Mann Family Update

Back to School 2020-2021 Continued

Mann Mission Statement

"Mann Eagles strive to become life-long learners and productive citizens. We do this by always putting forth our best effort, being active in our leanring and remaining safe, respectful, and responsible."

Note from Principal Payne -

Dear Mann Families,

Welcome to the 2020-2021 School Year! Even though the start of this school year is going to look very different, we are still EXTREMELY excited for the students to return to the building! It's been far too long since we've heard students' laughter and witnessed the joy of learning inside our building's walls.

I'm Brittany Payne and this will be my fifth year serving as principal at Horace Mann Elementary. I'm so excited to meet our newest families and reconnect with our returning ones.

This newsletter will cover some of the basic updates we have at this time and more information will continue to come as finalized both from myself and the district.

As you are aware, we are currently in uncharted territory. Thank you for your patience as we work out the specific details of returning to school. I know that all of us (staff and families alike) are experiencing many emotions in regard to the return to school. As I've said before, I know we will work through this together because we are a strong school community, but please keep in mind this re-entry plan is a brand new approach for all of us which means it takes longer to finalize the details.

Thank you for your grace and understanding during these unusual times. I hope we can continue to work together to find the best approach while honoring the safety and health of our school community.

Upcoming August Dates

August 19th - 1st Grade, 2nd Grade & CSS Meet the Teacher (for seated students only)

Each teacher will email families a link to a video introduction and classroom tour. Additionally, we will be having a Meet the Teacher Drive-Thru. Teachers will be available at the times below in the Mann Elementary parking lot. Drive-thru to meet your teacher in person and pick up or drop off any important supplies.

1st Grade 9:00-9:30AM A-K / 9:30-10:00AM L-Z

2nd Grade 10:30-11:00AM A-K / 11:00-11:30 L-Z

CSS 12:00-12:30PM

August 20th - Kindergarten Meet the Teacher (for seated students only)

Mrs. Williams 8:30-9:00AM A-K / 9:15-9:45AM L-Z

Mrs. Steele 10:00-10:30AM A-K / 10:45-11:15AM L-Z

All kindergarten Meet the Teacher events will take place in the Mann APR. Please enter the glass door on the southside of the building. Masks will be required for all in attednance and social distance guidelines will need to be followed.

August 21st - 3rd, 4th & 5th Grade Meet the Teacher (for seated students only)

Each teacher will email families a link to a video introduction and classroom tour. Additionally, we will be having a Meet the Teacher Drive Thru. Teacher will be available at the times below in the Mann Elementary parking lot. Drive thru to meet your teacher in person and pick up or drop off any important supplies.

3rd Grade 9:00-9:30AM A-K / 9:30-10:00AM L-Z

4th Grade 10:30-11:00AM A-K / 11:00-11:30 L-Z

5th Grade 12:00-12:30PM A-K / 12:30-1:00PM

August 24th - First Day of School for all SPS students (seated & virtual)

August 24th - First day of seated school for students with last names A-K

August 27th - First Day of seated school for students with last names L-Z

Previously we've allowed parents to walk their child to class on the first day of school. This year we are unable to invite parents into the building to walk students to class due to visitor restrictions and safety and health guidelines amidst COVID-19. Thank you for your understanding with this.

Changes in Arrival/Dismissal Times

We are expanding the school day to increase instructional time for students.

8:30AM - Doors open for students to enter the building

  • When students arrive at school they will report directly to their classrooms.

8:45AM - Tardy bell rings and our school day officially begins

  • All students arriving after this time must enter the building through the main office

3:45PM - Dismissal

  • Students will dismiss directly from their classrooms - This will be a new process and may take a few weeks to perfect. Please be patient as the students and families learn the new dismissal procedures.

Prime Time will still be available 6:30AM - 6:30PM - Visit their website if needing to register.

Preparing for the First Day of School

We ask that all parents/guardians begin preparing their children for returning to school.

  1. Re-establish bedtime routines: We know many of us have created different routines due to the initial COVID Closure and Summer break. Now is the time to start re-establishing bedtime routines.

  2. Practicing mask-wearing protocols with your children: We highly recommend you do so before we return to school on August 24th/27th. This will mitigate the safety concerns associated with improper mask etiquette (i.e. how it's being worn, when to remove it, etc.). All students grades K-5 will be required to wear masks at school. We appreciate your help in preparing your student to become used to wearing a mask ALL DAY prior to the start of school. We will provide ALL students with a mask lanyard to use when they are eating, at PE, or at recess.

