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Columbia Public Schools looking for feedback from families on potentially new elementary boundaries


The Columbia Board of Education on Monday saw options for redrawing elementary school boundaries created by a consultant, and now the public is asked to weigh in.

District Chief Operating Officer Randall Gooch and a representative of Cooperative Strategies,which the district contracted for the project, presented an overview of the process, a timeline for completion and options for drawing the new lines.

"We know in a growing community like Columbia we have to do this systematically," Gooch said.

There are 4 options currently. Each has three phases, which starting in the 2021 school year, then 2022 and 2023 respectively.

The first phase will focus on relieving pressure on Parkade Elementary and will take effect next fall, which is 130 percent utilization

Full maps can be found in the presentation. Option A would move 2,339 K-5 students, while Option B would move 2,792 students.

The other options won't move as many students. Option C would move 1,120 and Option D would move 778 K-5 students.

A narrated version of the presentation is be available along with a school locator to let community members to see impacts in each of the four scenarios.

CPS plans to hold town halls this week at Gentry, Jefferson and Lange middle schools and a public survey will be available starting Tuesday.

The board will receive feedback from the survey next week. Then Cooperative Strategies will refine the options and make a recommendation which will be presented in May.

The board is set to vote on the change in June.

The president of the Columbia Missouri National Teachers Association Kerri Stith told the board she hopes the board considers equity when making a decision.

"While moving school boundaries is never an easy decision, we acknowledge the efforts that are being put into getting community feedback," Stith said. "we hope you use that to inform your decision."

Article Topic Follows: Columbia Public Schools

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Connor Hirsch

Connor Hirsch reports for the weekday night shows, as well as Sunday nights.


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