Jadie Welliford plays with the electric motor she made as Dr. Amanda King helps another student during one of the breakout sessions at the Springfield City Schools’ STEM program for girls. Bill Lackey/Staff

5 things to know about Springfield City Schools

The Springfield City School District students recently returned to classes.

Here are five things to know about the local city district as the new school year gets underway.

1) 7,772: That’s how many students are enrolled at Springfield City Schools, according to the Ohio Department of Education. While Springfield is the largest school district in Clark County, it’s not close to being the largest district in the state.

Columbus City Schools has more than 50,000 students and Cincinnati City has more than 30,000 students.

Springfield City Schools enrollment is more comparable with Kettering and Beavercreek schools in terms of size. The local school district just cracks the top 30 for enrollment size in the state.

MORE: Springfield teacher wins award, wants to inspire students

2) Overcrowding concerns: The district has had issues with overcrowding in its elementary schools and explored several options to alleviate the problem last year.

However the district decided to do nothing.

“I cannot recommend rushing to spend millions of dollars for a solution that will not be optimal and might jeopardize our flexibility,” Superintendent Bob Hill wrote in a letter last December. “I want to thank our staff for the jobs that they do every day, even in spaces that are sometimes not optimal, as they continue to put the interests of our students first.

“I am sorry that there is no easy solution to this problem but we will continue to pursue options,” he said.

STORY: Springfield City Schools won’t address overcrowding for 2017

3) No more academies: The district decided to do away with academies at the high school last year and has shifted to a new structure that gears students toward earning certificates and credits to graduate.

Previously students picked between five academies but often took classes in different ones. Now instead of having an English teacher for students in the Science, Technology, Engineering, Applied Arts and Math program, any student can take a class if it fits their schedule.

This should provide more scheduling flexibility, school leaders said.

The school also hired a new principal, Patrick Smith, to help lead the design.

STORY: Springfield City Schools’ new lead principal

4) Low state test scores: Springfield City received many Fs on its 2016 report card. School leaders credit the poor scoring to tests that have been changed several times in recent years and many students in poverty at the school district.

Leaders have said they hope to increase test scores in the coming years.

STORY: Clark County districts plummet on state report cards, many get Fs

5) The Dome: After Springfield City Schools merged its North and South high schools in 2008, the future of the old South High was in question. The building is an iconic structure in Springfield and many people in the community didn’t want to see it demolished.

Almost 10 years later and the building appears to be thriving. It houses the Global Impact STEM Academy, which is an independent school that rents space from the Springfield city district. it also houses the CarreerConnectED Center, John Legend Theater and some classrooms for Clark State Community College.

STORY: Springfield’s Dome to host community open house

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