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Greenwood Laboratory School--2016 Best Private Sch
I thought there should be an uptated review of this school now that it is 2016. It was recently voted Best Private School in Springfield, MO through the local newspaper and it is ranked #14 in the state of Missouri against all other private schools in the state. I have two children in 2nd and 4th grades and have been at this school for 3 years. It consistently develops students who excel in mathematics, Spanish, music, sports and science. They place well in academic competitions and both parents and students are driven to succeed. We have had wonderful experiences with the principal and the new vice principal who started this school year has been a welcome addition as well. The principal was called upon when we felt our daughter was being treated unfairly by some of her classmates and the situation was dealt with immediately. The teachers are caring and strive to continually learn their craft, several of them working on their doctorates through the summer. It also allows college students from MSU to student teach in the classes and do research within the classrooms which introduces students to new ideas and processes. The PTA is active and parental involvement is strong as well. We really wouldn't be happier anywhere else.



Springfield, MO Review
I actually grew up in Springfield, and moved away shortly after high school to attend university in Kansas City. Frankly, the only reason I moved back is because I was offered a job here. I resisted moving back for several years for several reasons; (1) I'm not religious in any way, and I seem to be the only one here who isn't. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with religion by any means. However, the people in SW Missouri take Christianity to a WHOLE NEW LEVEL. Believe me when I say, Bible Belt doesn't begin to describe this area. Also, my political point of view and spin on life is very progressive, and locals here resist progress and progressive types very strongly, in my experience. The city of Springfield's city council passed an LGBT non-descrimination policy, only to have it voted down less than one year later; the city has lots of work to do in terms of inclusion. So, unless you're right-wing oriented politically, or political climate doesn't matter to you, I would avoid this area. Another thing that struck me very quickly after moving back: the zoning of the city. We have lots of main streets, and those main streets are almost exclusively and completely gridlocked by 1) fast food joints, 2) churches, or 3) gas stations. Whereas in other small to midsized metropolitan areas there are zoning regulations that prohibit this type of development, that's more or less all that exists in Springfield. So, if you ask me, it's not a very visually appealing city. Distinct neighborhoods are more or less non-existant, as are historic districts. Do they exist? yes. But they make up a very small fraction of the city as a whole. If you're looking for a variety in entertainment options, diversities, ethnicities, architecture, educational levels, political outlooks, etc, skip Springfield altogether. Here's the typical Springfield resident, from my experience: White, evangelical Christian, lower middle class, right wing politically oriented.



Springfield in Hindsight
To begin with, I'll mention that I'm writing this largely in response to some harsh commentary I recently read about the city. I'll attempt to offer the best overview of Springfield shaped by a few years of absence and reflection.

Key Takeaway: Springfield is a great city to raise a family, earn a reasonably priced education, partake in outdoor activities, and enjoy a moderately small but nonetheless diverse downtown scene with all that entails.

Major Advantages: Very low cost of living, reasonable real estate prices, friendly people, access to outdoor activities, revitalized downtown, and access to decent, reasonably priced higher education

Major Drawbacks: Lack of diversity, limited career advancement outside of a few select fields, suburban sprawl, and poor public transportation system

Just to dispel the rumors, or perhaps to caveat what several other individuals have mentioned in regards to meth and crime: if you are a middle class individual planning to live in one of Springfield or the surrounding area's many middle class neighborhoods you are unlikely to experience any of meth related incidents. If you live in a $650 apartment in a bad portion of town, that likelihood increases. My experiences elsewhere have not lead me to believe that Springfield has a drug problem worse than that of most comparable cities. The city is relatively conservative as a whole, with more liberal areas surrounding the universities. Protestant Christianity plays a big role in the community which has both positive and negative aspects. People are generally friendly, relaxed, and the downtown scene is quite enjoyable whether you're interested in local art, music, food, or beer. A couple new microbreweries in the area add to the city's unique sense of place.

