What's happening at SPS: May
Furlough days, meal service updates, Voices of SPS & more
SPS implements furlough days to save dollars
At a special board meeting Monday evening, the SPS Board of Directors approved a recommendation to reduce the 2019-20 academic calendar by four school days.
The action allows the district to save approximately $1.4 million in current staffing costs by implementing furlough days and carrying over the savings to use in the 2020-21 school year. The approach will help mitigate likely reductions to the State School Fund from the impact of COVID-19 on Oregon's economy.
The school year calendar will be reduced by four days: one Friday per week from May 18 through June 12. Eleven and 12-month employees will continue to furlough one day per week through July 31. SPS employees who have been furloughed are eligible to partake in the Oregon Work Share Program.
This change also affects SPS families. Beginning May 22, distance learning will no longer take place on Fridays through the end of the school. For more information about the furlough days and how they impact the rest of the school year, visit the SPS website.
Voices of SPS
Ever wonder what it's like to be an educator in a pandemic? SPS employees are detailing their experiences with distance learning through short, first-person essays. These inspiring stories shed light on how teachers and other educators connect with students, the struggles and triumphs of their peers and how they're working together to help families and each other make it through trying times.
This unique and challenging season of life has left us all with a lot of thoughts and questions, as well as some fresh perspective. Check out what these educators have been up to and how they're maintaining a positive outlook during this time.
In an effort to provide more families with access to the Internet, Springfield Public Schools has strategically placed buses (equipped with Wi-Fi ) at 12 different locations across town. WiFi access will be available from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Extra routers were also installed at Hamlin Middle School for better Wi-Fi access after dozens of families (more than 1,000 unique logins) utilized the space to access the internet last week.
To see the whole list of WiFi bus locations and learn more about where to access WiFi, follow this link: bit.ly/3anDut2.
SPS food services kudos + Memorial Day changes
The last several weeks have been challenging for students, staff and the entire community. But commendable work has also taken place, including several SPS staff members who help to ensure that students are fed, regardless of whether school buildings are open.
Read more about the SPS food service staff and the incredible work they're doing here:
SPS food services staff have served more than 135,000 meals to students since mid-March
Note: SPS Nutrition Services employees will not be staffed on Monday, May 25th in observance of Memorial Day, therefore SPS meal sites will not be operating. A list of locations where meals will be served that day can be found by following this link.
Graduation planning + celebrations
Like many other significant events and long-standing traditions, graduations of all types have been affected by Covid-19. Springfield Public Schools seniors have worked incredibly hard to get to this point and SPS hopes they are able to celebrate their K-12 accomplishments with their families, peers and friends.
Despite the circumstances, SPS will still recognize and celebrate those seniors.
After careful consideration, SPS plans to provide individual opportunities for each senior to have their name called and walk across the graduation stage. It is important that seniors are recognized for the tremendous accomplishment that is high school graduation and the culmination of their K-12 career.
The decision to hold an event – albeit significantly different and much more socially distant than ever before – was made with careful consideration of the health and safety restrictions currently in place across Oregon. In the coming days, SPS will work with a production company to iron out the details of the event, schedule seniors for their walk across the stage and convene a planning committee to help create a memorable experience.
While this news likely brings many emotions to the surface, SPS wants to thank families, friends, and the surrounding community for the support provided to SPS students over the course of the past few months.
To the class of 2020: the end of this year did not play out the way anyone would have planned, and for that, we are sorry. Through it all, you have shown us is you are a resilient, resourceful, and inspiring group of students. You have bright futures before you and we are proud of you!
Seniors are set to receive communication from building leaders with further information about commencement, caps and gowns and ceremony logistics.
The number of graduates from each of our high schools!
o SHS – 270 students
o THS – 221 students
o A3 – 48 students
o GHS – 24 students