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CPS to hold open houses on attendance area changes

Columbia Public Schools is holding three community open houses to talk about proposed attendance area changes.

“”So the open houses are really another opportunity for our community, our parents and even employees who want to come and look at the maps and provide us some feedback, be able to ask some questions,” said Michelle Baumstark with Columbia Public Schools.

The district is looking to redraw boundary lines to accommodate a new south Columbia middle school set to open in 2020 that will relieve overcrowding at Gentry Middle School. The open houses will let the community weigh-in on the options the district presented last month for redistricting. The meetings are scheduled for this week:

Jan. 9 6 to 8 p.m. in the Gentry cafeteria Jan. 10 6 to 8 p.m. in the Battle media center Jan. 11 1 to 3 p.m. at the Aslin Administration Building

On Dec. 20 CPS officials presented four options for redistricting. Under one option, students at Jefferson Middle School would go to Hickman High School instead of Rock Bridge High School. In the second option, the western portion of the Rock Bridge Hickman line would shift south, and Jefferson students would still feed into Hickman.

The third option splits Jefferson students between Hickman and Rock Bridge and shifts the western portion of the Rock Bridge, Hickman line further south, moving more students from Rock Bridge to Hickman. Option four breaks the feeder pattern and would send students to high schools based on their middle school.

An online survey is open on the CPS website. CPS says, community feedback is a valuable part of the process and will be considered as redistricting is developed for the Board.

“We’re really asking for parents and community members to provide constructive feedback so that we can make sure as a recommendation comes forwards from Cooperative Strategies that it’s well-informed and considers lots of voices, ” Baumstark said.

The survey closes on Jan. 14, and the district’s final day for action on attendance areas is March 11.

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