Springfield Parents, teachers react to new hours for Springfield Public School students

Published: Jul. 20, 2021 at 5:29 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Springfield Public Schools says its new start times will provide transportation to 3,000 students. Some parents say the new schedule is putting them in a tight spot.

Rhonda Stemm doesn’t know how she’s going to make this next school year work. Her kids would have to go to before and after-school programs just so she can work. She says it’s a long day for her kid.

“Then we come home and it’s a mad dash to get supper and a little bit of family time and then just to have some downtime and play,” Stemm says.

It’s something before and after-school programs are hearing about, making adjustments to help working parents have a place for their middle and elementary school kids to go while waiting for school to start.

“A lot of our families and our kids are navigating so much right now,” Brandy Harris the Chief Executive Officer of Boys and Girls Club of Springfield says. “And here’s another change to a system that you’ve probably set up that works for you right now.”

She says she along with the YMCA, the Dream Center, and SPARC have been working alongside of the school system to help make this transition as easy as possible for parents.

“We don’t typically have the kids for three hours and so that will take some adjusting on our end to figure out what those kids need in the morning,” Kelly Keim the District Director School Age Services, says about expanding the times of their morning programming.

Some parents say they don’t feel heard.

“I was pretty disappointed when the announcement came out,” Lydia Paasch, a SPS parent says.

But Springfield Public Schools says this is the best option for now providing the most opportunities for kids to get to school using transportation. They also say if it doesn’t work they will make adjustments.

“We look for opportunities for us to refine and make improvements,” Stephen Hall from Springfield Public Schools says. “That is what we are always committed to doing.”

Teachers hope it’s not at the expense of their student’s education. They say especially the high schoolers who have had trouble getting to class on time when they had later hours.

“I’m curious to see what the data will say at the end of this year regarding their attendance and performance,” Jasmine Allen, a parent, and teacher in Springfield Public Schools, says.

SPS says they expected challenges in the beginning like with any adjustment

“We certainly understand that anytime we have a schedule change, and individuals are required to adjust their daily schedules and routines that that will be challenging,” Hall says.

For more information on start times or before and after school programs available click HERE.

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