About Columbia Public SchoolsColumbia Public Schools is the fifth largest district in the state. It includes 21 elementary schools, seven middle schools, four high schools and the Columbia Area Career Center, as well as an early childhood program, with an enrollment of 18,527 students for the 2021-22 school year.The school district is accredited by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, citing such educational advantages as:
- Comprehensive curriculum and services at all grade levels, including preschool and adult
- Exceptional programs for at-risk students and students with disabilities
- Extensive depth and breadth in middle school and high school course offerings
- Award-winning career education programs designed for all students
- Successful community partnerships and volunteer programs
- Significant emphasis on staff development and school improvement efforts
Columbia's students excel in the classroom and in their post-secondary education careers. Approximately 85-90 percent of Columbia students extend their education beyond high school, with 69.1 percent attending a college, university or post-secondary program. Student performance on the ACT and SAT exams exceed state and national averages. In 2020, 89.1 percent of graduates took the ACT. Additionally, of the 1,483 students taking advanced placement courses in 2020, nearly 70 percent earned college credit.
Our district’s teachers represent the primary reason Columbia’s schools and students are so successful. More than 72 percent of teachers hold a master’s degree or higher and an average of 12.5 years of professional experience.
The Columbia community understands the importance of maintaining a high-quality educational program. Most recently, bond issues were passed in 1994, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2007, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016, 2018, 2020 and 2022. A tax levy increase received voter approval in 1999, 2003, 2012 and 2016.
The district's focus, from preschool to adult career education, is excellence.