Action items

All staffSchool staff | Principals |  Teachers

All staff: Take medical benefits survey
In the coming year, Saint Paul Public Schools will review its medical insurance options in a Request for Proposal (RFP) process. During this time, we will review our current HealthPartners offerings and consider other medical insurance providers.

Please take a few minutes to fill out a brief, confidential survey about medical insurance. Because our medical benefits coverage directly impacts you, your feedback is crucial to us as we begin our decision-making process.

Your responses will be combined with others for an aggregated summary, and no individual responses will be shared.

All staff: Learn more about the new strategic plan at information sessions
Families, staff and the community are 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)

Download the flyer for staff, the flyer for families, and the half-page invite to distribute to your families or colleagues. 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: Attend Personalized Learning training
The Office of Personalized Learning is offering both in-person and online classes on key technology tools that support of student learning. Visit the Personalized Learning website for more information on courses to help you:

  • Use SPPS Google Apps to create engaging presentations and promote student collaboration
  • Collect student input on a project using forms
  • Make your own Moodle course
  • Explore ways iPads enhance instruction

These courses qualify for the teacher recertification technology requirement. To register, sign up on PD Express.

School staff: Raise money for your school year-round
Last year the Saint Paul Public Schools raised over $25,000 on Give to the Max Day. That was just one day! Did you know that you can use givemn.org to raise money for your school year-round?

Learn how! Join representatives from the Saint Paul Public Schools Foundation and GiveMN for a training and information session designed to bolster your school’s online fundraising efforts by providing basic information and strategies for using givemn.org.

Who: We encourage principals, staff or PTA/PTO representatives from every Saint Paul Public School to attend.
When: Thursday, February 13 from 4-5 p.m.
Where: 101 East Fifth Street, Suite 2400 (U.S. Bank Building – Mississippi River Room)
Details:

  • Parking will be validated—learn more.
  • RSVP online.
  • Contact Leona Thao at 651-325-4281 or Leona@givemn.org for more information

School staff: Review new substitute teacher request procedures
SPPS is pleased to announce a new partnership with Kelly Educational Staffing (KES) to hire additional substitute teachers to accommodate all teacher absences. KES substitute teachers will fill any unfilled or last-minute absences, and SPPS substitute teachers will continue to fill all other absences.

The KES substitute teacher program will launch on Monday, February 3. Please continue to follow your normal processes for entering absences until that date. After February 3, enter regular absences through Aesop and last-minute absences through KES. Human Resources will provide detailed instructions at a later date so you can be confident in your ability to secure a KES substitute.

We look forward to a successful partnership with Kelly Educational Staffing. Please contact them directly with any questions or comments at 651-483-1233.  Thank you for giving them your full support during this transition.

School staff: Raise money for your school year-round
Last year the Saint Paul Public Schools raised over $25,000 on Give to the Max Day. That was just one day! Did you know that you can use givemn.org to raise money for your school year-round?

Learn how! Join representatives from the Saint Paul Public Schools Foundation and GiveMN for a training and information session designed to bolster your school’s online fundraising efforts by providing basic information and strategies for using givemn.org.

Who: We encourage principals, staff or PTA/PTO representatives from every Saint Paul Public School to attend.
When: Thursday, February 13 from 4-5 p.m.
Where: 101 East Fifth Street, Suite 2400 (U.S. Bank Building – Mississippi River Room)
Details:

  • Parking will be validated—learn more.
  • RSVP online.
  • Contact Leona Thao at 651-325-4281 or Leona@givemn.org for more information

School staff: Register events for National African American Parent Involvement Day (NAAPID)
It's time to prepare for National African American Parent Involvement Day (NAAPID) on Monday, February 10. Resources for schools and a list of school events is posted on the NAAPID website. A flyer is now available for download.

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 as soon as possible.

Questions? Email brandi.cavalletti@spps.org.

Teachers: Review information on Interview and Selection and the Placement Process
Interview and Selection is a process by which teachers, counselors, social workers and school nurses may search and apply for new positions for the 2014-15 school year. This process used to be called “Voluntary transfer.”

The Placement Process is a process by which teachers, counselors, social workers and school nurses may request to be placed in an open position at a different site based on their seniority. This process used to be called “Involuntary transfer.”

Teachers eligible for the Placement Process are strongly encouraged to also apply for positions through Interview and Selection. This provides teachers the best opportunity of securing their preferred placement.

 

View complete details about Interview and Selection and the Placement Process in the memo from Human Resources. Please direct questions to Kenyatta Carter at 651-767-8196 or Kenyatta.Carter@spps.org.

