Department news

Free admission to Mill City Museum for Title I schools
Mill City Museum offers a wide range of educational opportunities for Minnesota's K-12 students. The McKnight Foundation, with support from the Cowles Fund, will offer free admission to Mill City Museum and partially subsidized busing for students from qualified public schools.

To qualify:

  • Schools must be from the Twin Cities metro
  • 50 percent or more of students in the school must be enrolled in the Federal Free/Reduced Lunch Program
  • Visits to the museum must be made in January, February or March.

Registration began Oct. 1 for schools that did not receive funding last year. Schools that visited using the scholarship last year can register starting Wednesday, Oct. 15. Funding is limited.

For more information and to register, visit, call 612-341-7556 or email Bookings also are available online at Mention the scholarship when booking.

Learn about 'Curiosity' during Monday's Tweet Chat
Discuss education topics on Twitter every Monday at 7 p.m. with the Office of Personalized Learning. Log on to Twitter and participate in the chat by using the hashtag #sppschat. This week's topic is "Curiosity." Contact Jessica McMahon with questions at or tweet her at @SPPS_McMahon.

Applications now open for 2015 Prudential Spirit of Community Awards
The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards has kicked off its 20th annual search for young people making a difference through volunteer service. Students in grades 5-12 who have volunteered in the past 12 months are invited to complete an online application at and by Tuesday, Nov. 4, and then submit it to a middle school or high school principal. Youth volunteers will be honored at the local, state and national level. Program details are available at

Principals: Remember to assign Mentor/Mentee Program; fall trainings set
The SPPS Mentor/Mentee Program is essential to starting a successful career in our district. The Mentor/Mentee Program is individualized, differentiated and flexible to meet professional growth goals for employees entering the field of education or those coming to SPPS with previous experience.

The Saint Paul Public Schools Mentor/Mentee Program:

  • Provides effective transition into a teacher career at SPPS
  • Provides support for instruction so all students have a premier education
  • Promotes reflective practice
  • Builds a collegial culture within the school and across the district
  • Increases professional success.

All probationary staff are required to participate in the Mentor/Mentee Program in their first year of employment if they are not working with a Peer Assistance and Review Consulting Teacher. Building principals and supervisors are responsible to find a mentor for teachers.

Mentors earn either a stipend or in-service credit for collaboratively supporting a new colleague over the course of the school year. If you have been asked to serve as a mentor, please check out next steps at

Mentors need to participate in one fall and one winter training. Registration for fall training is available on PD Express with course title Mentor: Mentor Teacher Training.

Fall training dates are:

  • 4:30 - 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 8
  • 2:45 - 4:45 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 9

SPPS is a member of Science House: A resource center for educators
SPPS continues to have a district membership to the Science House for the 2014-15 school year. Science House is a lending library of materials at the Science Museum of Minnesota. Educators can check out classroom sets of hands-on materials for their students. All SPPS teachers are entitled to unlimited use of the resources and materials found at Science House.

The benefits include:

  • Unlimited checkout of instructional, hands-on and STEM materials. The collection is valued at $500,000. Some of their most popular items are electronic snap kits, a large collection of skulls, anatomical models and dissecting microscopes. Search the online catalog.
  • After-school workshops
  • Informal consultation with Science Museum Professional Development staff
  • Use of Science House for small planning meetings
  • Free parking during Science House open hours

Host a flu shot clinic at your school’s event
Homeland Health Specialists and the Minnesota Visiting Nurse Agency (MVNA) provide flu shot clinics in schools for families and the surrounding community. Interested schools are invited to schedule flu shot clinics now. If you have a family night or other event scheduled and expect at least 200 attendees, consider hosting a flu shot clinic. For more information, contact Brenda Johnson at 763-746-8060, Jeanne R. Portoghese at 612-617-4512 or, or visit Kohl's and Children's Hospitals and Clinics sponsor the flu shot clinics in schools.