Education news and issues in the Ozarks.

Theresa Bettmann

Schools in the Springfield Public Schools District will have staggered start times this fall.  That’s to accommodate expanded transportation options for 3000 more high school students, according to SPS.  Buses will also be provided for the first time to choice magnet programs.


Drury University will not require masks when school starts this fall.  Some social distancing measures might remain in place, however, and the school will continue a COVID-19 testing program for unvaccinated students, faculty and staff.  Proof of vaccination will be required to opt out of testing, Drury said in a news release.  The university said it continues to work with the Springfield-Greene County Health Department “as the situation evolves.”

Drury is also offering incentives for students attending its residential day school to get vaccinated.

Growing up in Bangladesh, Sujash Purna was inspired by British literature, reading works by J.K. Rowling, Jane Austen and George Orwell. A love of language drew him to creative writing and brought him to America to further his studies.

Theresa Bettmann

In Part 1 of KSMU's interview with the new superintendent of Springfield Public Schools, Dr. Grenita Lathan, she ended by talking about the impact of the pandemic on learning.  That's where Part 2 picks up.

I heard the impact of the pandemic on learning was especially harder for under-resourced and under-represented student.  As superintendent, what will you do to make sure kids who are in those groups aren't left behind?

Michele Skalicky

I'm speaking with the new superintendent of Springfield Public Schools, Dr. Grenita Lathan. She comes to Springfield from Houston, Texas, where she served as interim superintendent for the Houston Independent School District. Welcome Dr. Lathan.

Thank you.

The last year has been a challenging one for many people. The COVID-19 pandemic required schools to take steps to keep their students and staff as safe as possible. What did the last school year look like at your district? What worked and what didn't?

To say that this past year and a half have been tough is an understatement. The COVID-19 pandemic has affected every facet of our lives and put a strain on our mental health.

One simple way to destress and rejuvenate yourself is to explore the outdoors. With summer here, now’s a great time to go outside.

How did early American Protestants respond to disease and suffering? What role did religion play in their response to sickness?

In her new book, “The Course of God’s Providence: Religion, Health, and the Body in Early America, author Dr. Pippa Koch explores the doctrine of providence – a belief in a divine plan for the world – and its manifestations in 18th century America. 

Last year, Missouri State University’s Tent Theatre was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This summer, it’s back with its 59th season, featuring three shows – two live and one virtual. 

There will be a major change this year – the live shows will take place in Craig Hall Coger Theatre. This is due to the construction of Tent Theatre’s new permanent structure, the John Goodman Amphitheatre, scheduled to open in summer 2022.

Vanagon Blog / Flickr

Thefts of a part found underneath a vehicle are causing problems for individuals and organizations in the Ozarks.  Between January 1 and April 30, 2021, 337 reports of catalytic converter thefts were reported to the Springfield Police Department.  

James Mulvenon

A free course for anyone who would like to work in the construction industry is being offered this summer by Ozarks Technical Community College on its Springfield campus.  According to OTC, it’s offering the course to meet the needs of the industry. 

OTC chancellor, Hal Higdon, said in a news release that he’s heard from many construction companies and contractors recently who are “in desperate need of workers.”

Whether you’re a CEO, public relations professional, truck driver or preschool student, you are always communicating. Intentionally or not. Verbally or nonverbally. You have the skill the moment you enter the world.

Dr. Carrisa Hoelscher, director of graduate communication studies at Missouri State University, sets her target on competent communication to help others improve their skill.

A family with young kids sitting around a campfire.
LizRVS from Pixabay

Summer is just around the corner. With easing of restrictions and increased vaccination rates, many people around the country are ready to travel again.

What will summer travel look like? How can people enjoy taking trips safely? 

Dr. Stephanie Hein, department head of hospitality leadership at Missouri State University, answers these questions and more.

A plate of salad with a side of bread.
RitaE from Pixabay

Many people choose to follow a diet plan to lose weight and eat healthier.

But with so many diet plans available, from the DASH diet to the Keto diet to the Mediterranean diet and more, it can be a challenge to find one that’s effective and sustainable in the long term.

Courtesy of Gwen Marshall/Equity and Division Specialist with SPS

This week, host Maggie Castrey speaks with Gwen Marshall, Equity and Diversity Specialist with Springfield Public Schools and coordinator of Black History Summer Academy.

Today’s discussion talks about the history and mission of the academy, and more about this year’s program “Hidden Gems-The Next Generation.”  The program taking place June 14-18th from 6:00-8:00pm is free and open to the public. Registration is required by the end of May.

Society has developed into a difficult place for many individuals with autism. Socialization and communication are fundamental, and these skills can be a hurdle.

Dr. Megan Boyle, associate professor of special education at Missouri State University, is a board-certified behavior analyst. She runs a clinic for children with autism spectrum disorders and prepares the next generation of educators for behavior issues in the classroom.