Department news

Review latest Minnesota Legislative update
As promised, Gov. Mark Dayton last week vetoed the E-12 education bill, along with two others, so there will be a Special Legislative Session. The session will be held at the State Office Building and will have an agenda limited to the three vetoed bills, plus the legacy and bonding bills. The date has not been determined. Please see the attached memo from legislative liaison, Mary Gilbert, for more information about the negotiations between Gov. Dayton and House Speaker Kurt Daudt.

Last Bridge publication for the year is June 8
The final Bridge publication for the school year is Monday, June 8. If you have information you would like included as Action Items, Department News or Kudos, please submit them to thebridge@spps.com by today, June 1.

MySPPS App debuts for staff, families and community
The Saint Paul Public Schools App “MySPPS” has arrived. After several months in development, the new district app for Saint Paul Public Schools is fully available to parents, families and the public.

All schools now have access to a one-pager with instructions at spps.org/myspps on how to download the app, which can be shared with parents and families.

The app will be one of the most effective ways for families to communicate with their schools and the district during summer break. During the summer, SPPS will update the app with events, school/district news and, of course, back to school information (including school supply lists).

Reminder for schools: The most important thing to remember is keep your school website’s news stream up to date with the latest information. News stories on school websites also will be found on the app.

If you have questions or suggestions, contact Troy Melhus, digital media manager, at troy.melhus@spps.org, or 651-744-5670.

SPPS websites transitioning to new content management system
SPPS will be transitioning from Urban Planet to Blackboard to host and manage its 136 school and district websites.

Earlier this month, the Department of Communications, Marketing and Development began working with 10 pilot schools to begin the training and migration process. Between now and the final day for teachers (as well as throughout summer break), Communications will schedule several demos and districtwide introductions to the new software, after which the migration process will formally begin for all schools and continue over the summer. All school homepages and district departments are expected to be transitioned by July 1.

What you need to know: Formal training on the new platform for school website administrators and teachers will begin in August, and continue throughout the 2015-16 school year on a weekly basis.

From an external user perspective, the look and navigation of the websites will have minimal changes. All content on current websites will be migrated over to the new platform; archived content will still be available.

If you have questions, contact Troy Melhus, digital media manager, at troy.melhus@spps.org, or 651-744-5670.

Encourage students to stay busy with summer camps, activities in Saint Paul
Summer break is almost upon us. To fill the no-school days, students can find summer camps and activities throughout the city. Many of the city’s summer programs are free or accessible at reduced rates. The programs can be accessed online through the Sprockets Program Finder at www.sprocketssaintpaul.org.

Multicultural Resource Center honors 40th anniversary of first Hmong family to arrive in Minnesota
In honor of the 40th anniversary of the first Hmong family to arrive in Minnesota, the Multicultural Resource Center (MRC) is offering several opportunities to learn more about Hmong culture and history.

Hmong Lub Neeg (Hmong Life)
The Hmong Lub Neeg exhibit will use MRC materials and those shared by community members to highlight Hmong history and culture. The exhibit -- curated by Xia Yang from Qhia Dab Neeg -- will be on display until fall 2015.

Hmong resources for schools
As a result of merging resource collections, the MRC has multiple copies of many Hmong children’s books, resource books and films. The MRC is offering these to other schools and programs to be used with students at SPPS. They will be available in the MRC until June 30. Browsing hours are 1 to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday, or by appointment. Contact the MRC at mrc@spps.org.