Department news and announcements

Solutions in Action works toward improving school climate
Earlier this year, a group consisting of representatives from the Saint Paul Federation of Teachers, Saint Paul Public Schools, the Minnesota Minority Education Partnership, the Saint Paul Black Interdenominational Ministers Association, and other community leaders began meeting in order to get to the bottom of why SPPS has a higher rate of referrals and suspensions for our African American / Black students than any other group, and ultimately to find common ground on the best conditions and school climate for learning. The result is a project called Solutions in Action.

Revised Student Behavior Handbook available in August
The Student Behavior Handbook: Rights and Responsibilities will be reviewed and updated over the summer. The intent is only to update and revise the handbook as needed (for example, updating the section on bullying). Schools should be able to order copies of the revised handbook by mid-August.

We Day T-Shirt design contest
Students in grades 5-12 can design the t-shirt that will be worn by Saint Paul Public School students attending the statewide We Day event in fall 2014. The winning student will receive:

  • A $100 cash prize
  • Two tickets to attend the event
  • A certificate to attend to free classes at the YOUniversity Teen Program the week of July 21.

For complete details, visit the contest website. To enter, send student contact information and design via our online form.

  • Entry deadline: 4 p.m. on Monday, June 16.
  • Winner will be notified: Friday, June 20.

Contact Shaun at or 651-478-7383 with questions.

Outdoor field trip opportunity for SPPS elementary schools
The National Park Service is offering free programming for 5th grade students for October and November 2014.

Bring your students out on a field trip to the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area at no cost. Outdoor learning activities will be led by National Park Service Rangers. Scholarships to pay for busing may be available.

Field trip topics focus on natural or cultural history and incorporate team building activities. Space is limited. Reserve your field trip today by contacting Park Ranger David Wiggins at or 612-676-9486.

Learn about tailoring instruction and learning supports 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 will be “tailoring instruction and learning supports" Contact Jessica McMahon with questions at or tweet her at @SPPS_McMahon.

Online professional development from the Office of Personalized Learning
There are new online courses available from the Office of Personalized Learning in support of technology integration. Teachers completing a course will receive clock hour credit, and the courses meet technology recertification requirements. Please visit the Office of Personalized Learning website for links to learn about:

  • SPPS Apps: Create and share documents
  • SPPS Apps Forms: Collect data, create surveys, write quizzes
  • SPPS Apps Presentations: Collaboratively create and share slides
  • Twitter: Create and use an account for professional purposes
  • Moodle: Make your own online courses for students or professional development
  • iMovie: Use your MacBook to record video clips and edit them with transitions and text titles to engage learners
  • Additional courses on GarageBand and interactive whiteboards will be added later this spring.

Save the date: Personalized Learning professional development is August 14
The Tech HOOPLA (Hands On Office of Personalized Learning Academy) is scheduled for August 14. This all-day event will help teachers learn the latest in educational technology integration by showcasing the practical application of various tools. Educators of all technology ability levels are welcome.

Do you have something you'd like to demonstrate? Let us know how you’d like to share your knowledge with your peers.

Email questions to Jessica McMahon at

Discovery Club school age child care available in summer 2014
Discovery Club is open June 16 - August 22 from 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day except July 4 for $42 per day. Learn more at

Location Grades served (refer to grade in 2013-14)
Four Seasons PreK-3
Hamline PreK-3
L'Etoile du Nord PreK-3
Rondo PreK-3
Rondo DC+ 4-5

More summer opportunities for students
Students who do not qualify for S-Term or who are looking for enrichment opportunities this summer are encouraged to register for EMID (East Metro Integration District) summer camps or SPPS/multidistrict summer camps.

The camps, open to SPPS students and students in neighboring school districts, are free of charge to students who qualify and offer hands-on activities and culturally-specific programming.

For more information, view the flyers and distribute them to your students: