January 2017

Immediate Transfers Requests Increase in Third Quarter

Second semester brings with it an increased inquiry about transfers to a different school. Some families move over the holidays, want to keep their child at their current school and submit transfer requests. This is only one example of the variety of reasons, parents request a transfer for their child.

A few of our guidelines to remember are:

1. Only one transfer per year. If a child has been on transfer from previous years, and wants a transfer in the current year, they can do that. However, if a child is a current year transfer who isrevoked OR decides they want to transfer to another school in the current year, they cannot.

2. Be sure to use the eSchool Transfer Warning Letter System. It keeps track of attendance and discipline, and makes your work to track the progress of your transfer students. Attendance and discipline reports can be run periodically for this criterion we use to evaluate students on transfer.

3. As a student gets their third and final letter for revocation, notifying the home attendance school about the returning student is a nice gesture.

Question: What about class size and capacity when it comes to accepting or wait listing an Immediate Transfer Request?

Answer: Elementary Principals and secretaries should remember the following information about class capacity.

Title Elementary School

K-2 max. class size=21

3-4 max. class size= 23

5 max. class size= 26

Non-Title Elementary School

K-2 max. class size = 23

3-4 max. class size: 25

5 max. class size= 28

If you have more questions about elementary numbers, please contact Dr. Bret Range.

Secondary site capacity questions should be addressed with Dr. Sheila Wynn.

If you have other questions regarding Immediate Transfers, contact Ann White 523-0230.

Bits, Bytes and Nibbles

January 3 and January 4, 2017, SPS schools enrolled 284 new students within the district! Unfortunately, 49 students were not correctly coded for the next school year or grade. These errors could make a big difference for a building in receiving correct counts for FTE.

Correct entry when enrolling new students during this time of year is very important.

A friendly New Year's Reminder from the Student Information Team. Thank You in Advance.

When enrolling a new, returning or transfer student within the district at your building, remember to double check and verify the next year building and grade code are correct.

Mandated Reporting

Recently, Rhonda Mammen, Director of Counseling Services, had a question from a site leader about mandated reporting. It was quite a complicated situation.

Here is the scenario:

A parent keeps retelling current school staff a story about an incident that happened at a former school earlier in the school year. The situation was hotlined appropriately at the time. However, the parent keeps referring to the incident to anyone who will listen. A staff member brought the story to the attention of the current school leadership and wanted to hotline the past event.

Question: Must a school staff member hotline a report every time a parent or guardian brings up an incident, even if it had been hotlined earlier?

Rhonda provided this answer: if the person is absolutely certain the incident was reported, there is no need to report again. If the child is exhibiting concerning behaviors that might be related to the prior incident and the parent is not doing anything to get help for the child's issues, then a staff member might want to report it as neglect on the part of the parent.

There is another matter to consider. If the staff member that the parent talked to about this incident had no prior knowledge of a previous report, the staff member should make a report. When and if the child is interviewed or the situation investigated, the case will show up as being previously reported.The staff member is really just doing what they are required to do if something of that nature is disclosed to him or her. There is no responsibility to investigate whether it has been reported previously. That is up to the CD investigators. It’s definitely better for the staff to report than to take a chance that it might be putting a child in an unsafe situation.

Want more information about mandatory reporting? Follow this link to the Counseling documents housed in Canvas. Canvas>Glass Classroom>In-Depth Study>Counseling Services>Mandatory Guidelines


A big pat on the back to our Site Volunteer Coordinators who have encouraged their volunteers to log their volunteer hours. Since the first volunteer hours were published in the December 2016 FOR the RECORD newsletter, there has been a jump of 2000 hours and ten sites have been added to the table for the first time this year. At Missouri's minimum wage of $7.65 per hour, we have volunteer services that exceed in $38,554.00 in value. Our volunteers provide support, resources and time that is priceless and supportive of our district goals and mission.

Please continue to encourage your volunteers to log their hours. Thank you for all you do.

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It necessary that parents or other individuals who help chaperone competitions or field trips to have a current background check on file.

Do any of your staff members have a need for chaperones for upcoming field trips or competitions? The SPS Volunteer Program still has funding for free background checks. Make sure your teachers communicate well enough in advance for the parent to complete the volunteer application, and if necessary, a background check. It takes 3-5 business days for background checks to be completed.

