Department news and announcements

Instructional leadership in reading for middle and secondary schools
Reading in middle school presents unique challenges for teachers and students. In collaboration with Saint Paul Public Schools, the University of Minnesota offers SPPS teachers the opportunity to explore the instructional practices, research and theories that improve the experiences of secondary students with reading in school. As the participants in this three-credit course examine the area of secondary reading from multiple perspectives, they will develop specific curricular, instructional and assessment tools.

Each session will move from theory to practice, drawing on the rich experience and knowledge built upon working with students in SPPS. Sessions will be provided at 345 Plato from 8:30-12:30 on July 22-24, July 29-31 and August 5-7.

Thanks to the generosity of the Gladys Smith scholarship fund for SPPS teachers, scholarships are available upon receipt of a complete application that will either cover or significantly reduce the cost of tuition for the three-credit course.

For course registration information, please contact Andrew Rummel at

New permit management system/calendar to debut in fall 2014
The business office will debut a new, user-friendly system next fall to manage building permits for activities. Through standardized use of this real-time data system, we are able to better determine who has permits to occupy district spaces and when, and what their needs are. It will also make it easier for families and the community to be aware of activities in your buildings.

Staff training on the new system will be offered in August and all buildings will be contacted with details about specific training dates and times. Visit for more information or to submit a request for space. Call Jean Olsen with any questions at 651-767-8235.

We Day T-Shirt design contest
Students in grades 5-12 can design the t-shirt that will be worn by Saint Paul Public Schools 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 empowering students 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 “empowering students" Contact Jessica McMahon with questions at or tweet her at @SPPS_McMahon.

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. Sign up on PD Express.

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