Action items

Teachers: Class size limits now implemented
SPPS and the Saint Paul Federation of Teachers (SPFT) met Jan. 14 and completed the process for implementing class size limits under the 2014-15 teacher contract.

With the work of educators, administrators and parents, all SPPS class sizes are now within the agreed limits or have approved exceptions in place.

SPFT and SPPS also agreed on an improved timeline for anticipating future class size issues and support options where enrollments may exceed the agreed limits at the beginning of a school year.

School staff: 2015-16 school transfer information 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 following priority areas for 2015-16 sabbatical leaves have been identified by the Professional Development Advisory Committee, in collaboration with the SPPS Human Resources Department:

  • 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.

Principals and hiring managers: Submit changes to 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 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, 2015. 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. Finding time for this two-day seminar can be a challenge for many classroom teachers and other 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

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.