Action items

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All staff | School staff | Teachers | Clerks

All staff: Prepare for Thanksgiving break
SPPS is closed Thursday, November 28 and Friday, November 29. Please update your voicemail and the voicemail for the main line of your school or department to indicate that SPPS will be closed for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend and will reopen on Monday, December 2.

Remember that all buildings are locked and alarmed all four days. To enter the building, follow proper disarming/rearming protocols. Please check with your building engineer or the Security and Emergency Management Office at 651-767-8378 before Wednesday, November 27 if you have questions on building access.

All staff: Prepare for winter snow
With the winter season fast approaching, please prepare yourself for the upcoming snow by reviewing the Facilities Department Winter Season and Snow Removal FAQs and the 2013-2014 Snow Removal Grounds Care Assignment Chart.

Please note that the Snow Removal Grounds Care Assignment Chart has been updated since last week’s Bridge.

All staff: Give to the Max Day is THIS THURSDAY, November 14
The SPPS Facebook page and Twitter feed have been encouraging prospective donors to visit school websites, which connect directly to their GiveMN fundraising pages. The DONATE button on the upper right corner of every school website is the key to raising funds through online giving. You can raise money this way year-around, but a great way to generate interest in supporting your school takes place this Thursday, with Give to the Max Day. Rev up the excitement this week -- see customizable templates in five languages -- to rally members of the community around your school. Why give on Give to the Max Day? Here’s a reason: one school will be chosen every hour to receive a Golden Ticket worth $1,000. You can STILL update your school’s GiveMN page -- it only takes a few minutes. Contact brandi.cavalletti@spps.org, 651-767-8181, for information.

School staff: Digital editors to support school websites
As part of the digital transformation of Saint Paul Public Schools, the Office of Communications, Marketing and Development (CMD) in October welcomed two new digital editors to assist with website maintenance, staff training and content creation for the school district.

Maricella Miranda and Shawn Hogendorf may be contacting school staff in the coming months to request information that will help them make SPPS websites better. Your prompt attention is appreciated.

Teachers: Register for service-learning and We Act trainings
On November 15, the SPPS Community Education Service-Learning Program is hosting two training opportunities about service-learning that will include information on organizations that offer great partnership opportunities. Register now on PD Express by searching for “Service Learning.”

In the morning session, Service-Learning 101 for Secondary Teachers (SL017), guest facilitator Jim Toole (president and co-founder of the Compass Institute) will help secondary teachers and those leading We Act projects to explore service-learning processes, quality standards and outcomes for students, schools and community. Teachers will gain deeper insight into strategies and techniques for developing and implementing quality service-learning projects with students.

In the afternoon session, We Act Project Planning (SL019), teachers will hear from partner organizations – such as H2O for Life, Impact Lives and local Watershed Districts – about opportunities for SPPS teachers and students to partner in their service-learning and We Act projects. Teachers will have time to network and exchange ideas related and receive support in project planning.

For more information call the Service-Learning Program at 651-487-7383 or email service-learning@spps.org.

2nd grade teachers: Schedule a free science field trip at the Minnesota Children's Museum
The 2nd grade Strategic Science and Engineering Initiative (SSEI) trip for 2013 is to Minnesota Children’s Museum (MCM). This trip is fully funded by a grant from 3M.

At MCM, students will learn about the life cycle of ants via interactive activities and a discussion with a museum educator. This trip coincides with the Insect Trunk, which is booked through SPPS during Opening Week. 

This visit will help meet Science Benchmark 1.4.3.1.2, “Recognize that animals pass through the same life cycle stages as their parents.” Please talk with the science specialist at your school about how this trip can be integrated with what your students are learning in science.

It is expected that every SPPS 2nd grade student will have the opportunity to visit MCM as a part of SSEI. Please book your trip immediately. 

To schedule this field trip for your class, contact the Minnesota Children’s Museum at 651-225-6000.

Please have the following information ready when reserving your trip:

  • School Name
  • Time/Date preference
  • Names of all teachers attending
  • Approximate number of students
  • Email address for confirmation

For more information about programs at MCM, contact Amy Bry at 651-225-6047 or abry@mcm.org.

Your confirmation and schedule will arrive via email. Please contact Minnesota Children’s Museum if you do not receive confirmation after booking.

To arrange for bus transportation, fill out an SPPS Field Trip Order Form. Remember to order your bus(es) at least two weeks in advance. Enter “SSEI” as the budget number on your bus order form.

Note: This 2nd grade trip is funded differently from the preK-1 trips to MCM. Please be sure to cite “SSEI” in your communications to the transportation department regarding this trip.

For more information on 3M-funded field trips at SPPS, contact Jaime Dery at jaime.dery@spps.org or 651-744-7394.

Teachers: Fund for Teachers deadline is January 30, 2014
Fund for Teachers (FFT) provides educators who possess a broad vision of what it means to teach and learn with resources to pursue self-designed professional learning experiences. FFT grants can be used for a variety of projects, all designed to create enhanced learning environments for teachers, their students and their school communities. We believe that supporting teachers' active participation in their own professional growth positively impacts student learning and achievement. To learn more about the Fund for Teachers, visit: http://www.fundforteachers.org/

To apply, teachers must:

  • Be employed by SPPS full-time as a PreK-12th grade teacher at the time the grant is used;
  • Spend 100% of their work week in direct instruction with students in a classroom or classroom-like setting;
  • Intend to continue teaching in the consecutive school year; and
  • Have at least three years teaching experience as a PreK-12th grade teacher in SPPS.

Individuals may apply for up to $5,000; teams may apply for up to $7,500 (all team members must meet eligibility criteria). To confirm eligibility, please contact Kathy Weyandt, kathy.weyandt@spps.org, 7-8373. The Saint Paul Fund For Teachers is sponsored by the SPPS Foundation.

Clerks: Manage Campus enrollments
It is crucial for clerks to keep up with Campus enrollments. This work is essential for SPPS to comply with mandatory reporting to the Minnesota Department of Education. Student Placement Center staff will continue to enter Campus enrollments for new and returning students. However, clerks must:

  • Regularly review School View at  sms1314.placement.spps.org to learn of new students assigned to your school. You will receive an email in your Lotus Notes Enrollment Group alerting you of the change in School View.
  • Log into Campus to ensure the new student's start date is correct or mark the student as a no-show if appropriate.
  • Enter Campus enrollments for students transferring from one SPPS school to another.

Please contact Erin Moline 651-632-3740 or Jayné Williams 651-632-3722 with questions.