Jungmann Talks About Challenges Facing R-12 Schools

By KOLR10 News , Linda Ong | long@kolr10.com

Published 08/07 2014 11:59AM

Updated 08/07 2014 06:20PM

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- The new head of Springfield Public Schools gave his first major community presentation today, just days before classes resume for the fall.

R-12 superintendent John Jungmann spoke at the Good Morning, Springfield! event at Jeffries Elementary School this morning, for the annual State of the Schools report.

Jungmann took office on July 1.  Today, he talked about the top ten things he's learned in his first 45 days on the job.

Community support, the district's academic performance, staff dedication to students, and progression of innovation and technology were among the top talking points in his presentation. But Jungmann said there's still area for improvement.

"We have to have conversations about what new 21st century learning environments look like and then how do we re-purpose quality space that we have to make that happen," said Jungmann.

Dr. Elizabeth Cooper, Principal of Jeffries Elementary School, said the school could benefit from new technology.

"In order to properly implement the curriculum and provide interventions above and beyond what we can give currently, technology would be a focus," said Cooper. "In our classrooms, we have about one to two computers, which is not adequate."

Ramping up school safety and improving the infrastructure of the district's technology were top improvements made over this summer.

Jungmann said he will try to address the needs of the growing student population in the district.

"We have to spend time making a facility master plan," said Jungmann. "The key will be that we have conversations about non-traditional ways of doing business. That we can't just afford to pop up a school every time three or four hundred new kids show up."

Jungmann said he's working with the school board on prioritizing improvements and goals in hopes of making a lasting impact on every child.

"Supporting the family in their educational environment, supporting these kids so that when they leave our schools, they can be successful contributing members of Springfield or whatever community, and that's going to take a team effort," he said.

Jungmann joins Springfield Public Schools after working for Monett and Liberty Public Schools. He said his experience will help him to understand the district's potential and opportunities.

He said he's still in the process of gathering input from the community.

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