Springfield Public Schools is adding its 10th magnet school.
Dubbed Fly SPS, the choice program represents a partnership with Ozarks Technical Community College, according to a news release.
“We believe this program has great potential to serve more students in the future and to expand to include other aviation careers,” said Hal Higdon, OTC chancellor, in the release. “Students who participate in Fly SPS will be well positioned to continue their education at OTC and earn an associate degree in aviation flight technology and a commercial pilot’s license.”
Premier Flight Center LLC, the flight school provider for OTC, recently consolidated operations into a new hangar at Springfield-Branson National Airport, according to past reporting.
Fly SPS is a half-day program that's currently being developed, according to the release. The first year of the program would focus on completing the requirements to obtain a private pilot's license, while students in the second year would work to receive advanced training in flight and aviation.
“We are thrilled to be able to continue to expand our choice options for SPS students,” Superintendent Grenita Lathan said in the release. “When I came to Springfield, I saw our choice programs as an opportunity for growth for Springfield Public Schools.”
Two students from each SPS high school initially will be selected through a lottery to participate in the flight magnet school. They must meet all Federal Aviation Administration screening requirements to be eligible. More details about the timeline, application process and classes are expected to be released in spring 2023.
However, Fly SPS is projected to launch with the 2023-24 academic year, according to the release.
SPS Chief Communications Officer Stephen Hall said via email the district would pay for students to attend the new choice program. Estimated costs during year one are $182,060 for 10 students, he said, noting the district is "exploring funding sources to offset direct budget implications and will be prepared to incur any cost not covered by those potential funding sources through the regular budgeting process."
A pair of area medical colleges that received state grant funding in the fall are now investing the funds toward technology and new programs with the intent of attracting more students to the nursing profession.