City schools seeks community input

Springfield will revisit progress made since last improvement plan.

Springfield City Schools is again asking the community to engage the district as it revisits a Springfield High School priority plan developed a few years ago by community members.

The plan, formally called the SHS Improvement Initiative, was first introduced during the 2009-10 school year and, this year, the district is inviting staff, students, community members and business owners and operators within the district to participate in a review process.

“Now what we’re going to do is start out by going ‘OK, it’s been three years, what did we solve?’” District Spokeswoman Kim Fish said. “Where have we made progress, and where have we made no progress?”

It will launch the year-long process with two organizational meetings from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday and Oct. 3 in the Springfield High School Media Center, 701 E. Home Road.

A guiding group will then meet approximately every two weeks and to re-work the plan in two phases. The first phase will identify potential problems and issues affecting the high school, and the second will come up with solutions.

Ultimately, the guiding group will prioritize its list and present it to Superintendent David Estrop, who will consider the feasibility of its recommendations. He will then present the ideas to the school board members for their input and adoption, Fish said.

Organizational and guiding group meetings are open to the public, and input will also be taken from those who cannot attend meetings, then passed along to the groups, Fish said.

Fish said the district hopes for a combination of previous participants and new participants.

“For people … who were involved the first time, it’s a good time to come back and see how we did and … help hold us accountable,” Fish said. For the new staff, parents and students, “they may have slightly different preferences than people did four years ago.”

On average, 30 to 40 people participated in the guidance group the last time, and 100 or so attended community forums that were held, she said.

Notes from the meetings and meeting announcements will be posted on the district’s website, under the community tab,

The time commitment for each level of involvement varies, and most meetings are expected to be in the evenings. Free childcare will be provided and refreshments will also be available during the organizational meetings.

As an added bonus, eighth- through 12th-grade students who participate will earn community service hours.

To volunteer or for more information, contact a high school academy principal or the high school office at 937-505-4320 or call the superintendent’s office at 937-505‐ 2805.

Next year, the district will focus on the middle school level, and the elementary school level, will follow the year after.

“If people have an opinion about Springfield High, this is the time to come and tell us what that opinion is,” Fish said.

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