 2020.

Some of the options that will be brought up in the meeting tonight to address overcrowding at Gentry Middle School include, adding more trailers, restrict and temporarily change boundaries for new developments, explore a site for a grade level, or adjust attendance areas for 6 years (adjust boundaries).

From December 2016 to January 2017, CPS will hold forums at Mill Creek, Beulah Ralph, Rock Bridge Elementary, Gentry and Jefferson Middle School communities to address their concerns.

The Columbia Public School administration will ask the board to take an action by March of 2017.

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