Springfield Public Schools

Dr. John Jungmann
Scott Harvey / KSMU

The Springfield Public Schools Board of Education has extended Superintendent Dr. John Jungmann’s contract through the 2019-2020 school year.

The announcement on Friday came following the board’s annual review of the district leader, conducted on Tuesday. It’s the third time the board has extended his contract since hiring Jungmann on July 1, 2014.

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A student at Springfield’s Bissett Elementary was sent home Tuesday after exhibiting symptoms of mumps.  The Springfield-Greene County Health Department confirmed the illness Wednesday.

In a letter sent to parents, the Springfield Public School District attached a mumps fact sheet and said children should be monitored for symptoms. 

Theresa Bettmann

Springfield voters will be asked this spring to approve a $189 million bond proposal to make school improvements identified as critical in Springfield Public Schools' Facility Master Plan. The Springfield school board has voted unanimously to place the request on the April 4 ballot to fund projects in 19 schools and expand space for early childhood education programs.  

Tuesday’s decision follows a 12-month process that evaluated all schools and identified needed improvements.

Ozarks Food Harvest

A food fight involving 20 schools in the Springfield Public Schools system, will mean relief for those experiencing hunger in the Ozarks.

The schools partnered with 13 organizations for the sixth annual competition to benefit Ozarks Food Harvest. When the “fight” was over, more than 19,000 pounds of food was collected along with a little more than $2500 for the food bank.  Ozarks Food Harvest says that will provide 28,000 meals to people in need this holiday season. 

Homelessness and Our Youth
Danisha Hogue / KSMU

The Springfield area has a high count of youth experiencing homelessness, with 70 percent of homeless youth between the ages of 17-18. It was among the statistics discussed Thursday before roughly 50 people at the Springfield Art Museum.

According to the 2016 Homeless and at risk Survey Report, the majority of homeless youth are white and identify the city as their home town.

A showing of Hillcrest High School’s 2013 documentary Homelessness in the Heartland set the tone for Thursday evening’s post-video discussion.

hillcrest61.net

The Springfield Board of Education has received final recommendations for a facility master plan, which would be implemented over 12 years.

Michele Skalicky / KSMU

The Springfield Public School District wants to know what the public thinks about the long-range facility master plan recently presented to the Board of Education.

The plan offers two options for addressing needs identified during an assessment of about 60 buildings by an independent team of facility experts earlier this year.

A series of community meetings to gather input about the proposed improvements starts this week.

Dr. John Jungmann
Springfield Public Schools

The Missouri Association of School Administrators has named Springfield’s Dr. John Jungmann superintendent of the year.

The announcement came at the annual fall conference of the MASA and Missouri School Boards Association, which concluded Sunday.

Roseann Bentley Administrative Center
Scott Harvey / KSMU

A new administration building for Springfield Public Schools bears the name of one of its former board members and longtime education supporter.

Officials on Thursday unveiled the new Roseann Bentley Administrative Center along East Sunshine St. Before roughly 150 attendees, the current Greene County Commissioner offered thanks by expressing she and her family’s appreciation for the district.

“We love our public schools. And I don’t know if we’ve truly realized what a gift we have in the largest in the state and the best school district in the state,” Bentley said.

Michele Skalicky / KSMU

Two options for dealing with the facility needs of the Springfield Public School District have been presented to the Board of Education.

The options are part of the district’s facility master planning process, which included an assessment of about 60 buildings by an independent team of facility experts and an analysis of community feedback and other information, according to Superintendent Dr. John Jungmann.

Camp Wakonda
Ozarks Regional YMCA

In a partnership with the Ozarks Regional YMCA, fourth graders from eight Springfield Public Schools are getting a chance to expand their curriculum in an outdoor setting.

Beginning in September, students from Bissett, Bowerman, Boyd, Watkins, Weaver, Westport, Williams and York elementary schools will visit YMCA's Camp Wakonda in Ash Grove to partake in project-based learning experiences.

Scott Harvey / KSMU

Over 350 Fremont Elementary students this week will experience new ways of learning and various spaces in which to do it.

The newly renovated and expanded school welcomes pre-k through fifth graders Wednesday to its north Springfield location. By adding students from adjacent schools, it also relieves some overcrowding issues elsewhere.

Principal James Grandon says classrooms are twice the size of traditional learning spaces, giving twice as many teachers access to students.  

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Over the last several months, MGT of America Consulting, a national consulting firm hired by Springfield Public Schools, finished an independent review of nearly 60 SPS buildings.  

Teresa Bledsoe, spokesperson for SPS, said the firm’s job was to review each building’s condition, campus, educational suitability and technology readiness. 

“It’s a comprehensive process. We wanted experts to conduct a study and evaluate our current facilities, assess their current conditions and help identify what future needs we would have,” Bledsoe said. 

Michele Skalicky / KSMU

The last two Springfield Public Schools projects funded by a $71.65 million bond issue approved by Springfield voters in 2013 are just about finished.

In his State of the School address today, SPS Superintendent Dr. John Jungmann said the auditorium at Kickapoo High School, which will also serve as a FEMA safe room, and renovations at Fremont Elementary will be complete by the start of school on August 17.

Ozarks Food Harvest
Ozarks Food Harvest website

This past school year, 54 percent of students in the Springfield school district received either a free or reduced lunch. So come summer, it might seem that a majority of local youth could struggle to get enough to eat. But that is not the case.

“Parents don’t realize there are open sites and that they can have their kids come in and enjoy breakfast and lunch,” said Amy Gibbons, director of nutrition for Springfield public schools. “It’s the same food we serve during the regular school year, it’s healthy and it meets all the USDA guidelines.”

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