The Ozarks themselves are beautiful, with rolling wooded hills and numerous rivers, springs, and lakes: each tailored to whatever activity it is that you're interested in pursuing. Whitetail deer and turkey are plentiful for those that like to hunt. Smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill, and a variety of catfish are all in healthy supply for the fishermen (and women). The region has some fantastic caves and day hikes for those that like to get out and explore. The weather is highly variable with often hot, humid summers and relatively cold winters-at least enough to receive snow a few times a year.

The city certainly isn't for everyone. It doesn't offer the same variety of activities available in larger cities like Saint Louis, Kansas City, Denver,etc. nor does it have the charm and accessibility of a smaller community. However, as far as a middle sized American city goes, it has quite a bit to offer. The Bass Pro Shop, baseball stadium, downtown area, and university campuses are all very nice. The city does suffer from a lack of public transportation and a large suburban sprawl which makes Springfield seem simultaneously smaller (fewer large, multistory buildings) and larger (time it takes to get from one side of town to the other) than it actually is.

The city does stand out in its homogeneity, which stems from some unfortunate events in the past. The only areas even close to being considered culturally diverse are the campuses of Missouri State and Drury Universities. Petty crime and homelessness seem to be growing problems in the city although I won't claim to know the causes behind these particular issues (perhaps the aforementioned drug problem). Fortunately, the Springfield police have always been professional in my personal experience.

I ultimately left to pursue a career. Many I graduated with have done the same. As with most mid-sized cities, potential for career growth is somewhat limited depending on your field. There are certainly opportunities in the education and medical fields though these jobs generally have lower pay commensurate with the lower cost of living. There certainly is some truth to the issue of the disproportionately high number of low-paying service sector jobs- particularly call centers- relative to career track positions.

Would I return? Yes.
Knowing the city's drawbacks, it's still a good fit for me and likely a good fit for some of you as well. If you're a moderate to conservative family-oriented individual, you'll probably thrive. I would encourage anyone to give the city a chance, but I will say most of my more liberal friends and acquaintances ultimately ended up leaving in search of somewhere more suited to their tastes.

Hopefully, you find this review useful. Feel free to comment if you'd like to discuss any particular point further.



Love living in the foothills of the Ozark Mountain
Springfield is the nicest place to live with great people and lots of events in town and surrounding areas. The crime rate had gone up in our area which is sad. Nonetheless people look out for others. We have hot humid summers and frigid often snow and icy winters. We would love to have more temperate weather year round. Branson is 30 miles south of here which might appeal to lots of folks. Lots of fishing, camping and boating as well as entertain in Branson.



Quality of life



cost of living comparison
Out of the city but still in the city limits. I live in an allotment but it is surrounded by farm fields. I live within convenient distance to all of Springfields ammentities.



Springfield, MO
Springfield has a lot to offer. I have lived all across the country and other towns in Missouri. I moved to Springfield 6 years ago to finally complete my master’s degree. My wife and I both have great jobs. The cost of housing, utilities, gas, food, and general shopping is less than anywhere I have lived. Springfield is situated almost in the middle of Kansas City, St Louis, Tulsa and Oklahoma City.

As far as entertainment goes, many concert tours and comedy shows come through town (the same ones that go through the bigger cities), a small zoo, Bass Pro Shop, fishing/boating on the lakes around, fairground activities, Springfield parks, Springfield Cardinals baseball and many other things. Branson is a 45 minute drive at most and has many theaters and an amusement park as well.

There are many business’s headquarters located in Springfield from Outdoor Stores, Auto Parts, IT, Finance and others. In other people's reviews I see some complaints that are universal with anywhere you can live and others that people obviously didn't work very hard to fix.



I had hoped to move to Springfield as my sig other is in the med profession - but my standards are a much higher! The city is dirty, the downtown is full of homeless and druggies. You try to follow the law start a business, but apparently the city has no zoning or ordinances they follow. The city allows homeless to have soup kitchens, play super loud music, damage property and leave trash all over right in a commercial area, next to a lawyers office. The more you support the homeless - the more of them you get. It's really weird, I've never seen a city run so poorly. I won't even get into the "sprawl" and poor city planning....



