Action items

All staffSchool staff | Clerks | Principals |  Teachers

All staff: Update your bookmarks, other links to PD Express
The new URL for pdexpress is (note the https). Please update your bookmarks and links on department/school websites accordingly, to ensure that you can access the website.

All staff: Review 2014-15 calendar
The 2014-15 calendar was tweaked in November. Please ensure you have the most up-to-date version for staff and for families.

All staff: Share coffee with a neighbor to reduce your carbon footprint
Did you know that SPPS spends thousands of dollars every year to power small refrigerators, coffee makers and microwaves in classrooms and offices? Simple things like using the staff break room refrigerator or sharing coffee makers with the neighboring classroom can help cut those costs in half or more! Fewer appliances throughout the district -- even just one fewer -- can make a difference. If we all make an effort, together we can save energy and reduce our carbon footprint.

Questions? Contact the Environmental Services Group at or by calling the Facilities One-Stop at 651-744-1800.

Clerks: Clean up inactive student records
Inactive cumulative student records are kept at the school of last enrollment for five years. After five years, the inactive cumulative records should be sent to Student Records at the Student Placement Center for storage or scanning into the archives. Do not shred any student records.

Student Records is now accepting inactive records for students who left in the 2008-2009 school year and earlier. Small shipments may be sent via inter-office mail. For larger shipments, please contact Student Records first.

For more information or for assistance with the management of student records, please contact Amanda Costilla at 651-632-3739.

School staff: Distribute transportation request forms
If your school has not done so already, please distribute the newly updated Transportation Request Form to families and ask them to return it to the school office.

This form helps us understand families’ transportation needs for 2014-15. There is space for families to indicate childcare information, and an option to decline transportation service.

Forms are customizable PDFs that have drop-downs on the header where you can select your school name, address and phone number before printing it out.

Please distribute the forms now and ask families to return them by this Friday, May 16, 2014.

The data submitted back on the forms should be entered into Campus by June 13, 2014, or before office staff leave for summer break. Remember to use a status date of 09/02/2014 on a new 'RS' record on the Transportation Data Tab in Campus when you enter data for next fall.

If you have any questions or want to request translated forms, feel free to contact B.J. Ison in the Transportation Department at

School staff: Register for Como Planetarium field trips May 5-27
Grade level-specific trips are designed to help students learn astronomy standards found in the Minnesota State Science Standards. There are no entrance fees for any SPPS students to attend the Planetarium, and pending approval of next year's 3M grant some grades receive free transportation.

  • RegistrationRegister online May 5-27
  • Cost: No cost for entry; some schools may receive transportation at no cost (pending grant approval)
  • Time: 3rd and 5th grade programs are 90 minutes; 1st, 2nd and 4th grade are 60 minutes; kindergarten is 50 minutes
  • Capacity: The Planetarium can hold up to 60 students

Please follow your building's procedures to order the bus for your trip. Teachers of 1st and 3rd grades should still use the "SSEI" budget code when ordering the bus. The Planetarium will contact schools if there is any change in the 3M SSEI transportation funding for next year.

New for 2014-15

  • Grade 5: Como planetarium is offering a 5th grade “Elementary Space Science Benchmarks” review program. This 90-minute program is designed to help prepare students to meet the astronomy standards found in the 5th grade science MCA test. This program will only be offered in January and February 2015.
  • Grade 8: If the 3M field trip grant is approved, all 8th grade students will be able to visit Como Planetarium at no cost. We are currently working to update the 8th grade program. We will continue to work with schools and teachers to customize the 8th grade trip to meet the needs of your students and focus on the specific space and science standards you choose. Please contact John Iverson at to discuss your trip.
  • Grade 3: A Planetarium Curriculum Kit contains everything you need to teach the State of Minnesota Elementary Astronomy Standards. Kits are designed to be taught in seven 50-minute lessons and can be used by both classroom teachers and science specialists. A workshop on using the kit is being offered on June 11 at the planetarium. It will be a fun day of familiarizing ourselves with the standards, the contents of the kit and the accompanying online curriculum. You can sign up for this workshop on PD Express.

Please contact John Iverson at with any questions. We look forward to seeing you at Como Planetarium.

School staff: Review fall 2014 enrollment information
School staff should continue to check fall enrollment lists at least once each week. You are able to sort by the date placed (P-Date) to identify newly assigned students.

Students are accepted through an application process at the Student Placement Center (SPC). It is important that promises of acceptance are not made at the school sites.

Initial CAMPUS enrollments for grades 6-12 have been completed. Pre-K and elementary enrollments will be uploaded to CAMPUS in the next few days for all schools except Crossroads. SPC will update enrollments throughout the spring and summer.

If you need help accessing the enrollment system for accepted students, come to an information session on Wednesday, May 14, from 7:30-8:30 a.m. or 3:30-4:30 p.m. in the computer lab at 1930 Como Ave.

Please call Erin Moline at 651-632-3740 or Jayné Williams at 651-632-3722 with questions.

School staff: Ecolab Visions for Learning grants offer up to $3,000
Ecolab’s Visions for Learning grant program for K-12 school educators -- teachers, paraprofessionals, administrators and other licensed staff -- encourages and rewards individual educator creativity and innovation in classroom learning. Grant funding provides opportunities that will motivate and challenge students intellectually, raise student achievement, and 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. Proposed projects must be student interactive and improve thinking skills. Materials requested must be part of a curriculum plan that helps meet specific learning goals. Funds/materials purchased will be the property of the school.

