Action Items

Staff: At school open houses, help families complete applications for education benefits, free and reduced-price meals
Open house nights are a great place to help families complete a Free and Reduced-Price Meal Application form. This year, students who complete the application will be entered into a drawing for two chances to win either a new bike or a basketball. These applications support funding for compensatory revenue, special education, Title I, E-rate, etc.

Please provide computers or iPads so families can complete the application online at ns.spps.org. Once completed, give families a ticket to redeem a free cookie in the cafeteria as supplies last.

Every student with income information on file, including students directly certified, will be entered into the district-wide drawing. Contest ends Dec. 15. If you have any questions, contact lynn.broberg@spps.org at 651-523-6325.

Staff: Update student enrollment data in Campus
Help provide  an accurate count of our student enrollment. Please ensure that all “no-show” students are added to the Missing Students List by Monday, Sept. 14.

Please also complete new student enrollments by Friday, Sept. 18. This will allow time to verify all enrollments prior to budget adjustments. Instructions for completing these tasks are available.

All official student counts will be based on data taken from Campus. Students will not be counted if they:

  • Have been marked absent almost every period of every day, or
  • Do not have a valid schedule

Enrollments as of Friday, Sept. 25, will be the basis for the official enrollment count on Oct. 1. We will post daily counts on the Data Center website beginning Tuesday, Sept. 15 so you can check that your enrollment data is up to date.

Staff: Name/gender change form available at Student Placement
The Name/Gender Change Form is available through the Office of Student Placement. Parent/guardians may submit completed forms to school offices or directly to the Office of Student Placement.

Principals: Plan for NWEA MAP district-wide test administration for 2015-16 school year
The Northwest Evaluation Association’s (NWEA) Measures of Academic Progress Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) online mathematics test will be administered district-wide to all second grade students. The purpose of the MAP is to have a clear understanding of students’ growth in order to adjust instruction.

The MAP will be administered district-wide on the following dates:

  • Sept. 14-25
  • May 16-27

Please enter the name of the person you have assigned as your MAP school assessment coordinator in this Google docs form.

If you have questions or concerns, email Robin Lane at robin.lane@spps.org.

Principals: Send Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act notification to students, staff
Pursuant to the Minnesota Parents Right-to-Know Act and the federal Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA), notifications must be sent to employees and students annually regarding pesticide applications and asbestos inspections.

Please send out these two important documents during the first week of school:

If you have questions, call the Facilities at 651-744-1800.

Clerks: Give Project Reach/Fostering Connections enrollment forms to families
The Project REACH/Fostering Connections enrollment form should be given to all families when they return for the school year. Families are asked to complete this form when they enroll at the Student Placement Center or apply at their school building. A completed form with "yes" on any question should be referred to the Project REACH/Fostering Connections contact in your building (this is usually the school social worker or school counselor).

Staff: Update your phone contact information
There's a simple way to make sure you receive important SPPS messages by phone and text messaging. Update your primary phone numbers in PeopleSoft through payroll.spps.org -- the same system you use to view your pay statement.

If you have any questions, contact the Human Resource Department at 651-767-8200.

Staff: Review CIPA mandatory reporting requirements and recommended iPad behavior expectations
The Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA) provides federal funding for our district's Internet infrastructure. It requires K-12 schools and libraries to use Internet filters and other tools to protect children from harmful online content. It further requires school districts to educate every student on digital citizenship, online privacy and safety, and appropriate online behavior every year in order to continue receiving E-Rate funding.

  1. Please use this link by Monday, Oct. 12 to provide the name and email address of your school's contact.
  2. Please use this link by Monday, Oct. 19 to submit your school's plan to teach the lessons, who will teach them, and when instruction will be done.
  3. Please use this link to report when lessons have been taught to all students, including those who were absent during initial instruction. Lessons should be completed by Monday, Nov. 30.

Contact Chris Turnbull at chris.turnbull@spps.org with questions.

Principals: Video footage request form now required
If you are requesting video footage from the Office of Security and Emergency Management, you must now submit this Video Footage Request Form found in the Administrators & Staff section of the safety.spps.org website. This section is password protected. If you need the password, contact Dennielle Handt at 651-767-8378. Please allow 48 hours (two business days) for your request to be processed.

Administrators: Assign a site Wellness Champion
Does your site have a current Wellness Champion? The Saint Paul Public Schools Wellness Policy (533.00) calls for every building site to have a Wellness Committee in place. The annual Wellness Champions training will be 7:30-9 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 3, in conference rooms A and B at 360 Colborne.

Staff should register in PDExpress. Breakfast will be provided. If you have questions, contact Carol Grady at carol.grady@spps.org or 651-744-7834.

