the RAH

Jan 21-25, 2019

from J-

If you have been part of SPS for more than a few years, you may remember John Utne, who was an educator and principal for a number of years. Considered the original Yoda by some, he was known for pushing literacy, and when a student completed a book or met a reading goal, that student cut the tie that Dr. Utne was wearing. It was not an uncommon site to see John show up to a meeting with a tie that was only partially there. This past week I stopped into Holland, and saw that Gary Tew had resurrected the practice, and the kids were loving it. Just another example of how you are promoting literacy and learning in our schools.


I saw (& retweeted) the below from Tom Murry (@thomascmurray) this week:


"The work is hard.

The work is stressful.

The work is emotional.

The work is exhausting.


But our kids are worth it."


That last line. It's what drives the urgency and value of our work. It is also what drives the leadership and support you provide at your schools. Thank you!

Big findings on opportunity & mobility we should know

Look at number 10.... A quality Kindergarten teacher makes a difference!

from Mike-

Library Circulation Numbers

Looking for a great way to measure the volume of reading taking place in your school? Our librarians can run quarterly reports for you to show how many books have been checked out at your site. This is a great indicator of the enthusiasm for reading that we are creating and can serve to spur some conversation about whether we have any practices in place that are serving to limit the availability of books for our students… because we all know, the best way to get better at reading is to READ! :-)


Springfield Cardinals Field Trip
Just a reminder that the dates for this year’s annual Springfield Cardinals field trip have been set for the following days:

Wednesday, April 17(5th Grade)
Wednesday, April 24 (4th Grade)
Monday, April 29 (3rd Grade)

Once again this is a field trip with required participation for all buildings. Also, the dates are within the MAP testing window, so you will need to ensure that your building testing schedule accommodates these dates as to not interfere with testing. Please refrain from scheduling other field trips on these days due to limitations with bus availability. More info will be coming as we get closer to these dates.

Celebrating the Life and Legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr

Brian Vega, the Equity Champion at Hickory Hills Middle School shared these thoughts on MLK Day. He’s allowed us to share them with you.


“We would be doing our students a HUGE disservice by not taking advantage of Martin Luther King Day as a springboard for important lessons, activities, and ways in which we can inform our everyday practices in the classroom.

Please check out this month’s Hickory Hills Equity and Access Newsletter for information, activities, videos, lessons, book suggestions, and guidance on infusing your curriculum and classroom with the ideas of social justice, inclusivity, equity and access, heroism, character-building, and what it means to be an honorable American.”


We hope to see you and your students at the annual Springfield NAACP MLK March on Monday, January 21, 2019. THe March begins at Jordan Valley Ice Park and proceeds to the Gillioz Theatre where you can enjoy the program “Reigniting the Dream.” Many of those attending the march will then move to the Springfield Multicultural Festival held at the Oasis Convention Center. This annual performing arts and community resource expo provides access to cultural enrichment through the visual and performing arts. The festival features two main components: A performance stage featuring up to seven local performing artists groups representing a variety of international and native cultures. The event also features a community resource expo with over 40 exhibitors sharing information about employment opportunities, health care access, financial and educational services and a variety other business resources from non profit organizations to area craft makers. Admission is $5 for adults, kids are free and parking is free.
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Bringing the Science of Learning Into Classrooms

“We actually learn in a state of positive emotion much more effectively than we can learn in a state of negative emotion. That has huge implications for what we do in schools,"

Government Shutdown: Implications for SPS Students and Their Families

OACAC (Ozarks Area Community Action Corporation) convened Greene County agencies at the Midtown Carnegie Library on Thursday, January 17, 2019, to discuss the impact of the current government shutdown, share relevant and factual information regarding funding sources, and define strategies that may need to be implemented to meet needs in our community.


In addition to families that may be receiving SNAP and WIC benefits, Springfield will be dealing with furloughed workers who are not familiar with assistance supports or how to access them. While they may have some cushion, most will be seeking help 8-12 weeks in. Current estimates place the number of federal workers impacted in our region at close to 3,000.


OACAC offered the following information regarding the shutdown and will continue to provide updates, which we will pass on to you.

Know that:

  • Families may be under additional stress as resources become tight, and this will filter over to their children, who may or may not understand the current landscape.

  • There may be additional requests for supports which we will provide.

  • Our teams are here to support you as we navigate this challenge together.

  • Kim Keller received notification from the USDA that school nutrition programs are funded through March.