From the Superintendent: Preparing for the 1:1 iPad Initiative -- Excitement and a Big Thank You

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Dear Colleagues,

The excitement is growing as we anticipate this week’s soft launch of our 1:1 iPad initiative at Parkway Middle School. Thank you to the committed Personalized Learning staff, as well as the Parkway staff, for their tireless efforts to attend to every detail of this ground-breaking event for SPPS.

Based on what we’ve learned through the process so far, iPad distribution will be amended for all schools after Parkway. Instead of evening iPad distribution, plans are being made to offer an evening information session to help parents with Apple IDs, followed by a school day distribution of the devices to students.

I want us all to keep in mind that this is an incredible learning opportunity. Much will go well, but glitches are certain. I encourage everyone to think positively, creatively and collaboratively to make adjustments and find solutions. This learning process will continue for everyone -- including teachers and students -- for the next couple of years as we incorporate this new instructional and learning tool.

Speaking of students, we are very, very close to our enrollment projections for this school year. Higher-than-expected increases in our high school enrollment offset some difficult reductions at the kindergarten level, so we’re currently just below projections. Given that additional students historically enroll in our Special Education classes at this time of year, I suspect that our projections will have been almost perfect. Thank you to the talented staff in our Research, Evaluation and Assessment (REA) department for such precise projections.

Due to top-notch planning and the flexibility of our educators, all those students have been placed in classrooms according to the new class-size guidelines set forth in our contract with the Saint Paul Federation of Teachers (SPFT). As of this writing, about 95 percent of our elementary classrooms are within acceptable size ranges and the overwhelming majority of secondary classes are within range. In most cases where class sizes exceed the limits, it is by just one or two students.  We continue to work with school communities and SPFT to review each of these incidents and bring about a resolution that is in the best interest of our students and families. I know everyone is committed to making this happen.

Thank you for your incredible teamwork and have a wonderful week.

Your very proud superintendent,

Silva Signature

 

 

Valeria S. Silva