Action items

All staff: Review latest iPad and Personalized Learning updates

iPad, MacBook Safety Tips:
A few teachers have had iPads and MacBooks damaged or stolen. It is important to practice some of these basic safety and care tips:

  • Never leave your device in plain sight in your vehicle, such as on the seat or dashboard. Instead, put the device in the trunk and out of view.
  • Never leave the device exposed to extreme cold or hot temperatures. For example, do not leave the device in a vehicle overnight in frigid weather or in extreme heat during the summer.
  • When riding or waiting for public transportation, it is best to keep your device hidden from sight.
  • Keep all liquids away from the device.
  • To clean screens, use a soft, lint-free cloth. Do not use cleaners or other liquids.

Teachers: Reflector application available in Self Service
Reflector, an application that allows iPad displays to be mirrored onto a MacBook, is available for download and installation through Self Service. If you would like this application for a PC, please submit a Service Desk ticket or call 603-HELP. Click here for directions on how to download/install from Self Service and how to set up Reflector for use with your iPad or other iOS devices.

High school staff: Consider sharing MLK video contest opportunity with students
The University of Minnesota’s Office of Equity and Diversity is inviting high school students to join its annual celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by creating videos that honor his life, leadership and legacy. Students are encouraged to illustrate King’s tenets of justice, peace, service and hope. The contest also encourages young leaders to contribute to advancing and promoting “The Dream.”

The deadline to upload the video to Youtube is Dec. 31. The winning video will be announced and shown at the MLK Tribute Event on Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015 at the Ted Mann Concert Hall on the West Bank campus in Minneapolis. Prizes will be awarded.

Here is a flier with more details. For information, contact Ralph Blanco at 612-625-8680 or

Teachers: Review talking points about the grand jury verdict in Ferguson, Mo.
Here are resources educators can use to discuss last week’s grand jury decision on the fatal shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo.

Teachers: Look for details about TD&E Student Engagement Surveys
The Teacher Development and Evaluation (TD&E) Oversight Committee announces the next phase of implementation for the agreed upon TD&E plan. In December and January, principals and Saint Paul Federation of Teachers stewards will introduce the details of the Student Engagement Survey, which is required by Minnesota statute 122A.41. Information can be found at under the Student Engagement Survey section.

The Oversight Committee is seeking your feedback, comments and questions regarding TD&E components. The group meets monthly to review information.

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

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.

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 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 with questions.