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

Visions for Learning proposals will rank more highly if they are:

  • distinct. Identical proposals from different teachers will not rank as highly. Teachers from the same school may request complementary funding for the same project, but the proposals MUST be distinct and in each teacher’s unique voice.
  • detailed. Provide background and depth in your narrative. If possible, include web links to the items you wish to purchase. Include shipping/handling costs in your grant budget. Proposals that request round numbers -- “$3,000 for books” -- will not rank as highly.
  • grammatically and mathematically correct. Proofread your narrative and numbers, then ask someone else to do the same.
  • from first-time applicants. A few teachers have won multiple Ecolab grants, and good projects are always welcome. Even if you have never applied for a grant, you have ideas for classroom projects -- let us help you craft your proposal!

If you’d like assistance with your application or just need another pair of eyes on your proposal, email or call her at 651-767-8108.

To apply: Submit your proposal in this Word document format. Note that this application has been revised since the 4/14 Bridge.

Deadline: Proposals must be received via email to 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 can be spent shortly after school starts.

Principals and assistant principals: Attend Youth Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) Training
Youth MHFA training introduces participants to the unique risk factors and warning signs of mental health problems in adolescents. This training builds an understanding of early intervention and teaches participants how to help youth in crisis.

Youth MHFA training is designed for adults who regularly interact with young people.

Mental Health First Aid Certification must be renewed every three years. Through the program participants will learn:

  • The common mental health challenges for youth, along with a review of typical adolescent development
  • The potential risk factors and warning signs for a range of mental health problems, including anxiety, depression, substance use, disorders in which psychosis may occur, disruptive behavior disorders (including AD/HD), and eating disorders
  • The prevalence of mental disorders in children and youth, and the need for reduced stigma
  • A 5-step action plan for how to help young people in crisis and non-crisis situations.

The Youth MHFA training will be offered twice. Register early on PD Express -- space is limited.

  • Youth Mental Health First Aid Training (OTLL102-14Summer.A)
    • Date: June 16, 2014
    • Time: 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
    • Location: 345 Plato Blvd E, Suite 625, Saint Paul – Training Room
  • Youth Mental Health First Aid Training (OTLL102-14Summer.B)
    • Date: June 17, 2014
    • Time: 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
    • Location: 345 Plato Blvd E, Suite 625, Saint Paul – Training Room

Please contact Emily Herman at if you have any questions about the training or registration.

Title I principals: Turn in Title I compliance folders by June 2
Title I compliance folders are due Monday, June 2.  Remember to collect sign-in sheets and meeting minutes in the School Continuous Improvement Plan (SCIP) and Family Engagement Plan (FEP) development processes.

The B2 folder has been revised. Because the Business Office completed a district-wide inventory check in the fall, we will not ask schools to do a thorough inventory check again this spring.  However, if your school purchased any new technology with Title I funds this year, make sure it has Title I tags.

If you have questions, please contact your vertical team's Title I representative

Principals and program leads: Request personalized learning support
The Office of Personalized Learning (OPL) and Technology Support Services would like to support buildings and programs as you plan August and Opening Week professional development for next year. Please submit any requests for sessions on technology integration and Personalized Learning using this form, which is also available through the OPL professional development web

Teachers: Apply for S-Term jobs
There are still job openings for summer 2014. We encourage all teachers to apply, especially those licensed in secondary math or science. Enjoy air-conditioning at most S-Term sites! Here is how to apply:

  • Visit the Human Resources website
  • Click on “current employee.”
  • Type “s-term” into the search box
  • Change post date to “anytime”
  • View the job postings and apply.

Questions? Contact the Office of Alternative Education at 651-744-8020.

Teachers: Consider joining Culturally Responsive Teaching cohort
Are you interested in engaging in powerful self-reflection that will lead to deeper relationships with your students and more relevant and rigorous curriculum?

Saint Paul Public Schools is offering a Culturally Responsive Teaching cohort for Saint Paul preK-12 educators in partnership with Saint Mary’s University.

  • Earn 15 credits
  • Participate in graduate certificate cohort model
  • Continue on to a Masters in Education (optional)
  • Classes will meet at an SPPS site
  • $335/credit (special partnership rate)
  • Texts provided at no cost courtesy of the Office of Teaching, Learning and Leading

The Culturally Responsive Teaching Program is built upon four core principles that are believed to define culturally responsive educators:

  1. Multiple perspectives
  2. Racial and cultural consciousness and adaptability
  3. Culturally responsive teaching pedagogy and strategies
  4. An understanding of how race and culture impact achievement

To learn more about the program, visit and contact Marsha Baisch at Open to all teachers; middle school teachers are encouraged to register for a middle school cohort.

Teachers: Grant deadlines in 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 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.
  • Due by June 1NEA Foundation Student Achievement Grants ($2,000 or $5,000) 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.
  • Due by June 1NEA Foundation Learning & Leadership Grants provide grants ($2,000 for individuals and $5,000 for groups engaged in collegial study) to support public school teachers, public education support professionals, and/or faculty and staff in public institutions of higher education for one of the following two purposes: Grants to individuals fund participation in high-quality professional development experiences, such as summer institutes or action research; or grants to groups fund collegial study, including study groups, action research, lesson study, or mentoring experiences for faculty or staff new to an assignment.