Parent and Family Information
This packet has been developed as a helpful guide for families and focuses on contact, daily procedural, and family/community information. However, it does not supersede any district or school policy information and there may be omissions, discrepancies or changes. In case of questions, concerns, or clarification about any information, please contact the school office or your child’s teacher.
For more information, please see the Saint Paul Public Schools Rights and Responsibilities: A Student Behavior Handbook for Elementary and Secondary Schools, which can be found at https://www.spps.org/rights_and_responsibilities .
Address: EXPO Elementary
540 Warwick Street South
St. Paul, MN 55116
School Website: expo.spps.org
Office Hours: 7:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
School Hours: 7:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Principal: John Bjoraker
Assistant Principal: Ela Murphy
School Clerk: Janet Yannarelly
Nurse: Jackie Pearl
School Counselor: Lauren Vetsch & Laurel Chandler
Social Worker: Brenden Leydan & Liz Nelson
Cafeteria Supervisor: Rachel Kreis
What do I do if my child needs to miss school?
Regular attendance is very important to success in school, and it is expected that students will attend school and be on time every day. EXPO follows the Saint Paul Public School attendance policies that can be found the Rights and Responsibilities Handbook https://www.spps.org/rights_and_responsibilities
Notifying the school: If a student is absent, you must call the school (651) 290-8384. All absences require a phone call or written note/email from a parent/guardian. This should include the child’s name, the date of the absence and the reason for the absence.
Travel: Travel and vacation absences require prior approval; email Principal Darren Yerama and the classroom teacher to discuss the absence.
Tardiness: Students who arrive late to school are expected to report to the office before going to class.
Leaving early: If your child needs to be dismissed early, please contact the school explaining the request. The student is required to be picked up in the office and signed out. A child will be released to a parent, guardian, or any person for whom written permission is given by the parent/guardian to the office.
How can I contact teachers or staff?
By Email: All email addresses have the following format: firstname.lastname@example.org.
In Person: You can always meet with EXPO staff, but it is helpful to make an appointment. School drop-off and pick-up times are busy for the teachers and not usually the best times to discuss important issues.
By Phone: To contact a staff member by phone, first call the main number at (651) 290-8384 and then ask for the person you wish to contact. Generally the office staff will forward your call to a teacher’s voicemail during the day or relay a message. The school tries to keep calls to a minimum during instructional time. There is a “dial by name” feature that allows you to access and individual staff member’s voicemail after office hours.
Visiting: To enter the school during the school day, please press the buzzer to be admitted. All visitors are required to register in the front office and wear an identifying badge while in the school.
How does EXPO communicate with families?
EXPO monthly newsletter: Each month administration sends out a newsletter to families with the upcoming events as well as important information. The newsletter is emailed so please make sure the office has a current email address for your family on file.
EXPO website: expo.spps.org is the district site for EXPO and provides information about the school as well as links to specific events.
EXPO Elementary on Facebook: The EXPO Council of Parents and Teachers host a Facebook group to provide information to families about school and community events and to serve as a resource to parents. Membership is limited to EXPO community members, and you must request to join. School administrators do not read or respond to comments or questions posted on this Facebook page. If you have a question about school or district policy, process, or procedure, please contact a school administrator or teacher for answer from the school to address the issue.
Classroom teachers: Teachers regularly send home information about class news and curriculum (email and/or paper newsletters). Your student’s classroom teacher will also provide information about classroom specific things such as daily schedules and routines, field trips, in-class volunteer opportunities, supplies, snacks, and birthdays. If you have questions about your child’s school experience or the classroom, please contact the teacher.
Bulletin Boards: There are bulletin boards located at each entrance updated monthly with news and events at EXPO.
How do I find out about important dates (events, no school, breaks, etc)?
Visit http://expo.spps.org/Calendar for the school calendar and a link to subscribe to the calendar. Information about events and activities are also shared via school wide emails, paper copies sent home, and/or on the EXPO Facebook page.
Who do I talk to if I have questions about transportation?
The school clerk handles transportation issues related to school. Please remember that if there is a change in how your child is getting home on any afternoon, you must call the office prior to 12:00 pm (noon) to let them know and they will get a message to the child’s teacher. Do not rely on email or voicemail alone. If a teacher has not been made aware of any changes, the established routine will be followed. the school clerk, assistant principal, and principal support any problems or concerns on the bus and can be reached by calling the EXPO office at (651) 290-8384.
Walking to School
We currently have four walk lines to school.