Teachers: Participate in Personalized Learning Professional Development
There are many options for staff to learn more about iPads, apps and personalized learning. Please see the Personalized Learning Professional Development web page for dates and other details. Sign up for sessions through PDExpress.

  • All licensed teaching staff are expected to participate in the foundational “Establishing a 1:1 iPad Environment” course. New sections are available throughout the fall.
  • In-person classes are available after school for these core apps: iMovie, GarageBand, Keynote, Pages, Numbers, iBooks Author and Google Drive.
  • Attending iPad Cafe sessions on the first Thursday of every month is a great way to personalize your learning through networking, sharing apps and projects, and tailored instruction.
  • Participate in online learning opportunities through iTunesU courses.
  • Other resources and materials are posted on the Personalized Learning Resources for Teachers site at http://personalizedlearning.spps.org/resources_for_teachers.

Principals and Teacher: Create a culture of attendance at your school
September is Attendance Awareness month. SPPS has teamed up with Saint Paul Children's Collaborative and GradNation on an Attendance Matters campaign for all schools to:

  • Continue to increase awareness about the importance of school attendance and the connection between consistent attendance and academic achievement
  • Improve attendance, particularly for students with the highest levels of chronic absence
  • Build a culture of attendance in all SPPS school

Letters, flyers and posters will be delivered to all schools late August to promote consistent attendance for all students.

More Attendance Matters resources, including fact sheets and ideas for classroom activities, are available in the School Marketing Toolkit.

Staff: Promote MySPPS App to families, community
Please promote the new Saint Paul Public Schools MySPPS app to families and your school community. The app provides a new way for families to communicate with their school and the district throughout the year. All schools can download and print a one-pager on how to use the app at spps.org/myspps (available in English, Hmong, Spanish, Somali and Karen).

Reminder for schools: Please keep your school website up to date. News that is posted on your website will directly feed the app's "newsfeed." Families will be able to follow your school's news and social media accounts, school calendars, breakfast and lunch menus and much more. If you have questions or suggestions, contact Troy Melhus, digital media manager, at troy.melhus@spps.org, or 651-744-5670.

Principals: Promote your school on Twitter and Facebook through MySPPS app
School accounts for Facebook are available through the Office of Communications, Marketing and Development (CMD). The account will include your school’s logos and colors.

For Twitter, CMD will help schools create Twitter accounts by providing the school’s logo and colors in the correct size for profile and header images. Schools should use a general email and password when creating these accounts. This will ensure that school leaders will continue to have access to the accounts if staff members leave the school or district.

Maintaining Facebook and Twitter accounts for your school is especially important for the 2015-16 school year because of the new MySPPS app, which will promote posts from your school’s Facebook and Twitter posts. Promoting your school’s positive news, student and teacher accomplishments and successful programs on social media and through the app can help boost your school’s community engagement! Posts should direct families back to your school website.

If you’d like to start your school’s Facebook account, contact Shawn Hogendorf, digital editor, at shawn.hogendorf@spps.org or 651-744-5207. To create your school’s Twitter account, contact Maricella Miranda, digital editor, at maricella.miranda@spps.org or 651-744-5216.

Already have a school Facebook, Twitter account?
If your school already has a Facebook and/or Twitter account, please send the account’s access information (school name, staff administrator for the account, email, password and username) to communications@spps.org, and/or give access rights to the CMD Office. This will ensure that your school’s account(s) are active in the MySPPS app. Sharing account access with CMD will ensure that school leaders will continue to have access to the accounts if staff members leave the school or district. CMD will not interfere with, or actively manage your social media accounts following account access.

Teachers: Apply for transportation grants to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Admission to the general arts collection at Minneapolis Institute of Arts (MIA) is always free. Now the museum’s complimentary guide-led tours, paired with “Friends of the Institute’s” transportation grants, enable your K-12 students to experience the museum at no cost.

Grants of $175 per bus (2 buses per school maximum) are need-based and awarded to schools within 25 miles of MIA. The 2015-16 application deadline is Thursday, Oct. 1.

Teachers: Encourage your students to enter the Saint Paul Sidewalk Poetry Contest
Public Art Saint Paul invites educators and teachers to help their students to enter The Saint Paul Sidewalk Poetry Contest. Winners will receive a $100 prize and their poem will be printed permanently on city sidewalks.

Contest dates are Sept. 14 through Oct. 16, and are open to anyone who lives in Saint Paul. The entry process for schools is free. The contest is available for grades four to 12.

Here are a few tips to consider before submitting your entry:

  • Write short poems — fine rhymes, quirky quatrains, happy haikus
  • Make poems creative and well-written
  • Use unique voices

If you have questions, contact Mary Johnson, education director, mary@publicartstpaul.org, 651-290-0921.