Action Items

Teachers: Submit Individualized Growth and Development Plan
This fall, educators will complete their Teacher Development and Evaluation Individualized Growth and Development Plan in PDExpress. Each school in September told staff the scheduled submission dates for the initial goal, mid-year reflection and end-of-the-year reflection.

Below is an explanation of the process:

  • Goals will be submitted to the school administration team (principals, assistant principals and administrative interns) to review and be returned as "Not Approved" with comments. The form will remain active for mid-year reflections. It’s very important for educators to review their plan and read the comments to determine if they need to make any updates or if they can move forward as planned.
  • Mid-year reflections will be submitted for review and returned as "Not Approved" with comments. The form will remain active for end-of-the-year reflections.
  • End-of-the-year reflections will be returned as "Approved.” Approval means that the goal was set and two reflections were submitted. 

If you have questions about TD&E, contact Amy Steele at amy.steele@spps.org and submit comments to the TD&E Feedback page.

Administrators, Social Workers and Counselors: Free bicycles available for SPPS students in need, request bikes by Oct. 16
Free, recycled and refurbished bicycles are available for SPPS students in need through Free Bikes 4 Kidz and Allina Health. Principals, social workers and counselors should work together to determine eligibility criteria, such as attendance, academics and behavior; students who meet the criteria will receive the donated bikes.

Bicycles will be distributed on Saturday, Dec. 6. Students will need to travel to the FB4K warehouse at the Mall of America or possibly the Rondo Educational Complex to pick up their bikes. The bikes also will be available for schools to keep as a bicycle fleet, if needed.

Contact Carol Grady at carol.grady@spps.org by Friday, Oct. 16, with the number of bikes you are requesting or if you have any questions.

Principals: Complete MDE Staff Development Report by today, Oct. 12
SPPS is required by the Minnesota Department of Education to report all professional development activities that occurred both at the district and building levels during the 2014-15 school year. The reporting deadline is Monday, Oct. 12.

You will be asked to provide data on your school’s student achievement goals, advisory committee membership, staffing, staff development activities and the impact of these activities on teaching and learning.

For complete instructions, read this memo from Stacey Gray Akyea, Director of Research Evaluation and Assessment.

High school staff: Recruit students for Youth Advisory Team
The Board of Education voted unanimously Sept. 22 to recruit a pilot Student Advisory Team to increase student voice in decision-making at the Board level.

In the pilot year, this group of students will work to develop the long-term vision and structure of the Youth Advisory Team, work on issues important to them and on issues assigned by the Board and administration.

Please identify and recruit students who are passionate, creative and critical thinkers, as well as those who traditionally identify as leaders or are emerging leaders. Some students may need encouragement and support through the application process.

More information and the application be found on the SPPS Family Engagement website. The deadline for applications is Thursday, Oct. 15. Students can submit their application in the language they feel most able to express themselves.

Teachers: Reflector upgrade required with iOS9
The current Reflector program, which is installed on some staff laptops, does not work with iOS 9 iPad upgrades. Reflector is a program that can be installed on teachers’ laptops to allow for projection of iPads without a cable. (A projection device is still required.) Staff who have completed the iOS 9 upgrade should use a cord and adaptor "dongle" until the upgrade is available. More information will be available as SPPS upgrades to Reflector 2.

As previously mentioned in The Bridge, staff iPads and iPhones should not be upgraded to iOS 9.1, the newest mobile device update from Apple. Technology Services has identified a compatibility issue with Lotus Notes Traveler, the source for email on staff iPads and iPhones. Upgrading iPads or iPhones to iOS 9.1 will prevent staff from receiving email through Traveler on the iPad and iPhone.

High school principals: Recommend students today for refugee writing project
Public Radio International (PRI) is looking for talented high school students to share spoken word, poetry, or personal essay related to the ongoing refugee crisis taking place in Europe, Syria and the Middle East/North Africa. Three to four student participants will have three hours of one-to-one instruction with a teaching artist and develop a piece that places their thoughts, perspectives, and experiences within the broader refugee crisis.

Student will receive $100 for their commissioned work, which students will perform live on Oct. 29 at an event at Macalester College. The participants will also be featured on PRI.org, as well as the social media platforms of PRI and PRI’s The World, a daily international news show co-produced with the BBC. Their works may also be mentioned or featured on The World, which is heard by nearly 2.7 million listeners each week.

Students interested in participating should email jgoyette@pri.org explaining their interest and what they would perform.

Teachers: Share free homework help opportunity with students
The Mid-Continent Oceanographic Institute is available for free homework help for students from 3-6 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays.

Mid-Continent Oceanographic Institute (formerly Rock Star Supply Co.) is a nonprofit dedicated to supporting under-resourced students, ages 6 to 18, with their writing skills and homework. Students may use Mid-Continent Oceanographic Institute’s space at 2388 University Ave. W., and work in small groups to finish homework, work on creative writing and practice reading with trained adults.

Staff: Learn Google Drive and love it
Google Drive (also known as SPPS Apps) is a great way to collaborate with colleagues and students. Google Drive combines tools for creating documents, spreadsheets, presentations and forms. Save all of these documents online, and share and edit with others.

Want to learn more? Register for an in-person class in PDEXpress.

  • Thursday, Oct. 22, 4:30-6:30 p.m.
  • Monday, Feb. 15, 4:30-6:30 p.m.

Learn at your own pace with one of these online courses:

  • Moodle course: (PL) SPPS AppsDocs - MLR(V)
  • iTunesU course for iPads: access code J3V-74T-A84

View the short tutorials on the Personalized Learning website (requires access to YouTube).

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. For more information, visit http://indianeducation.spps.org/ or http://mrc.spps.org.