Action items

All staff | School staff | Principals |  Teachers

All staff: Update directories with new health office phone numbers
Each SPPS Health Office has received a new, permanently assigned phone number that follows the format 651-888-76##. Our hope is that this will allow easier transitions as Health Office staff relocate to other buildings or retire from the district.

Please download the directory and update your school’s website, directories, family newsletters, etc. with the new phone numbers. If you have any questions or concerns, contact Mary Yackley, Student Health and Wellness Supervisor, at 621-767-8380 or at mary.yackley@spps.org.

All staff: Fourth annual blanket drive runs now through January 17
Project REACH is launched its fourth annual Blanket Drive for families experiencing homelessness. The blanket drive will end on January 17, 2014. Project REACH identified more than 2,000 students experiencing homelessness last year. New families ask for assistance each day. Learn how you can help below:

  • What: Fourth Annual Blanket Drive
  • When: December 2, 2013 - January 17, 2014
  • How to help: Project REACH encourages school staff to work together to collect new blankets and linens on behalf of students experiencing homelessness.

Please call the Title I Project REACH office at 651-632-3790 to have them pick up your donations, or drop them off at 1021 Marion (attached to Paul and Shelia Wellstone Elementary, south side of the building), Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

New items only please. For more information, please contact the Title I Project REACH office at 651-632-3790.

All staff: Instructors wanted for Summer 2014 enrichment programs
If you are excited to work with youth and have passion for a subject, talent or hobby, this is your chance to work with students who share your interests and want to learn from you.

Mini-grants for up to $1,000 are available for instructors. This funding cycle will support summer enrichment programs that occur between June 1, 2014 and September 1, 2014. Application deadline is January 17, 2014.

The Community Education Enrichment Fund was established to support enrichment programming for St. Paul youth and increase access to hands-on learning opportunities during the school day, after school and in the summer.

Please review the information in the Invite for Enrichment Fund Proposals document and complete a Community Education Enrichment Fund Youth Class Proposal Form. Following review of both documents, if you have additional questions or have trouble with a document, please contact shaun.walsh@spps.org or kathryn.mommaerts@spps.org.

School staff: Register events for National African American Parent Involvement Day (NAAPID)
It's time to prepare for National African American Parent Involvement Day on Monday, February 10.

The Office of Communications, Marketing & Development will publicize SPPS activities for both National African American Parent Involvement Day (NAAPID) and Black History Month. 

Please provide a schedule of your school's events by submitting this form before January 27.

Questions? Contact brandi.cavalletti@spps.org.

Principals and site coordinators: Administer 5Essentials survey
Teachers, paraprofessionals and students in grades 6-12 are expected to participate in the 5Essentials survey January 14 – February 7, 2014. The survey is a comprehensive framework and diagnostic tool for identifying strengths and challenges for school improvement. The purpose of the survey is not to determine which schools are successful, but to identify areas for improvement. Principals and site coordinators will be contacted with further instructions.

Principals, assistant principals, school leadership teams, school improvement specialists: Update SCIPs for progress monitoring
Your SCIP should be as up-to-date as possible by January 21 (secondary schools) or February 28 (elementary schools) for mid-year progress monitoring.

Please refer to the instruction document for the specific expectations and information related to this revision/update.

Elementary principals: Encourage ECSE Families to attend open houses
Keeping with Strong Schools, Strong Communities, children who receive ECSE services are encouraged to attend elementary open houses to learn more about the schools in their area so they can decide on a school through the school choice process. All ECSE parents are encouraged to apply to a school so they have a classroom placement for the fall of 2014.

Special education staff will work individually with the parents of ECSE students who need more specialized services to ensure they understand the specialized programming options available at their community schools.

Principals, please ensure that special education staff are on site for all open houses to welcome the parents and answer questions. If there are specific questions that cannot be answered (including questions about a student attending a specific site), the staff should email the parents’ contact information and questions to the Special Education coach assigned to their building. We will follow up with parents so they understand the process and their options. We will also continue to work with each school administrator on placements for students with disabilities.