ROUTE 1 - Snelling Avenue (Walgreens) to EXPO - Supervised by EXPO Staff all days
ROUTE 2 - Hamline Avenue/Randolph to EXPO (Parents will help with supervising walkers) ROUTE 3 - Bayard Ave/Hamline Avenue to EXPO (Parents will help with supervising walkers)
ROUTE 4 - Scheffer Avenue/Snelling Avenue to EXPO
If you are interested in joining one of these lines or adding a new line, please contact Mark Mueller (email@example.com).
Busing to School
Bus transportation is arranged through Saint Paul Public Schools. For more information, including links to bus route apps, visit http://transportation.spps.org/ The Transportation Department is open on school days during the regular school year from 6:00 am until the last bus clears the afternoon route (6:30-7:00 pm activity buses); SPPS Transportation may be reached at (651) 696-9600.
Parent pick-up or drop off
All students riding to school with parents must be dropped off or picked up in the back of the building only. It is too dangerous for students to cross Warwick when buses are loading/unloading in the front of the building. Please be alert, calm and respectful when dropping off/picking up so that all students, walkers, and drivers are safe.
- There is a one way circle drive where parents should pull up to the furthest open spot along the curb, drop their children off/pick them up, and continue out of the parking lot.
- If you need to enter the building or walk your child to the door, you must park your car in a designated parking spot. Find an open spot OUT of the circle drive so that traffic can keep moving.
- Students can be dropped off no earlier than 7:15 and must be picked up by 2:15. There is no supervision after that time (other than scheduled activities).
- When parking on city streets, you are responsible for following parking availability/restrictions (signs are posted). Please do not drive down alleys around the school property. The dead-end on Pascal Avenue is very congested; street parking is allowed, but tends to be overly crowded and traffic jams occasionally develop. Please be courteous of neighbors and of other families.
How does lunch at school work?
Students may bring lunch from home or may have a hot lunch at school. Lunch costs $2.50.
Payment: Go to www.paypams.com to set up or use an online account where you can pay from home using credit or debit cards as well as bank account transfers. Automatic payments and email notifications on balances are available. All children in your family are on one account. Parents can also bring in cash or checks to the cafeteria to pay for school lunches.
Dietary restrictions/allergies: If your student has dietary restrictions or you have questions, please contact the school to make a plan. Teachers and Nurse Jackie Pearl should be informed of restrictions and allergies.
Bag Lunch: If you choose to provide lunch from home, be sure to provide food that is portable, easy for your child to manage, and does not need heating. Lunches are kept in student lockers until lunchtime. Milk is available for purchase.
Free/reduced lunch: Free or reduced-price school meals may be available for families experiencing financial hardship, even if that hardship is temporary. The application is available online at https://mealapp.spps.org
Breakfast: Breakfast to Go (B2G) is available to all students at no cost. Students select a school breakfast to eat in the classroom while teachers take attendance, collect homework and papers, read, or do morning work. Upon arrival to school, the school district has asked that ALL students (whether they have eaten at home or not) go through the breakfast line and then to their classroom, Students do not have to take any items if they do not wish to do so.
What after school classes are available?
Extended Day of Learning (EDL): EDL is an after school program for students in grades 4-5. Classes offered in the past include beginning band, a movement class, Destination Imagination, and a Lego League. Offerings are decided by teachers who design their course offerings and the number of classes varies on how many teachers descide to teach EDL and EDL class. Classes are usually on Tuesdays and Thursdays and there is bus transportation home provided for students who are registered in EDL. You can request participation for your child when completing your yearly iUpdate at https://www.spps.org/Page/31224
Community Education: Community Education casses are held after school at EXPO, typically on Mondays and Wednesdays. Classes are offered in the fall, winter and spring. The class offerings are determined by the Saint Paul Public Schools Community Education Department and registration for the classes is through Community Education. Any child, of the correct age, may be registered for a class. There are offerings for Kindergarten through 5th grade students. Parents need to pick up students from Community Education classes or students, who are enrolled, may go to Discovery Club.
How can I be involved at school and connect with other parents?
EXPO welcomes volunteers! Parent involvement is encouraged in all aspects of the life of our school – in a classroom, for a special project, for an ongoing initiative, or at an event. Parent volunteers are one of EXPO’s greatest strengths!
The EXPO Council of Parents and Teachers is primarily responsible for supporting parent involvement at EXPO and raising money for school resources and enrichment programs. You can help in the office, in your child’s classroom, in the library and much more. There are several committees you can get involved in such as Parent and Community Engagement, Fundraising Events, and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.
