CPS committee talks possible plans for the district

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COLUMBIA - Columbia Public Schools’ committee for long-range planning will have its first meeting Monday night, to discuss what’s next for the district this year.

The Long-Range Facilities Planning Committee is the first committee this new year to start its meetings. Michelle Baumstark, Director of Community Relations for CPS, said this committee is very important in helping figure out what needs to be done to help each school.

“The board of education has several acting committees that it uses in order to be able to inform its decision-making and to be able to have some more in-depth conversations before items are brought to the board of education for its consideration,” Baumstark said. “The purpose of that committee is to talk about what’s next for the district, prioritizations, what some of our challenges are, what we might see on the horizon.”

The meeting Monday will bring up many points of discussion. One topic will be Jefferson Middle School.

“A couple of things that we’ve been talking about are some of the enhancements that might be necessary at Jefferson Middle School, as we move to a STEAM-based concept for that school when the new middle school opens in 2020,” Baumstark said.

The STEAM-based concept means the curriculum will focus on Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math.

Another point of discussion Monday will be Rockbridge Elementary School.

“They’ll also be talking about Rockbridge Elementary School, which is a school we’ve been talking about is in need of a building addition, in order to continue to address growth in south Columbia,” Baumstark said.

The discussions of the two schools will segway into the topic of facility audits for the school. Baumstark said, for the audits, they look at the conditions of their facilities and see which ones need maintenance and major improvements that will help in the long run.

“We want to make sure that we maintain all of our school buildings and all of our facilities, in order to keep them in working order and continue to maintain the high-quality buildings that we have across the school district,” Baumstark said.

Once the committee agrees on the improvements and changes, the school board will take further action.

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