December 3, 2023

The countdown is on: The clock on the last day of the Springfield school year will wind to zero Wednesday afternoon.

The final day of the 2021-22 year will be a full day, ending at the normal dismissal time — with no early release.

Schools have been busy with end-of-year activities: Final exams, award ceremonies and field day events.

Planning for the next school year — which starts Aug. 22, by the way — began months ago and will continue through the summer.

Superintendent Grenita Lathan, nearly a year into the job, has reorganized the central office. The leadership exits, promotions and revamped roles resulted in a higher than average amount of change at the Kraft Administrative Center and in school buildings.

In the past 13 months, there has also been a major turnover on the school board. Five of the seven members are new.

Here are a few of the big changes families will likely see this fall:

New schools, storm shelters open

There are only five remaining projects from the $168 million bond issue approved in 2019 and all are expected to wrap up in late 2022.

Construction on the new Jarrett Middle School on Friday, Dec. 3, 2021.

The new buildings for Jarrett Middle School and York Elementary will open mid-year and students will move in.

Work is also expected to be finished this year on Hillcrest High School, a complex mix of renovation and new construction. Due to its large size, and the ability to schedule work in phases, students and staff were able to remain on campus.

New storm shelters at Field and Twain elementary schools are also in the works.

150 support positions added

The Springfield district will hire 150 positions to support students and schools this fall through federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief funding, or ESSER.

This money is earmarked to provide extra resources for districts struggling with learning loss in students and other effects of the pandemic.

Students at Jeffries Elementary School take part in field day activities on the penultimate school day of the year on Tuesday, May 24, 2022.

In each school building, there will be one teacher intern. This is a full-time substitute that can fill a classroom when a teacher is absent for any reason.

There will also be one additional position allocated to each elementary school and two to each middle, K-8 and high school.

In each of those buildings, principals were required to meet with staff and determine the type of position they wanted.


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