  3. Practice Social Distancing: Take the time to explain what this means and practice what 6 feet apart really looks and feels like. As much as we want to hug our students, please remind them that we must all practice hands-off interactions upon the return to school.


If you happen to change your mind about your selection of virtual vs. in-person instruction, please call Ms. Amy at 417-523-4400 and we will submit a request to change your learning plan for the fall. All changes must be submitted before August 22, but preferably as soon as possible.

Breakfast and Lunch Updates

If your child is eating breakfast at school, please have them here promptly at 8:30AM. They will pick up their breakfast from the cafeteria and eat it in their classroom. Breakfast for all students is free here at Mann.

Students will eat lunch in the cafeteria and will be spread out at their assigned lunch table. Lunch tables will be fully sanitized between lunch periods. Lunches will be served in an individually packaged "grab and go" bag, but some choices will still be available for students to make. This year's full lunch price is $2.75.

*Many families in SPS qualify for free or reduced lunch prices, but an application must be submitted every year to receive this benefit. If you have not yet submitted your application for free/reduced lunches, please click HERE - The application is easy to fill out and often you get your approval response within 48 hours.


SPS will be providing basic supplies for all Pre-K through 5th-grade students, whether they are virtual or seated/in person. Backpacks are NOT being provided, and students will need a backpack to carry their items to and from school each day. However, with that said, teachers may request a few items on a wish lists for classroom use.

SUPPLIES WILL BE SENT HOME WITH STUDENTS EVERY AFTERNOON, AND STUDENTS WILL NEED TO BRING SUPPLIES BACK TO SCHOOL EACH MORNING THEY ATTEND SCHOOL. Carrying supplies back and forth each day means students will have access to the supplies they need to do any work at home. This includes their district-issued iPad/Chromebook and will require the need for setting up a charging station at home to ensure devices come to school fully charged on the days students attend in-person classes.

Families are encouraged to purchase personal/travel packs of Kleenex tissues for your child to keep with their supplies, to avoid multiple students touching community tissue boxes in the classrooms. "Community supplies" will not be allowed this school year. All supplies will be stored separately in the classroom for each individual student.

Visitors & Volunteers

Mann is known for our highly supportive school community which usually includes many visitors and volunteers.

In order to increase safety, the district has determined that all visitors into the building must be for educational purposes only (such as practicum students from the local universities). Until further notice, no visitors will be permitted into the building.

Additions & Changes to Team Mann:

New to Team Mann:

Assistant Principal - John Mott

5th Grade Teacher Brandy Williamson

4th Grade Teacher - Kendra Kelley

Instructional Support Aide - Debby Seler

SPED CSS Paraprofessionals - Rhonda Black-Fry & Jessica Plake

SPED Process Coordinator - Stephanie Council

Ocupational Therapist - Amy Kurth

Library Clerical - Toni Stanley

Changes to Team:

Mrs. Shelley Eaton moving from 4th grade teacher to 3rd grade teacher

For the first sememster Mrs. Maria Thomas (K), Mrs. Becky Waddell (2nd), Mrs. Kara Wood (3rd) and Mrs. Emily McConnell (5th) will be teaching from Mann in a virtual capacity.

Important Name Changes:

Kindergarten Teacher Paige Fox is now Paige Steele

1st Garde Teacher Lacey Hemphill is now Lacey Perkins

Secretary Amy Schepers is now Amy Rader.

Mann Communication:

Here at Mann we attempt to send home information in a variety of formats. Below are the multiple formats of communication that we use to share information with families.

Blue Take Home Folders - These will go to and from school with your child each day.

Monthly Newsletters - This is a joint communication effort delivered by Principal Payne and Mann PTA. This communication helps to keep families up-to-date on what is happening here at Mann, as well as important upcoming events.

Ways to stay connected:

- Mann Facebook Page

- Mann PTA Facebook Page

- Mann Twitter Account - @MannEaglesSPS

- Mann Website

- Springfield Public Schools Website

Additionally, all staff members can be reached by email. Teachers may also set up their own lines of communication through Dojo, SeeSaw, etc.

Mann Behavior Expectations


This document outlines our behavior expectations for every area of the building.

Teachers will begin teaching these expectations to our students during the first week of school and will continue to reteach these expectations throughout the school year.

Feel free to review these expectations with your child at home to help reinforce positive choices while at school.


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