Moving to a new city is exciting, but it comes with a seemingly endless to-do list. From finding a new home to finalizing your job offer, there are numerous steps that must be taken before you can finally call yourself a proud citizen of your new residence. For many, one of the most stressful parts of the moving process is getting your kids moved over to a new school. Not only will you want to find the right educational system for your kiddos to thrive both academically and socially, you’ll undoubtedly be supporting them as they adapt to a new community and school environment. Let us help you by answering some frequently asked questions families relocating to Springfield, Missouri have, so you can get set up with ease.
What types of schools do you have?
To start, you’ll probably want to know more about your options. In Springfield, you have a wide variety of educational possiblities for your family to choose from:
Many area students are enrolled in Springfield Public Schools — in fact, it’s the largest, fully-accredited school district in Missouri. SPS offers 35 elementary schools, an intermediate school, nine middle schools, five high schools, a center for gifted education and four early childhood centers. Even more, if you’re looking for programming that offers unique learning opportunities, you’re in the right place. SPS has a variety of choice programs from WOLF, an innovative learning classroom for 5th grade students with a special interest in nature and the outdoors, to International Baccalaureate programming for students from elementary through high school. If you’re considering a home in the Springfield region, the surrounding districts are some of the best school systems in the state and recognized for their innovative program offerings.
For those preferring a private school experience, Springfield isn’t short on options. Younger children can attend the Discovery Garden Montessori School for a private school learning experience, while K-12 programs are available at Greenwood Laboratory School and The Summit Preparatory School.
Families that want a faith-based focus in their child’s education can explore several of Springfield’s schools, including Grace Classical Academy, Springfield Catholic Schools, Springfield Lutheran School, New Covenant Academy and more.
How do I get my child enrolled?
Depending on the type of school you’ve chosen, your method of enrollment may vary:
Springfield Public Schools
When you’re ready to enroll your child, you can either complete an online enrollment form or visit the school to pick up the necessary forms. In order to enroll, you’ll need your student’s birth certificate, immunization records, social security card, proof of residency (utility bill, lease, etc.) and the name and address of their previous school.
Each private school may have a different way for students to enroll, but most require an application process that includes references and proof of the student’s academic record. Some private schools may have a lengthy waitlist so you will want to check with the individual school of interest for more information on enrollment availability. Additionally, be sure to keep in mind that some schools may not allow mid-year enrollment so always connect with your school of choice first.
Missouri allows for any family to homeschool their child. If you are interested in pursuing homeschooling, you might also involve them in some of Springfield’s supplemental homeschool programs like Home Schoolers’ Academy, which allows them to connect with fellow homeschooled students.
How can I connect my child?
Getting used to a new school is a challenge, especially for younger children. When you encounter trouble, keep these ideas in mind for getting your kiddo plugged into their new surroundings:
Enroll Your Student in Explore
Traditional summer school isn’t much fun, but our school district offers a program that gives children the opportunity to engage in exciting experiences including courses in exploring nature, learning survival skills and using technology. The program also encourages students to explore their creative side, be it art, singing or acting. It’s a great way for students to get plugged in and meet new friends who share interest! Any child within the Springfield Public School district has the opportunity to attend – even if they regularly attend a local private school.
There are a variety of opportunities to get your child plugged in through sports. Programs through the local YMCA and the Springfield-Greene County Park Board offer opportunities in soccer, volleyball, basketball, football, tennis, hockey, archery and more.
There are many places in Springfield that offer students other opportunities to explore their passions while making new friends. Is your kiddo a future Picasso or fan of the arts? The Springfield Regional Arts Council has many chances for your child to tap into their creativity with workshops like Arts and Crafts Afternoons for Teens. Does your child have a love for science? Springfield’s interactive, hands-on science museum, The Discovery Center, offers a variety of programming and workshops for all ages. Have a little one with personality made for the stage? Your child might just be a perfect fit for one of the Springfield Little Theatre’s Youth Performance Troupes!
Are you ready to find your home here in Springfield? Download our relocation guide and see what your future could look like in Springfield MO.