Columbia School Board to Discuss Increase in Enrollment

Related Story

COLUMBIA - The Columbia Board of Education is set to consider ways to combat the school district's increasing enrollment. 

One consideration is adding more trailers to both Mill Creek Elementary and Gentry Middle School.

The state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education recommends that class size for kindergarten through second grade be no more than 25 students, and for third through fourth grade the department recommends a maximum of 27 students.

Enrollment this school year at Mill Creek is only up by about 25 students, and Principal Tabetha Rawlings says classes average around 22 to 25 students per class.

"We don't feel the overcrowding on a day to day basis. We do what we have to do to make sure our students are educated," said Rawlings.

But Rawlings says the school does have a problem handling the influx of students in the cafeteria and physical education classes.

By 2013-2014, the school district projects 827 students and by 2014-2015, 841 students.

The district has plans to build two new elementary schools. One in the south side of Columbia will be funded from last April's voter-approved $50-million bond issue. The other will open in northeastern Columbia near Battle High School and will be funded by money from a 2010 bond issue.

Also on the agenda for the meeting, is the consideration of a new substitute teacher plan that will contract the substitute teaching to a national company.