Action items

Deadlines for FY 2014-15 expenditures reminder
Deadline: Important Business Office expenditure deadlines for FY 2014-15. This material may also be viewed on the Business Office website in the NEWS section of our website. Contact Jim Engen at 651-336-7277 with questions.

Teachers: Read about classroom preparation for Summer Term

Saint Paul Public Schools students and staff use classroom space during both S-Term sessions. School year staff members are reminded that resources purchased with SPPS funds are available to S-Term students and staff.

Please leave the following instructional tools and materials in a visible, readily accessible location in your classroom:

  • Technology resources (SMART board, desktop computer, LCD projector, document camera, cords needed to operate technology, etc.)
  • District purchased supplies (leveled books, math manipulatives, pencil sharpener, learning games/activities, scissors, etc.)

During S-Term, administrative and teaching staff will use building resources responsibly. Instructional tools, materials and teaching spaces will be left in the same condition as they were at the beginning of S-Term.

Please securely store these classroom items:

  • Personal items (resources purchased with teacher’s own money)
  • Consumable materials purchased with building funds for school year use (construction paper, pencils, notebooks, markers/crayons, etc.)

Staff: Celebrate school nutrition services professionals Friday, May 1
Between preparing healthy meals for students, adhering to strict nutrition standards, navigating food allergies and offering service with a smile, school nutrition professionals are true heroes.

School Lunch Hero Day is the perfect opportunity to recognize the hardworking professionals in school cafeterias. The day aims to showcase the ways in which school nutrition services professionals make a difference for every child who comes through the cafeteria.

Staff: Encourage students to enter the We Day T-Shirt Design contest
Your students have the chance to design the T-shirt that will be worn by all SPPS students attending We Day Minnesota 2015. The winning designer will receive $100 cash prize, two tickets to attend We Day Minnesota 2015, and a certificate to attend two free classes at the YOUniversity Teen Program the week of July 20.

The Contest

The We Day T-shirt design contest is open to all SPPS students. The winning design will be determined by a panel of SPPS youth. All entries must be submitted as a jpeg.

For the best chance of winning, your design should:

  • Contain words and images that exemplify the event.
  • Clearly identify a connection to St. Paul and/or Saint Paul Public Schools.
  • Inspire community action
  • Design for one side with one color printing.

To Enter:

Complete contact information and upload your jpeg to http://commed.spps.org/shirt_contest

  • Entry deadline is 4 p.m., Friday, May 15
  • Winner will be notified by Friday, May 22.

Please note: Artist can suggest a print and t-shirt color combination, but final decision will be made by Community Education. Community Education reserves the right to ask the winning artist for minor changes to increase printing quality .

We Day brings together youth from all over Minnesota who are dedicated to changing the world. Schools and youth earn their way to We Day by committing to a local and global action through the We Act program. T-shirts will readily identify Saint Paul Public School students and their commitment to making positive change in our community through service. Additional information about We Day information can be found at www.weday.com. The date and location for We Day Minnesota 2015 have not been set yet.

If you have questions about the design contest, email shaun.walsh@spps.org or call 651-487-7387.

Teachers and Administrators: Help promote GeniusCon to your students
GeniusCon, an all-day iPad learning conference organized and led by student Genius Squad members, will be held on Saturday, May 9 at Washington Technology Magnet School. Students attending the conference will participate in breakout sessions that promote leadership, shared knowledge-building, innovation and creativity using the iPad as an educational tool. Please help spread the word about GeniusCon by sharing this flier and adding it to school announcements. For more information and registration, visit www.genius-con.com.

Teachers: Apply to be Consulting Teacher for Peer Assistance and Review program
Peer Assistance Review (PAR) is a collaborative program between SPPS and the Saint Paul Federation of Teachers that started in 2010. Its purpose is to support the professional growth of SPPS teachers so they become more effective practitioners.

PAS is currently seeking applications in all content areas and grade levels, with full-time and on-call positions for the 2015-16 school year. The primary role of a PAR Consulting Teacher is to enhance self-directed learning through coaching, consulting and evaluation.

Consulting Teachers' work is tailored to meet the needs of each teacher. This is an extremely rewarding position that allows you to impact student learning by providing professional development and assistance to teachers. The program is designed to provide assistance and feedback to tenure-track teachers within their first three years of employment.

The position description is currently posted on the SPPS Human Resources website under the title PAR Consulting Teacher (998336). Applicants in all teaching areas are encouraged to apply. More information, contact Niceta Thomas at niceta.thomas@spps.org or 651-744-4207.

School staff: Distribute 2015-16 transportation request forms
Please distribute the newly updated 2015-16 Transportation Request Form to families. This form helps the Transportation Department plan each student’s transportation needs for the new school year. Families can choose to indicate alternate/daycare address information and may also decline transportation service.

Forms are customizable PDFs that include drop-down menus on the header where you can select your school name, address and phone number before printing it for distribution.

Families should return the completed form to the school office no later than Friday, May 15. All form data should be entered into Campus by June 12 or before office staff leave for summer break. Schools should complete this process for all current students even if the student will be moving to another grade level at another school in fall 2015-16.

When entering data for Fall 2015, please use the first day of school (e.g. status date of 09/08/2015 for grades 1-12; and 09/10/2015 for Pre-K and K) on a new 'RS' (Regular School Year) record on the Transportation Data Tab in Campus.

