First annual Neighbor Day was a success
It really was a wonderful day in the neighborhood when hundreds of people gathered at Rondo Education Center to share food, fun and stories at Community Education's first annual Neighbor Day on March 20. Families learned to dance, watched or participated in performances, tried new activities, learned about Community Education programs and made new connections. Special thanks to Coordinator Shaun Walsh and the Community Education planning team for putting on such a wonderful and engaging event.

6,000 SPPS students complete 'Leadership and Legacy' history projects
Congratulations to the 6,000 SPPS students who successfully completed their History Projects on “Leadership and Legacy.” A huge thank you to teachers, parents, administrators and building staff who supported students for this school year's History Day.

Of the 6,000 students who completed the projects:

  • 569 SPPS students qualified for Regional History Day, held on March 14 at Harding Senior High School.
  • 201 SPPS students qualified for State History Day on May 2 at the University of Minnesota.

East meets West at Saint Paul Music Academy
The Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphony (GTCYS), comprised mostly of western suburban middle schoolers, will be performing along with the SPMA Orchestra at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 24, at Saint Paul Music Academy. This 45-minute concert will feature pops and light classical music performed by the SPMA Orchestra, Choir and the Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphony.

Humboldt students shine at 4th annual ACE Mentor competition
Humboldt ACE (Architecture, Construction, Engineering) students took first place in the 4th Annual ACE Mentor Competition. The ACE mentor program brings professionals and high school students in grades 10-12 together to work on a design project. This year’s project was to create a meeting point for individuals, families and visitors in need of medical treatment, checkups, and therapy that will present a holistic feeling and reduce or eliminate the fear, anxiety, and boredom associated with visiting medical clinics.

Students work all year with mentors to learn about what it takes to plan and construct a building. During the competition, students gave a 15-minute presentation in front of competing schools, mentors, parents and judges. Afterwards, there was a 7-minute Q&A session from the judges. Six schools in the metro competed this year.

Hundreds of SPPS students learn about construction firsthand
More than 400 SPPS high school students experienced a hands-on introduction to construction jobs from painters, plumbers, electricians and other professionals on March 19.

Trades professionals from 22 different areas talked about their jobs and experiences and gave students the opportunity to see what their work is like. The event, held at the Jimmy Lee Oxford Recreation Center, was sponsored by SPPS and Construct Tomorrow.

Since the fall of 2013, Construct Tomorrow has hosted six events for more than 2,200 high school students with the goal of expanding their career options as they enter the workforce. Construct Tomorrow shows students that apprenticeship training programs will give them the skills and experience needed for well-paying, in demand careers.

Civil Rights activist Ruby Bridges inspires 300 SPPS students at Como
Civil Rights activist Ruby Bridges, the first black student to attend a formerly all-white school in the South, spoke to students at Como Senior High School this month about her experience in 1960.

Many of the 300 students who attended were part of Dare 2 Be Real, a program encouraging student voices to promote social justice within Saint Paul Public Schools and the community.

Along with Como High School students, some students from Murray Middle School’s Dare 2 Be Real program and students from Hazel Park Preparatory Academy also attended the event March 12. Como students who couldn’t attend Bridges’s presentation watched a movie depicting her life. Teachers worked with students using a special curriculum for the event.
Students were enthralled by Bridges’s story -- regardless of their racial ethnicity, students could connect with Bridges, Neal said. “It was inspiring and it was captivating.”