Parents start group ahead of CPS redistricting talks

Columbia Public Schools redistricting

COLUMBIA, Mo. - Jennifer Roberts' daughter started at Rock Bridge High School this year. She fears that when she becomes a junior, it will be time to move.

"She just loves it, and I can't imagine taking that away from her halfway through," Roberts said.

Roberts and thousands of other parents in the district could be affected by CPS' latest effort of redrawing school boundary lines for middle and high schools. The district's newest middle school will open for the 2020-2021 school year, requiring a change of attendance areas.

Roberts started a group "Start2Finish" to raise awareness of the redistricting process and advocate for a policy to let high school students stay at the school they're at in 2020 until they finish.

The school board adopted a set of guiding principles last month for the redistricting process. The principles call for the board to consider policies that let 8th and 12th graders stay at their current school should they be affected by the changes.

Roberts said that policy should extend to all high school students.

"We are invested in our schools in so many ways, and to take a kid out of their school and make them go somewhere else is not, it's not a good option for that child," Roberts said.

The district hired Ohio-based consultant Scott Leopold of Cooperative Strategies, LLC to lead this process. Leopold will speak to the school board at its Monday meeting, which starts at 6:30 p.m. at the district administration building on W. Worley Street.


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