As part of the Effective and Culturally Relevant Instruction focus area within the SPPS Achieves strategic plan, Saint Paul Public Schools identified a strategic initiative to provide access to a well-rounded education for all students. In SPPS, a well-rounded education is one that meets the Minnesota Academic Standards by providing students with learning opportunities that will give them the competitive edge to succeed in school, college and career.
The Office of Teaching and Learning (OTL) is using funding from the American Rescue Plan (ARP) to further this initiative by documenting how much instruction is taking place in academic content areas and identifying and addressing barriers in schools in order to provide a well-rounded education. ARP funds were used to purchase specialized materials, resources for instruction in certain elementary subjects and support for field trips.
During school year 2022-23, OTL and the Department of Research, Evaluation and Assessment (REA) completed interviews with elementary school principals to gather information on their schedules as they relate to a well-rounded education. Elementary academic programming summaries can be found here.
After following up with elementary sites by providing recommendations and resources for filling in programming gaps, a comprehensive elementary report was created. The Well Rounded Education in SPPS Elementary Schools report is a summary of the 2022-23 school year content areas and instructional approaches used in the elementary schools and the status of providing a well-rounded education across the district. This report outlines SPPS's current state of meeting MDE programming requirements for core content areas, health and physical education as well as the arts.
Summary of findings for 2022-23:
- 44% of schools (17 of 39) are either well-rounded or on-track to providing a well-rounded education.
- 5th grade had the highest percentage of well-rounded designations (46%).
- Less than 50% of grades K-3 are well rounded.
OTL and REA will conduct further reports in future school years to monitor the progress at elementary sites.