A constant torrent of bigotry, arrogance, and meth
I lived in Springfield for six years and just recently was able to escape with my life. Springfield is like a Midwest themed amusement park in a level of hell based on ironic punishment. Their only claims to fame are a giant Bass Pro Shop near downtown (you can't miss it; the scent of testosterone, chewing tobacco, and suicidal retail workers wafts out at least four blocks in all directions), and creating one of the most disgusting abominations of Americanized Chinese food you will ever have, the greasy nuggets of pure diabetes they call cashew chicken. And that's literally it: expensive hunting equipment, and fast food. It makes sense, because if you were to meet most of the current generation wrought of perpetual dysfunctionality and domestic abuse that makes up its citizenry, you'd probably say to yourself "Hmm, I bet I know what two things these guys love."

It might be worrying enough to know that there are so many gun nuts in the area, but what compounds this worry is that most of them are perpetually aggro. Springfield has a surprisingly high crime rate for the area. You might chalk this up to the incredible popularity of meth there, but with all the shoot-outs and lynchings in Springfield's history (the local museum will cheerfully relate these tales to you; there's a reason there isn't a lot of diversity here), it's obviously just a part of the culture. It is almost impossible to be a pedestrian there not just because of the curious lack of sidewalks, but mostly because you are considered a target if you're not in vehicle. I've known several people on bikes and scooters who have been driven off the road or just straight up hit by douchebags in pickup trucks, and many more people who have been walking around town minding their own business and had cars full of people drive up beside them and throw eggs, garbage, or full fountain drinks right in their face and then drive away laughing. Even more disturbing, every year I lived there, there seemed to be at least two or more hideous and violent murders of some kind.

But back to the bigotry. In a town that's 95% white and 99% fundamentalist Christian, God help you if you're not one of them. There are actual Neo-Nazis that show up to their gay pride festival every year. There are preachers that harass people downtown so badly that one of them was once arrested. You might think the citizens would be grateful, but there was a huge backlash. It's not like the local police force are a bunch of dandy liberals either; they will straight up shoot you if you're the wrong color and then take to social media to call everyone who disagrees with them a bunch of morons.

People talk about the cost of living being lower, and that might be true for just the real estate, but considering the fact that it's damn difficult to find a job there, and most places pay minimum wage anyway, good luck trying to make ends meet. There's a reason their #1 employer is Walmart. I and most of my friends have at some point worked at one of the many call centers in Springfield. I was told there are so many call centers there because they know they can get away with paying the locals less than anywhere else in the country. If you are unfortunate enough to be homeless in Springfield (which is likely; there is a very high homeless rate that no one ever talks about), you'll have to watch out for roving bands of ultra-violent dude-bros (or cops) who think the most fun they can have on a Saturday night is beating up the less fortunate.

If all that is too much to read through, feel free to skip ahead to this handy list I've made of the most likely things to be encountered in Springfield:
-Shitty fake Chinese food
-Domestic violence
-Harassment of all kinds
-Mental & emotional dysfunction
-Soul-crushing boredom
-A few sane citizens desperate to escape

Things you will most likely not encounter:
-Good music
-An educated opinion



Springfield,MO has a lot of beautiful parks. My favorite is Springfield Nature Center, which is a state park on the south edge of town. There are many miles of maintained trails to hike and walk. Deer, wild turkey,cranes,ducks and squirrels are in abundance.



Good Cost of Living - Lacking in Character, Style
Not a good place for a liberal.

Very disrespectful community if you do not smoke, drink, party, go to church or do drugs.

If you are a business owner, it is not enough to treat people well, you need to disparage your competition and minorities in order to make a name for yourself with the good ole boys.

This area is destined to be 3rd tier in business, education and property values.

Top students from this area will place in the middle rung in college and will be viewed as backward as a result of poor manners, grammar and discipline in the community as a whole.

If you do not have children, do not want to run a business, cook your own food, are self sufficient you have a chance of thriving in the area.

Not a place for thoughtful interactions. The midwest at its worst.



