Action items

Principals and teachers: 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 urging 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 schools

Letters, flyers and posters have been delivered to all schools 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: Update student enrollment data in Campus
Help provide an accurate count of our student enrollment. In order for the district to make the most efficient use of its resources, accurate student enrollment counts are needed as soon as possible.

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. Enrollments as of Friday, Sept. 25, will be the basis for fall 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

To derive accurate student counts it is necessary to complete the following three tasks regularly at the building level:

  1. Find students that are enrolled but not scheduled (ghosts).
  2. Identify students that have enrolled and have a schedule, but have not attended (are missing), and remove them using the Missing Students Report in Campus.
  3. Evaluate student absences to determine if they should be identified as missing (low-show).

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.

Principals: Important information about Title I and school improvement
With the new school year underway, please review important Title I and School Continuous Improvement work information, including Title I meeting dates for clerks and principals.

Please use this timeline to guide your School Continuous Improvement work in both Title I and non-Title I schools. (Non-Title I schools will not be required to do the activities specified for Title I schools.)

The Leadership Team Rubric is a tool that can guide and inform the development of a strong school-based leadership team. Please use this team development guide.

Important information for Title I schools:

Documentation of Implementation Folder (Accountability Folder): This folder will be online for all schools this year. Click here for instructions and training videos (15 minutes total) to guide you through the installation process and how to use the program. Contact Jessica Kaul at 651- 632-3782 if you have any problems with the program.

School clerks: A Title I meeting for clerks will be Monday, Sept. 21. SPPS strongly encourages  all Title I clerks to attend due to changes in federal requirements. Clerks may sign up in PDExpress for the morning or afternoon session. 

Principals: Title I meetings for principals will be Thursday, Sept. 24, and Monday, Sept. 28. (New principals should attend the morning session on Monday, Sept. 28.) Principals are strongly encouraged to attend one of the four meetings because of the new online folder system and other changes. Sign up in PDExpress for morning or afternoon sessions.

Title I School Support: Your school’s Office of Title I federal programs staff member may have changed this school year. View this document to find out your school's Title I support person and their phone number. They will be contacting your school throughout the year.

Principals: Designate a PDExpress contact person for all professional development
Schools are required to record all in-building professional development sessions in PDExpress. This includes all Professional Learning Communities. Not only will this ensure that teachers receive proper clock hours for all professional development completed, but it will provide accurate reporting around the professional development your school offered during the year.

Please designate a PDExpress contact/operational person for your school and send their name to dawn.ransom@spps.org by Friday, Sept. 18. There will be a training for all school PDExpress contacts in October.

The dates/times are:

  • Thursday, Oct. 1, 8-9 a.m. or 3-4 p.m.
  • Thursday, Oct. 8, 7:30-8:30 a.m. or 4-5 p.m.

K-8 principals: Identify school coordinator for Cognitive Abilties Test
For the 2015-16 school year, all schools need to provide the name of the person(s) who will coordinate Cognitive Abilities Test or Screener version 7 (CogAT7/CogAT Screener). Research, Evaluation and Assessment (REA) will provide training in administering the test.

Training for school coordinators of CogAT/CogAT Screener is Monday, Sept. 14. Complete the following steps in this spreadsheet for the 2015-16 School Assessment Coordinator assignments:

  1. Find your instructional level on the tabs at the bottom. Please note that multi-level schools can be found on the tab that denotes the higher level (for example, American Indian Magnet School with grades PreK-8 can be found on the middle tab).
  2. Find your school. Schools are listed in order by school number.
  3. Enter the name of the person(s) who will serve as the CogAT7/CogAT Screener coordinator.

The CogAT testing window is Oct.13-29 for students who have not been previously identified in grade 2, and nominated students who have not been previously identified in Grades 1, 3, 4 and 5. The CogAT Screener testing window is Nov. 9-12 for kindergarteners.

Please contact Robin Lane at 651-767-8257 or robin.lane@spps.org with questions.

Teachers: Attend walk-in grant writing clinic for help with fall applications
A Saint Paul school near you is hosting a walk-in grant clinic this month. Bring your ideas and projects that need funding -- and get help planning your grant applications from the SPPS grants team. John Stelter from the SPPS Foundation will be at all clinics to assist Inspired Educator Grant applicants.

  • Tuesday, Sept. 15, Saint Paul Music Academy from 3:15 to 5:15 p.m.
  • Thursday, Sept. 17, Cherokee Heights Elementary from 3:15 to 5:15 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Sept. 23, Chelsea Heights from 3:15 to 5 p.m.
  • Thursday, Sept. 24, Groveland Elementary from 4:15 to 5:30 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Sept. 29, The Heights Elementary from 3:15 to 5:15 p.m.

If you can’t attend a clinic, assistance with your grant applications is only a phone call or email away. The grants team in the Office of Communications, Marketing and Development can direct you to potential grants and help you make the strongest case for your project. We also make sure your proposal is SPPS School Board-approved so you can spend your funds as soon as you receive them. To schedule a grants workshop at your school, or for individualized help, contact Lisa van der Steur at 651-767-8108 or lisa.vandersteur@spps.org.

Teachers: Review Constitution Day and Citizenship Day lessons, activities
The 228th anniversary of the signing of our Constitution is Sept. 17. Communities nationwide celebrate the Constitution, as well as newly naturalized citizens on this day. Locally, the U.S. District Court in Minnesota will have a naturalization ceremony at the Landmark Center on Sept. 17 to commemorate the day.

