Elementary Attendance Area Changes

  • The Columbia Public Schools understands that attendance areas will change when new buildings open, and may need to be adjusted when school buildings have grown beyond their capacity.  Additionally, Board of Education policy requires that the district regularly reviews attendance areas.

    In the fall of 2019, the school district began discussion and work on attendance areas as part of the district’s long-range plans.  Based on that work, the Board of Education approved new attendance areas for middle school and high school in the winter of 2020. The global pandemic paused work on elementary attendance areas. The school district is now restarting attendance area work.

    The Board of Education previously identified the need to review elementary attendance areas to determine if there are areas that need to be addressed due to population growth. We are currently reviewing the next steps in the process of evaluating our current elementary attendance areas in two phases. Phase 1 will address Parkade Elementary School’s attendance area as enrollment is currently overcapacity.  Phase 1 changes will be implemented this fall.  Phase 2 will address the remaining elementary attendance areas with implementation planned for 2022-23.


  • In September 2018, the Board of Education approved guiding principles to help outline the process.  

    Guiding Principles 

    * Attendance areas do change and will continue to change. This work is part of a regular review of district enrollment patterns and the addition of a new middle school. 
    * The attendance area should anticipate future growth of neighborhoods. A walkable and bikeable school is important, but may not always be possible.
    * The attendance area seeks to reflect the composition of the Columbia Public School community.
    * The board recognizes the power of a school to create community. Accessibility for families is important (volunteering and attending school functions are easier when the school is near).
    * Consider time students spend on a bus and the distance traveled to and from school.
    * Consider attendance areas boundary lines that follow natural/manmade boundaries. 
    * Consider a transfer policy that allows 8th and 12th graders to remain at their previous school and policies that allow siblings to remain.
     

    Timeline

    A public survey on possible attendance area change options will be available beginning April 12 and will close on April 20.  The Board of Education will review the attendance area information collected and the draft change scenarios on April 22. The final recommendations and vote will take place on May 10 for Phase 1 and on June 14 for Phase 2.  A link will be sent once the survey opens.

    The Board of Education has set guiding principles to aid in the discussion and identification of any changes that may need to be made to existing attendance areas.  Below are the established principles:

    • Attendance areas do change and will continue to change. This work is part of a regular review of district enrollment patterns.
    • The attendance area should anticipate future growth of neighborhoods. A walkable and bikeable school is important but may not always be possible.
    • The attendance area seeks to reflect the composition of the Columbia Public Schools community.
    • The board recognizes the power of a school to create community. Accessibility for families is important (volunteering and attending school functions are easier when the school is near).
    • Consider time students spend on a bus and the distance traveled to and from school. 
    • Consider attendance areas boundary lines that follow natural/man-made boundaries.
    • Consider a transfer policy that allows 5th graders to remain at their previous school and policies that allow siblings to remain.