Department news and announcements

Writing contest available to students in grades K-3
The PBS KIDS Writers Contest encourages children in grades K-3 in communities across the country to celebrate the power of creating stories and illustrations by submitting their own original pieces by March 29, 2014. Each student who enters receives a certificate of participation, and all participants and their families are invited to a free celebration with PBS KIDS on tpt at the Mall of America on May 3rd. School representatives or individual teachers can request Writers Contest packets (including forms in Spanish, Hmong or Somali) by email at or by calling 651-229-1118. TPT hopes to top last year’s participation from SPPS K-3 classrooms!

Poetry contest: Celebrating the veteran in my life
Senator Franken is hosting the third annual poetry contest in April as recognition of both National Poetry Month and Month of the Military Child. This year’s contest is open to all K-12 students in Minnesota who are interested in writing about the theme Celebrating the veteran in my life. Poems can be about a veteran or active military member who is a relative, family friend, teacher, etc. All entries must by submitted by April 18, 2014. For more information, download the letter from Senator Franken.

ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Math and Science Scholarships available
Named for the first African American to walk in space, ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Math and Science Scholarships are available to 2014 graduating high school seniors in Saint Paul Public Schools and other school districts in the Council of Great City Schools.

Four $5,000 scholarships will be awarded to two African American and two Hispanic students on behalf of the former NASA astronaut, physician and businessman, Dr. Bernard Harris. Deadline for submissions is April 7, 2014.

For students to apply, they should visit

Job posting: PAR consulting teacher
SPPS seeks Peer Assistance and Review (PAR) consulting teachers for the 2014-15 school year. Teachers in all content areas and grade levels are encouraged to apply.

The primary role of a PAR consulting teacher is to enhance and habituate self-directed learning through coaching. Other roles used throughout the school year are collaboration, consulting and evaluation. Opportunities are available for full-time and on-call positions.

Consulting teachers' work is tailored to meet the individual needs of each teacher. It is an extremely rewarding position that impacts student learning through professional development and assistance to teachers. The PAR program is designed to provide assistance and feedback to tenure-track teachers within their first three years of employment and tenured teachers as they undertake the important work of educating children.

Started in 2010, PAR is a collaborative initiative between Saint Paul Public Schools and the Saint Paul Federation of Teachers. The purpose of the PAR program is to support the professional growth of SPPS teachers in order for them to become more effective practitioners.

The job is currently posted on the Human Resources website under the title PAR Consulting Teacher (995488). Contact Amy Steele ( or 651-744-1330) for additional information or to answer questions.

New recycling program to debut at three schools
This spring a new recycling program will be piloted at Frost Lake Elementary, Hazel Park and Washington Technology, with full district-wide rollout occurring during the 2014-15 school year.

SPPS is aligning recycling goals with Ramsey County to improve its recycling rate from 34% to 60% by 2020. In order to achieve this goal, SPPS will recycle more plastics and milk cartons, collect all recyclable materials in one container, and expand its food waste recycling to all school cafeterias.

The new recycling program will be accompanied by a color-coded and labeled receptacle system, a district-wide instructional recycling video and promotional materials to communicate program details to all staff, students and families.

If you have any questions, please contact the Facilities one-stop at 744-1800 or email

No-cost tours available at Alexander Ramsey House
The Alexander Ramsey House has tours available for SPPS classes at no cost. Schools can also be reimbursed for their transportation costs.
Alexander Ramsey was the first Territorial Governor of Minnesota and the second State Governor. During the tour, museum educators lead students and their teachers through the 1872 mansion and bring the Ramsey family to life by using original family artifacts, letters and journal entries. This opportunity is designed to help students connect with the people, places, and history of St. Paul. Learn more at
Tours are available by appointment Monday through Friday in March, April, May, and early June. Specific tour topics can be requested with advance notice. To make your reservation or get more information, please call 651-296-8719 and ask for the site supervisor, Ron Grogg. You can also send an email

Job posting: S-Term 2014 middle school instrumental music teacher
Applications are now being accepted from qualified licensed staff for Middle School Instrumental Music Teacher positions for Summer Term (S-Term) 2014. Licensed Middle School Instrumental Music Teachers will be required to work six hours per day on designated S-Term days. Learn more.