Small Talks | Big Topics
Julie Schultz Brown, director of communications at SPPS, and district leaders will be adding a more personal element to communicating with families and other stakeholders.

“Small Talks | Big Topics” is an opportunity for anyone in the community to speak in person with an SPPS leader about an issue of concern. The meetings will take place at neighborhood coffee shops throughout Saint Paul. Those interested can request a personal or small-group meeting by completing the comment form at Trending @SPPS.

How will students use iPads and what support will teachers get?
SPPS plans to introduce iPads school by school. Individual schools will have their own schedule for receiving the devices and teachers will decide how to integrate them into their classroom activities. See for more information.

The majority of schools receiving iPads this year have a trained technology integration specialist on staff; these specialists will help teachers incorporate iPads into their classrooms and identify apps that can help specific students with specific needs. We are working to add technology integration specialists for the few schools that don’t have them.

In the first year of iPad deployment, a year-long professional development plan for teachers incorporates both principles and practices of personalized learning, as well as the use of iPads as a teaching tool.

How does the iPad plan at SPPS compare to smaller districts?
The iPad plan at SPPS has been compared to a similar initiative in the Becker School District, a rural public school system with four schools. SPPS is a large urban school district with 64 school buildings. The educational needs and economics are vastly different.

Becker chose to introduce iPads by grade. SPPS has chosen to introduce the iPads by school. Both are supportable choices. The size and diversity of SPPS and its 64 school buildings require a different scale of planning and introduction than Becker Schools.

By introducing iPads building by building, we are able to provide intensive staffing support without straining our resources. SPPS is committed to providing all students with the tools they need. A slower introduction would deny too many students those tools.