SPS shares potential changes to fall school structure in board meeting

Rev Steve Heather KOLR

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Big potential changes could be happening for students at Springfield Public Schools. Board members met to discuss ongoing plans for the fall semester re-entry on July 14, 2020.

While quite a few ideas were thrown around at Tuesday’s board meeting, it is important to understand that none of the ideas are confirmed plans, but are instead mere considerations.

Possibly one of the more noteworthy concepts on the table right now is the proposed 3-way re-entry, which would give students three options on how to return to classes. Those three options include:

  • Returning to fully-seated, in-person classes
  • Staying home to take all classes online
  • A hybrid schedule made up of 2 in-person classes and 3 virtual classes a day

SPS made it clear it wants students back in class. Survey statistics revealed the vast majority of teachers and parents (over 90%) want the same. Similarly, board members say they’re expecting significant academic, social, and emotional loss for students who are not in class.

The district also discussed required face coverings or all teachers, staff, and students in grades six through 12. The masks were also recommended for younger kids as well.

Those riding the bus might also be asked to wear a face mask and before climbing aboard, those bus-riding students could also need to be registered ahead of time by their parents.

Further precautions being considered by the school board include:

  • Social distancing during large gatherings of students, including during mealtimes
  • Pre-packaged meals
  • And schools will be deep cleaned regularly.

Even considering these proposed changes, the district said Tuesday it does have a comprehensive COVID-19 outbreak plan as well.

Finally, the district is making changes not only in response to the recent spread of COVID-19, but also in response to a recent rise in consciousness regarding the treatment of people of color.

According to SPS, teachers can expect “cultural consciousness” training. Also, some students may get instructions on the quote “justice and anti-racism”.

But we want to re-iterate none of this has been approved. It’s just ideas being presented to the board.

A full vote likely won’t come until later in July.

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