Action items

All staffSchool staff | Principals |  Teachers

All staff: Inform families of school choice deadline change
The priority enrollment deadline for school choice applications has been extended. Families now have until Friday, February 21, to submit applications for the school of their choice.

Due to the record-cold temperatures and the cancellation of many open houses, some families missed the opportunity to visit schools and engage with staff. We want to provide those families an opportunity to explore all their school choice options.

All staff: Review deadlines for purchasing
In order for purchases of goods, services, and other expenses to be booked against this year’s budget, the Business Office must receive the following documents according to the schedule below:

  • February 28: FY13-14 Textbook Orders
  • March 28: FY13-14 Title I orders and Title I purchase requisitions
  • April 11: FY13-14 purchase requisitions
    Due to the increased year-end volume, conversion time of requisitions into PO’s will be significantly longer
  • June 3: Opening eProcurement for entering of FY15 requisitions. POs will be created after July 1 for these requisitions
  • June 15: Last day to use P-Card unless you are sure you will be able to meet the July 31 deadline to turn in signatures, receipts and budget code changes.
  • June 30: FY13-14 vouchers and PO vouchers
  • June 30: Supplemental pay request forms received after this date will be charged to the fiscal year 2015 budget.
  • June 30: P-Card statements, signatures, receipts and budget code changes are due for the billing cycle ended June 16. 

Ongoing deadlines:

  • Mileage is to be submitted and approved by supervisors monthly on the Mileage Reporting System (MRS).
  • Travel Reimbursement - within 15 days upon return

We appreciate your cooperation in meeting the deadlines above. We understand that a lot of work needs to be done before the end of this fiscal year on June 30, 2014. Please contact your accounting support staff with any questions.

All staff: Last chance to 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

  • 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:
  • 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 or at 651-767-8373 with questions.

All staff: Register for Thinking College Early Fair by February 12
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 by February 12 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: 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: Learn how to raise funds online this week
Last year Saint Paul Public Schools raised over $25,000 on Give to the Max Day. That was just one day! You can use to raise money for your school year-round. 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

Who: We encourage principals, staff, and PTA/PTO representatives and other parents 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 for more information

Clerks and health office staff: Register for CPR/AED training
Get certified in basic CPR and learn to operate automated external defibrillators (AEDs) with new training offered by the Facilities Department. The training is four hours long and will be offered mornings and afternoons in Lab A at 1930 Como.

To register, please go to PDExpress. If you have questions, contact Patrick Kenneally at or the Facilities One-Stop phone number at 651-744-1800.

Title I principals, clerks and administrators: Submit budget revisions
Soon you will receive your school or program’s budgets via email for review. Revisions are only for non-standard salary items such as supplies, supplemental pay, contracts, food, transportation, etc.

Budget revisions are due to Pamela Sanders no later than the end of the day on February 28. If you need assistance, contact your Title I representative (listed below) or Pamela Sanders at 651-767-8255.

  • Sherry Carlstrom, 651-744-1451, liaison to Sharon Freeman, Andrew Collins and program administrators
  • Megan Cole, 651-744-3535, liaison to Christine Osorio, Steve Unowsky, Boys Totem Town and River East
  • Lynn Moore, 651-632-3781, liaison to Theresa Battle

This is the last opportunity to revise your budget. Be sure your budget revisions maximize your ability to spend all of your Title I funds during this fiscal period. The procurement deadline for Title I is Friday, March 21.

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.

Principals: Review early admission guidelines and procedures
We have made changes to the procedures for early admission to kindergarten and first grade. Please review the guidelines for staff and parents. Some highlights include:

  • The deadline for parents to apply for the Early Admission Screening is Friday, April 25, 2014
  • New this year: Screenings led by licensed teachers will be scheduled beginning April 21 (for apps received prior to the deadline date) and held at the Student Placement Center
  • Classroom observations will take place in designated schools April 28 - May 2, 2014
  • The Office of Early Learning will contact schools at the end of February to schedule observation dates and times.

Applications will be available at the Student Placement Center. If you have any further questions about the Early Admission to Kindergarten or First Grade process, please call the Student Placement Center at 651-632-3760.

Elementary principals: Update SCIPs for progress monitoring
Elementary school SCIPs should be as up-to-date as possible by February 28 for mid-year progress monitoring. Please refer to the instruction document for the specific expectations and information related to this revision/update.

Teachers: Technology grants from Education Minnesota due April 11
Due by April 11: Education Minnesota Classroom Technology Grants offer Education Minnesota members who work directly with students grants of up to $3,000 to buy mobile devices and related resources to use with students. Grants are awarded after June 1, and funds must be spent by the end of June 2015. Your application must contain a signed Data Sheet, Narrative and budget in table format. You may email a signed and scanned application in PDF format to Education Minnesota prefers projects that will put the technology in students' hands, increase students' use and understanding of technology, and have measurable or observable outcomes. The Foundation's Board of Trustees, all of whom are active Education Minnesota members, reviews the applications.

Note: Education Minnesota grantees receive award checks made out to them and Saint Paul Federation of Teachers, and SPFT serves as the fiscal agent for the award. Grantees advance the funds to purchase project materials and submit receipts to SPFT for reimbursement.
Teachers: Plan now for spring grant submissions
Contact Lisa van der Steur, 651-767-8108 or, to talk through your ideas, for assistance with your proposal, and for district approvals (as needed).

  • Due by March 15Ezra Jack Keats Minigrants. Minigrants are awards of $500 to public schools and public libraries for projects that foster creative expression, working together and interaction with a diverse community.
  • 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. 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 30Target Early Childhood Reading 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 Arts, Culture + Design in School for 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. Each Arts, Culture & Design in Schools Grant is $2,000.
  • Due by April 30ING Unsung Heroes could help you turn great ideas into reality for 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 22The 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.

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

Elementary teachers: Register for service learning professional development
On Thursday, February 27, from 3:30 to 5 p.m., join the Service Learning Program for an exciting opportunity to learn more about:

  • The building blocks for quality service learning
  • Enriching teaching and learning for all students
  • Planning and implementing service learning in your classroom
  • Utilizing staff and resources of the SPPS Service Learning Program

Registration for this opportunity, called Intro for Elementary Teachers, is available on PD Express. Search for “Service Learning" or course number "SL020" to register. For more information call the Service Learning Program at 651-487-7383 or email