Action items

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All staff: Participate in statewide tornado drill
The statewide tornado drill will be held on Thursday, April 24. All schools, 360 Colborne and 345 Plato will participate.

The first drill is at 1:45 p.m. and allows schools, businesses and hospitals to practice their weather shelter plans. The second drill at 6:55 p.m. allows families an opportunity to practice at home. Learn more about Minnesota’s Severe Weather Awareness Week from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety.

All staff: Attend Board Listening Sessions
The SPPS Board of Education wants to hear from you! Families, students, staff and community members are invited to speak directly with Board members about any question, comment or concern. The Board is excited for this opportunity to have an informal conversation with the community.

There is no need to make an appointment to speak with the Board during a Listening Session. We look forward to hearing from you! Learn more at

  • Thursday, April 17, 7-9 p.m.
    North Dale Playground Center, 1414 St. Albans Street North, St. Paul
  • Thursday, May 8, 7-9 p.m.
    Conway Community Recreation Center, 2090 Conway Street, St. Paul

School staff: Register for We Act
Join an international movement to empower young people to take action in their communities! Register your school for We Act today.

In 2013, SPPS joined other school districts in Minnesota to partner with Free the Children in a year-long service learning program called We Act. Over 500 youth in our district discovered causes they care about and took action to make a difference in their communities and the world through We Act this year.

We Act participants will commit to working on and completing one local and one global service project. Registration for the 2014-2015 We Act Program is open now and will end on April 30, 2014.

Schools who register for We Act may be eligible for tickets to We Day on November 12, 2014 at Xcel Energy Center.

The SPPS Service Learning Program will support schools who register for We Act through planning and implementation of your projects. Join us at 1 p.m. on April 18 at 360 Colborne to learn more about We Act and We Day. Find the workshop on PD Express by searching for SL022.

Questions? Contact Ginny Newman at the SPPS Community Education Service Learning Program st 651-325-2668 or

School staff: Ecolab Visions for Learning grant application now available
Ecolab’s grant program for school educators -- teachers, paraprofessionals, administrators and other licensed staff -- is to encourage and reward individual educators’ creativity and innovation in classroom learning by providing opportunities that will motivate and challenge students intellectually, raise student achievement, as well as increase their understanding of academic content and the connection between school and life.

This funding program provides grants up to $3,000 for purchase of materials that will increase student understanding of academic content.  The proposal must be student interactive and improve thinking skills.  Materials requested must be part of a curriculum plan (e.g., software to help meet specific learning goals).   Funds/materials purchased will be the property of the school. What will not be funded:

Ecolab will NOT fund computers, laptops, Smart Boards, staff or substitute time, professional development, Ecolab product donations, or projects that do not directly impact students. Ecolab prefers NOT to fund computer software or hardware accessories.  If you are applying for technology equipment, software or on-line subscriptions, please include specific information on how it will impact student achievement.

Deadline: Proposals must be received via email to in this Word document format by 4 p.m. on Friday, May 23, 2014.  Applicants will receive award notice by mail to their school in late August and funds will be sent to the school district business office so that funds will be available at the start of next school year.
Watch The Bridge in upcoming weeks for tips on writing a winning Ecolab proposal.

School staff: Continue recruiting students for S-Term
The Summer Term (S-Term) deadline has passed but registrations are still being accepted. Updated flyers have been printed and were delivered to schools last week through inter-office mail. Please hang them where students will see them.

The flyers are meant to increase the visibility of S-Term to all students, and we will not deny students who wish to participate in S-Term. However, please focus recruitment efforts on the students who will benefit most from additional academic support.

Elementary schools will also receive a flyer promoting the importance of summer reading. Help students avoid summer learning loss by reminding them to read when they are not in school.

Principals, assistant principals, other school leaders: Plan 2014-15 SCIPs
The SCIP planning and revision process has started for the 2014-15 school year. When you log onto the SCIP site be sure to choose both your school and the year 14-15 to begin working on the new SCIP.

Support materials and information can be found on the SCIP website at If you have specific questions, contact your team lead, school improvement specialist or a member of the Title I team.

Registration for the Title I SCIP Overview Session is now available on PD Express. This session is intended for new principals and administrators, but anyone may attend (principals, assistant principals, site based leadership team members, parents, etc.). Two sessions will be held at 360 Colborne in room A from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1-4 p.m. on April 21. We will also produce an recorded webinar that will be accessible online after April 21 from the SCIP site.

Teachers: Grant deadlines in April and May
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). Let her know before you begin your application so she can advise you on timing and other factors to consider.

  • 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 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.