Action items

Staff: Prepare for NAAPID
It's time to prepare for National African American Parent Involvement Day, which is observed on Monday, Feb. 8. NAAPID is an excellent opportunity for schools to reach out to parents in meaningful ways, helping foster a closer connection between home and school.

Please submit information about your school's plans for celebrating NAAPID by completing this form by Tuesday, Jan. 26. Your school's activities and information will be shared on social media and the SPPS NAAPID website.

For a list of ideas and resources, visit spps.org/naapid. For more information contact Brandi Cavalletti at 651-767-8181 or brandi.cavalletti@spps.org.

Staff: Deadlines for fiscal year 2015-16 expenditures now available
The Business Office has published fiscal year 2016 financial deadlines. The link below provides details and deadline dates for purchases of goods and services, and other expenses for the 2015-16 year.

Staff: Work with students to complete iPad updates by Monday, Feb. 8
The following changes will be made to iPad and app access beginning Monday, Feb. 8. Please work with students to prepare their iPads to accommodate these changes.

  1. iPads should be updated to the iOS9 operating system. We expect Apple to release an update by Friday, Jan. 22 that fixes the bug in this operating system update. After this date, please work with students to complete the iPad updates. iPad managers have access to a report that shows which iPads need to be updated and can contact their site’s field tech manager for support. Updating iPads to iOS9 allows for future automatic updates of the operating system and better management of iPads.  

  2. The ability to rename student iPads will be restricted. Elementary sites may choose to leave iPads as currently named. All secondary students should rename their iPads before Friday, Jan. 22 to their email address minus the “@stpaul.k12.mn.us” -- for example, JSmith003. It is recommended that sites set a time for students to do this through homeroom or Foundations time. This document provides instructions for the process. Sites can pull iPad reports to determine which iPads need to be renamed at any point in the process. After the lock is in place, site iPad managers will have access to reset iPad names if needed.

  3. Student iPads with apps that are not approved by SPPS will have limited function. If students download apps that are not on the SPPS approved apps list, icons for non-Apple apps will disappear, meaning that students cannot use those apps. In order to restore full access, the student must delete the non-approved apps. This document provides instructions for the process.See the SPPS approved apps list here: tinyurl.com/spps-aprvdapps

Teachers: Support Student Engagement and Advancement Board by providing feedback
The Student Engagement and Advancement Board (SEAB), formerly known as the Student Advisory Team, is working on its first major project: a report on student experience with School Resource Officers (SROs) in Saint Paul Public Schools. Members have created specific surveys for students and staff in schools with full-time SROs.  

The SEAB has also created a video explaining the project and why it's important to complete the survey. They are working to have the video shown in high schools throughout the district. The video and survey are also available online.

The Student Engagement and Advancement Board was created by the Board of Education this fall. Its role is not to speak for students, but to increase student voice in decision making by soliciting the feedback of students. Follow the SEAB on Twitter and like it on Facebook.

Teachers: SPTRFA Annual Meeting is Jan. 21
The Saint Paul Teachers’ Retirement Fund Association’s Annual Meeting of the Members is set for 4 p.m on Thursday, Jan. 21, at the SPPS district administration building, 360 Colborne St., in rooms J and K.

Elementary School Principals and Staff: Research study opportunity for families with students in grades 2-4
SPPS Student Health and Wellness is partnering with the University of Minnesota School of Nursing on a new research study called SNAPSHOT. SNAPSHOT is a National Institutes of Health (NIH) study that focuses on children and their families making healthier choices with eating and physical activity.

Recruitment for students in grades 2-4 and their parents/guardians is now underway. The study will begin during the 2016-17 school year. Please promote this opportunity to your families and help get the word out.

Teachers: Update on free Winter Carnival field trip opportunity
Third and fourth grade students have the opportunity for a free Saint Paul Winter Carnival experience thanks to a partnership between SPPS Community Education and the Saint Paul Festival and Heritage Foundation. Classes will receive busing to the Landmark Center in downtown Saint Paul to watch a Fire and Ice presentation, learn about Winter Carnival history and see the celebration firsthand.