Elementary principals and teachers: Register for Science Museum and Saint Paul Winter Carnival field trip
The Winter Carnival and the Science Museum of Minnesota are partnering once again to offer a free educational event to all third and fourth grade students. Students will be bused to the Science Museum to learn about weather patterns and phenomena as the Science Museum presents “Storms on Stage.” Then students will learn about the history of the Winter Carnival, from the Winter Carnival Senior Royalty.

  • What: Science Museum and Winter Carnival field trip for third and fourth grade students
  • Dates: January 27-29, 2014
  • Times: 9:50-11:30 a.m. or 10:50 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
  • Register: Online by Wednesday, January 15

Contact Roxie Laugeson at roxie.laugeson@spps.org with questions.

Principals, assistant principals and school staff: Discipline reporting clean-up
The spreadsheets that list discipline reporting problems for the 2013-14 school year-to-date have been posted on the Data Center website. By January 17:

  • Any errors or red flags from the first quarter discipline data should be corrected
  • Any incidents that occurred during the second quarter must be entered

Making these corrections by January 17 is essential for providing accurate internal discipline analysis as well as the required report to the Minnesota Department of Education.

Each school's report has been placed in the password-protected part of the SPPS Data Center website. The report includes everything entered in Campus as of November 4. Instructions are available to view the report and the new information for this year.

If you have questions, please contact Cindy Porter at 651-767-8371 or cindy.porter@spps.org.

Principals and teachers: Administer MAP tests January 7-24, 2014 (optional)
Based on feedback from building staff, the winter 2014 MAP test will be optional. The winter 2014 MAP testing window is January 7-24, 2014. Schools may not target specific grades; tests must be given to all specified grades school-wide, or not at all.

Specified grades are:

  • Math: Grades 2 and 9
  • Reading: Grades 6, 7, 8, 9
  • Math and Reading: Grade 10 students who are performing at or below 8th grade academic levels.

School administrators must indicate whether they will administer the test by contacting Robin Lane at robin.lane@spps.org by Wednesday, December 18, 2013.

Teachers: Register for Service Learning Teacher and Community Partner Gathering
On Tuesday, January 21, the Service Learning Program will host the Service Learning Teacher Community Partner Gathering from 3:30 - 5:30 p.m at 360 Colborne in rooms J and K. This exciting opportunity is for teachers who are currently conducting or planning service learning projects to:

  • Learn about community partner organizations including: Books For Africa, Free The Children, H2O For Life, Impact Lives and Second Harvest Heartland
  • Share their service learning experiences with colleagues
  • Network with SPPS teachers and community partners
  • Learn more about the opportunities to engage students as active learners in service-learning.

Register now using PD Express, by searching by course number “SL021." For assistance, please contact the Service Learning Program by calling 651-487-7383.

Teachers: Apply for grants due February 1
The NEA Foundation offers Student Achievement Grants of $2,000 and $5,000 that may be used for resource materials, supplies, equipment, transportation, technology, or scholars-in-residence. Although some funds may be used to support the professional development necessary to implement the project, the majority of grant funds must be spent on materials or educational experiences for students.

The NEA Foundation’s Learning and Leadership application provides $2,000 grants to individuals fund participation in high-quality professional development experiences, such as summer institutes or action research; or $5,000 grants to groups fund collegial study, including study groups, action research, lesson study, or mentoring experiences for faculty or staff new to an assignment.

The deadline for both NEA grant applications is February 1. Please send your completed application to Lisa van der Steur (lisa.vandersteur@spps.org, 767-8108) by Thursday, January 23.

Looking ahead (but not too far): Lowe’s Toolbox for Education grant applications are due by February 14, 2014. Earlier is better; Lowe’s closes the application process as soon as it receives 1,500 requests. The Foundation states that “this year . . . we are challenging ourselves to seek ways to provide the tools that help our educators and parent groups through today's challenging times efficiently, while providing the greatest impact, with basic necessities taking priority.”

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 next 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 at kathy.weyandt@spps.org or 651-767-8373. The Saint Paul Fund For Teachers is sponsored by the SPPS Foundation.