SPS Choice Programs have focused themes and aligned curriculum which provides students access to unique learning opportunities driven by their passion, inquiry, and community connections.
SPS Choice is choice within the public school setting. Though this term was developed to communicate stakeholder input from the strategic planning process during the 2006-2007 school year, the process of meeting a variety of learning styles based on stakeholder input can be traced to past non-mandated program implementations such as the International Baccalaureate programs and remains a priority within SPS as highlighted in Focus Area 1, Goal 3, Strategy 11 of the Springfield Public Schools strategic plan. This focus area with the strategic plan highlights the power of collaboration with community partners and organizations to help enrich learning experiences for students.
Following the input of a community-wide strategic planning process during the 2006-2007 school year, the district’s strategic plan, SP5, was launched in August 2007. Through the process of stakeholder input it was determined that programs related to workforce development, science and math, and more programs with academic rigor in general, were top priorities for the majority of our key stakeholder groups. In addition, offerings in the area of fine arts and related specialized programs received significant support. The past three Community Focus Reports have identified SPS Choice programs and community partnerships as education blue ribbons for Springfield. In 2014, during a stakeholder feedback process, nearly 85% of SPS parents surveyed indicated that they would like to see more Choice programs offered.
Planning and quality assurance for current and future choice options has became a district focus. As the potential for additional requests for programs increases there is a need to provide an application process and set of parameters to guide future SPS Choice programs.
To achieve success in these two areas, the development of future SPS Choice programs will take into consideration the following general areas:
- Current and future stakeholder support for the proposed program.
- Accountability measurements which align with the district’s strategic plan and mission, as well as reflect the uniqueness of the proposed program.
- Facility to house proposed program (if applicable) currently maintains a learning environment conducive to the success of the proposed program or budgeted and board-approved funds to address building enhancements.
- Consideration of overall existing and future SPS Choice programs as related to location and focus as to maximize the accessibility of SPS Choice to students interested in participation.
- Proposed programs meet quality assurance metrics in place to assess the program’s success and to determine future support.
- Quality assurance metrics will be implemented through the evaluation of current magnet school programs and will lead into the evaluation of other SPS choice programs. Through the self-evaluation, SPS will be able to clearly identify choice programs who meet the expectations of what a choice program in SPS is and will aid in the expansion of choice across the district.
Coordinator of Choice Programs & Student Experiences
Coordinator of Summer Learning & Student Experiences