For this project we focused on how the Columbia Public School District has changed since Battle High School opened in fall 2013. In the map below you can see one change — zoning.
As with sinkholes, each of the three team members focused on a different topic. One person solely looked at high schools in the district, Battle, Hickman and Rock Bridge. It was discovered attendance throughout the high schools improved from fall 2012 to fall 2013. Research was also done on the impact of online classes in each school. Another member focused on middle schools. Since rezoning in 2013 a lot has change. Attendance rates and test scores differ drastically among the six schools that serve sixth through eighth grade. Minorities rates in the schools was also observed. The following links give more in depth coverage of the findings.
Published on KBIA
Designed to be used as a daily resource for parents and students in Columbia Public Schools, this topics page contains a brief overview of the school district while staying updated with stories tagged with CPS related terms.
This story focuses on the imbalance between the high enrollment rate at Gentry Middle school and the number of minority students. After the opening of Battle High School the number of students at Gentry increased but minorities decreased, for example the number of African-American students was cut in half.
I started off by looking for previous research about online classes at Columbia Public Schools (CPS) on the web. After contacting people at each major Columbia High School, I found out that Julie Nichols, the manager of Instructional Technology at CPS, was the one to talk to.
I wrote a text piece about the information and statistics I received from Nichols and tweeted it out at specific times. We also used Reddit to learn about the experiences students and parents have had with online classes.
I wrote this day turn that ran on an afternoon news broadcast after talking to Columbia Public Schools Spokesperson Michelle Baumstark. She was explaining the attendance area decision making process to me and mentioned similar processes are occurring for the new elementary. I asked further and was told they were breaking ground on a new building in a few days.
This explanatory piece took a long time to edit to make sure we were accurate and easy to understand. While it wasn’t timely, we didn’t have enough information to support statements evaluating the impact yet beyond some attendance numbers we had already reported. This will be used as a resource for future changes in attendance areas and policies.
I researched attendance rates, demographics and ACT scores for the 3 major high schools in Columbia, Mo. I also spoke to Michelle Baumstark, Director of Columbia Public Schools Community Relations on high schools in the area and to see if she had any explanations about the change in demographics, standardized test scores and attendance rates.
Next, I wrote a text piece about the information and statistics I found. I used Microsoft Excel to categorize the statistics, made graphs on Excel and implemented them into the article. We also added a Thinglink graph to further explain the text piece.
After publishing the article we used Reddit to get people interested in this topic so they want to learn more.