Constitution Day and Citizenship Day is a federal day of observance that mandates all publicly funded education institutions to provide educational programming about the Constitution on this day. SPPS supports students learning about the Constitution. Below are lessons and activities for different grades and timeframes:

Wellness Champions: Site Wellness Action Plans are due Friday, Sept. 25
Wellness Action Plans for each site are due Friday, Sept. 25. Completed action plans should be filed with the Wellness Champions coordinator by emailing carol.grady@spps.org.

Only those sites that complete a 2015-16 action plan will be eligible for any possible additional funding. If you need assistance, contact Carol Grady at 744-7834 to schedule a meeting.

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 questions, contact the Human Resources Department at 651-767-8200.

Staff: Mileage reimbursement details online
Use the mileage database to request reimbursement for the miles that you drive in your personal car for work-related meetings or other tasks. To use the system, log in with your email username and webmail password.

Please verify in your profile that your starting location, budget code(s), and approver(s) are correct for your assignment for this school year. Review the Business Office website for more information on mileage reimbursements.

Teachers: Learn More about Dakota Culture on the Bdote Field Trip
The Multicultural Resource Center (MRC) is offering a Bdote field trip 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 21. Fifth grade teachers will be trained to lead the trip with their students, but others are welcome to join.

The Bdote field trip is a day-long field trip, based on the Bdote Memory Map of the Minnesota Humanities Center. Bdote is a Dakota word meaning “the place where two waters come together.” The Bdote of the Minnesota and Mississippi Rivers is central to Dakota history and culture.

Sign up on PDExpress (under Equity) or contact the MRC mrc@spps.org for more information.

Staff: Celebrate Indigenous Peoples' Day on Oct. 12
The Office of American Indian Education and the Multicultural Resource Center (MRC) are collaborating for Indigenous Peoples’ Day on Monday, Oct. 12. The city of Saint Paul recently passed a resolution declaring the second Monday of every October Indigenous Peoples’ Day.

Resources, mini-grants and other support are available for K-12 teachers to provide opportunities for students to celebrate and learn more about indigenous people. The proposal deadline is Monday, Sept. 21. For more information visit http://indianeducation.spps.org/ or http://mrc.spps.org.

Music Teachers: Review this information about Destiny Instrumental Music Inventory System
Last summer, a team of music teachers completed Phase 2 of the Destiny Music Instrument Inventory. All musical instruments throughout the district are now barcoded and entered into the Destiny Resource Manager (sister program to the Destiny Library Manager).

Instruments will be checked out to students much like a library book, tracking them through the online Destiny System. Information about each instrument, such as circulation status, original location, value, condition and funding source are tracked for ease of instrument sharing across the district.

More about tracking instruments:

  • Music teachers have been trained on how to use the system and have been asked to have all instruments checked out to students by Oct. 1. Unused or surplus instruments may be transferred and shared for equitable student access.
  • Music instruments must be transferred through the Destiny System when shared or transferred to a new site.
  • Any new music instruments must be barcoded and entered into the Destiny System. Special music instrument barcodes are available upon request.

If you have questions, contact Robin Lorenzen at 651-744-4019 or robin.lorenzen@spps.org. Technical Destiny questions/access/requests should be routed through a SPPS Service Desk customized ticket labeled Library/Resource Manager [Destiny]- Front End Support.

Teachers: Apply for Saint Paul Public Schools Foundation's Inspired Educator Grant
The goal of the Inspired Educator Grant program is: 1. To enrich and broaden educational experiences for students through projects that employ critical thinking, problem solving, and artistry; and 2. To give teachers an opportunity to implement creativity and innovation in their teaching practices that would be otherwise not available. You can find a video, links to guidelines and an application form available here. The grant is due via email by Monday, Oct. 12.

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

Grants of $175 per bus (two 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: Apply for fall grants now

September 30th deadlines

October deadlines

 

Staff: Please review the District Conflict of Interest Policy
Please review the SPPS Conflict of Interest Policy below. The policy can also be found in the Board of Education policy manual and online.

Below is the District’s Conflict of Interest Policy:

Adopted: 1998 Saint Paul Public Schools Policy 210.00

Revised: 6/17/2008

210.00 CONFLICT OF INTEREST

Members of the Board of Education and employees of Saint Paul Public Schools shall avoid situations that could be viewed to affect the independence of their judgment in the performance of their School District duties.

PROHIBITIONS

1. Purchasing

A member of the Board of Education or a school district employee having any direct or indirect voluntary personal financial or beneficial interest in any contract, sale or lease for goods, property or services furnished to or used by the School District shall not with respect to such contract, sale or lease:

• Approve or recommend for approval the contract, sale or lease; 

• Directly or indirectly influence the purchasing decision by establishing requirements or

evaluating services or products; or

• Otherwise have any involvement in the purchasing process.

2. Gifts

A member of the Board of Education or a School District employee shall not directly or indirectly accept anything of more than nominal value from any source given in the course of, or because of, his or her School District duties, office or employment unless the source is provided in return consideration of equivalent value.

DISCLOSURE AND APPROVAL

1.  If a member of the Board of Education or Superintendent questions application of this policy to any contemplated transaction, he or she shall advise the Chair of the Board of Education who shall approve or disapprove the transaction. Should the Chair of the Board of Education have a

question on the application of this policy, it shall be referred to the Vice Chair.

2.  If an employee questions application of this policy to any contemplated transaction he or she shall advise his or her immediate superior who shall approve or disapprove the transaction.

3.  The administration of the Saint Paul Public Schools shall develop and publish procedures to assist in the implementation and observance of this policy.

4.  Members of the Saint Paul Public Schools’ Board of Education shall sign a statement annually certifying they have acted in compliance with the Conflict of Interest policy.

LEGAL REFERENCE:

Minn. Stat. §§ 471.87-.88

CROSS REFERENCES:

Policy 210.00.