Board of Directors: Because the school and the EXPO Council of Parents and Teachers has non-profit status, we have a board of directors made up of EXPO parents. This board is responsible for the treasury and allocation of funds raised by the Council of Parents and Teachers. Members are elected for 3-year terms; the principal attends meetings but is not a voting member. Meetings are monthly. More information can be found at http://expo.spps.org/domain/7630
Music Enrichment at EXPO is sponsored by the EXPO Council of Parents and Teachers through specific fundraising efforts (Silent Auction). We are committed to partnering with professional musicians to provide on-going, high quality music experiences for every child at EXPO during the school day. This program is thriving, and parents are needed to help it continue to grow. If you are interested in helping with Music Enrichment efforts and planning, please contact the EXPO board of directors at firstname.lastname@example.org.
EXPO’s Edible Landscape is a volunteer-driven program that thrives in conjunction with our science teachers. Harvesting and planting the garden is incorporated into the second grade curriculum each year. Second graders begin the fall harvesting herbs and vegetables from the Edible Landscape. They wash and sample their harvest, and prepare produce baskets to community partners.
In the spring, second graders spend a science class each month in March, April and May planting seeds, transplanting seedlings, and working outdoors in the garden. Volunteers are needed to support second grade classrooms when working in the garden, put the garden to bed in the fall or prep it for a new season, and care in the summer. A Hootenanny/Garden Celebration is held each September. Volunteers are also needed to lead the EXPO Edible Garden initiative and help this project continue to thrive! Please contact David Bollom at email@example.com if you are interested in helping.
The Council of Parents and Teachers use funds and points obtained through the programs listed below to directly benefit programs at our school. These funds provide for a variety of things (field trips, assemblies, books, etc.) while the points help to purchase supplies for art, physical education, and classrooms. Money may be donated at any time.
Checks: All checks should be made to EXPO Council of Parents and Teachers.
Club’s Choice: EXPO starts the year right off with the Club’s Choice Sale. For this fundraiser, our school keeps 40% of total sales and historically has raised between $10,000 - $15,000 each year. The funds are distributed to all classrooms. Your child will bring home a catalog in the fall with the items available for sale. Participation is voluntary and appreciated.
Give to the Max Day: We are always looking for businesses and corporations to do matching donations on this day. If you have ideas for how we can partner with local businesses to increase fundraising, please contact Lizz Sable Stauning at Lizz@sabledesign.net
Fall Carnival: Enjoy an old-fashioned night of fun at this EXPO event! The school is filled with carnival games, inflatables, dinner for sale in the cafeteria, photo booths, a huge prize table, and many more surprises! The fall carnival will be held on Thursday, October 25, 2018. Please contact an EXPO Board of Directors member at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are able to volunteer.
Scholastic Book Fair: The book fair happens each year during our student lead conferencesand at the Family Fun Run in the spring. The money raised goes to providing new books to the EXPO library. If you are interested in helping with this event in November, please contact a member of the EXPO Board of Directors at email@example.com
EXPO “Not So” Silent Auction: The silent auction will be held in April 2019 and is the primary source of funds for Music Enrichment at EXPO. This event is the one off-site fundraiser the school hosts that brings together EXPO parents, staff and community for a fun night of music, food, and fantastic silent and live auction items. If you are interested in helping with this event please contact Ann Elenbaas at firstname.lastname@example.org
Buffalo Wild Wings: Buffalo Wild Wings (80 North Snelling Avenue) has made EXPO a “Home Town Team!” Anytime you or anyone you know visits this Buffalo Wild Wings on Snelling, simply say that you are with EXPO Elementary’s Home Town Team A and 10% of your total bill is donated to the school.
AmazonSmile: Choose EXPO Elementary Council of Parents and Teachers as your charity of choice, and 0.5% of your purchase goes directly to EXPO. Form more information, visit http://smile.amazon.com
General Mills Box Tops for Education: General Mills "Box Tops for Education" can be found on a wide variety of items (including Huggies, Cottonelle, Betty Crocker, Pillsbury, cereal, Yoplait yogurt, and Juicy Juice.) Ten tops=$1.00 for EXPO. Simply clip the Box Tops cleanly along the dotted lines, being careful not to cut off the expiration date, and place them in the collection box just inside the front door, across from the main office.
Parent and Community Engagement Events: The EXPO Council of Parents and Teachers hosts a number of community engagement events during the year that are free and open to all EXPO families, which include: Curriculum Night, STEM Night, Family Service Night, Family Dance, Walk/Bike to School Day, Family Funn Run, and Spoke (parent educational series of speakers). The specific dates and times for these events will be in the monthy newsletter and on the EXPO website calendar.. If you are interested in helping with any of the above events, please fill out this volunteer form or contact the EXPO board of directors at email@example.com