Action items

All staff: Review iPad and Personalized Learning updates

All staff: Office of Personalized Learning to offer iPad classes on Saturdays
The Office of Personalized Learning is offering a series of five, in-person classes featuring key iPad apps and tools. In response to teacher requests, sections have been added on Saturday mornings. Additional sections will be added throughout the second semester in response to interest. Please note that for a section to take place, at least 12 staff members must enroll.These courses are open to SPPS teachers, paraprofessionals and guest teachers.

Remember to bring your iPad and to download the required apps before to the session:

  • Creativity Apps (GarageBand and iMovie)
  • Productivity Apps (Pages, Keynote, Numbers)
  • iBooks Author
  • iTunes U

All staff: Refer individuals to Teachers on Call event Friday, Jan. 30
Teachers, educational assistants and paraprofessionals are encouraged to refer qualified individuals to the SPPS Teachers On Call recruiting event at Concordia College's Meyer Hall on Friday, Jan. 30 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Those interested in substitute teacher positions can also contact Holly Dahl at or apply online at

Teachers, counselors, social workers and school nurses: 2015-16 school transfer information is now available
Teachers, counselors, social workers and school nurses who wish to transfer to another site for the 2015-16 school year can now apply for posted vacancies on the SPPS Careers website. Teachers should check this site regularly for newly posted positions or sign up to be automatically notified of new postings via email. See the Teacher Transfer Processes document for eligibility and more information on the Placement and Interview and Selection Process.

Teachers: Review sabbatical leave information
Application for a 2015-2016 sabbatical leave must be received in the Human Resources Department by April 1, 2015.

The Professional Development Advisory Committee, in collaboration with the SPPS Human Resources Department, has identified the following priority areas for 2015-16 sabbatical leaves:

  • Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, Hmong and French language fluency at the elementary level
  • French language fluency at the secondary level
  • Special education
  • Math and science
  • Montessori certification. Work toward certification with a 50 percent sabbatical leave while teaching 25 percent.

Information on sabbatical leaves is available under Article 11 in the Teacher’s bargaining agreement. Contact Peggy O'Neill at 651-767-8202 or with questions. Additional information along with the application form is available on the Human Resources website.

Secondary principals and teachers: Don't forget to use new Campus gradebook
All secondary teachers need to be using the new Campus gradebook by the second semester. Teachers who still need initial training can find it here. Teachers who need refreshers on using the new Campus gradebook can find a link to short videos describing the new tools on their Campus homepage. The Campus Support Team also is available for additional on-site support. Contact Kristen Lynch with questions or requests at

Principals and hiring managers: Submit changes for Workforce Planning for 2015-16
Workforce planning changes for the upcoming school year must be submitted to Human Resources with spring budgets via the Workforce Planning worksheet. The Workforce Planning Information Sheet document has details about the Interview and Selection Process, as well as a Workforce Planning FAQ.

Principals and music teachers: Prepare for piano assessment
The Office of Teaching and Learning will be conducting a thorough inventory analysis of pianos in schools and district sites from Jan. 30 through Feb. 28. Piano technicians from Schmitt Music will need access to each piano for about 5-10 minutes.

Piano technicians have been directed to check in the office for a visitors badge when they arrive, and will have an SPPS letter as identification. Emails will be sent out to music teachers with additional details. If you have questions, contact

Teachers: Consider attending 'Innocent Classroom' racial equity workshop
The Office of Equity is offering an “Innocent Classroom” workshop for up to 60 teachers.

During the workshops, teachers and staff come to understand the way society has burdened our children -- especially children of color -- with the weight of low expectations, stereotypes and negative narratives. The Innocent Classroom provides solutions and responses to this reality.

School teams and participants who work with students daily in the classroom will receive priority. The training takes place over a total of six sessions, which meet after school. The first session is 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 4. The remaining five sessions are two hours each. Click here for the schedule.

Clock hours and a $100 stipend is offered. Contact to register for this workshop or if you have questions.

All staff: Online 'Beyond Diversity' training now available
“Beyond Diversity” is the foundational racial equity training at SPPS. This two-day seminar is a challenge to attend for many classroom teachers, department staff and building staff.

SPPS is offering an online option in partnership with Pacific Educational Group and Knowledge Delivery Systems. Participants will receive online coaching, clock hours and an option for graduate credit. This session will meet the Beyond Diversity requirement.

Register for the Online Beyond Diversity Spring 2015 session. If you have trouble registering, contact Jennie Lahlum in the Office of Equity at

School staff: Sign up for Saint Paul Saints Education Day on May 19
Saint Paul Saints Education Day will be Tuesday, May 19. The Saints have created a curriculum that provides teachers with some unique lesson plans to make the game of baseball educational. Student tickets are $6 each and chaperones are free (one for every 10 students). View the flier for more information. If you have questions, contact Chris Schwab at the Saints at 651-288-9895.

Principals and site coordinators: Complete the 5Essentials survey
Teachers, paraprofessionals and students in grades 6-12 are expected to participate in the 5Essentials survey. The window to complete the survey opened Jan. 13 and will continue through Feb. 13.

The 5Essentials survey is a comprehensive framework and diagnostic tool for identifying strengths and challenges for school improvement. The purpose of the survey is not to determine which schools are successful, but to identify areas for improvement. Principals and site coordinators will be contacted with further instructions.

Teachers: View the Saint Paul Teachers' Retirement Fund Association newsletters
The Saint Paul Teachers’ Retirement Fund Association winter newsletter is now available. Read the most recent edition of SPTRFA Pension News. If you are a licensed educator for SPPS, you are automatically a member of the Saint Paul Teachers' Retirement Fund Association, a nonprofit corporation established for the sole purpose of administering pension benefits for members.

Gordon Parks staff: Start times change beginning today
School start times at Gordon Parks High School change beginning Monday, Jan. 26. The new school hours are 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. This start time is 30 minutes later to be consistent with the hours at other SPPS high schools.

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.

Teachers: Fund for Teachers (travel grant) applications due this Thursday, Jan. 29
Applications for this year’s Fund for Teachers (FFT) funding cycle are due online this Thursday. FFT fellowships are $5,000 for individuals and $10,000 for teams and support many kinds of activities that help teachers energize and enrich their classroom practice.

Teachers: Apply for grants now
Click the links below to learn more about grant opportunities. 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. You may also schedule an individual or group consultation with Senior Development Specialist Lisa van der Steur. Email or call 651-767-8108.

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.