Action items

School staff | Clerks | Principals |  Teachers

School staff: Submit 2014-15 activities to Business Office by June 5
All schools must report activities that require a permit to the Business Office every year. Please submit 2014-15 activities online no later than June 5, 2014, including any activities outside regular classroom hours, whether subject to fees or not. Call Jean Olsen with any questions at 651-767-8235.

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 john.iverson@spps.org 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 john.iverson@spps.org with any questions. We look forward to seeing you at Como Planetarium.

School staff: Ecolab Visions for Learning applications due this Friday, May 23
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!

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 ecolabfoundation@ecolab.com 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 clerks: Enter drill reports
The end of the school year is fast approaching, and the Office of Security and Emergency Management (SEM) wants to remind you to enter your drill reports via the online reporting tool. Every school year, all schools are required to complete:

  • Five fire drills
  • Five lockdowns
  • One severe weather drill

If you need assistance executing your drills or want to review your current drill totals please contact Shannon at shannon.mcnulty@spps.org. She will be happy to help.

Principals, assistant principals and clerks: Clean up discipline reporting
Discipline reporting problems for the 2013-14 school year-to-date have been posted on the Data Center websiteAny errors or red flags from discipline data in the first three quarters of the school year should be corrected by May 26. Making these corrections is essential for providing accurate internal discipline analysis as well as the required report to the Minnesota Department of Education.

This year weapons have been reported on a one-quarter lag to give schools the opportunity to make corrections based on the automated feedback. Because we need to review third quarter weapons reports right away, we will be downloading your reports again on May 27.  Please make sure that your corrections are made by then.

Each school's report has been placed in the password-protected part of the Data Center website. The report includes everything entered in Campus as of March 28. View instructions for accessing the report. 

If you have questions, please contact Cindy Porter at 651-767-8371 or cindy.porter@spps.org.

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

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: Upcoming grant deadlines
Contact Lisa van der Steur, 651-767-8108 or lisa.vandersteur@spps.org, 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.