September 2018

Canvas-Secretaries-Help Tickets

The Secretary / Administrative Assistant Training Canvas page has resources, forms, documents, and training modules to make a person's work easier. Check it out!

Help Tickets are providing specific and relevant information while at the same time allowing our team in AAA-SIS-Records to take care of concerns and provide timely problem solving to staff concerns with our student information systems. The data collected using these tickets offer information for extra training, better support, and customer service.

Thank you all for continuing to use this ticket system.

Distribution of Non-School Materials

Marty Moore, Executive Director, Learning Support and Partnerships, understands secretaries are often bombarded by groups who wish to have schools distribute fliers via the student backpacks to the families in your school community. There has been an update to the district policy: 5.8 Distribution of Non-School Materials. Please review the information below:


In an effort to manage our resources effectively, paper copies will no longer be distributed via student backpacks.

Materials that meet the following criteria will be approved for sharing on the community table at each site:

· The organization must be an SPS Partner.

· The event is school related.

· Organizations submitting information concerning activities with associated fees will be required to offer reduced costs or scholarship options for students eligible for free and/or reduced price lunch.

· The event/request must be in compliance with board policy KI.

· Receive approval from the Partnership Office PRIOR to distributing material.

· Content must be free from faith-promoting statements and imagery and not attempt to promote or proselytize beliefs.

Once approved, sites will be notified that the material may be shared on the community table Organizations are responsible for duplicating and delivering items to the site.

The Learning Support and Partnership Office will also create and maintain a shared Google Folder, Approved Fliers for Distribution to provide access to all approved materials.

Select School(s) Distribution Only

If distribution of non-school material is requested for a select school(s), direct approval from the site(s) principal where distribution is requested is required. Approval for anything less than district wide is a site based decision, as the principal is the best source of knowledge for events or services of interest to their school community.

These materials will be placed on the community table at the site for self-selection.

For additional information contact the Office of Learning Support and Partnerships at 523-0315.

Volunteers and More

We have more individual volunteers approved to begin 2018-2019 than in the past four years and are excited about the potential positive impact these individuals make at your sites.

Each building has an appointed Site Volunteer Coordinator (SVC) whose responsibilities are:

  • welcoming volunteers
  • placement of a volunteer if they have no real idea of how they can contribute
  • communicating to staff about who needs a background check and explaining the process takes three to five business days.
  • encouraging volunteers to log their service hours.

SVCs if you have yet to save the link that directs you to a complete list of your buildings volunteers and their contact information all in one spot, click on this link and save it as a favorite in your browser.

Ann White will mark whether or not the volunteer needs a new or updated background check. Please review this list daily for new volunteers to your building and be prepared to welcome them. You might also inquire from your staff what jobs they would like to have completed by volunteers. Sometimes it is nice to know prior to a volunteer arriving eager to being volunteering.

Volunteer Hours

The 2017-2018 volunteers logged in excess of 15,600 service hours. Amazing, right? That represents an excess of 378,144.00 dollars of in-kind-service. Please remind your volunteers to log their hours.

Some buildings dedicate a computer in the building for volunteers to log their hours, other building Site Volunteer Coordinators log their volunteers' hours in themselves from a hard copy log book. You decide.

The Reading Buddy Volunteers from the Council of Churches log their own hours through RSVP who then sends the total hours twice a year to me. Be aware that RSVP volunteers will present a generic badge to you to exchange it for a picture ID. Please use a smart phone to snap their picture/ or they may supply a picture. Send that electronically to Brenda Swearengin to create the volunteers own picture ID.

Incentives for other volunteers.

1. 10 hours of service: Give a VIP lanyard to volunteer. If you need more contact Ann White.

2. 20 hours logged, snap a picture of the volunteer and send to Brenda Swearengin to make a picture ID of the volunteer. Make sure to send the volunteer name and your building so we can return it correctly.

3.. 50 hours of volunteer service: volunteer will receive a special pin for their lanyard.

4. 100+: volunteer receives a special notebook

Legal Matters

Recently, a father was referred to my office. He was upset a SPS school sent his child's records to a school somewhere else in the state. He argued that his divorce decree from the court gave him educational and physical custody of his daughter. He demanded that we not to send the student cumulative file to the requesting school.

My answer to him was this:

1. SPS is responsible for educating his child

2. SPS is not going to engage in decision making in situatins that are of a court matter. His ex-wife had physically appeared with the child in a different city to enroll.

3. Our district's expectation is to send records to that requesting school.

4. I recommended that the father should contact his lawyer and possibly Springfield Police Department to resolve this matter.

* It would be a different matter if the situation involved two Springfield Public Schools sites.

His response? After yelling at me, "I was supporting a kidnapping," he hung up on me.

My office gets dozens of questions like this during the school year. Schools are educational institutions. Our role is to provide a safe and comfortable learning environment for our students. More and more parents are experiencing disharmony and involving court systems in mediating parent custody, visitations and much more.


If a secretary is given legal documents and are not sure what to do next:

1. Have your building principal look over the documents.

2. If the building principal needs support with the information the paperwork contains, feel free to contact the Director of Elementary or Secondary Director, or check in with Administrative Services at 523-0230.

McKinney-Vento Eligible

Lynn Schirk is the Springfield Public Schools Liaison for Students in Transition. This office addresses the needs of families or students who are no longer in a fixed permanent nighttime residence. There are many areas of gray in these situation, but there is help. These simple questions can assist most secretaries determine whether or not a family or individual qualifies for resources under the Federal McKinney-Vento statutes.

McKinney-Vento Assessment Tool

When trying to determine whether students are eligible for McKinney-Vento services and a homeless status, these questions may help:

1. Is your name on the lease or mortgage? If no, go to #2

2. Are you staying in your current location because you are in the process of buying or renting a home or apartment? If no, go to #3

3. Are you staying in this location due to a loss of housing caused by economic hardship, disaster, or similar reason? If yes, the student is eligible for McKinney-Vento services/a homeless status.

Please refer students/families to The Office of Students in Transition if they need school transportation assistance or they have needs associated with housing instability beyond what the school can address.

The Office of Students in Transition

(417) 523-7587

Faces of SPS

Faces of SPS featured one of our own in the RECORDS/EXPLORE office. Congratulations, Brenda Swearengn.
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