Vote expected for Columbia school boundary changes

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COLUMBIA - The Columbia Board of Education is expected to vote Monday night on new boundaries for its elementary schools in preparation for the opening of Columbia's newest elementary school, Beulah Ralph. It will be located in the southwest portion of Columbia and will open in August 2016.

"There's nothing easy about this and we know we're not going to make everyone happy," Columbia Public Schools spokesperson Michelle Baumstark said of the need to change boundaries.

Columbia mother of two Julie Artemova said her daughter will be going to a Jefferson Middle school, unlike many of her current classmates, because of the new boundaries. While Artemova  said she is content with the school, she feels for her daughter, who has already told her she will miss her classmates.

"A very small percentage of this subdivision will be going to Jeff. So that's hard. Now you're with a totally different group of kids," she said.

Baumstark said that the boundary vote comes at a good time because students, and parents, will have more than a year to acclamate to their new schools.

"We have till 2016 before the school opens, so families will have a lot of time to get to know their new school building and the students they'll be going to school with in their new building," she said.

The Columbia Board of Education meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. Monday evening.

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