While school districts statewide prepare for the new year, Springer Public Schools is bolstering their curriculum. 

The district will use grant money from the Oklahoma State Board of Education to expand their curriculum in the upcoming school year. 

The Champions of Excellence grant, a $4 million grant, is awarded to districts with plans to make their curriculum more well-rounded and include more technology in their classrooms.   

Since receiving the grant, they’ve hired two new faculty members. 

“We didn’t know if we were going to get the grant, so we couldn’t start hiring until now,” Springer Superintendent Cynthia Hunter said. 

The school will use the funds to add an action-based learning lab with activity stations and equipment meant to help students learn.

“Research shows that movement while they’re learning provides greater connection to the material,” Hunter said. 

Next year, the district will also introduce a health curriculum that starts at the elementary school level and focuses on positive decision making.

“It’s actually a research-based curriculum,” Hunter said. “We’ll be using it for kindergarten through sixth grade. It’s been found to increase reading and math scores as well, which I found interesting.”

The Positive Action curriculum can be seen at positiveaction.net. 

The district also hired an additional high school math teacher, Jon Dotson, and will offer calculus and trigonometry classes next year. Hunter said the school has offered those classes in the past. 

“We’ve had to be very creative with our teachers,” Hunter said. “There weren’t enough hours in the day to teach all of those subjects.” 

Jessica Richards, another new hire, will teach health classes while also serving as an elementary school counselor.