Action items

All staff: Attend workshop on sex trafficking in Minnesota
The FBI has identified the Twin Cities as one of 13 U.S. cities with a high incidence rate of child prostitution. Whether we see it or not, our students are being trafficked. How do we recognize the signs, help students avoid trafficking, or get out if they’re already involved? Learn about all this and more from staff members of Breaking Free, Brittany’s Place and the Saint Paul Police Department.

In addition, the Minnesota International Center (MIC) has some funding to educate students about human trafficking. They are looking for teachers who are interested in bringing this information to their classrooms and/or schools. More details will be available from MIC staff at these sessions.

Two sessions are being offered:

  • 3:30-5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 25
  • 4:30-6:30 p.m. Monday, March 2

The sessions are free and open to all staff and community members. Clock hours and snacks provided. Register on PDExpress under Racial Equity, or by contacting the MRC at mrc@spps.org or 651-744-2635. For more information, see MN Girls are Not for Sale at http://www.wfmn.org.

All staff: Apply for S-Term positions by April 15
All S-Term (summer term) positions have been reopened for applicants, with the exception of S-Term Site Administrator and S-Term Site Leader. The deadline to apply is April 15.

If you have questions about the positions, call the Department of Alternative Education at 651-744-8020. If you have questions about the application process, call Human Resources at 651-767-8200.

All staff: Participate in Standards of Effective Teaching survey
The Teacher Development and Evaluation (TD&E) Oversight Committee is seeking feedback on the Standards of Effective Teaching evaluation document that was used to provide feedback to probationary teachers.

The Department of Research, Evaluation and Assessment (REA) is conducting surveys with various stakeholder groups including principals, assistant principals, Peer Assistance and Review consulting teachers, and probationary teachers in years one, two, and three of employment.

Marian Heinrichs from REA will be contacting individuals by email asking them to participate in a survey. The surveys for probationary teachers are estimated to take less than 15 minutes to complete. Surveys for other groups will take longer. Your feedback will be used by the TD&E Oversight Committee to strengthen the work for teacher development.

All staff: Attend pre-retirement seminars in March
SPPS Human Resources is sponsoring a series of pre-retirement seminars in March. The seminars consist of five different sessions listed below:

The seminars are open to all employees and their spouses; however, space is limited. If you would like to attend the seminars, reservations will be taken on a first-come basis. Email megan.jonessarko@spps.org to reserve a spot at one or all of the seminars. Please indicate your name, if a spouse will be attending, employee ID, title, and dates you wish to attend. Phone reservations will not be accepted. You will receive a confirmation email with your reservation.

All staff: Nominate teachers for 'Rotary Teacher of the Year' by April 10
For more than 25 years, the Saint Paul Rotary Club has recognized great teachers in Saint Paul through the presentation of the Saint Paul Rotary “Teacher of the Year Award.” The award pays tribute to a teacher in Saint Paul who has made a difference by exhibiting one or more of the following traits:

  • Demonstrated outstanding performance as a K-12 teacher in the education field
  • Recognized as a positive leader in the community
  • Motivated students to improve their levels of excellence in performance
  • Set a good example for others to follow

The Teacher of the Year will be recognized with a monetary award of $1,000, presented at a regular meeting of the Rotary Club on Education Day, which is Tuesday, May 5. On that day, the Rotary will also honor students from each middle school at Saint Paul Public Schools through its Rotation Forward program.

Teachers, students, parents, principals, administrators, and community leaders are urged to participate by nominating teachers they think are worthy of recognition. Nominations can be mailed to the Rotary Club at 401 N. Robert St., Suite 150, Saint Paul, 55101; or emailed to jodi@stpaulrotary.org by April 10.

All staff: Volunteers needed for new recycling program
SPPS is expanding its recycling program in cafeterias and classrooms throughout the district. To help students understand the new system, the Facilities Department is asking for volunteers during the first week that each school implements the new program.

You can volunteer at your school or any school in the district. Numerous volunteer opportunities will be available now through late May. Typical volunteer hours range from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., but vary depending upon the school. If you are interested, read more at the facilities website or contact Racquel Maronde at 651-744-7324 or racquel.maronde@spps.org.

Teachers, paraprofessionals and guest teachers: iPad professional development courses available
Teachers, paraprofessionals, and guest teachers are invited to take advantage of the multiple after-school and weekend iPad courses now available through PDExpress. The courses show teachers and paraprofessionals more ways to use iPads in the classroom and cover iOS 8, Apps and iTunes U. Participants receive clock hours and stipends for completed courses.

All staff: Donate hats for Sven to help Project REACH
SPPS employees may donate hats for Sven Sundgaard to wear on air at KARE 11 during the morning show in the month of February. At the end of the month, all hats collected will be donated to Project REACH -- a program that helps homeless youth in Saint Paul. For more information, check out this story on KARE11.com.

Fourth grade teachers: Register students for letter writing contest
Registration is underway for the Twin Cities Postal Consumer Advisory Council’s (TCPCAC) annual Fourth Grade Letter Writing Contest. The topic for this year’s letter writing contest is “What Respect Means to Me, and Why.” The letters must be one page long, handwritten, properly formatted and addressed to Ted Kueppers.

Each class will have first, second and third place winners. The Postmaster and a TCPCAC member will visit classes to award prizes. All letters will be returned to teachers.

The deadline is Feb. 28 to return the registration to Lisa Sunderland at lisa.m.sunderland@usps.gov. Download the registration form here, and read the RESPECT flier here. After registration is received, TCPCAC will send the envelopes for students to use.

All staff and guest teachers: Review resources for learning more about iPads
Staff who have questions about using iPads in the classroom can find many resources on the SPPS website. This Startup Guide includes helpful links to information about iPad setup, use and basic features. Please contact site Technology Integration TOSAS for additional assistance.

School staff: 2015-16 school transfer information for staff 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 peggy.oneill@spps.org with questions. Additional information, along with the application form, is available on the Human Resources website.

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 lisa.vandersteur@spps.org 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.

Now

March

April