Action items

All staffSchool staff | Principals |  Teachers

All staff: Review sabbatical leave information
Applications for a 2014-15 sabbatical leave must be received in the Human Resources Department by April 1, 2014.

The Professional Development Advisory Committee (PDAC) has identified the following priority areas for 2014-15 sabbatical leaves:

  • Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, Hmong and French language fluency at the elementary level
  • French language fluency at the secondary level
  • Special education
  • Math and science
  • Montessori certification. Employees may work toward certification with a 50% sabbatical leave while teaching 25%.

Information on sabbatical leaves is available under Article 11 in the teachers’ bargaining agreement. Additional information along with the application form is available on the Human Resources website.

All staff: Review new information about Summer Term (S-Term)
Now is the time to start thinking about summer! Families of students who qualify for S-Term will receive an S-Term guidebook and registration via U.S. mail March 12-14. Review the following information to help you answer questions from students and staff:

The priority registration deadline for families is March 28, 2014, although applications will be accepted after this date. Please contact the Office of Alternative Education at 651-744-8020 with questions.

All staff who work at or visit 360 Colborne: Donate non-perishable food items to Neighborhood House
Neighborhood House operates two food shelves that serve immigrants, refugees and low-income individuals and families. With your support, the Neighborhood House food shelves give local families direct access to the foods they need.

During the month of March, it will be easy for you to donate to the Neighborhood House when you visit 360 Colborne. Bring your non-perishible food items to the Office of Communications, Marketing & Development in room 106.

Not sure what to bring? Check out their multicultural food wish list for some ideas. Questions? Call Syreeta at 651-744-5653.

School staff: Resume scheduling substitutes through AESOP
As of Monday, March 3, SPPS will no longer use Kelly Educational Services (KES) to meet unfilled or last-minute substitute teacher needs. Please resume arranging  all substitute coverage through the AESOP system.

KES has been unable to meet our district's substitute teaching needs. We are disappointed that this did not work out as promised, and we apologize for any disruption or inconvenience this has caused you and your school.

The Human Resources Department will continue to increase our existing pool and explore other ways to improve our substitute fill rate across the district.  

Should you have any questions, please contact Kenyatta at or 767-8196.

Principals: i3 funds available for training a Reading Recovery teacher
The Reading Recovery program in Saint Paul Public Schools is currently seeking administrators who wish to identify teachers in their school to be Reading Recovery trained as part of a comprehensive intervention team. There are currently i3 funds available to pay for the cost of training a Reading Recovery teacher (i3 funds pay for training; building funds pay for Reading Recovery teacher positions).

Reading Recovery teachers teach a variety of small intervention groups throughout their day (over 46 students are served in a school year by a Reading Recovery teacher) in addition to providing high-quality one-on-one support to struggling first-graders through Reading Recovery. Please contact Maren R. Wallenberg, Reading Recovery Teacher Leader, to arrange a meeting for further information. She can be reached at or 651-744-1338.

Principals: Pick up Elementary Progress Reports
Elementary Progress Reports will be available for pick-up on Monday, March 17, from 3-4:30 p.m. at 345 Plato in English, Spanish, Somali, Hmong and Karen. Please contact the Office of Teaching, Learning and Leading with any questions.

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: Apply now for spring grants
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 April 15: The McCarthey Dressman Education Foundation offers Academic Enrichment Grants designed to develop in-class and extra-curricular programs that improve student learning. NOTE: These grants are to individuals, not to a school or the district. Recipients may be liable for taxes on the award amount. 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 25: Minnesota State Arts Board Arts Learning Grants “offer funding for projects that help lifelong learners acquire knowledge and understanding of and skills in the arts. Projects must provide participatory learning and engage learners with skilled teaching artists and high quality artistic experiences.” This can be a complicated proposal with many moving parts. Interested applicants need to read the guidelines thoroughly before moving forward with a project; note that – new this year --  “the applicant must provide at least 10 percent of the total project’s cash expenses from other sources. The match requirement will apply regardless of the size of the applicant’s budget or request amount.”
  • Due by April 30: Target 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 30: ING 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 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.