Columbia Public Schools Discuss Redistricting

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COLUMBIA - More than forty-five parents and members of the Secondary Enrollment Planning Committee gathered at Smithton Middle School Thursday night to discuss plans for redistricting the Columbia Public School system.

This discussion focused on elementary and middle school students, and how the upcoming changes would affect them. Current sixth graders will be the first class to attend a four year high school from ninth to twelfth grade. The seventh grade class will attend four different schools by the time students graduate.

Several parents expressed concerns about their childrens' transitions from school to school, splitting siblings up in separate high schools, and travel times to the new high school. The committee addressed the parents' worries, and is taking all of them into consideration. The committee is considering a clause that will "grandfather" younger siblings into the same school as the older child, to avoid splitting families between high schools.

Most of the parents at the meeting seemed content with the committee's response to their questions and concerns. "It looks like they're really thinking things through, and I'm excited that they'll be smaller classes. It looks like there will be a lot of benefits," said parent Jennifer Rosenblad.  The committee, made up of twelve people involved in Columbia Public Schools and ten people from the community, hopes to make its final decisions about redistricting in December.