Bienvenidos al Distrito de Shawnee Mission

After 7 years of looking for ways to assist the community, the first bilingual back-to-school night will happen Wednesday


District Flyer for Sept. 22 event.

The Bilingual Back to School night on Wednesday, Sept. 22 at the Center for Academic Achievement will take place from 5-7 p.m. for all K-12 students and their families. There will be conchas and cafecito offered as guests enter.

This will be the first year families and students of Spanish descent can celebrate and receive resources from 17 local organizations ranging on topics such as scholarships, how to access Skyward & Canvas, access to free COVID-19 vaccines, and even organizations to help adults who are in need of job assistance.

According to SM Northwest Associate Principal, there were many reasons for this event to take place.

Some of them, she said, are because many Latino parents work long hours and because the majority speak Spanish, they don’t show up to traditional back-to-school nights.

“I said, ‘well, let’s offer a vaccine clinic,’” Springfield said. “The vaccine clinic turned out to be just COVID-19 vaccines, but we have health partnerships there. So Health Partnership clinic is going to be there doing the COVID-19 vaccines for free, but we’re also going to check for what vaccines students need, so that we can schedule them in already, so they don’t have to miss school later on in October.”

Among the 17 groups partnering with the district for this event, are El Centro, KC Scholars, The Workforce Partnership, the Kansas Hispanic and Latino Affairs Commission with the office of Governor Kelly, and many more organizations.

Springfield said the goal of the event is to help families receive adequate information for their student’s future academic success and goals.

“In the board room, we are doing a survey for families on what they need for students to be successful, show them how to upload Skyward and Canvas on their cell phones, and how to change the languages on both those apps,” Springfield said. “As well as teaching them to be up to date with their students’ success and goals, and the rest of the time will be spent on them visiting each partnership at this event.”

Many Latino families do not have access to wifi for computers and it’s essential for parents to know about their student’s academic life, she added.

“Our families miss out on a lot of information that’s going on at school,” Springfield said. “So we’re hoping to help them upload Skyward on their phones, iPhones, or Androids whatever they have, and also upload Canvas, so they can keep up with their students, like grades, information, or what homework they have.”

This is the first year that this event will be taking place but has been on Springfield’s mind for many years.

“Well seven years later, here we are, talking about it again, except this time I have a different group of people that made this possible,” Springfield said. “The volunteer committee of five has really helped this event form and actually take place and that wouldn’t have been possible seven years ago.”