Department news

SPPS Transportation Department has a new address
The SPPS Transportation Department last week settled into a new home at 261 Chester St. The new facility combines all transportation staff previously housed at 360 and the bus garage at 533 Randolph Ave. The building is nearly three times larger than the previous garage, allowing more space for storing district-owned buses and vans. Interoffice mail can be directed to "Transportation" or "261 Chester." The mailing address is: 261 Chester St., Saint Paul, MN 55107. Phone numbers and emails have not changed.

More students to receive free meals beginning 2015-16
All students at these 39 schools will receive free meals during the 2015-16 school year through Nutrition Services. After successfully piloting a new USDA-funded program called Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) at eight schools this year, Nutrition Services will be expanding the program to 31 additional schools in the coming school year.

There are many benefits to using the CEP model in our schools, such as eliminating the stigma associated with participating in free and reduced-price meal programs, removing the burden of schools collecting unpaid meal charges, increasing participation in the lunch programs, and improving student health.

Before the end of the current school year, the communications department is providing information to families benefitting from these changes. Also, Nutrition Services staff has been meeting with school principals this spring to share information about this exciting program.

Questions can be directed to Nutrition Services Director Stacy Koppen at 651-603-4950.

Represent SPPS in community parades this summer
Grab your SPPS gear and show your SPPS spirit this summer by participating in community parades.

Greet our community members during the:

  • Twin Cities Pride Parade at 11 a.m., Sunday, June 28
  • White Bear Avenue Parade at 7 p.m.,  Wednesday, July 15
  • Rondo Days Parade at 10 a.m., Saturday, July 18
  • Rice Street Parade at 7 p.m., Thursday, July 23 (Shuttle bus at SPMA)

A shuttle bus for parade participants will leave 360 Colborne (except for the Rice Street Parade) one hour before each parade. Additional information will be provided to registered participants. RVSP with the Office of Family Engagement & Community Partnership at engagement.spps.org.

MySPPS App debuts for staff, families, 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.

  • Get the MySPPS app on iTunes
  • Get the MySPPS app on Google Play

All schools now have access to a one-page handout, which can be shared with parents and families, with instructions on how to download the app.

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 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.

Last 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, continuing over the summer.

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.

For external users, 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.

Students can stay busy with summer camps, activities in Saint Paul
Summer break is 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.