Action items

Principals: Designate a contact for in-building professional development by Sept. 16
Schools are required to register all in-building professional development sessions (including all Professional Learning Communities) in PD Express. This will ensure that teachers receive proper clock hours for 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 PD Express.

Please send your contact name to laurie.brazman@spps.org by Sept. 16. Trainings can be found in PD Express. Dates are as follows:

  • Tuesday, Sept. 30 from 4-5 p.m., 345 East Plato Blvd.
  • Monday, Oct. 6 from 3-4 p.m., 345 East Plato Blvd.
  • Thursday, Nov. 6 from 3:30-4:30 p.m., 345 East Plato Blvd.

Clerks: Register for Title I meeting on Sept. 29
A required meeting for clerks working in Title I schools takes place Monday, Sept. 29 at 360 Colborne. Principals and interested staff are welcome to attend. There will be two sessions on Sept. 29 -- one from 10 a.m. until noon and another from 1 to 3 p.m. -- in rooms D, E and F at 360 Colborne. Each session will cover many Title I federal compliance items in addition to the topics discussed during the initial training session in August.

Register for one of the sessions in PD Express by Sept. 26. If you are not sure if you are in a Title I school, click here for the 2014-15 list of Title I Schools.

Clerks: Prepare for 2014 fall student enrollment count
Remember to remove all “no show” and "ghost" students from enrollment counts. Enrollments as of Friday, Sept. 26 will be the basis for the “Oct. 1” count. To help you ensure that your enrollment is up to date, we will post daily counts on the Data Center website beginning Tuesday, Sept. 16. All official student counts will be based on data taken from Campus. Students will not be counted if they:

  • Have been marked absent almost every period of every day, or
  • Do not have a valid schedule.

Here is more information to help identify “no show” and “ghost” students.

Principals and teachers: Attend Personalized Learning professional development
All teachers at Year 1 student iPad schools are required to attend a six-hour professional development course called "Establishing a 1:1 classroom environment." 

During the course, you will learn proven strategies for using iPads to enhance learning in the classroom. Topics include:

  • Criteria and process for selecting apps for students
  • Work flow for students and teachers as they share files
  • Classroom management
  • Digital citizenship lessons
  • Tasks to try with students in the first days of iPad implementation.  

Teachers have the choice of when to take the course: during the week with a substitute provided, or on a Saturday for stipend pay. 

There are multiple sections to choose from, differentiated by grade band and by level of technology experience.

The first section takes place Sept. 22, and then sections are offered almost daily through the beginning of November. All sections are posted on PD Express.

Each section is limited to 25 participants. Teachers, please choose an open section rather than joining a waiting list. Principals, please arrange the sign-up dates with your staff in order to control the number of teachers out of the building on a given day.

Contact Karen.Randall@spps.org with questions.

Other required Personalized Learning courses for teachers:
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.

Contact Jeff.Rahman@spps.org for further information or questions.

Learn about the core apps that SPPS recommends for your iPad through in-person trainings. This training is optional, but highly recommended. Core 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.

Business Office to offer training sessions on Sept. 18
The official date for the switch to new district-wide building permit and scheduling software is Oct. 1. If you or someone from your building has not yet attended a Building Permits class, please register in PD Express for one of the following sessions on Thursday, September 18. All Sept. 18 training sessions take place in the second floor computer lab at 360 Colborne; registration is available in PD Express:

Building Permits Class

  • 7:30 - 8 a.m.
  • 8:15 - 8:45 a.m.
  • 11:30 - noon
  • 12:30 - 1 p.m.
  • 3:45 - 4:15 p.m.

Review of CAMPUS/MARSS entries - for anyone who enters data into CAMPUS, especially since the deadline for the fall count is Friday, Sept. 26!

  • 9 - 10 a.m.
  • 1:15 - 2:15 p.m.

Review of PeopleSoft Financials

  • 10:15 - 11:15  a.m. 

Review of Purchasing/eProcurement (including new dollar limits)

  • 2:30 - 3:30 p.m.

School staff: Training for this year's Give to the Max Day, Thursday, Oct. 9
Give to the Max Day, the major online giving day of GiveMN.org, will be back for its sixth year on Nov. 13. Last year SPPS schools raised over $33,000 on this one day, and SPPS parent organizations raised an additional $50,000+.

Learn how to make the most of your school’s GiveMN.org fundraising page at a workshop presented by GiveMN staff on Thursday, October 9, 4-5:00 p.m. at 360 Colborne, in the second floor training room.

The DONATE button in the upper right corner of each SPPS school website links directly to its GiveMN.org fundraising page. It’s easy to customize this page to highlight projects such as playground updates, artist residencies, or adding books to classrooms and media centers. The success of your school’s fundraising effort on GiveMN is directly related to the effort you put into customizing your page on the site -- and your use of social media to publicize it.

Find out how to make the most of your school’s GiveMN.org page at the Oct. 9 workshop. Click here to learn about other online fundraising options for teachers and schools.

Teachers: 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 want 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.

Due November 5:

Expanded Learning Through Libraries Mini grant
Approximately 12 grants from $1,000 to $10,000 will support activity-based partnerships between schools, nonprofit community organizations and public libraries. The overarching goal is to increase organizational capacity to connect students with meaningful out-of-school time opportunities that improve literacy, academic achievement, college readiness and more. 

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.