July 27, 2018

EXPLORE Graduation

The EXPLORE graduation ceremony is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday July 31, 2018 at Central High School. It is one of the most exciting times of these graduates lives and for their families. In the 15 years, I have participated in or been a guest at these summer graduation ceremonies, I am always thrilling to see the pride in the faces of EXPLORE seniors as they walk across the stage. Friends and family clap and cheer them as they received their diploma and get their pictures made with key District administrators.

Graduation Key Note Speaker: Jean Lawson

Jean Lawson, is the 2018-2019 Springfield Teacher of the Year, and will be the EXPLORE Graduation Ceremony Key Note Speaker.

Ms. Lawson became interested in special education in high school when she volunteered as a camp counselor for people of all ages with disabilities. While her early career years took her in the direction of writing and developing curriculum, she never lost the desire to teach special education. That pull eventually led her to make a mid-career change after obtaining a master’s degree in special education and autism certificate from Missouri State University.

Leading a class focused on intensive interventions in communication, socialization and sensor integration at Truman Elementary allows her to help students with autism be more comfortable in a world that can be very confusing while assisting them to develop skills that will open doors for their future.

Recently, she was named Missouri Regional Teacher of the Year and will be in the running for Missouri Teacher of the Year which will be announced in October.

Classroom Close Out

Four weeks of the EXPLORE Session #2 has flown by. Time to consider what to do to close down The information below is for principals and secretaries.

Classroom/Site Close Out


Classrooms and sites used for Explore should be reset at the end of each session. Please return all items/furniture back to their original places prior to leaving. Both teachers and site administrators should inventory (item description, classroom number, session number, etc.) any items damaged or broken during Explore.

Session 2 administrators, please add to the inventory any items damaged or broken during Session 2. Session 2 administrators, submit a hard copy of this inventory via the blue bag to Dana Hubbard at the Explore/Records Office located at the Bentley Building.

Drill Log Submission

Copies of the drill sheets should be emailed to spsdispatch@spsmail.org at the end of each session.

External Teacher Devices

External Hires who have checked out a Chromebook for use as their staff device:

  • Should turn those in to the summer office at their location AND

  • Place a work order by calling the Help Desk at 523-HELP for those to be picked up

  • Keep the device if they are teaching in July

  • Call the Help Desk with any questions

Site Keys

Please return your site keys to the Explore office at the Bentley building at the end of your session.


Leftover curriculum and general supplies will stay at the site in an area designated by the Explore site administrator. Once Explore has concluded, any leftover supplies will stay at the host site and will be absorbed into their regular school year supplies.


  • SECRETARY BINDERS: If you do not intend to keep and / use the secretary binder, please return it in school mail to the Records Office/Bentley building. We will recycle it for next summer EXPLORE staff.
  • PAYROLL: In order for payroll to be processed the following must be sent to the Payroll Office at KAC on the final day of the session.
1. Staff Attendance Verification Sheet for the final week.

2. Approved hourly employee time sheets for the entire session.

3. Substitute sign in sheets (1+) for the entire session.

These items can be scanned and emailed to explorepayroll@spsmail.org, faxed to 417 895-2007 attention Payroll or be brought directly to the Payroll Office at KAC. IF you choose to deliver hard copies to the Payroll Office, please put all hard copy payroll documents in a "SITE" packet envelop so as to avoid loss of paperwork.

Leadership Matters

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When you least expected it....you made a difference in the life of another when you...

  • Offered a welcoming greeting to someone who had a terrible morning;
  • Said a cherry hello on the phone to someone who needed a lift and assistance
  • Held the door open for someone whose hands were full
  • Made room for the someone to sit while waiting on a loved one
  • Fixed the copy machine when someone did not know how
  • Gave words of comfort when someone was needed them
  • Took time to help without being asked

You paid attention. You made a difference you might not be aware of doing.

That is Leadership

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