For the Record

April 2016

End of Year Field Trips: Be Proactive with Parents

One of the issues that prompt upset parent phone calls to the Administrative Services Office is field trips. The year end field trips tend to cause greater frustration and confusion for parents than other concerns during fourth quarter. Parents believe field trips are part of the educational / academic classroom experience and get upset when their children are kept at school instead of attending the trip. They believe their child is missing out on their right to education.

Yes, field trips are meant to be educational, but often there is criterion the child must meet as qualifiers for attending. These qualifiers might include, but are not limited to, good citizenship standards, maintaining a certain attendance percentage or a variety of academic goals to achieve.

It is important that our students behave and act appropriately on a trip off campus. Students attending a field trip are trusted and obliged to follow respectful behavior while representing their school. Complying with reasonable adult requests while on the trip is essential for the safety and well being of all involved.

Please make sure teachers advertise and use various methods of communication in order for parents to be aware of these expectations. A good idea shared from one building is to have a parent sign off on the field trip criterion which also serves as a permission slip to attend IF they child qualifies to attend. This can be sent out and collected weeks -months in advance.

Good communication from school to parents will enhance customer satisfaction down the road regarding field trips and their child's opportunity to attend.

Transfer Out Check List

A friendly reminder:

Many of our buildings have students whose families have moved or are going to move out of the SPS District for another school district. If the school secretary or records secretary will make sure to print the Transfer Out Checklist and put those pages in the front of the student's cumulative file it would make the process of filming and preserving that student record simpler. Thank you in advance for doing this for us.

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Volunteers for Explore

Volunteer Opportunity

Many parents who work during the school year, might be able and would appreciate the opportunity to volunteer during the summer months at an Explore site. This summer we are welcoming current volunteers or new volunteers to get involved at a site of their choice. It is simple to do.

Current eligible volunteers: An email was sent to current volunteers explaining that they are eligible to volunteer during Explore! They should print the email and give that to the Explore site secretary their first day volunteering from May 26-July 29, 2016. The Explore site principal will determine how best to utilize their volunteers.

New applicants: Do you know someone who is not a current volunteer but is interested in volunteering in June and July? New volunteer applicants will be directed to complete the volunteer application available on the SPS website. Direct them to complete a volunteer application which can be found following these steps:

1. Main SPS webpage > Families or Community heading> Volunteer Program> Volunteer application

2. On volunteer application, the applicant will select Explore summer site from the drop down

3. Another drop down list will open up with all of our Explore sites listed. They should select which site they wish to assist and complete the form and submit.

4. The individual will be directed to a link for a background check if needed.

5. Ann White will inform the building principal of new applicants that qualify for volunteering at their site.

6. The volunteer upon a completed approved background check will be notified by email that they are approved to begin volunteering at the school of their choice.

Did you know that April 10-16, 2016 is National Volunteer Week. Why not make note of that in your school newsletters, website, sign or a bulletin board to show appreciation for your volunteers?

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On a Lighter Note

Reader's Digest publishes funny stories in each of their monthly editions. This one seemed perfect for this time of year when we all need something to smile about. This story is about a school secretary as told by her daughter.

Zip It!

My mother was a school secretary for an elementary school for 11 years. One spring afternoon she was trying to show a young boy how to zip up his windbreaker. “The secret,” Mom said, “is to get this piece of the zipper to fit in the other side before you try to zip it up.”

After struggling with the zipper for several minutes, the boy sighed and said, “Why does it have to be a secret?”

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Happy Administrative Assistants Day

Wednesday April 27, 2016 is the official day to celebrate administrative assistants and secretaries. A time to reflect on how many different levels of support a school or department receives from the professional and diligent efforts of their building secretary or secretaries.

Individuals in these essential roles provide front line customer service, in person and on the phone, purvey information and supplies, band-aids, hugs, and comfort while ensuring that the day to day work is prepared, completed and dispensed in a timely manner.

More often than not, these individuals have their desks in the front office where parents, students, teachers and other individuals come in and need assistance. Multitasking is the middle name of these wonderful people.

I would like to thank you all, from the bottom of my heart for all you do. Happy Administrative Assistant-Secretary Day to you.

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Have You Been Subpoenaed?

So far this year Administrative Services has addressed 25 subpoenas issued to summons staff and/or requested any and all student records for court. As Custodian of Records for the Springfield Public School district, Ann White coordinates these processes and provides guidance for individuals who have been subpoenaed.

If you or a staff member receives a subpoena, the first step would be to fax the document to Ann at 417 523-0195 or scan and email it to At that time, Ann will send an informational document, So You Were Subpoenaed: Next Steps to the staff member. The information will review frequently asked questions and ideas for how to handle court procedures.

Additionally, a district flow chart: SPS Guidelines to Subpoenas explains how to code the absence based on the type of subpoena received. Both documents can be located by logging into Canvas>Glass Classroom>In-Depth Study>Records Office-Information and Forms.

Of course, if there are further questions about subpoenas call 523-0230 for assistance.