Springfield Public School Announces 5 days of In-Person Learning

On Tuesday March 9th, Springfield Public Schools announced that they will be going back to 5 days of In-Person learning, starting after Spring break. This only applies to the students currently enrolled in the Hybrid Learning option. Students that previously had Wednesdays as a virtual learning day will now be back seated in class. This announcement however does not affect SPS students enrolled in the Fully Virtual Learning option.

Monday March 22nd, will mark the start of the first week in over a year where students enrolled in the In-Person learning option will be back in seated classes 5 days a week.

SPS’s announcement comes as transmission rates of COVID-19 still remain at moderate levels in Greene County, Missouri, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In a statement to parents SPS noted that the district will continue with the current safety protocols such as requiring face coverings for students and staff and thorough cleaning of SPS buildings.

However, it remains difficult to see how the district will be able to continue with there safety protocols while going back to 5 days of In-Person Learning.

SPS originally made Wednesdays a deep cleaning day. While students learned virtually, SPS facilities would be thoroughly cleaned. But now with students in school 5 days a week, there remains little time for a thorough cleaning of SPS classrooms and facilities.

There also remains the question of whether or not students will be required to wear a mask through the end of the school year. The City of Springfield mask ordinance is set to end April 9th. If the ordinance does not get extended past April 9th, then residents within the city of Springfield limits will no longer be required to wear a face covering. This would also mean that students may not be required to wear a mask unless SPS says otherwise.

Finally, there are still unknowns about when all staff in SPS can get vaccinated. While this process has started, many teachers and staff are still not vaccinated. Going back 5 days a week would mean that there is another day for the the virus to be transmitted, and another day of crowded class rooms, and as the warmer weather comes classrooms will be COVID-19 hot pots.

While SPS did work with the Health Department in making this decision, there still remain many unknowns. At this point it seems as though it would have been better for SPS to stick with the current arrangement, to make sure that we can keep transmission rates down in our schools and keep students safe.

At the end of the day only time will tell if SPS made the right decision in sending thousands of students back to 5 days of In-Person learning during a global pandemic that has no real end in sight.

Girls Swim Successful Season

The Kickapoo High School girls swim team led a successful season. While COVID-19 ruined many students chances at getting to compete in sports and participate in clubs, the girls swim team was still able to compete and put forth great efforts to preform at there best when it came time to compete. Despite many obstacles, the team managed to pull off another great season.

“This season was definitely interesting because of all the COVID rules we had to follow. We only had 2 travel meets, one of them being state, when we usually have about 5. We lost a lot of our support group not being able to practice with the Nixa swim team,” said sophomore McKenzie Lowry.

However despite this unconventional season, the team was able to win the Ozark Invitational meet and the Southwest Missouri meet. They all worked extremely hard, to achieve all they did.

“We had a lot more practices this year sometimes two a day, we practiced during Christmas and Thanksgiving break and some weekend practices. I think we all knew it would be a hard season but none of us gave up and we just kept pushing through,” said sophomore McKenzie Lowry.

“To prepare for this we have been practicing as much as the weather will allow but a little bit different than we do during a normal season. For big meets like state we “taper” which means we have moderate practices that help build muscle memory instead of having longer more intense practices and tapering also allows us to have the energy to swim the best times at state, ” said senior Paige Lenahan.

The hard work and devotion would bring the team to state, where they would all have good swims along with some podium wins, and junior Ashlyn Moore would medal.

“About a year ago when things started shutting down I wasn’t able to swim for a couple months which set me back but I was super motivated to get back to where I was before and then get even better so I started going to Bader Sports Performance when things opened back up and pushed myself even harder in practice to reach my goal of meadaling at state,” said junior Ashlyn Moore.

Even with COVID-19 and other obstacles in there way the girls swim team was still able to pull off an amazing season.

“I think we made the best out of what we could this season. We had a lot of personal bests and a lot of goals were achieved by multiple girls. Our coach, Peter Hill, always refers to the team as a family and this year I feel we really became one,” said Ashlyn Moore.





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