Action Items

Teachers: Schedule a free science field trip for students
The 3M Foundation has once again funded a science experience for every student in first, third, fourth, fifth and eighth grades at Saint Paul Public Schools.

Teachers will need to schedule transportation at least two weeks in advance of the trip(s). Schedule your trip soon to make sure you reserve the date you want. The field trips have been aligned with the state science standards at each grade level. Let your students’ science teacher know once you have scheduled an experience. This will help connect student learning across classrooms.

3M Funded Experiences

Eighth grade Earth science teachers: Please align this Planetarium visit with your astronomy unit. Transportation for your trip must be scheduled at least two weeks in advance.

When registering and scheduling transportation for these experiences, please reference the Strategic Science and Engineering Initiative (SSEI) grant to ensure the correct budgets are charged.

Target and Travelers fund zoo field trip for third-graders
Target and Travelers are funding an additional third grade field trip to the Minnesota Zoo.

When registering and scheduling transportation for this, please identify your group as part of the Third Grade Saint Paul Zoo Safari Program to ensure the correct budgets are charged.

All of these grants cover admission and transportation costs. It is expected that every student in these grades will have the opportunity to participate. If you have questions, contact Molly Leifeld, District Science Specialist, at molly.leifeld@spps.org or 651-744-1371.

Third grade teachers: Request free dictionaries for your students
The Saint Paul Chapter of Rotary International will once again be providing a dictionary for every third grade student in Saint Paul Public Schools. Rotary members enjoy being able to deliver the dictionaries in person and meeting the students who benefit from this project.

Interested schools should sign up as a group and, if possible, have all third-graders in one area for the presentation. Rotary members will take a few short minutes to explain Rotary before handing out the dictionaries to students.

Saint Paul Rotary members are available for school visits anytime from Friday, Oct. 9, through Friday, Nov. 20, except from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Tuesdays.

The deadline to sign up for Rotary visits is Monday, Oct. 5. To register, contact Kathy Weyandt in the Office of Communications, Marketing & Development at kathy.weyandt@spps.org with the following information:

  • School
  • Contact person
  • Requested date
  • Best time
  • Number of third-graders

If you have questions, contact Kathy Weyandt at 651-767-8373 or kathy.weyandt@spps.org.

Teachers: Register to participate in 'We Act' and professional development
We acted and we made a difference. Last year, we almost doubled the number of SPPS students who participated in We Act and made a positive contribution to the world. Watch a video from last year's event. We Act is a program organized by Free the Children that has resources to help teachers build a global and local service project with their students.

The 2,650 SPPS students who participated last year tackled amazing projects that impacted our community, globe and the students themselves. We think SPPS can double participation again.

Participate in We Schools Professional Development
The We Schools Professional Development Session is 4:30-6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 24, in the Multicultural Resource Center at Washington Technology Magnet School.

The professional development workshop, which is designed after specific requests and feedback of We Schools educators, aims to provide teachers with tangible and practical resources and strategies for their classrooms and groups. The collaborative workshop allows educators to dig deep into Free the Children resources, identify specific goals and strategize with their peers to achieve their goals.

Additional Resources

If you have questions, contact Kathryn Mommaerts in Community Education at kathryn.mommaerts@spps.org.

Wellness Champions: Site Wellness Action Plans 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.

Music teachers: Review Destiny Instrument Music Inventory System information
A team of music teachers recently 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, is 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 an SPPS Service Desk customized ticket labeled Library/Resource Manager [Destiny]- Front End Support.

Staff: Celebrate Indigenous Peoples' Day on Oct. 12
The Office of American Indian Education and the Multicultural Resource Center 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.

Principals: Update your website's school directory
Your website’s school directory may be out of date. Please review your staff contact information and contact your website administrator to make updates. Families often use these directories to contact teachers or other staff members.

If you have any questions or need assistance, contact Digital Editor Shawn Hogendorf at shawn.hogendorf@spps.org or Digital Editor Maricella Miranda at maricella.miranda@spps.org.

Principals: Report your school's website administrator
Report the name of your school’s website administrator to the Office of Communications, Marketing and Development for the 2015-16 school year. Please submit the administrator’s name to Troy Melhus, New Media Manager, at troy.melhus@spps.org.

Teachers: Apply for transportation grants to MIA
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.

Staff: Give to the Max Day is Thursday, Nov. 12
Every SPPS school has a GiveMN.org fundraiser page through the Saint Paul Public Schools Foundation, linked from the DONATE link on your school website.

Donors with credit cards can give to your school via this link year-round. Murray Middle School generated almost $60,000 this summer using GiveMN.org! Many schools and other organizations do a special publicity push for Give to the Max Day, which is Thursday, Nov. 12.

If your school is interested in raising funds on Give to the Max Day, a staff member or trusted volunteer can update your fundraiser page with new text, photos and video. Visit the GiveMN.org toolkit to get started. For information on logging in to your GiveMN.org page, contact Brandi Cavalletti in the Office of Communications, Marketing and Development, brandi.cavalletti@spps.org.

Teachers: Apply for fall grants now

September 30 deadlines

October deadlines

Teachers: Apply for Inspired Educator Grant by Oct. 12
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. The Inspired Educator Grant is offered through the Saint Paul Public Schools Foundation. A video, links to guidelines and the grant’s application form is available. The application is due via email by Monday, Oct. 12.

Teachers: Get help with fall grant applications this month
Teachers can participate in three walk-in grant clinics this month. Bring your ideas and projects that need funding, and receive help from the SPPS grants team for planning grant applications. John Stelter from the SPPS Foundation will be available at the clinics to assist Inspired Educator Grant applicants.

  • 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 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.