Kudos

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National School Social Work Week was March 2-8
The first week in March is National School Social Work Week. The fundamental role of a school social worker is to serve as the link between home, school and community. As members of the educational team, school social workers promote academic and social success by providing specialized services that:

  1. Include evidence based interventions to help students address barriers to learning
  2. Promote a positive school climate free from discrimination and harassment
  3. Maximize school-based and community resources

School social workers understand the interplay of multiple systems and how they impact student achievement. This expertise allows social workers to support school staff, families and students and community collaborations.

Across SPPS, we have school social workers in a variety of roles, serving both general education and special education students. The vast majority of our school social workers in SPPS are recognized by the State of Minnesota as licensed mental health professionals. This mental health knowledge and expertise are a great resource and asset to our students and our district.

If you have a chance, thank your school social worker for their efforts to support students, families and staff in your building.

Harding teachers, staff collaborate to ensure students graduate, close achievement gap
At Harding Senior High School, teacher collaboration and consistent monitoring of student successes and downfalls are key to surpassing the state’s average graduation rates, staff say.

Eighty-two percent of Harding students graduated in 2013 - exceeding the state’s average of 79 percent, the Minnesota Department of Education reported in February.

“We’ve seen the work that we’ve done make a difference,” said Maureen Rueber, a teacher on special assignment at Harding. “That just makes it all worthwhile.”

Rueber leads a collaboration of teachers, counselors and staff who meet weekly to monitor the progress of Harding students. The College and Career Readiness Team started five years ago in an effort to make sure freshmen successfully transition into high school, and seniors are ready for graduation and college. If a student has a problem, the group intervenes.

“We really are trying to do our very best to accelerate learning among all of our students,” Rueber said. “It’s a real group effort -- not any one person -- a very large team doing a very big job.”

Learn more at spps.org.
 
Como Park teacher and student bring Ideas Festival to Minnesota
Inspire MN, a local ideas festival spearheaded by Como Park Senior High School teacher Kathryn Kahn and senior Marshal Landrum, will be held on Thursday, March 20, at the high school. Kahn and Landrum brought their inspiration for a local ideas festival to St. Paul after attending the Aspen Ideas Festival in Colorado last summer. Learn more from the Twin Cities Daily Planet.
 
Ramsey students win science awards
Four Ramsey Middle School students won five awards for their science projects and performances at the Regional Science Fair at the University of Minnesota on March 1. Congratulations to these Ramsey students!

Name

Award

Project

Olive Hart

Department of Agriculture

Plant growth and soil type

Addison Keely

Minnesota Space Frontier Society

Rocket fins and aerodynamics

Ellie Leach

  1. 3M

  2. Air Force ROTC

Wind turbines

Vivien Obee

ISEF (International Science and Engineering Fair) Alumni Award

Home insulation