Action Items

Principals: Designate a contact for in-building professional development by Sept. 16
Schools are required to record all in-building professional development sessions in PD Express (including all Professional Learning Communities). This will ensure that teachers receive proper clock hours for all completed professional development. It also provides an accurate report of all professional development for district staff. Each site should designate a contact person (or two) who will be trained in entering their school's workshops into PDExpress.

Please send your contact name to laurie.brazman@spps.org by Sept. 16. Trainings can be found in PD Express. All sessions will be at 345 East Plato Blvd.

Dates are as follows:

  • Tuesday, Sept. 30 from 4-5 p.m.
  • Monday, Oct. 6 from 3-4 p.m.
  • Thursday, Nov. 6 from 3:30-4:30 p.m.

Instructional staff: Complete Personalized Learning Essentials Moodle course
All instructional staff must complete the first of three Personalized Learning Essentials course modules by Tuesday, Sept. 30. This introductory session provides a baseline understanding of the rationale for Personalized Learning, what the essentials are, and how technology can be effectively leveraged as a tool inside and outside the classroom.

The course will take about an hour to complete and is designed to be taken in a group. All of the materials needed are available for download from the Moodle course, which is available at eLearn.spps.org.

The second and third modules will be available by the end of September, and must be completed by the end of November. Please contact Jeff.Rahman@spps.org for further information or questions. 

Teachers: Attend in-person trainings on iPad apps (optional but highly recommended)
Learn about the core apps that SPPS recommends for your iPad through exciting in-person trainings. Recommended apps include Pages, Keynote, Garageband, iMovie, and Google Drive.

Please check PD Express for dates and times for September offerings. You may also take advantage of the iTunesU online courses on these applications. See the Office of Personalized Learning website for more information.

Staff: Walk-in grants clinic is Thursday, Sept. 25
Grant writing staff from the Office of Communications, Marketing and Development (CMD) invite you to bring your ideas and your laptop to a walk-in grants clinic on Thursday, Sept. 25 from 2:30-5:30 p.m at 360 Colborne, Room D.

Whether you’re starting from scratch or need high-level editorial advice, we can help. Come prepared to apply for an Inspired Educator Grant from SPPS Foundation, Lowe’s Toolbox for Education, or any of the grants due this fall. If you know you’ll be attending, please send an email to lisa.vandersteur@spps.org. Otherwise, plan to drop in at any point during the afternoon and someone will be on hand to assist you with your grants.

First-year teachers: Register for free supplies
AdoptAClassroom.org is making a special push to generate support for first-year teachers and their classroom supply needs. Visit AdoptAClassroom.org to register for the supplies you need to equip your classroom. It only takes about 10 minutes to complete some basic information, a description of your classroom and its particular needs, and upload an image. When your classroom is funded via donations to the site, you’ll be notified by email that you have funds available to spend. Then you can shop on the site and the products are shipped to your attention directly to your school. AdoptAClassroom hopes to make available at least $100 per first-year teacher for use on its site. All teachers are invited to register their classroom needs at AdoptAClassroom.org. 

Teachers: Apply for fall grants now
Click the links below to go directly to the funder’s website. Before you apply, visit the SPPS teacher grants webpage. Here you will find basic grants How-To, an important School Grant Pre-Approval Form and a helpful School Grant Checklist. Questions? Call or email Lisa van der Steur, 651-767-8108, lisa.vandersteur@spps.org.

It is vital for grant seekers to send grant applications to the Office of Communications, Marketing and Development (CMD) before submitting them to the funder. If you wait until the grant is awarded, it could take up to four weeks or more to receive the funds. CMD wants you to (1) get the funding you need, and (2) use it as soon as it comes in. Call or email Lisa van der Steur, 651-767-8108, lisa.vandersteur@spps.org, with questions. 

Due September 30:

Target Field Trips
Target stores award Field Trip Grants to K-12 schools nationwide. Each grant is valued up to $700.

Project Learning Tree
School/community native plant gardens, forest improvement projects, streamside restoration plans, recycling programs, or energy conservation projects. Grants up to $500.

Captain Planet Foundation
Environment-based education in schools; inspiring youth and communities to participate in community service through environmental stewardship. Prefers requests seeking seed funding of $500 or less and applicants who have secured at least 50% matching or in-kind funding for their projects.

P. Buckley Moss Foundation for Children
Grants of $1,000 for new or evolving programs within preK-12 schools that integrate the arts into educational programs and serve all children (including students who learn differently).

Due October 1:

Toshiba America Foundation
K-5 grade teachers are invited to apply on-line for a $1,000 Toshiba America Foundation grant to help bring an innovative hands-on project into their own classroom.

Association of American Educators Foundation Classroom Grant Application
Classroom grants of up to $500 can be used for a variety of projects and materials, including but not limited to books, software, calculators, math manipulatives, art supplies, audio-visual equipment, and lab materials. Funds must be used within one year of the application deadline and are awarded as reimbursements only.

Association of American Educators Foundation Teacher Scholarship Application
Teacher scholarships are available for up to $500 to reimburse teachers for books, conference or workshop registration fees, or travel expenses to professional development activities. Funds must be used within one year of the application deadline.

Due October 6:

Inspired Educator Grants
The Inspired Educator Grant program of Saint Paul Public Schools Foundation supports and recognizes excellence in teaching and learning. These grants are intended to enhance and enrich the educational experience of students in SPPS through projects that (1) engage students in critical thinking and problem-solving, and (2) deepen students' knowledge of standards-based subject matter. Applicants must be educators working for SPPS (preK-12). Educators can apply as individuals or as a team. The project must be directed by the applicant(s). Awards range from $500 to a maximum of $3,000. In 2013, the Foundation awarded $26,347.44 for 12 projects.

Due October 15:

Lowe's Toolbox for Education
The Fall 2014 cycle is now open. If 1500 applications are received before the application deadline, the application process will close.

No deadline:

Save Our Schools
Have an idea to help your students? Want to build rapport with your students and community? Save Our Schools (SOS) is a Twin Cities-based nonprofit organization that helps fund programs and projects that champion collaboration between students and staff. SOS wants to hear ideas that will help you empower your students, build their self-esteem, and improve student attendance and performance. A simple online application will be available in the next two weeks; if this is approved, you’ll also need to provide photos or video, which will be posted on the SOS crowdfunding platform. Crowdfunding is the funding of a project or program through many donations, via many different vehicles (internet, mail, fundraising, competitions, various partnerships etc.). It’s like Kickstarter for schools! Email lisa.vandersteur@spps.org with your idea or questions and she’ll make sure you get the latest information.