Action items

All staff: Review list of SPPS employees celebrating 25 years of service
Each year, SPPS congratulates and recognizes employees celebrating 25 years of employment at a luncheon. This year's luncheon is Thursday, Sept. 3. Invitations will be sent this summer.

Human Resources has compiled a preliminary list of employees to be recognized this year. We have included employees who have completed 25 years of service or are entering their 25th year as of Sept. 10. Employees who think they have been missed, or those who think they don't belong on the list, should call Jayne Meza in Human Resources at 651-767-8245 by June 1.

Contact event coordinator Kathy Weyandt with questions at kathy.weyandt@spps.org or 651-767-8373.

All staff: Share positive stories highlighting My Brother's Keeper initiative
The city of Saint Paul is looking for positive stories to highlight the many meaningful contributions young men and boys of color bring to our community through the My Brother’s Keeper initiative.

In 2014, Saint Paul Mayor Chris Coleman joined Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges in accepting President Barack Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) Community Challenge. MBK is an initiative to fully include boys and young men of color in our cities’ successes and in America’s promise.

Please email stories in 100-500 words about the young people and organizations that are making a difference:

All staff: Review upcoming payroll changes
Payroll is making modifications to better serve all of our customers and improve our ability to provide timely, accurate paychecks on a consistent basis. As a result there are a few changes effective immediately or coming very soon.

  • Effective immediately, timesheets and time registers are due to payroll on Monday after payroll. Employees should ask their supervisor when to complete timesheets to meet the Monday deadline. Payroll can no longer incorporate timesheets received the following Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday or Friday into the open payroll cycle. Habitually late timesheets will result in employees not getting paid in a timely manner.
  • An updated 2015 payroll schedule is available on the payroll website at https://payroll.spps.org/. This schedule includes pay period begin and end dates, timesheet due dates, as well as notes related to what benefits and deductions are included on each paycheck.
  • Payroll now has a designated email account at payroll@spps.org, where payroll related questions or requests can be sent. This will provide better service because it will connect employees with the correct payroll staffer. 
  • Effective for the May 15 paycheck, paychecks will be viewable online starting the day prior to payday (Thursday morning instead of Wednesday) to allow additional verification and quality audits prior to paychecks being released. 
  • Teachers and other employees eligible for personal leave can now view the amount of personal leave they have used in the current school year by going to: Self Service and selecting Time Reporting, then View Time and Personal Leave Used.

Payroll also is looking at updating timesheets for the 2015-16 school year, and possibly adding self-service features for employees as well. Suggestions are welcomed as staff work toward enhancing the payroll experience for SPPS employees.

For questions or suggestions, email payroll@spps.org.

All staff: Submit photo ID badge requests by email
The process for requesting photo ID badges will change as of Monday, May 4. New and replacement ID badge requests should be sent to photo.id@spps.org.

When emailing your photo request, please include:

  • Type of request: New, deactivate, access changes, replacement, etc. (Also, include the reason for the request.)
  • First, last name and employee ID number
  • Effective date (if it applies)
  • A photo in the .jpg format for the ID

If you don’t have access to the photo ID badge application form, request access through email at photo.id@spps.org. Once the email is received, a response email will be sent. ID badges will be processed from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. or by appointment.

Science teachers: Schedule your 2015-16 Belwin Outdoor Science field trip
Field trip registration for third and fifth grade classrooms and secondary science teachers begins at 7 a.m. Friday, May 15, and ends at 3 p.m. Friday, May 29. Please call Belwin Outdoor Science at 651-744-7120, or email Geoff Urban at geoff.urban@spps.org, to schedule your 2015-16 field trip date(s).

Schedule early to secure your preferred date. Reservations are on a first-come, first-serve basis. Belwin’s capacity is two classrooms or 60 students per day. Reservations made before the scheduling period will not be accepted.

Please include the following information:

  • School name
  • Grade level (or subject taught)
  • Teacher(s) name(s)
  • Preferred date
  • Alternate dates

Teachers and staff: Print, Copy & Mail summer printing sale
Teachers and staff can save money and time by using Print, Copy & Mail's new summer printing special. (View sale details) Get documents printed over the summer and delivered in time for next school year for 2 cents per side. Submit your orders before Tuesday, June 16 by emailing printcenter.orders@spps.org or by completing an online form at printcenter.spps.org.

All staff: Deadlines for FY 2014-15 expenditures reminder
Deadline dates are approaching to purchase goods, services and other expenses for the 2014-15 school year. Documents for these items received after the date listed will be considered expenses from the next fiscal year.

