Action items

All staff: Volunteer to become a Sustainability Champion
If you're passionate about sustainability and can devote about an hour per week during the school year to promote environmental stewardship at your school, consider becoming a Sustainability Champion. The Facilities Department is looking for volunteers to help coordinate and promote SPPS sustainability initiatives at their school. Volunteers will participate in an orientation workshop and will receive guidelines, materials and team building support as they work to create a more sustainable environment in their schools. Sustainability Champions will focus on topics like energy, recycling, water and school gardens. For more information, contact Rachel King at 651-744-2704 or rachel.king@spps.org.

All staff: Students engagement surveys will be conducted in March and April
Student engagement surveys will be conducted by educator groups throughout March and April. The Teacher Development and Evaluation (TD&E) Oversight Committee has added more than 200 questions to the Lotus Notes survey bank. The Department of Research, Evaluation and Assessment helped vet the questions that were submitted by educators. A short video has been added to the TD&E website explaining how to include the student self-identification questions for race and ethnicity. Remember to include these questions when administering student engagement surveys. Please submit feedback about the TD&E components of the student engagement surveys here.

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: Attend pre-retirement seminars in March
If you’re considering retirement, 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 and paraprofessionals: iPad professional development courses available
Teachers and paraprofessionals 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: 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