From the superintendent

Between wrapping up work obligations and traveling, many of us are up for a busy week. Maybe you are taking time to visit family and friends, or donate time to food shelves or other causes. However you spend your Thanksgiving break, I hope that you find some time to be thankful for everything that makes you the unique individual that you are. In my job leading this school district, my blessings are many.

Our giving changes lives

The Community Giving Campaign allows SPPS employees to donate to any charity or non-profit -- or SPPS school -- through their paychecks. It is a convenient way for SPPS employees to support the organizations that help students before they board the bus each day and after the bell rings. “We see the direct effect [of the campaign] right here at Central,” said Scott Howell, football coach at the school.

Jie Ming Mandarin Immersion Academy

Mandarin is the official language of the People's Republic of China and is the most widely spoken language in the world. In its third year in SPPS, the language immersion program at Jie Ming Mandarin Immersion Academy offers a rich and culturally diverse adventure for students and parents. The program enables students to become bilingual and biliterate. Hear what staff, students and parents have to say about their school.

Action items

All staff: Fourth annual blanket drive starts December 2
All staff: Update personal information with Human Resources
All staff: Donate to your PTA, place of worship, your child’s school or ANY charity through Community Giving
All staff: Prepare for Thanksgiving break
All staff: Prepare for winter snow
School staff: Education Minnesota Classroom Grants due December 13
Teachers: Fund for Teachers deadline is January 30, 2014
Elementary school staff: Apply for Lillian Wright Author in the Schools funding
Clerks: Manage Campus enrollments

Department news and announcements

Personalized Learning update
IT Services to expand internet access for wireless devices
SPPS apparel available for purchase
Winter party for Special Education families
Pre-retirement planning

Employee wellness

Quick tips: Staying active in cold weather, part II
SPPS Staff learn healthy cooking techniques thanks to HealthPartners


Sherry Brooks, science specialist at Farnsworth, receives Youth Engagement Award
Highland Park Senior High (HPSH) Model UN members at Macalester Conference
Highland Park Senior High (HPSH) students support Hmong programs at Jackson and Phalen
Highland Park Middle School to deliver 1,000 pounds of food to Sharing Korner
Humboldt High School students deliver more than 450 pounds of food to Neighborhood House
SPPS schools raise more than $28,000 on Give to the Max Day