Through the Lens: September 2019


    Farnsworth students learning about Native PlantsThird grade students from Farnsworth Aerospace PreK-4 recently learned about native plants at their school with master gardeners from the Ramsey-Washington Watershed District. Students completed a plant bingo activity and researched the different plants on the school grounds.

    Ramsey Middle School students readingRamsey Middle School students recently enjoyed their "Reading Wednesday" outside on a sunny and beautiful day in Saint Paul.

    E-STEM family nightE-STEM Middle School recently held their Families Attending Monthly (FAM) Night. Featured here are some families who participated in the Restorative Practice Community Building Circle, hosted by RP Coordinator Mr. Devon Smith. Families enjoyed popcorn and lemonade and received a tour of the Family Resource Room. 

    Student Athletes on Frogtown Community RadioSPPS student athletes recently participated in a fall sports preview on WFNU's Frogtown Community Radio (94.1 FM). The "651 Sports Update" show featured athletes from five high schools. Participants included athletes from Harding's volleyball team, Highland Park's cross country team, Central's football team, Como Park's girls soccer team and Central's boys soccer team. Pictured here are Harding volleyball captains Maranda Emstad and Karisma Vangsoua along with radio hosts Mike Resendez, Frogtown Community Radio and Eric Erickson, a teacher and coach at Como Park Senior High School.

    Ramsey Middle School students eating breakfastRamsey Middle School sixth grade staff recently hosted an Intentional Zocial Interaction (IZI) transition to middle school event. New students and their families were treated to a pancake breakfast while learning more about after-school activities, grades, conferences and life as a middle-schooler.

    Loppet runnerCongratulations to Highland Park Senior High School Student, Mohammed Bati, who took first place at the Surly Brewing Co. Trail Loppet half marathon. He beat the favorite, Olympic Skier Brian Gregg, by nine minutes. At mile three, Mohammed's shoe fell off, he grabbed it and continued the entire race without it, through mud, gravel, rocks and sticks.

    SUTRSaint Paul Public Schools Urban Teacher Residency (SUTR) Cohort 4 recently posed for an outdoor photo on a sunny day.

    Parkway Montessori Middle School staffParkway Montessori Middle School staff welcomed sixth graders with a breakfast celebration to kick off the school's core value of community. Staff flipped pancakes and scrambled eggs and students served the food and enjoyed time together building community.

    Student interns

    Como Park Senior High School's Academy of Finance is a business-focused curriculum pathway where students receive internships through companies such as Ameriprise Financial. They also earn college credits at Saint Paul College.

    AchieveMpls staff

    AchieveMpls and Saint Paul Public Schools has launched a new pilot program to create Career and College Centers in four Saint Paul high schools. We are happy to introduce the new team: Leedra Yang at Como Park Senior High School, Zoey Haines at Central High School and Doyen Kulee at Creative Arts Secondary School and Humboldt High School. Learn more about AchieveMpls and Saint Paul Public Schools partnership here. Photo credit: AchieveMpls


    Students walking into school

    Early learners arrive at Nokomis Montessori South. At Nokomis Montessori South, students learn at their own pace in multi-grade classrooms, independently cultivating their interests and natural abilities.

    WEB students writing welcome back messages

    WEB (Where Everybody Belongs) students at Washington Technology Magnet wrote welcome messages to students and staff with sidewalk chalk. WEB is a leadership program for high school students. It's goal is to help build positive relationships with sixth graders as they are entering middle school.

    A local elder women's drum group

    A local elder women's drum group greeted students with songs on the first day of school at American Indian Magnet.

    First day of Pre-K photo collage

    Lots of big smiles on the first day of ⁦Pre-K at Highland Park Elementary School, John A. Johnson Elementary and Pre-K at Rondo.

    3M Stuff for Schools

    Superintendent Joe Gothard helped 3M volunteers distribute backpacks with school supplies to the students at Battle Creek Elementary yesterday. The backpack give-away is an initiative through the 3Mgives "Stuff for School" program. Gothard was joined by Principal Craig Anderson and Felipe Lara-Angeli, 3M Vice President of Learning, Engagement and Inclusion. More than 300 3M volunteers recently stuffed over 16,000 backpacks with new school supplies for SPPS students at 36 schools. The 3Mgives "Stuff for School" program began in 1995.


    First Day of School collage

    Scenes from the first day of school in SPPS shared by families and staff. Superintendent Joe Gothard kicked off the new school year by visiting students and staff at Battle Creek Elementary, E-STEM Middle School and Central Senior High School earlier today.

    Wellness Champion retreat

    This week, wellness champions from 40 schools and programs gathered for their annual training. They participated in a healthy eating demonstration with Chef Marshall O'Brien, learned how to execute the perfect plank, discussed wellness funding opportunities and strategies to engage students and staff.

    25 year employee luncheon

    One hundred thirty-one SPPS employees celebrated 25-years of service in SPPS during a recognition luncheon today held at Town & Country Club in Saint Paul. Superintendent Joe Gothard and members of his leadership team hosted the event along with School Board Chair Zuki Ellis and several other Board members. Click here to see the SPPS 25-Year list for 2019.

    Summer Graduation Ceremony

    Saint Paul Public Schools hosted the 2019 Summer Graduation last night at O’Shaughnessy Auditorium at St. Catherine University in Saint Paul. Superintendent Joe Gothard, Assistant Superintendent Efe Agbamu and Board of Education Director Mary Vanderwert were on hand to give remarks and distribute diplomas. Principals and counselors were in attendance as well. Ta’Vasia Johnson and Austin Lee from Harding Senior High School served as the student commencement speakers. The Saint Paul Summer Class of 2019 had 139 graduates. 

    Students on bikes

    Students at Rondo Discovery Club learned about bike safety this summer and used the SPPS Bike Fleet to practice their new skills. They rode their bikes to the State Capitol and posed for a picture before getting a tour of the rotunda and House of Representatives area of the Capitol.

    Teacher sorting books

    Thousands of SPPS educators returned to school on Monday, August 26 and are getting ready for students to return. Ashley Jensen, a fourth grade teacher at John A. Johnson Achievement Plus, prepares her classroom for the 2019-20 school year.


    Students at Wolf Ridge

    Murray Middle School science students explored the North Shore. The students conducted research and earned high school credits for their efforts. Each year a group of students from Murray spends a week at Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center.

    Gateway to College staff


    SPPS Gateway to College (GTC), has received a Program Excellence Award from GTC National Network in recognition of exceeding all four benchmarks used to assess the performance of GTC programs nationwide. Saint Paul College has hosted the GTC program since 2014, and its students earned 1394 college credits this past academic year.

    Students at Como Zoo

    Students from the National Youth Sports Program took residents of Lyngblomsten Retirement Community to Como Zoo as part of a service project for their College and Career Readiness course. The residents were thrilled to have SPPS student athletes bring them to the zoo.