The deadline dates for purchases are listed at: Important Business Office expenditure deadlines. The material also can be viewed on the Business Office website in the “News” section of the website. Contact Jim Engen at 651-336-7277 with questions.

Teachers: Prepare classrooms for Summer Term
SPPS students and staff use classrooms during both Summer Term (S-Term) sessions. 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 and 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 money)
  • Consumable materials purchased with building funds for school year use (construction paper, pencils, notebooks, markers and crayons, etc.)

All staff: Encourage students to enter We Day T-Shirt design contest
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.

About 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 in a jpeg format.

The winning design should:

  • Contain words and images that exemplify the event
  • Clearly identify a connection to Saint Paul and/or Saint Paul Public Schools
  • Inspire community action
  • Include a one-side design and one-color printing

To Enter:

  • Complete contact information and upload your jpeg to http://commed.spps.org/shirt_contest.
  • The entry deadline is 4 p.m. Friday, May 15.
  • The winner will be notified by Friday, May 22.

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

We Day brings together youth who are dedicated to changing the world from across the state. 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 SPPS students and their commitment to making positive changes in our community through service.

Additional information about We Day is available 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 for 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.

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 for the new school year. Please re-enter that information.
  • If a student will be riding from home (primary address) in the morning and returning home in the afternoon, no information 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.

Teachers: 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.

Principals: Nominate teachers to attend iLearn Institute
Principals are requested to nominate two teachers from their school to attend one of two iLearn Institutes during June 22-25 or July 13-16. Both sessions will be at the Multicultural Resource Center at Washington Technology Magnet. Participants will be immersed in Apple creativity (GarageBand, iMovie) and productivity (Pages, Numbers, Keynote) apps and develop a set of lessons to personalize learning in their classrooms.

Teachers nominated should have a willingness to use iPads to enhance student learning and to be resources for others at their sites next year. Attendees will receive clock hours that qualify for state technology relicensure and a stipend at the workshop rate.

Please use this form to submit nominations by Friday, May 15. Space is limited and will be filled on a first come, first admitted basis. Participants will be notified of their acceptance by May 18.

Teachers: Save the date for Tech HOOPLA in August
The Tech HOOPLA (Hands On Office of Personalized Learning Academy) is scheduled for Aug. 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.

All staff: Register for iPad Cafes
All SPPS educators are invited to sign up for informal two-hour iPad Café sessions. These sessions include information on iPad basics, the use of iPads in classroom instruction, advanced features, and time for questions. Six sessions are scheduled throughout the summer, each featuring three applications. Dates, times and registration information is at PDExpress.

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

Principals and Technology Integration TOSAs: Review iPad hand-in toolkits
A toolkit of information and resources is available to support schools as they collect student iPads starting this month. Please consult the following toolkits for details on:

  • Using Destiny to check in iPads in secondary schools
  • Recommendations for the hand-in process
  • Videos and other resources on how to backup and wipe iPad data
  • Inventory expectations
  • Storage recommendations

Available toolkits:

All staff: Review updates on iPad app approval process
Due to the high number of requests for adding apps to SPPS Self Service, there is a backlog to the process of pushing out apps to student devices. This backlog will be cleared by the start of school next year. Teachers are encouraged to check the “Approved” and “Pending” apps list before submitting an apps request ticket.

Did you know:

  • Apps must be “assigned” to students before they can download the app from the SPPS App Store.
  • An initial list of about 200 apps were recommended by academic leads.
  • It takes .625 seconds for each assignment. (Assigning 200 apps to all secondary students took 15 days of computing time.)
  • Please ensure the best use of resources by requesting apps that apply to a wide audience or context. 

For directions on how to request an app, visit the Apps Selection Process portion of the Office of Personalized Learning website.

All staff: Participate in training for Year 2 iPad deployment sites
All SPPS licensed staff at Year 2 iPad sites 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 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 received an iPad.

All staff: S-Term information now available
SPPS Summer Term (S-Term) guidebooks and registration forms are available at schools for K-5 students who qualify for S-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 for S-Term are still being accepted. Contact the Department of Alternative Education at 651-744-8020 with questions.

All staff: Begin Ecolab Visions for Learning applications now
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 4 p.m. June 12.

All staff: Visit new Facebook group for SPPS grant-seekers
SPPS has a new Facebook group, called SPPS Grants, that 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.

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