Department News: May 22, 2017

  • When will families receive S-Term 2017 information?
    Families will receive transportation and site assignment information about S-Term via U.S. Mail in the coming weeks.

    Information about S-Term session 1 will be sent to families the week of May 29. Families will receive information about S-Term session 2 the week of June 26.

    It’s not too late for families to enroll in S-Term, by:

    Early registration for Como Planetarium trips now available
    Book your 2017-18 Como Planetarium trip now. The grade-level specific trips are designed to help students learn astronomy standards found in the Minnesota State Science Standards. There are no entry fees for any SPPS students to attend the Planetarium, and all grade levels are welcome. First, third and eighth grade students receive free transportation thanks to a grant from 3M (please use the "SSEI" budget code when ordering your bus).

    • Schedule your program here.

    If you have questions, contact Planetarium Director John Iverson at or 651-293-5398.

    Office 365 update: Migration of Lotus Notes travel folders underway
    Phase 1 for the Office 365 migration has begun. During this phase, Technology Services will migrate your files in “my travel folder,” located on your computer’s desktop.

    There will be no changes to how you access your travel folder.

    Technology Services announced earlier this month that we are moving forward with replacing Lotus Notes with Office 365.

    Here are some highlights to keep in mind:

    • The four main components of Office 365 that will be deployed are: OneDrive (cloud storage), Outlook (email client), upgrading to Office 2016 and Skype for Business.
    • The plan is to migrate user drives (employee storage) over the next few months. This does not include department shared folders, which will be migrated at a different time.
    • All employee email will be migrated over the summer to include calendars, contacts, email folders and email distribution lists.
    • Skype for Business will also be deployed over the summer.
    • Lotus Notes Databases will be available for continued use.

    For more information and the most recent updates about the Office 365 transition, go to

    Please see link to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for answers to additional questions.

    2017-18 Extended Day for Learning calendars now available
    The Extended Day for Learning (EDL) 2017-18 calendar is now available:

    Please consider EDL program days while planning your calendar and scheduling school events, conferences and staff meetings. Job postings for site leaders, teachers, clerks, and paraprofessionals will be available in August on PeopleSoft via our Human Resources website.

    Principal professional development: The complexity of special education
    The Office of Specialized Services is holding three professional development sessions in June and August to help administrators and administrative interns better understand special education requirements, documentation and how they pertain to students.

    This hands-on workshop will dive into Ed Plan and the online referrals used in our schools so workshop participants know how to:

    • Access their student’s special education due process reports through Ed Plan
    • Know where to find key information in the special education evaluations, IEPs and Behavior Intervention Plans (BIPs), and Manifestations Determinations to prepare them for IEP meetings and to ask targeted questions that support student growth.
    • Pull information about service minutes, service providers and due process timelines to assure compliance.

    Participants will receive three admin clock hours.

    Register for the workshops on PDExpress.

    All professional development workshops take place at 360 Colborne in Room A. Dates and times for the workshops are:

    • June 22 (7:30-10:30 a.m.)
    • June 22 (11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.)
    • August 14 (8-11 a.m.)

    Register for Community Empowerment through Black Men Healing Conference
    The 9th Annual Community Empowerment through Black Men Healing Conference is set for Thursday, June 15-16 at Metropolitan State University, 700 E. 7th St., in Saint Paul. The theme of this year’s conference is “The Colors of ACES (Adverse Childhood Experiences) from Racial Trauma to Healing.”

    Teacher Development and Evaluation (TD&E): Cycle Transition
    The TD&E Oversight Committee has developed a plan to help schools and departments balance the number of tenured summative evaluations that occur each year. The goal is to have about one-third of tenured educators in each school/department complete a summative evaluation each year.

    If schools and departments have less than one-third of tenured educators scheduled
    for a summative evaluation next school year, staff scheduled for evaluation during the 2018-19 school year will be asked to volunteer to move it forward one year.

    If the goal of completing about one-third of tenured educators is not obtained voluntarily, staff will be drawn at random from that same group. Tenured educators will be notified by their supervisor of their rotation status (open, peer collaboration or summative) by September 30.

    General questions about TD&E can be directed to Amy Steele at

    TD&E: End-of-Year Reflection Package
    Educators under the teacher bargaining contract are starting to create and submit TD&E end-of-year reflection packages, including components for individualized growth and development plans, student achievement and student engagement.

    Specific deadlines have been determined by each school and/or department for the end-of-year reflection package to be submitted through PDExpress. The Schoology group SPPS TDE: TD&E contains video tutorials and directions on how to create, name and submit the end-of-year reflection package.

    Summer professional development
    Summer offers many opportunities for professional development. Please visit the district’s professional development webpage and PDExpress to learn about the sessions.

    Register for Reclaiming and Restoring Humanity: Restorative Practices Summer Institute
    SPPS restorative practice leaders and community partners are leading a three-day learning session that will explore understanding your personal and professional implementation of restorative practices. Social emotional learning, arts integration, racial equity and mindfulness -- all through the lens of circle processes and practices -- will guide your learning and facilitation of restorative processes.

    The morning sessions will dive deeper into the understanding of how restorative practices connects to your individual and school culture. The afternoon sessions will support your planning and practice of circle processes, anchored in community reflection.

    If you have questions, contact Becky McCammon at

    Follow-up to popular professional development course now available on PDExpress
    If you are looking for continuing education credits, consider registering for the Increasing Wellness, Decreasing Toxic Stress, Part 2 session in PDExpress (OCCR/MLR (U): Increasing Wellness, Decreasing Toxic Stress—Part 2 (SCS1602).

    The Department of School Climate and Support introduced this professional development session in the Opening Week Schoology Course called Increasing Wellness and Decreasing Toxic Stress -- a session that saw more than 2,800 staff members participate. This follow-up course contains seven sections on topics including Restorative Practices, Self Care and Self Regulation, and a section dedicated to the concept of Creating Safety.

    Each session takes about 30 minutes to complete. If staff register on PDExpress, complete the section in Schoology, then fill out the exit ticket and digital signature page. You will receive .5 clock hours for each session completed. The Schoology Course Access code is 453ZG-WF676.

    If you have questions, contact Jennifer Vigil at

    Have you completed your 2017 Health Assessment?
    To earn the 2018 Health Care Savings, staff must complete two steps:

    If your spouse is covered on your health plan, both you and your covered spouse must complete the Wellness Initiative to earn the health care savings in 2018.

    The deadline to complete the Assessment and Wellness Program is October 20.

    June Financial Education presentation: Roth IRA Conversions
    This seminar will review the impact future taxes can have on your savings and retirement income, as introduced in previous courses. The course will explain the process of converting qualified assets to Roth to mitigate future tax rates.

    • The June presentation is from 5-6:30 p.m., Thursday, June 1 at 360 Colborne St.

    Click here to register for this presentation.