SPS Releases Re-entry Plan for 2020-2021 School Year

Springfield Public Schools released its re-entry plan for the 2020-2021 school year on Thursday. Highlights include options for in-person/online and virtual learning, as well as required face coverings for all adults and students (preK - Grade 12) in SPS facilities. 

Learning Options
Parents are asked to review the SPS reentry plan at www.sps.org/reentry and select one of the following learning options for each of their children by July 31. Both options include core content and elective courses. The selected learning option will be effective for the entirety of the first semester.

  • Option 1: In-Person Learning will blend seated and virtual instruction to reduce the number of people within each building and allow for appropriate social distancing. Students will attend seated classes two days a week with a limited number of students in each classroom. On the other three days of the week, students will learn online from home. At the end of the first quarter, depending on the level of COVID-19 exposures in the community, SPS may consider increasing the number of days students attend classes in person. Conversely, students may be shifted to full-time virtual learning, at any time, if COVID-19 exposures significantly increase. All decisions would be made in collaboration with the Springfield-Greene County Health Department.

  • Option 2: Full-time Virtual Learning is offered for those desiring complete virtual learning. Students will learn online from home, five days a week, with regular virtual interaction with their teachers.

“In developing plans to start school on August 24, SPS has focused on strategies that both allow students to return to learning while also prioritizing the health and wellness of our students, staff and community,” said Dr. John Jungmann, superintendent. “We are balancing the impact of a global pandemic with the critical need for our students to continue learning. By offering in-person and virtual learning options, we are providing our families choices that allow them to access high-quality instruction in the format that best meets their needs.”

Transportation
Parents of students eligible for bus transportation for the 2020-2021 school year will receive an online registration form on Thursday. If eligible students plan to use bus service on the first day of school, registration must be completed by July 31. Due to social distancing, it is highly recommended that families able to provide their own transportation should do so. Students at higher risk of illness from COVID-19, as well as students with special needs who may not wear facial coverings, are especially encouraged to use alternate forms of transportation. 

About the Process
The SPS reentry plan was developed in collaboration with the Springfield-Greene County Health Department and more than 75 teachers, principals and other SPS representatives, with survey feedback from more than 8,200 parents and 1,200 staff. The learning options and safety protocols outlined in the plan enable SPS to start school according to schedule on August 24.


Next Steps
In early August, after the July 31 deadline for parents to select their learning option, SPS will follow up with families to confirm their selection and provide more details regarding schedules and other logistics. In the meantime, more details are available at www.sps.org/reentry and will be continually updated, as needed. Questions may be directed to communications@spsmail.org

“As the school year progresses, we expect that modifications and adjustments to these plans will be necessary,” continued Dr. Jungmann. “We ask for understanding and patience as we continue to make this journey together. In the event that modifications are necessary, please know that our decisions will be guided by our desire to do what is best for our students, employees and community.”