Available dates are Wednesday-Friday, Feb. 3-5. Programs begin at 10 a.m. and last about an hour. The program will run twice each day -- from 10-11:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Spaces will be scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis. Space is limited. If you have questions, contact Kathryn Mommaerts at kathryn.mommaerts@spps.org.

Staff: Apply for S-Term licensed site administrator and leader positions
Qualified staff may now submit applications for positions as licensed site administrators and licensed site leaders for elementary and secondary S-Term sessions. All interested applicants must complete the online application by the specified deadlines.

Applications currently being accepted for:

Licensed Site Administrators: Apply by Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2016

  • Licensed Site Administrator K-12 (Requisition # 1000152)
  • Licensed Site Administrator Gordon Parks (Requisition # 1000146)
  • Licensed Site Administrator LEAP (Requisition # 1000147)

Licensed Site Leaders: Apply by Monday, Feb. 8, 2016

  • Licensed Site Leader K-12 (Requisition # 1000153)

Preference may be given to current SPPS principals, assistant principals and/or current EDL site leaders. Applicants may apply for multiple positions based on qualifications.

If applying for a position that requires a license and the applicant’s license expires June 30, 2016, the applicant must renew early in the spring to ensure their license is current by the S-Term 2016 start date. The Department of Alternative Education reserves the right to hire staff in the manner that best meets the needs of SPPS students.

Teachers: Mid-Year reflections on TD&E Individual Growth and Development Plan in PDExpress
This winter, educators will reflect upon their Teacher Development and Evaluation Individualized Growth and Development Plan in PDExpress.

Mid-year reflections will be submitted for review and returned as "Not Approved" with comments. The “Not Approved” status allows the form to remain active for end-of-the-year reflections.

The mid-year reflection consists of two components and PDExpress provides two text boxes to answer these questions:

  1. Describe, analyze and reflect on the progress toward your goal. What did you learn about your practice?
  2. Moving forward, what specific action steps, approaches and/or strategies will you implement to achieve your goal? What adjustments need to be made?

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

Principals, Assistant Principals and staff who enter discipline in Campus: Discipline reporting clean-up
The spreadsheets that list discipline reporting problems for First Quarter 2015-16 have been posted on the SPPS Data Center website. Any errors or red flags should be corrected, with all second quarter incidents entered, by Jan. 30. Making these corrections is essential for providing accurate internal discipline analysis and completing the report required by the Minnesota Department of Education. Please note that there are changes in the report, due to changes in Campus.

Weapons cases are reviewed on a one-quarter lag to give schools the opportunity to make corrections based on automated feedback (in the Problems tab) first. Nothing is posted in the weapons tab in this report.

Each school's report has been placed in the password-protected part of the SPPS Data Center website. The report includes everything entered in Campus as of Nov. 15. Click here for instructions on viewing the report.  

If you have questions, please contact Cindy Porter at 651-767-8371 or cindy.porter@spps.org.

Building Administrators: Assign Building Coordinators for the 2016 Minnesota Student Survey
The Minnesota Student Survey is administered every three years in all Minnesota school districts. This year, Saint Paul Public Schools will be administering the survey electronically to all participating students in grades 5, 8, 9 and 11. Parents will be notified of the upcoming survey and given an opportunity to opt out.

The administration window for the survey will be Feb. 22 to April 29.

If you have any questions, please contact Beverly Dushaw at 651-603-4947 or beverly.dushaw@spps.org. To assign a coordinator for your building, please fill out this online sign up form by Friday, Jan. 29.

Staff: Register to Participate in Share the Love project
SPPS staff should consider participating in the Share the Love project with their students. Share the Love launched as a pilot program in 2015, with 700 SPPS students participating. We are excited to see this program grow in 2016 and we look forward to working with you.

The Share the Love program is designed to deepen young people's understanding of what it means to build strong communities. Students begin with team-building activities focused on learning more about each other. They work together to identify people in their schools and neighborhoods who have helped them be successful or who they want to support with a positive message. The students then make pop-up thank you cards using craft supplies.

In 2015, students chose to deliver cards to local Meals on Wheels workers, firefighters, law enforcement officers and veterans.

Materials will be delivered the first week in February. Materials will include cardstock, construction paper, craft supplies, Share the Love stickers and a pre-paid USPS box. If you have questions, contact Lisa Crocker at lisa.crocker@spps.org.