Becky Hicks selected as new member of Center for Juvenile Justice Reform Fellows Network
Becky Hicks, supervisor of foster care education for SPPS, was recently selected as a new member of the Center for Juvenile Justice Reform (CJJR) Fellows Network based on the approval of her capstone project.

Hicks’s capstone project, titled “Building Bridges between Saint Paul Schools and Ramsey County through Data Sharing across Systems,” is focused on improving the educational outcomes of students in foster care by training school and Ramsey County Child Welfare staff on sharing information across systems.

The Center for Juvenile Justice Reform at Georgetown University “advances a balanced, multi-systems approach to reducing juvenile delinquency that promotes positive child and youth development, while also holding youth accountable.”

Hicks attended the Juvenile Justice and Child Welfare: Multi-System Integration Certificate Program in November 2014 and was admitted to the CJJR Fellows Network in April 2015. Hicks has been an SPPS employee more than 20 years in various roles, including school social worker, Special Education lead and McKinney Vento homeless liaison.

SPPS Hmong Youth Summit receives mini-grant
Three Washington Technology Magnet students — Youa Lor, Nhia Thao and Koua Yang — received $775 in Flash Giving at the Building More Philanthropy with Purpose (BMPP) Giving Circle’s annual “Pho the Good of All: A Community Celebration of Giving.”

The grant will be used to support the first district-wide Hmong Youth Summit. The Summit will focus on reinforcing and nurturing the positive cultural identities of Hmong students, while empowering them with leadership skills to be change agents in their schools and communities.

Two Highland Park Elementary students’ posters to be featured during Arbor Month event
Congratulations to Highland Park Elementary third-graders Kate Reubish and Kate Kaatz for taking two of the top three awards in the 2015 Arbor Month poster contest. Kate Reubish won first place in the poster contest and Kate Kaatz took third place.

The Arbor Month poster contest -- with the theme of Saint Paul's Great American Elm -- was open to all third-graders in SPPS. The posters will be on display at the annual Arbor Month event on Saturday, May 30, at Linwood Rec Center (outdoors) that will focus on commemorating the legacy of the American Elm in Saint Paul.

Adams Spanish Immersion receives grant to help plant school gardens
Adams Spanish Immersion was one of 20 Minnesota schools recently awarded a $500 “seed” grants to help them plant school gardens. These gardens, along with the 15 started last year with Jeffers Foundation help, will teach gardening practices to more than 15,000 Minnesota students.

LNFI fifth-grader wins first place in Celebrate America Creative Writing Contest
Claire Horsman’s essay, “Immigration,” was recently selected as the first place winner in the Celebrate America Creative Writing Contest for the Minnesota/Dakotas Region. Her essay was selected from over 70 entries received. Claire is a fifth-grader at L'Etoile du Nord French Immersion School Upper Campus. As a winner, Claire will receive a prize and was invited to read her essay during the Upper Midwest Conference for the American Immigration Lawyers Association in downtown Minneapolis.

SPPS Honors Visual Art Exhibit Opens at the Minnesota Museum of American Art
Saint Paul Public Schools student artwork is on display for the Honors Visual Art Exhibition at the Minnesota Museum of American Art Project Space in the Pioneer Endicott Building. The Honors Visual Art Exhibit features 57 pieces of art selected from original paintings, drawings, photographs, sculptures and other works. These pieces were submitted by SPPS visual art teachers based on the criteria of artistic merit, execution, control of medium and originality. The Honors Visual Art Exhibition runs through May 3. The exhibition is free and open to the public during normal museum hours (11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursdays, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays).

15 SPPS Students Honored for Earth Day Art
Fifteen Saint Paul Public Schools Students have been honored — and five have been awarded U.S. Savings Bonds — for their artwork in celebration of Earth Day 2015. SPPS partnered this year with Walters Recycling & Refuse on a student drawing contest with the theme "Every Day is Earth Day.” Students were asked to draw inspiration from actions they can take every day to be more environmentally responsible. The winning drawings were then selected to become visual displays on a Walters Recycling & Refuse truck. The top five winners received U.S. Savings Bonds from Walters Recycling & Refuse, ranging from $50-$100.

The top 5 winning participants are:

  • 1st Place: Dazlynn Duachi Xiong, 5th Grade, Mississippi Creative Arts School
  • 2nd Place: Aman Martin, 2nd Grade, Randolph Heights Elementary
  • 3rd Place: Palee Yang, 4th Grade, Mississippi Creative Arts School
  • 4th Place: Ingrid Ostby, 2nd Grade, St Anthony Park
  • 5th Place: Jackson Page, Kindergarden, Randolph Heights Elementary

In total, the contest received 522 drawings from 12 schools throughout the District. The top 5 will also have their drawings displayed in their school main office.