Teachers: February grant opportunities
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: Plan now for spring grant submissions

  • Due by March 15: Ezra Jack Keats Minigrants. Due March 15. Public education is one of the greatest legacies of our country, one that benefits children from every walk of life. For Keats, it was at public school that he received his greatest encouragement to pursue his vocation as an artist. And the public library was a haven that introduced him to the wonders of art history. To offer a similar experience to new generations, the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation created a funding initiative called Minigrants, through which awards of $500 are given to public schools and public libraries for projects that foster creative expression, working together and interaction with a diverse community. They also represent an opportunity for educators, whose efforts are often inadequately funded or recognized, to create special activities outside the standard curriculum and make time to encourage their students.
  • Due by April 15: The McCarthey Dressman Education Foundation offers Academic Enrichment Grants designed to develop in-class and extra-curricular programs that improve student learning. The Foundation considers proposals that foster understanding, deepen students’ knowledge, and provide opportunities to expand awareness of the world around them. The Academic Enrichment Grants provide funding for programs that nurture the intellectual, artistic and creative abilities of children from low-income households. The McCarthey Dressman Education Foundation awards grants to individuals in amounts up to $10,000 per year for a maximum of three years, provided the eligibility requirements continue to be met. Teacher Development Grants support small teams of teachers in the formation and implementation of groundbreaking k-12 classroom instruction. The grants provide opportunities for teachers to integrate fresh strategies that encourage critical inquiry and to observe their effects on students. Teachers have the opportunity to reflect and write about their projects, as well as to share their results with other teachers. The Foundation awards grants to individuals in amounts up to $10,000 per year for a maximum of three years, provided the eligibility requirements continue to be met.
  • Due by April 30: Target Early Childhood Reading Grants. Reading makes a world of difference in learning. That’s why we award grants to schools, libraries and non-profit organizations that support programs like after-school reading events and weekend book clubs. Each Early Childhood Reading Grant is $2,000. Target funds programs that foster a love of reading and encourage young children, preschool through third grade, to read together with their families. Reading grants support programs such as library storytimes and family reading nights. Target Arts, Culture + Design in School. A well-rounded education includes music, art, dance and drama, and allows kids to express themselves creatively. Through grants, we’re helping schools bring more arts and culture into the classroom. Each Arts, Culture & Design in Schools Grant is $2,000. Target funds in-school arts programs that enhance students' classroom curricula by bringing the arts and cultural experiences to schools, such as in-school performances, artist-in-residency programs and workshops in schools.
  • Due by April 30: ING Unsung Heroes could help you turn great ideas into reality for students. For more than 15 years, and with more than $4 million in awarded grants, ING Unsung Heroes has proven to be an A+ program with educators. The program’s “alumni” have inspired success in the classroom and impacted countless numbers of students. Each year, 100 educators are selected to receive $2,000 to help fund their innovative class projects. Three of those are chosen to receive the top awards of an additional $5,000, $10,000 and $25,000.
  • Due by May 22: The Dollar General Literacy Foundation Youth Literacy Grants support schools, public libraries, and nonprofit organizations that work to help students who are below grade level or experiencing difficulty reading.

Tenured K-12 classroom teachers: Get support from Peer Assistance and Review (PAR)
Do you have a professional goal that you would like support in reaching? Are you teaching a new grade level and/or content area? Do you want to reflect about instructional practices in the classroom?

Peer Assistance and Review (PAR) Consulting Teachers are available to coach, consult, and/or collaborate with you to help you reach your goals. This is a reflective and intensive support model based on your individual needs. Get started today:

  • Register for the course PAR: Tenure Teacher Coaching/Collaboration on PD Express, and
  • Contact Amy Steele at amy.steele@spps.org or 651-744-1330 to set up an initial appointment with a PAR Consulting teacher.

Requests will be filled upon availability of PAR Consulting Teachers. Peer Assistance and Review is a collaboration between Saint Paul Public Schools and Saint Paul Federation of Teachers to support teachers as they develop and refine instructional practices.

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.

Principals and site coordinators: Administer 5Essentials survey
Teachers, paraprofessionals and students in grades 6-12 are expected to participate in the 5Essentials survey. 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. 

The teacher and paraprofessional window is open from January 14 – February 7. The student survey window will be open from January 24 – February 21. Information about the administration of the student survey will be sent to principals and survey coordinators.

Elementary principals: Update SCIPs for progress monitoring
Elementary school SCIPs should be as up-to-date as possible by 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.