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Springfield high school students to start spring semester with hybrid model

Published: Nov. 17, 2020 at 9:33 PM CST
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - High school students struggling with online classes will soon have more options for tutoring in the Springfield school district. Even students who choose in-person schooling will still start the spring semester learning more from home than in a classroom.

Springfield Public Schools is hoping to have kindergarten through eighth grade students back in school buildings five days per week in the spring. That’s if they choose the in-person option. For high school students, the most they’ll be seated in classrooms is twice a week, continuing the hybrid model they’re on now.

“Virtual learning is not how my brain works," said Kickapoo High School senior Chloe Bowers.

Bowers said high school online is anything but simple, especially when taking advanced courses, preparing for college.

“I definitely have to be in-person, see it in front of me," she said.

She’s in classrooms twice a week, but is left on her own the other three days, which she said, is sometimes overwhelming.

“Not having the connections and the ability to talk to our teachers because the days we’re doing virtual stuff, they’re teaching the other students,” Bowers said.

Springfield high school students will continue their hybrid model in January, unless they choose to be full-time online. Spokesperson Stephen Hall said 9th through 12th grades will still be limited to in-person classes because COVID-19 cases are more prevalent among them.

“They have an opportunity to engage in extracurricular activities. They, many times, are socializing with friends after hours, away from school," Bowers said.

Hall said SPS recognizes that some students have struggled learning from home. He said more tutoring will be available in the spring and the district hopes to transition to more in-person learning for high schools as soon as possible.

“I think our students have been a great example to all of us adults and others in the community to really see how they have remained focused and resilient and they’ve said, ‘We’re going to get through this together,'” Hall said.

Bowers said she’d like to be back in school five days a week, but is hoping she’ll hold on to at least the two she’s getting now. She does not want to be forced into full-time virtual learning like last spring.

“I wouldn’t get to see the teachers, I wouldn’t get to see my people," Bowers said.

Like many her age, she hopes she’ll get to enjoy simple, senior traditions.

“I also hope to have a normal prom, and a normal graduation," Bowers said.

Hall recommends any student who is struggling with full-time virtual learning to go ahead and switch to the hybrid model for the spring. He said more details about the tutoring will be announced soon.

The district hopes to have high school students in classrooms four or five days per week as soon as possible. He said all changes will be made with guidance from the health department.

The last day to make that switch to hybrid or virtual learning for a high school student is Tues. Nov. 24.

To make those changes, call your home school’s office anytime during school hours between Nov. 17 and Nov. 24. Notify the SPS representative who answers the call of your request to change your child’s learning option schedule for the second semester. The SPS representative will ask you several questions and will complete a form over the phone on your behalf. This process will take approximately 5 minutes.

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