Sen. Al Franken meets with SPPS students and district leaders
On Friday, February 27, U.S. Sen. Al Franken met with district leaders at Central Senior High School to discuss the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Franken also took time to meet with Central students and answer questions about being a U. S. Senator. 

National School Social Work Week was March 1-7
The fundamental role of a school social worker is to serve as the link between home, school and the 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

Research shows that school social work skills and interventions reduce barriers to learning and promote academic achievement.

More than 80 percent of Saint Paul school social workers have their clinical licensure. They’re trained on assessments, crisis prevention and intervention, cultural competency, social justice, evidence-based interventions, systems theory and much more.

Some of the direct services school social workers provide include: individual and group counseling, crisis intervention, school climate and safety prevention initiatives, and support to teachers and administrators to develop strategies and interventions in the classroom.

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

Leslie Yoder selected as 1 of 25 Lilead Fellows nationwide
Leslie Yoder, the SPPS Library Services Supervisor, has been selected to take part in an intensive 18-month professional development program focusing on “empowering, enabling and equipping library supervisors to make transformational changes for teaching and learning in their districts and communities.”

The Lilead Fellows are charged with thinking deeply, critically, and differently about the impact school libraries can make on all members of their school communities, including students, teachers, parents and administrators. Yoder was selected as one of 25 Fellows from a competitive, nationwide pool of applicants.

During the Lilead’s recent meeting in Chicago, Yoder worked together with other district supervisors to create a goal for the district’s school library program that better aligns the school library vision with the overarching vision and goals of SPPS. Over the next several months, she will work with her mentor and four other program fellows to form a concrete plan with the hopes of helping SPPS make progress toward the achievement of college and career readiness, personalized learning and racial equity for all students.

Como Park girls basketball team takes home first Saint Paul City Conference title
For the first time in the team’s history, girls basketball at Como Park Senior High School took home the Saint Paul City Conference title on Feb. 28 against Washburn High School. Now the team will compete in the section playoffs.

“We’re just excited,” said Como coach John Robinson. “It feels good. We’ve been knocking at the door the last couple years. They finally opened up and let us in.”

Como hasn’t won the city conference title since the high school opened in 1979-80.

Boys basketball: Johnson heading to state tournament for 6th time in 7 years
The Johnson boys basketball team is heading to the state tournament for the sixth time in seven years.

The Governors clinched a berth in the Minnesota State High School League Tournament with an 85-78 win over Hill Murray in the Class 4A, Section 3 championship game March 5 at Washington Tech.

The Governors finished 12-0 in Saint Paul City Conference play; and have an overall record of 25-3 this season. Johnson will play on Wednesday, March 11, at Williams Arena against an opponent who is yet to be determined. Johnson Head Coach Vern Simmons told Minnesota Basketball Hub that his team is playing with a purpose since its 123-119 double-overtime victory over Minneapolis North on Feb. 21.