- Columbia Independent School
Columbia Independent School Motto "Per Educationem, Sapientiem, Civitas" Established 1998 Type Private College Preparatory Principal Scott Gibson, III Students 314 Grades Pre-K-12 Location School Campus
1801 N Stadium Blvd
Columbia, MO 65202,
Columbia, Missouri, USA
District Columbia Private School District Campus Suburban Colors Blue and Gold Website http://www.cislions.org
Columbia Independent School (CIS) is a private school in Columbia, Missouri that serves 314 students in pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade. The school's curriculum puts a unique emphasis upon "global studies".
Columbia Independent School was begun in the fall of 1996, inspired by a group of families, led by Mr. Justin Perry. The families sought to provide a unique educational opportunity for the growing community in Columbia, Missouri. Mr. Perry envisioned "a new independent, non-sectarian, academically challenging college preparatory school". The school's focus would be on academic achievement and personal excellence. By the end of 1996, 32 families committed to becoming founders of the new school. The next year was spent researching other independent schools, securing a location in Hickman Hall at Stephens College, hiring educators, and selecting a Head of School. Ms. Dee Corn, principal at Hickman High School from 1990–1997, was selected as the Head of School and also functioned as the Director of the Upper School for the first six years. A committee of founders selected the name "Columbia Independent School." Prospective students were given the opportunity to choose the mascot and school colors. The students chose the lion, a symbol of strength, power, pride and leadership, and the colors blue and gold. The student body would later vote to name the mascot "Leo".
In the fall of 1998, CIS opened its doors to 55 students in grades six through nine and a faculty composed of 16 teachers. Students and teachers attended a three-day retreat at the YMCA Trout Lodge in southern Missouri before school began. The retreat offered students informative sessions about expectations at CIS, mixed with fun bonding activities. Speeches and the release of balloons as everyone passed under the arches marked the first official day.
In each additional school year, a grade was added until the high school was complete. In the spring of 2002, CIS celebrated its first graduating class, sending graduates to Baylor, Dartmouth, Princeton and Washington University.
With the success of the Upper School campus and the support of 24 founding families, the administration and Board of Trustees decided to launch a Kindergarten through fifth grade campus. In the summer of 2002, CIS opened its Lower School program in the previous Sacred Heart Parish School. Ms. Barbara Savage, an educator since 1972 with an emphasis in gifted education, was appointed director and established the current reputation of excellence for the Lower School.
In the summer of 2004, Dr. Charles McClain became the Interim Head of School at CIS. Dr. McClain was the former state commissioner of higher education and past president of Truman State University in Kirksville, Missouri. Dr. McClain guided the school during the Head of School search. In January 2005, the CIS Board of Trustees announced its unanimous decision to select Mr. Trent Amond as the new Head of School. At the same time, to create a more balanced and efficient administration of the growing school, the Director of the Upper School position was created. Mr. Douglas Sept, a mathematics teacher with ten years of experience (three at CIS), was offered, and accepted the new position.
Mr. Trent Amond became the Head of School in the summer of 2005. He came to CIS from Charles Wright Academy in Tacoma, Washington, where he served as Director of Finance and Operations. Mr. Amond had a bachelor of arts degree in engineering and economics from Harvard, and a master of business administration (MBA) and juris doctorate (JD) degree from Syracuse University. Mr. Amond worked to move CIS forward in administrative structure, financial stability, school communication, and enrollment until his departure in July 2008. Mr. Amond's was replaced by Mr. Scott K. Gibson III.
In April 2008, CIS acquired the rights to a 62,000 sq ft (5,800 m2). building at 1801 N. Stadium Blvd. in Columbia. The former office building of Toastmaster was renovated to house CIS beginning in the 2009-2010 school year. This effectively doubled the space CIS previously occupied and brought all of CIS together under one roof.
The upper and middle schools at Columbia Independent School organize students into "prides". Each pride has approximately 12–15 students with a teacher acting as "Pride Leader". During this fixed period, 5th hour, students may do homework, group projects, meetings, and every semester each pride does a community project. CIS prides generally meet 2 times per week.
Columbia Independent School is a member of the Missouri State High School Activities Association (MSHSAA) which governs the athletics of most schools within Missouri. The school's teams are designated the "Lions." Fall sports include cross country, girl's tennis and co-ed soccer. Winter sports include basketball, as well as wrestling through partnerships with nearby Rock Bridge High School and Hickman High School. Spring sports include boy's tennis and track and field.
- Columbia Independent School website
- Private School Review's profile
- Great Schools.net's profile
- CIS Calendar
The City of Columbia University of Missouri System · University of Missouri · Stephens College · Columbia College
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