  • Families with alternate addresses, and those declining transportation services, need to have a record created on the Transportation Data Tab. Alternate addresses that were used in 2014-15 will not be carried over. Please re-enter the information for the new school year.
  • If a student will be riding from home (primary address) in the morning and going back to home in the afternoon, there is nothing that needs to be entered in Campus.

If you have any questions or want to request translated forms, contact the Transportation Department at transportation@spps.org.

S-Term staff: Attend required S-Term training on June 11
Training for all 2015 Summer Term (S-Term) staff will be 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. Thursday, June 11, at Washington Technology Magnet School. All S-Term staff (administrators, teachers, clerks, and paraprofessionals) must attend this paid training unless they are obligated to other SPPS district duties during that time.

Training will consist of two breakout sessions, including options for subject and grade-specific curriculum, instructional strategies, and planning to meet the diverse needs of students during S-Term. Register on PDExpress under DAE: S-Term All-Staff Training.

Staff: Facilities Department seeks staff input on Master Plan
The Facilities Department is looking for staff input on the Facilities Master Planning to gain a better understanding of what you consider to be the key issues facing district school buildings and grounds.

Watch this three-minute video for more background on the importance of a Facilities Master Plan or visit the website. Want to hear more about the Facilities Master Plan? Email facilities@spps.org to request an in-person presentation at your school or organization.

Staff: Reflect on your Individualized Growth and Development Plan
Throughout May and June, Teacher Development and Evaluation (TD&E) will ask educators to reflect on their Individualized Growth and Development Plan. Principals will communicate to staff the specific deadline for their school. Staff must be given at least a two-week period to write their reflection.

End of the year reflections will consist of three parts:

  1. Success: Which educator and student success indicators were met? To what do you attribute the level of success attained?
  2. Barriers/obstacles: Which educator and student success indicators were not met? What were the barriers/obstacles and how could you redirect your efforts to overcome them?
  3. Further work: What further work may be needed on your goal?

To access your Individualized Growth and Development Plan, open your PD Express account and select Plans under My Information. Select the name of your approved plan and the detailed document will open. Compose your written reflection in the comment box in the End of the Year Reflection section. You can click on the question marks to see the specific reflection prompts. When completed select save to have the reflection posted to your plan.

Teachers: Save the date for Tech HOOPLA in August
The Tech HOOPLA (Hands On Office of Personalized Learning Academy) is scheduled for August 13-14. This two-day event will offer resources on educational technology integration by showcasing the practical application of technology in the classroom. Educators of all technology ability levels are welcome to attend one or both days.

Do you have a skill you'd like to demonstrate? This event relies on sharing what you have experience with, and how you have successfully used technology to teach students. Anyone interested in presenting during the HOOPLA event should fill out this form.

Email any questions to Jessica McMahon at jessica.mcmahon@spps.org or Nick Kurtz at nick.kurtz@spps.org.

Staff: Review summer professional development offerings
Summer professional development opportunities for SPPS staff are available between June 11 and Aug. 27. See a summary of the sessions here. See all course offerings and register for courses on PDExpress.

Staff: Professional development for Year 2 iPad deployment sites
All SPPS licensed staff are requested to participate in a six-hour professional development course, Establishing a 1:1 iPad Environment. This course covers practical information that supports the transition to engaging students with technology.Topics include classroom management, digital citizenship and the use of the SPPS core apps. Teachers have the option of taking the course during the school year or in the summer.

  • District-funded substitutes are provided for courses taking place in April and May.
  • Participants in June and August will receive stipends at the contract rate. Those completing the course during this time will receive clock hour credits that count toward the technology re-licensure requirement.

Course sections are posted in PDExpress under Personalized Learning. To ensure substitute coverage in April and May, please register as soon as possible. There will be iPads available for teachers who have not yet picked up their own devices.

Elementary principals and teachers: Free field trip to plant flower beds at the State Capitol
Fourth and fifth grade students are invited to participate in the annual SPPS community service project to plant spring flower beds at the state capitol. Classes will receive free busing. The event will takes place on the morning of Wednesday, May 20. The rain make-up day is May 21.

To request a spot, complete this form. Spots will be scheduled on a first-come, first-serve basis; scheduling of time slots will be done based on busing. If you have questions, please contact Julie Richards at julie.richards@spps.org.

Staff: S-Term information now available
Now is the time to start thinking about summer. Guidebooks and registration forms are now at schools to be distributed to K-5 students who qualify for S-Term (Summer Term). Eligible students in grades 6-8 should have received S-Term information via U.S. mail in March. School counselors will work with students in grades 9-12 who need to catch up on credits.

Applications will be accepted after this date. Please contact the Department of Alternative Education at 651-744-8020 with questions.

Staff: Ecolab Visions for Learning applications released
Ecolab invites teachers, paraprofessionals, administrators and other licensed staff to apply for Visions for Learning grants of up to $3,000, which reward creativity and innovation in the classroom. Ecolab prefers projects that will motivate and challenge students intellectually, raise achievement, and increase student understanding of academic content and the connection between school and life.

See the application form for instructions and items that Ecolab does NOT fund. Applications due online by June 12 by 4 p.m.

Staff: New Facebook group for SPPS grant-seekers
It’s called SPPS Grants and provides updates on grant opportunities and links to grant-seeking and grant-writing advice. Join today for a series of mini-tutorials on writing a GREAT grant to Ecolab.

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.

April

May

June

  • Ecolab Visions for Learning (due June 12)