Action items

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All staff: Learn more about the new strategic plan at State of the District event and other information sessions
Staff, students and parents are strongly encouraged to attend the annual State of the District event on Thursday, January 30, from 6:30-8 p.m. at Washington Technology. This is the first time the superintendent has held two events -- one during the day for the community and one in the evening for staff and families -- to accomodate busy schedules and give more stakeholders a chance to hear about the new strategic plan for the district.

  • Superintendent Silva will outline our progress over the past three years of Strong Schools, Strong Communities, as well as next steps for design and approval of Strong Schools, Strong Communities 2.0.
  • Entertainment by student performers
  • Interpreters available
  • Children welcome

Families, staff and the community are also invited to learn more about Strong Schools, Strong Communities 2.0 at several information sessions:

Employee sessions

  • Thursday, February 6,  7:30 - 9 a.m.: American Indian Magnet School
  • Friday, February 7, 12:00 - 1:30 p.m.: 345 Plato (brown bag lunch with Supt. Silva)
  • Tuesday, February 11, 7:30 - 9 a.m.: Groveland Park Elementary, 2045 St. Clair Ave.
  • Thursday, February 20,  4:30 - 6 p.m.: Benjamin E. Mays IB World School
  • Tuesday, February 25, 2:30 - 4:30 p.m: Central High School

Family/community sessions:

  • Sunday, February 9, 5 - 6 p.m.: Webinar - view online: spps.org/Strong_Schools
  • Thursday, February 13, 6:30 - 8 p.m.: Como Park High School (Areas E/F1-F2)
  • Saturday, February 22, 10 - 11:30 a.m.: Johnson Senior High School; Thinking College Early Fair also available
  • Thursday, February 27, 6:30 - 8 p.m.: Washington Technology (Areas C/D)
  • Saturday, March 8, 10 - 11:30 a.m.: Harding High School (Areas A/B)

Contact Kathy at kathy.weyandt@spps.org or at 651-767-8373 with questions.

All staff: Register for Thinking College Early Fair
Your department or organization is invited to join colleges and community organizations for an annual college fair for students. The Thinking College Early Fair will feature many fun and informative activities for students and their families as they begin the college planning process.

Please download the flyer and share this information with groups you know who might be interested in attending.

To reserve a table for your Office, Department, or organization,  please complete the registration form and return to:

Ms. Jo Ann Clark
c/o  PROCEED Inc.
P.O. Box 251441
Woodbury, MN 55125

Contact the Office of Family and Community Engagement at 651-767-8347 with questions.

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.

Teachers: Register for Valentines for Vets
The Service Learning Program invites elementary teachers and students to participate in Valentines for Vets 2014, a veteran recognition project associated with the National Salute to Hospitalized Veterans (Feb. 9-15, 2014). This is a great opportunity for students to show appreciation to our hospitalized veterans by creating meaningful cards and letters. Teachers can enhance academic value and learning by linking this activity to literacy standards, social studies, and history. 

To register, please read the program letter for details, and then complete the registration survey.

For more information, call Roxie Laugeson at 651-325-2670 or email roxie.laugeson@spps.org.

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. Although you will submit the application online, Please send your completed application to Lisa van der Steur (lisa.vandersteur@spps.org, 651-767-8108) by Thursday, January 23.

Teachers: Other February grant deadlines
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.”

The Dollar General Literacy Foundation applications in three funding areas are due February 27, 2014. Adult Literacy Grants support nonprofit organizations that provide direct services to adults in need of literacy assistance. Family Literacy Grants support family literacy service providers that combine parent and youth literacy instruction. Summer Reading Grants help nonprofit organizations and libraries with the implementation or expansion of summer reading programs for students who are new readers, below grade level readers, or readers with learning disabilities. In addition, Youth Literacy Grants support schools, public libraries, and nonprofit organizations that work to help students who are below grade level or experiencing difficulty reading. The application deadline for this program is May 22, 2014.

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.

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.

Site administrators and leaders: Review summer school ("S-Term") information
Summer school programming at SPPS (“Summer Term" or "S-Term”) for students in grades K-12 teaches important academic standards and leadership skills while incorporating community connections. In 2014, S-Term will be offered in two sessions for students in grades pre-K through 12 at select schools. School administrator/leader employment applications began on Monday, January 20. For complete details, review the memo from the Office of Alternative Education.

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.