Department news

SPPS travel process, booking agency changing in 2016
Saint Paul Public Schools recently awarded its travel accommodation services contract to Egencia, LLC (an Expedia company). Egencia is a full-service travel agency that offers an online self-booking system tailored to the district's travel procedures.

Effective Jan. 15, all employees will be required to use Egencia for all business travel needs. Several changes and improvements will be made over the upcoming months including:

  • All travel bookings will take place online
  • Ability to book airfare and hotel to create your own itinerary
  • Alerts to traveler if an option is outside of SPPS travel procedures
  • Cost savings for SPPS from preferred hotel rates and discounts  

Employees who have traveled in recent years will be receiving an email within the next few weeks with Egencia login information and directions on how to create individual traveler profiles.

Employees who currently have travel authorization numbers, but have not booked travel yet, should book their travel with one of the district's old travel agencies, Direct Travel or Business Travel, by Jan. 10.   

For employees with pending travel authorizations for 2016, we appreciate your patience as we work through the transition and setup with Egencia. Travel authorization forms will be sent within the first weeks of January.

For assistance with outstanding requests or items, contact Mechelle Karels at 651-744-2192. Stay tuned for training dates and additional information.

SPPS Facilities now hiring Custodial Engineers
Saint Paul Public Schools Facilities Department is now hiring Custodial Engineers 1 and 2. Applicants must have a Class C Boilers License. Pay starts at $24.46 - $25.30 per hour, and benefits include professional development opportunities, paid vacation, and weekends and holidays at home.

Please share these openings with your networks. Interested applicants can apply at

iPad professional development opportunities available in 2016
Visit the Personalized Learning website for descriptions of upcoming iPad learning opportunities. Register for all courses through PDExpress.

Establishing a 1:1 iPad Environment
This course teaches staff the basics of using iPads. The courses take place during the school day. All SPPS licensed teaching staff are requested to attend. Teachers must request a sub and will receive recertification clock hours.

Course topics include: digital file sharing, classroom management, digital citizenship, the iPad Student Handbook and practical applications to teach students during the first weeks of using iPads in your classroom.

Upcoming courses:

  • Tuesday, Jan. 12
  • Thursday, Jan. 14
  • Wednesday, Jan. 20
  • Thursday, Jan. 21
  • Wednesday, Feb. 17
  • Tuesday, March 1

iPad Cafes
These monthly after-school sessions are geared toward the interests of participants. The Thursday, Jan. 7 session features Google Drive and Seesaw.

Other upcoming iPad Cafes sessions include:

  • Tuesday, Feb. 9: iMovie
  • Wednesday, Feb. 10: Garageband
  • Tuesday, Feb. 16: Google Drive
  • Tuesday, Feb. 23: Keynote
  • Wednesday, Feb. 24: Numbers
  • Monday, Feb 29: Pages
  • Thursday, March 3: iBooks Author

The Personalized Learning Resources for Teachers and Staff web page also includes many iPad materials, such as:

  • One-page guides on the SPPS core apps and a list of all the apps in Self Service
  • Links to lessons for setting up classroom iPad routines
  • Self-paced learning opportunities on iPad basics, Apps and Google Drive

Staff yoga starts this week at Bridge View and Como Park Senior High
Take advantage of free on-site staff yoga classes at Bridge View and Como Park Senior High School. This is a great way to reduce stress and develop healthy and sustainable self-care practices.

If you attend all three classes in the series, it will count as a Wellness Program for the 2017 Health Care Savings.

To register please use the following links:

January series at Bridge View School

  • Class 1: Wednesday, Jan. 13, 4:30-5:30 p.m.
  • Class 2: Wednesday, Jan. 20, 4:30-5:30 p.m.
  • Class 3: Wednesday, Jan. 27, 4:30-5:30 p.m.

January series at Como Park Senior High School

  • Class 1: Thursday, Jan. 14, 3:30-4:30 p.m.
  • Class 2: Thursday, Jan. 21, 3:30-4:30 p.m.
  • Class 3: Thursday, Jan. 28, 3:30-4:30 p.m.

Take steps to live well in 2016
As a new year starts, maybe it is time to invest in yourself and your health. This month's health observance focuses on your health. Find ways to be healthy this year and look for ChooseWell, LiveWell programs to help you.

Personal resilience workshop begins Jan. 25
SPPS is partnering with the Sand Creek Group’s Employee Assistance program to offer a three-part series designed to help people enhance their natural resilience, making them less likely to develop problems with depression and other chronic diseases associated with stress.

Resilience is the ability to adapt and recover quickly after a hardship has taken place. Whether it’s large or small, a resilient person is better able to sustain physical and psychological health when faced with life’s challenges.

The Resiliency Workshop will take place at Benjamin E. Mays IB World School.

Register for the Resiliency Workshop at Benjamin E. Mays

  • Class one: 4-5 p.m. Monday, Jan. 25
  • Class two: 4-5 p.m. Monday, Feb. 1
  • Class three: 4-5 p.m. Monday, Feb. 8