NOW is a great time to make people aware and still be approved for upcoming competitions/field trips.

McKinney-Vento Act Provides Resources for Families in Transition

Statistics published by the National Coalition for the Homeless have suggested it only takes one major life event to tumble an individual or family toward circumstances that will leave them homeless.

Take for instance this scenario:

John lost his job due to an injury that did not occur at work. He had no real savings and by the 2nd month off work, he was behind on his rent payment and other bills.

After four months of not being able to pay his rent in full, he and his family were evicted. His wife, who was babysitting at their apartment, lost her clients. John and his family had nowhere to go, no relatives close by, and were left seeking assistance and shelter. His children were school aged, and the family was embarrassed to tell school officials what was going on. A school staff member, noticed what was happening, took time to look into their situation, and was able to help the family find assistance. In addition, the children remained at their current school.

This scenario plays out more often than one might think. Think about it: would you and your family have enough in savings to get through a six month ordeal? Most people do not. Fortunately for Springfield Schools, Homeless Liaison, Lynn Schirk, is working with school sites to recognize and address the needs of families impacted by similar situations. Under the McKinney-Vento Act, these families can be connected to school and community resources to assist with their basic needs and help eliminate barriers to education. This Federal law defines and provides important supports for families in transition.

Lynn has created a folder of McKinney-Vento information for school staff who want or need more information and other documents that will assist school staff in enrolling children of families in transition.

Please follow this link to view this information:

Canvas>Glass Classroom>In-Depth Study>Counseling>McKinney-Vento Services


A subpoena to appear in court can cause District staff to have a moment of concern. Fear not, there is help and support for you in the school setting. There is assistance for staff that have been subpoenaed. Follow these steps.

1. Inform your school administrator and secretary of the subpoena.

2. Email or Fax (523-0195) the subpoena to Ann White (

3. Ann will send/communicate next steps to the staff member.

4. The staff member can request consultation with Ann who will come to the building to advise and reassure the staff member.

5. Subpoenas usually request any and all records on the student involved in the court proceedings.

6. If the student is still active in the building, the school secretary should make copies of the student record to include any and all records available.

Need more information? Follow this link.

The document is housed in Canvas>Glass Classroom>Indepth Study> Records>So You Have Been Subpoened

If you have further questions, please contact Ann at 523-0230 or extension 75430.

Just Silly

What do you call a potato wearing glasses?..... A spec tator

What do you call a potato that does impressions? A imi tator

Students Returning to the District and Health Files

Records Office staff have been scanning health files for students who have moved out of the district and is in the process of uploading them into the student paperclip in eSchool. Be sure to remind your school nurse about these IF a student comes back to enroll in our School District.

Additionally, the nurse should not print another hard copy of these files, but use them electronically. If a student has new health information with them, the nurse should scan and upload them into the appropriate folder in the eSchool system.

Call the Records Office if you have questions at 523-0005.


The first New Year was celebrated 4,000 years by the ancient Babylonians.

There are only 8 more Mondays until spring break!


Third quarter of any school year brings cold, gray cloudy days, snow/ice outside and the sun seldom shines for days in a row. People lose sight of their goals, sometimes grades or performance suffers, and sometimes, attitudes sour.

Being aware of this, a building leader/teacher can take steps to alter the lack of motivation by a few simple steps such as these:

1. Praise in the form of authentic and specific feedback is important. Appreciations and thank you (s) go a long way to support positive connections at school and work, and is a wonderful motivator.

2. Help people find ways to develop intrinsic motivation. Rewards of gifts or things or money are not as effective as one's own drive to accomplish something. Relating everyday classroom or school goals for individual's to connect with is more powerful and sustains internal motivation

3. Establish or review short term, mid-range and long term goals. Maintain motivation by keeping goals visible and discussing/acting on what next steps are necessary.

4. Tracking progress toward a goal whether personal or a school goal...having it visible and making reference to it.

5. Encourage self-reflection. Examining one's strengths and challenges in learning. It empowers people when they are in charge of creating their own objectives and goals.

Most of all, the leader should share positive enthusiasm, Attitude is yours worth catching?

Sometimes, all it takes is a meaningful quote. The video link below will take you to a few.

Link to Motivational Quotes video