Department news and announcements

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Yoga Calm training

Save the date: Yoga Calm training available in fall 2014
I have three students in my classroom whose ‘lid’ is always on the verge of being ‘flipped’. I have seen great gains with these students… Yoga calm has equipped my students with a ‘life skill’ that will result in better health and happiness for their future.
-Becky Brown, 2nd grade teacher, Galtier Community School

Yoga Calm is a program that teaches the science and practice of mindfulness, social/emotional learning and yoga-based movement. The tools and principles of the program help create a culture of wellness that ignites a student’s ability to thrive academically, physically and emotionally.

Join us for a three-hour training that provides hands-on skills and activities to reduce stress, prepare students to learn and create a calm and more productive learning environment. Attend in groups of three to eight staff members from your school to develop a sustainable plan for implementation and to maximize this training’s effectiveness.

Three Yoga Calm sessions will be offered next fall and are open for registration in PD Express:

  • Dates: September 22, 2014; October 2, 2014; and November 11, 2014
  • Time: 4:30-7:30 p.m.
  • Location: 360 Colborne

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 rumm0011@umn.edu.

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 businessoffice.spps.org/permits 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 shaun.walsh@spps.org 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 david_wiggins@nps.gov or 612-676-9486.

Learn about engaging parents 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 “engaging parents" Contact Jessica McMahon with questions at jessica.mcmahon@spps.org 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 jessica.mcmahon@spps.org.