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Deadline approaching to register for SPS University, a social and learning event for Springfield Public Schools

Published: Nov. 30, 2021 at 6:08 PM CST
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - It’s a chance for a free meal, talk with school officials and learn about things that might help your child do better in school.

It’s a new concept from the Springfield Public School system called SPS University and the deadline to register is Monday, December 6 at the district website (sps.org).

Since arriving from Houston, Texas this past July as the new Springfield Public School Superintendent, Dr. Grenita Lathan has hit the ground running to meet and get feedback from the public.

“I really want to know what’s working but also areas we need to improve in,” she said.

One idea she brought with her from Houston to help accomplish just that is SPS University, whose inaugural event at Parkview High School will take place December 14th from 5-8 p.m. and include workshops, breakout sessions, how-to-guides, a resource fair and free meals and childcare (ages 4-8).

“This event is really to foster stronger relationships with our community,” explained Dr. Yvania Garcia-Pusateri, SPS’ Chief Equity and Diversity Officer who’s helping organize the event. “That’s why we want to provide free childcare and dinner so our families know that the school experience is not just for their students but for them as well. We want their family to be part of it.”

The workshops will help parents learn how to use SPS online services that post grades, information and assignments.

“It will help you navigate academics in the home so you can better support your student’s learning,” Garcia-Pusateri explained. “We know technology can be difficult and with us having technology as part of the learning experience we want our families to be able to understand and check whatever they need to do to make sure their student’s being successful.”

Besides the workshops, the break-out sessions will visit with parents about promoting social and emotional well-being in their children.

“We have some great techniques on how to foster a stronger family relationship,” Garcia-Pusateri said. “A lot of families just want to know what the school experience looks like for their children. If their student gets in trouble or something happens to them, what does that process look like and how can they advocate for their child? How can they have a better relationship with the principal and teachers?”

The how-to-guides will include accessing academic supports for a child’s needs and there will also be a resource fair to connect parents with community partners that offer programs that benefit families.

“That’s another big piece of this,” Garcia-Pusateri said. “Those community partners will set up tables where they can hand out information. It might be the Community Partnership of the Ozarks or the Boys and Girls Club but we want them to see the school experience is in the school building and out in the community too.”

And remember once again that while the event is not until December 14th, the deadline to register is this coming Monday, December 6th.

Even if you don’t have a child in an SPS school you are welcome to attend and school officials say don’t be shy or think your input doesn’t matter.

“This district is their district,” Garcia-Pusateri said. “We want people to be able to come and feel that it is a space for them where they can participate and ask questions because we know that for us to be successful, we need the community to be invested as well.”

Members of the school board and school officials will be available for one-on-one conversations at the event in addition to the other activities.

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