Nothing to do



Define Cost of Living
I've seen several people refer to the great cost of living in Springfield. I want to clarify that. Housing is less in Springfied than other areas. However, Missouri is a heavily taxed state. It has what is known as "the working poor". There are jobs here, but people don't make enough to support their families because the wages are also low and the cost of everything else is the same. Charity is big here because people can't make ends meet. There are no federal taxes on groceries, but there are state taxes on them. Tax Free Weekend doesn't really happen because you still have to pay the state taxes. There is a state income tax that is too high. There is also personal property tax on everything you own (including cows and hay bales). The sales tax is comparable to any other city I've lived in. When I went on vacation a couple years ago to florida, the highest price I paid for gas the whole trip was in Springfield.

Springfield's school system boasts of having some awards, but it really isn't good. Just everyday grammar is horrible around here. In an effort to make math easier in elementary school, they just confused the kids with all the gimmicks they used. Math is straight forward and very logical. It doesn't change wether you're doing simple addition or college calculus. Just teach it! I go to college and most of the students, if they even show up, don't study, don't do the homework, and the teachers have dummied down the tests just to get them to pass. Its disgusting!

As for culture, forget it! Springfield has many wonderful outdoor enjoyments with lakes, excellent parks, nature trails and the nature center. However, on a beautiful day, and there are many, everyone is at the mall! The restaurants are not worth eating at, so you can save your money eating at home. In fact, the best sushi in town is at the mall! Maybe that's why they're all there.

I work with the public and I am so tired of the braless (not sexy either) women, fat women in skin tight shirts, people wearing their pajamas in public because they are too lazy to get dressed, and meth rotted and toothless people. Where is the pride in your appearance?

I didn't think I would have so much to say, but there it is. There are other places in Missouri to live that are more enjoyable if you want the benefits without the negatives.



Springfield has improved over the years , but stil
Springfield has gotten better over the years as far as offering festivals; i.e. Snowfest and all the fall activities, etc., and places to go for entertainment, but it is still lacking very much!!!
I want REAL museums! The Springfield Art Museum is okay, but not large enough for my taste. I want professional sports teams, the NFL, NBA, MBA, NHL, etc.! Yes, John Q. did bring us a minor league baseball team and I thank him! Someone is trying to bring a race track between Branson and Springfield and I love the idea, but he has been warned not to do it!!! Sheesh!!! I want REAL mountains! Okay, we have small ones, but I want to snow ski!!! I want sandy beaches in town! Our zoo is too expensive for what it is and there are many zoos around the country that many times its size that are FREE! Maybe I'm asking for too much!

I grew up going to Table Rock Lake, which is great for swimming, boating, water skiing, etc. And there are some great rivers in the Ozarks to canoe. There also nice places to camp. Branson is a fun getaway, but sadly Silver Dollar City has gotten to be too expensive for my budget.
Springfield does not offer the kind of job I want at all; and for that reason alone and many others, I would like to go elsewhere. As others have said, the jobs here do not pay well unless you are in healthcare and some of those jobs do not pay well either.
You definitely need a car to live in Springfield. The bus system here is not good. It takes two hours for a person to go to a grocery store about a mile away! They also do not offer enough bus stops or enough shelters for the bus stops they do have for bad weather. And City Utilities controls the transportation system and will not allow anyone else to start another system. By the way, CU does not have a good reputation!
This is definitely not a bicycle-friendly town! Yes, we do have some good paths, but not enough; and drivers are not friendly to bicyclists!
Yes, there are a lot of good, friendly people here! But there are also too many close-minded, backward, racist folks to count here! It is true that many people will ask you when they meet you what church you attend. I have literally had neighbors that wanted to save me and take me to their churches and they have told me that I will burn in Hell if I don't attend church regularly!
I can't say that we do not have any culture at all here. It is just not a culture that I want because I am not Conservative.
One of my favorite places is Jordan Valley Park. I think it is a lovely park with a water fountain for the kids in the summer. There are also some nice historic areas with historic homes in the central part of the city. But in my honest opinion, most of the city is very sterile looking.
I would like to raise my children in a more open-minded environment and I am saving up to do so. There are a few things I know I will miss. I will miss the cashew chicken and Mexican Villa for sure!



Volatile weather patterns. High Tornado threat


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