CIS has become a vibrant learning community devoted to cultivating young minds and preparing students for life.

Columbia Independent School guides students in their pursuit of excellence, beginning with children at the earliest stages of development in junior kindergarten and creating a seamless educational experience through graduation. Our intentionally crafted curriculum is designed to stretch the mind of every child and provide exemplary support for students throughout the lower, middle, and upper school divisions. CIS prepares students for the rigorous academic life in college and success in the global world. This preparation is achieved through small class sizes, a committed faculty, a safe and close-knit community built on diverse backgrounds, and lively and engaging classrooms, which exude the joy of living.

Inside CIS

The faculty and staff at CIS create an intimate learning environment where students receive personalized, quality instruction and guidance throughout their academic journey. Students are engaged with a strong liberal arts curriculum, which includes courses in the fine arts, foreign languages such as Latin, and many others. In addition, the Center for Inspiration, Innovation, and Investigation enhances a student’s natural curiosity through hands-on experiences that build problem solving and collaboration skills. CIS has the unique opportunity to bring students together at all grade levels through cross-divisional class projects, assemblies and socials, and all-school community events.

Facts at a glance (2018-19)


40 full-time faculty; 11 part-time
75% with advanced degrees, including three individuals with PhDs.

Total Enrollment: 353

Lower School (JK - 5th): 210 students
Middle School (6th - 8th): 97 students
Upper School (9th - 12th): 46 students


Students come from various socio-economic, religious, ethnic, and racial backgrounds within the area, as well as internationally. Students of color comprised 32% of the CIS population.

Columbia Independent School is accredited by the Independent Schools Association of the Central States (ISACS), a member of the International Council Advancing Independent School Accreditation (ICAISA). ISACS has voluntarily submitted to a rigorous and impartial review of its accreditation program and demonstrated its adherence to the Council’s Criteria for Effective Independent School Accreditation Practices. ISACS is commended by ICAISA for the quality of the Association’s accreditation program for its member schools.