Action items

All staff: Community Giving Campaign extended to Friday, Nov. 28
SPPS is extending the deadline for our employee giving campaign to Friday, November 28. Pledges will be accepted until that date. Each year, SPPS staff may elect to donate money from their paychecks to support causes that mean the most to them. Some choose to give to the United Way, others give to their places of worship, and others give back to the school where they work.

Visit giving.spps.org to explore the eight charities directly involved in the campaign, and learn how to give to any 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization.

So far this year, 333 SPPS staff members have given $113,254. Donate today to help us reach our goal of raising $150,000. For those of you who haven't had a chance to donate, SPPS encourages you to donate before Friday. Just $5 per pay period provides healthcare for newborn babies, toothbrushes for Pre-K students, or school supplies for elementary children.

Teachers: Review talking points about the impending grand jury verdict in Ferguson, Mo.
Rather than stopping students from talking about what we as adults are seeing on the news outlets daily, here are resources educators can use to discuss the impending grand jury verdict on Michael Brown's shooting in Ferguson, Mo.

Principals: Review updated school counselor meeting dates
View an updated calendar of school counselor meeting dates, professional development opportunities and professional learning community plans.

Principals: Review important Special Education information
Visit the Office of Specialized Services website for the November newsletter with key information for principals.

School staff: SPPS launches student iPad Safety Campaign
Last week, SPPS launched a campaign to build awareness of what students can do to protect themselves and the district’s iPads from theft.

Schools will receive fliers and posters soon to help promote safety tips with students, staff and families. SPPS is also working with the Saint Paul Police Department to get the “word on the street” that stolen SPPS iPads will be remotely disabled through the iPad’s many built-in anti-theft features.

To view campaign materials, please visit: http://www.spps.org/ipadsafety.

All staff: Donate to Project REACH's 5th annual Blanket and Coat Drive
The fifth annual Project REACH Blanket and Coat Drive for families experiencing homelessness will start Dec. 1 and continue through Jan. 16.

Project REACH identified more than 2,000 students who were experiencing homelessness last year, and continue to see new families -- who have never experienced a loss in housing -- calling for assistance each day.

Project REACH is asking members of the SPPS community to donate new blankets, bedding and winter coats. Items can be donated at 1021 Marion St., or call 651-744-2565 to arrange for a donation pickup.

For more information, contact the Title I Project REACH office at 651-744 2565.

All staff: 2014-15 SPPS Winter Weather Plan now available
The winter weather season is right around the corner. Please prepare yourself for the upcoming snow and cold weather by reviewing the 2014-15 Staff Winter Weather Plan, where you’ll find information about winter weather terminology, who is considered an “essential employee” during weather-related closings, and snow day compensation.
 
School staff: Apply for scholarships to Dodge Nature Center

The Dodge Nature Center has received grant funding to cover the transportation cost for students who would otherwise not be able to attend field trips that provide hands-on environmental education experiences for Minnesota students. Scholarships also are available for the cost of the classes.

Resources:

The Dodge Nature Center is scheduling visits Nov. 3 through Dec. 19. The Dodge Nature Center will have bus transportation and scholarships available for winter classes in January and February 2015. A list of winter classes will be available for registration Dec. 1. To schedule classes contact Julie Allen at 651-789-5215 or jallen@dodgenaturecenter.org.

All staff: Attend a retirement insurance session
Human Resources at SPPS is sponsoring a series of monthly meetings regarding the district’s retirement insurance benefits, personnel policies and severance program. All meetings will be held at 360 Colborne St.

Meeting dates and times are:

  • 4-6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 18, rooms A and B
  • 4:30-6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 14, rooms A and B
  • 4-6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 24, rooms A and B
  • 4-6 p.m. Wednesday, April 15, room A
  • 5-7 p.m. Tuesday, May 12, room A

Reserve a spot at one of the meetings by emailing megan.jonesarko@spps.org. You will receive an email confirming your reservation. Please indicate your name (and spouse’s name if s/he will attend), employee ID, title and which meeting you plan to attend. More information is available here.

Teachers: Apply for education scholarships by Jan. 31
The purpose of the scholarship fund of the Saint Paul Retired Teachers, Inc., is to support staff with scholarship opportunities. Scholarships are paid directly to the college of the staff member’s choice for graduate-level coursework. Applications are available at staff.spps.org/scholarships and are due no later than Jan. 31, 2015.

Teachers: Need extra funding? Apply for grants now
Click the links below to go directly to the funder’s website. Before you apply, visit the SPPS teacher grants web page to find basic grants how-to, a School Grant Pre-Approval Form and a helpful School Grant Checklist.

In most cases, you must 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 arrives. Contact Lisa van der Steur at 651-767-8108 or lisa.vandersteur@spps.org with questions.

Ongoing

November

December

January