April 15, 2020

Dear parents: 
As we continue with Week 3 of learning at home , we want to take a moment to celebrate with you. While the COVID-19 pandemic has created challenges for our community, state, nation and world, it has also presented new opportunities to learn and grow together. One positive outcome has been the deepening of relationships among our teachers, students and parents as we navigate this journey. 

Each day, approximately 20,000 students are engaging online and many others are utilizing the printed resources that are also available. New support for continuing instruction at home over the next few weeks is now available online. You may access the grade-specific resources for Weeks 3-5 at sps.org/SPSAtHome . Updated packets have also been mailed to every elementary student and to middle school students who requested them. If you have not received your packet in the mail, please contact your child’s school. 

Other helpful resources are also featured at SPS At Home to provide support for families during these challenging times. This support includes the following:

Mental Health
  • The SPS Counseling team has developed a number of resources to help parents talk with their children about COVID-19, manage stress and anxiety, and to connect with community agencies providing additional support. View the mental health resources.
  • School counselors are available to consult with parents. If you need to conference with a school counselor, who can provide referrals for mental health supports, complete the Counselor Request Form available on your school’s Canvas page or website. 
  • To ensure the safety and well-being of students while they are learning from home, SPS has increased its monitoring capabilities, including more robust filtering of Google documents and emails for any mention of suicide, abuse, self harm or other inappropriate content. School staff will be informed of any flagged content and they will follow up with the student and their parent/guardian to ensure they are safe. 
  • As always, safety concerns may also be reported directly to School Police by calling 417-523-2911 or through the district’s anonymous text Tip Line at 417-319-2901.

Food & Other Assistance
  • SPS will continue to serve free meals to students ages 18 and under Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Approximately 70,000 meals are being served each week. You may pick up breakfast and/or lunch at the school closest to you. A few schools experiencing lower participation will consolidate meal distribution with another nearby school to improve service and efficiency. You will be notified if your meal pick-up location changes.
  • To help families that may be struggling, the Missouri Department of Social Services is offering expanded benefits with food, health care and other critical needs. Visit https://mydss.mo.gov for more information or to apply. 
  • If your family includes members who are younger than five or are pregnant, breastfeeding or are postpartum less than six months, and if you meet income guidelines, you may qualify for the Women, Infants and Children’s supplemental foods and nutrition education program (WIC). These benefits may also be available if your family has experienced the loss of one or more jobs due to the Stay at Home Orders. Call the Springfield-Greene County Health Department WIC Office at 864-1450 for more information. 
  • Eligibility for DSS and WIC programs is often based on whether a family qualifies for free or reduced price meals at school. Completing the Free or Reduced Price Meal Application now will help with obtaining benefits offered. You may complete the online application here or obtain a paper copy at any school during meal distribution Monday-Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. 
  • For other needs related to health, hunger or hygiene, your school’s nurse is also available to help connect you to available resources.

As you know, Governor Parson has extended the closure of all Missouri public and charter schools through the end of the regularly scheduled school year. The last day of school for SPS is May 21. On Friday, SPS will announce plans for how this will impact commencement and other year-end milestones, so please watch for that important email.

SPS continues to be here for you and your family. As always, your student’s teacher, principal or counselor are available to address any questions or concerns as we continue learning together from home.

Springfield Public Schools| SPS.org