Department news and announcements

Mileage reimbursement rates for 2014
SPPS reimburses staff for the miles they drive for approved trips at the rate established by the IRS. Effective January 1, 2014, the IRS rate for business use auto reimbursement will be $0.56/per mile. This is down from $0.565/per mile in the calendar year 2013. The mileage database has been changed to reflect the change in rate for 2014 and will calculate the correct reimbursement rate according to the date of the trip. If you have any questions on mileage, please send an email to mileage.help@spps.org.

Department name changes
Several departments have combined, changed names, or taken on new roles since the end of the 2012-13 school year. Review the Department Name Change Guide for help in understanding the changes.

Bus safety class erases student suspensions
Students who have been suspended from the school bus, or who are in danger of being suspended, now have the chance to clear their record by attending a bus safety class with their parents or guardians.

During the 1.5 hour class, students learn expectations for bus behavior and parents/guardians discuss bus safety and the importance of good school attendance.

The first class was held November 23 and more classes will be offered throughout the rest of this school year: one Saturday and one Wednesday evening each month. The schedule will be posted at transportation.spps.org. More classes will be added if needed.

The next class is Saturday, December 14, from 10:30 a.m. to noon, at 360 Colborne. Parents and students may sign up only if they are nominated by a school. For more information and to nominate students for the class, call 651-744-8105.

Additional Yoga Calm training added for late-dismissal schools
Yoga Calm is a student-centered program that teaches the scientific practices of mindfulness, social/emotional learning and yoga-based movement. Learn and apply practical, research-based interventions that impact student focus, attention and connection to others.  An additional section has been added in PD Express for those schools with a later dismissal time.

  • Date: January 30, 2014
  • Time: 4:45-7:45 p.m.
  • Location: Center for Professional Development, 345 Plato, Training Room 1

Campus and Destiny upgrades scheduled for December 23
On Monday December 23, 2013, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Campus and Destiny will be temporarily removed from service for regular software updates. If you have questions regarding software updating, submit a service ticket.

SPPS apparel available for purchase
This winter, SPPS employees will have the opportunity to purchase SPPS branded apparel. Visit www.companycasuals.com/spps to browse the store and purchase items.

The Saint Paul based Brown and Bigelow Company is offering the clothing at the lowest possible price and at the highest quality.

Orders placed on or before December 2 will be delivered to your school or site by December 20, 2013. Orders placed after December 2 will be delivered by January 6 and throughout the school year.

Note that apparel purchases are not required by SPPS leadership. Please contact Paul Adams at 651-767-8141 with questions.

Pre-retirement planning
Human Resources is sponsoring a series of pre-retirement seminars in December 2013:

Session 1: Social security and public pension
Monday, December 16, from 4-6 p.m.
360 Colborne, Rooms A & B

Representatives from the Public Employees Retirement Association (PERA) and Saint Paul Teachers’ Retirement Fund Association (SPTRFA) will provide information about the public pension plans of each group. Jim Czechowicz, public affairs specialist with the Social Security Administration, will also present important information on Social Security and Medicare.

Session 2: Retire with confidence
Wednesday, December 18, from 4-6 p.m.
360 Colborne, Rooms A & B

Presented by Daniel Rickett, President of Capital Street Financial Services. Check future editions of the Bridge for details.

Session 3: Benefits at SPPS
Thursday, December 19, from 3:30-5:30 p.m.
360 Colborne, Rooms A & B

Megan Jones Arko, SPPS benefits technician, will provide information on the school district’s personnel policies, retiree insurance benefits and severance program.

The seminars are open to all employees and their spouses; however, space is limited. Reservations will be taken on a first-come basis. Reserve your attendance to one or all of the seminars by emailing megan.jonesarko@spps.org before December 14. You will receive a confirmation email of your reservation. Please indicate your name, if a spouse will be attending, employee ID, title, and dates of attendance. Phone reservations will not be accepted.

Follow these steps if you are planning to retire soon:

  1. Call or visit your retirement fund association.
    1. Saint Paul Teachers’ Retirement Fund Association (SPTRFA): 651-642-2550
    2. Public Employees Retirement Association (PERA): 651-296-7460
  2. Check your bargaining agreement contract to determine if you qualify for post-retirement insurance benefits.
  3. Attend a group retirement session to enroll in the retiree insurance before the end of May 2014 (dates are listed on Human Resources website).
  4. Submit your resignation form with Saint Paul Public Schools.