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Changes to CPS Attendance areas set to be discussed during Monday’s meeting


Columbia Public Schools is set to discuss changes to the district's attendance areas as new buildings are set to open, and as schools continue to grow beyond their capacity.

Monday marks the beginning of Phase 1 for CPS as the district plans a series of meetings to discuss the changes to its attendance areas.

The changes come after voters approved an $80 million bond issue in April 2022 to help fund the addition of two new elementary schools, renovations to the Columbia Area Carrer Center, an addition to Battle Elementary School and other capital improvements.

According to the district, CPS had a total of 18,213 students in the 2020 fall semester. By fall 2022, that number had risen to 18,800 students. In April 2022, Yearwood told ABC 17 News he predicted the student population to be over 20,000 students by 2032.

CPS parents have told ABC 17 News that it is important that class sizes aren't too large. That's why the district is planning new projects including at Russell Boulevard Elementary School. Work there is nearing completion and the elementary school located on the John Warner Middle School campus is in the design phase.

Work on an addition to Battle Elementary was set to start in early 2024. This project will install additional classrooms and bring the student capacity up to around 650 students. It will also provide a storm shelter.

According to CPS online records, the district has spent or allotted $52.7 million in building renovations from fiscal 2020 to fiscal 2023.

Phase one will begin on Monday with a meeting at Russell Boulevard Elementary School at 3:30 p.m. Phase two of the approval process will take place on July 2nd, followed by phase 3 on July 3rd.

Implementation is set to start with Phase one in the Fall of 2024, followed by Phase 2 in the Fall of 2025 and Phase 3 in the Fall of 2026.

The Districts Guiding Principles for the changes include:

  • Attendance areas do change and will continue to change. This work is part of a regular review of district enrollment patterns.
  • The attendance area should anticipate the future growth of neighborhoods. A walkable and bikeable school is important, but may not always be possible.
  • The attendance area seeks to reflect the composition of the Columbia Public Schools community.
  • The board recognizes the power of a school to create a community. Accessibility for families is important (volunteering and attending school functions are easier when the school is near).
  • Consider the time students spend on a bus and the distance traveled to and from school.
  • Consider attendance areas' boundary lines that follow natural/man-made boundaries.
  • Consider a transfer policy that allows 5th graders to remain at their previous school and policies that allow siblings to remain.
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Marina Diaz

Marina is a Multimedia Journalist for ABC 17 News, she is originally from Denver, Colorado. She went to Missouri Valley College where she played lacrosse and basketball, and anchored her school’s newscast.


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