Proposal may force elementary school students to change schools

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COLUMBIA - Some Columbia elementary school parents are upset about proposed changes to the public school boundaries. A Columbia Public Schools committee completed its final map proposal Monday.

The proposed changes are to incorporate the addition of Beulah Ralph Elementary School in southwest Columbia. The changes would impact some neighborhoods more than others, particularly within the Fairview Elementary School boundary.

A link to the proposed boundary changes can be found here. The southern portion of Fairview's boundary would become part of the Russell Boulevard Elementary boundary.

Some affected families are upset about the change. Melissa Holyoak is a mother of four, whose oldest two children attend Fairview Elementary. Holyoak opposes this boundary change as it would force her children to travel an extra mile to school.

"My biggest concern is this is my children's neighborhood elementary school," Holyoak said. "And they would no longer have that after this change."

She and her family live a little less than a mile from Fairview Elementary, which makes the school commute easy.

"My kids are right up the street," Holyoak said. "They could walk or ride their bikes if they wanted to."

But unlike the Holyoaks, a large portion of Fairview's students would not feel the effect. KOMU 8 spoke with about 25 parents picking up their children from school Tuesday. Of those families, just two said the boundary change affected them.

Holyoak said she plans on attending the board of education meeting in April.

If the board adopts the boundary changes in April, they would take effect in the 2016-2017 school year.