Leaders with Springfield Public Schools spoke at a luncheon Thursday put on by the North Springfield Betterment Association.
Those in attendance received a state of the school-type message, with updates on how teachers are prepping for the school year and the progress of the newly formed SPS facilities task force.
There's was also good news for the district's youngest students this year.
An uptick in state funding is allowing SPS to accept an additional 200 kids into its preschool program, upping the total to 600. Educators say this is a big deal, and that the sooner kids start learning, the better.
"Reaching our learners at the youngest age possible is critical to their success," says Deputy Superintendent Carol Embree. "Providing that continued support for them and being able to reach these preschool students at such a young age will be a tremendous boost in their educational learning experience."
SPS will add 200 Pre-K spots in each of the next two school years, as well, bringing the total to 1,000 in 2020-2021.
The preschool program is available to students who qualify for the free and reduced lunch program. Parents interested in applying can contact the district by phone at 417-523-4636, or visit www.sps.org.