Springfield Public Schools

Camp Wakonda
Ozarks Regional YMCA

In a partnership with the Ozarks Regional YMCA, fourth graders from eight Springfield Public Schools are getting a chance to expand their curriculum in an outdoor setting.

Beginning in September, students from Bissett, Bowerman, Boyd, Watkins, Weaver, Westport, Williams and York elementary schools will visit YMCA's Camp Wakonda in Ash Grove to partake in project-based learning experiences.

Scott Harvey / KSMU

Over 350 Fremont Elementary students this week will experience new ways of learning and various spaces in which to do it.

The newly renovated and expanded school welcomes pre-k through fifth graders Wednesday to its north Springfield location. By adding students from adjacent schools, it also relieves some overcrowding issues elsewhere.

Principal James Grandon says classrooms are twice the size of traditional learning spaces, giving twice as many teachers access to students.  

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Over the last several months, MGT of America Consulting, a national consulting firm hired by Springfield Public Schools, finished an independent review of nearly 60 SPS buildings.  

Teresa Bledsoe, spokesperson for SPS, said the firm’s job was to review each building’s condition, campus, educational suitability and technology readiness. 

“It’s a comprehensive process. We wanted experts to conduct a study and evaluate our current facilities, assess their current conditions and help identify what future needs we would have,” Bledsoe said. 

Michele Skalicky / KSMU

The last two Springfield Public Schools projects funded by a $71.65 million bond issue approved by Springfield voters in 2013 are just about finished.

In his State of the School address today, SPS Superintendent Dr. John Jungmann said the auditorium at Kickapoo High School, which will also serve as a FEMA safe room, and renovations at Fremont Elementary will be complete by the start of school on August 17.

Ozarks Food Harvest
Ozarks Food Harvest website

This past school year, 54 percent of students in the Springfield school district received either a free or reduced lunch. So come summer, it might seem that a majority of local youth could struggle to get enough to eat. But that is not the case.

“Parents don’t realize there are open sites and that they can have their kids come in and enjoy breakfast and lunch,” said Amy Gibbons, director of nutrition for Springfield public schools. “It’s the same food we serve during the regular school year, it’s healthy and it meets all the USDA guidelines.”

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