Action items: November 6, 2017

  • Microsoft Office 365 launch complete
    Microsoft Office 365 is now the official email platform for SPPS, replacing Lotus Notes. All staff should now be using Office 365 to access, send and receive email.

    All staff continue to have access to their Google Apps email address and cloud suite (

    Lotus Notes email archives remain available as read-only, but no email or communication will be delivered or supported through Lotus Notes. Lotus Notes Traveler, on district mobile devices, has also been deactivated.

    For vacation requests, staff should continue to launch the Lotus Notes workspace application on your desktop computers. This and other Lotus Notes databases will be phased out at a future date.

    For more information about Office 365:

    • Office 365 updates: Technology Services will provide updates for frequently asked questions at
    • Toolkit: Technology Services has created a toolkit to assist with frequent how-to asks.
    • Training: Self-guided training is available through Schoology. Additional in-person training is being scheduled through 2017.
    • Support: Submit a Service Desk ticket or call 3HELP (34357) within the District or (651) 603-HELP from a non-District telephone

    Staff: Use these new email signatures for Office 365
    In an effort to standardize branding across the district, the Office of Communications has created new email signatures to be incorporated into your Outlook 365 email settings.

    Two options are available on the School Marketing Toolkit:

    For instructions on how to copy and paste the signatures into your Outlook email, click here.

    An email signature with one standard look will help provide brand recognition in all our communications with the public with:

    • Consistent design
    • Proper use of SPPS logos
    • Links to SPPS social media channels
    • Standardized contact information

    Community Giving Campaign starts Nov. 13
    Last year, 372 district employees donated $114,461 through the annual Community Giving Campaign. This year's SPPS Community Giving Campaign begins Monday, Nov. 13 and runs through Dec. 7. The goal is 750 donors and $150,000.

    Community Giving is an easy way for SPPS employees to support the many community organizations that provide direct services to our students. Employees can give by check, and many choose to specify an amount to be deducted automatically from their paycheck.

    SPPS collects the funds and sends them to six federations: Community Health Charities, Community Shares of Minnesota, Greater Twin Cities United Way, Minnesota Environmental Fund, Open Your Heart to the Hungry and Homeless, and the United Negro College Fund. Each of these federations supports dozens of nonprofit organizations. Employees can designate any nonprofit, including faith-based organizations, to receive their contributions.

    Watch for more information about this year’s Community Giving Campaign in the coming weeks.

    Principals: Update your page
    Give to the Max Day is Nov. 16. Be sure your school’s page on is updated with recent photos and copy about your school. If you have lost your GiveMN login or password, contact

    GiveMN provides a toolkit to help you make the most of Give to the Max Day. Now is the time to begin telling your school’s stakeholders -- and everyone on your social networks -- that Give to the Max Day is a great day to support SPPS.

    Elementary Teachers: Become a Schoology Ambassador
    This year’s Personalized Learning goals include increasing the use of Schoology.Teachers in grades 3-5 can attend a full-day professional development sessions to help them meet this goal.  

    • Sessions on Nov. 29 and 30 will train two “Schoology Ambassadors” from each school and include follow-up coaching through webinars. Please contact your school principal if you are interested in being a Schoology Ambassador.
    • Sessions for other staff will start in January.

    Staff: Password security changes required for PeopleSoft Employee Self Service
    All SPPS employees are required to update their PeopleSoft security settings and passwords by Nov. 15, due to new security enhancements in the PeopleSoft system. The PeopleSoft platform includes access to payroll information, benefits, open enrollment, job applications and additional employee information and records.

    Employees must log into their PeopleSoft Employee Self Service account and create a security question that will be used when they change their password at a later date.

    Effective immediately, passwords must include:

    • Minimum length of 8 characters
    • 1 upper case letter
    • 1 lower case letter
    • 1 number
    • 1 special character

    Passwords will expire every 90 days and users cannot reuse a password that is one of the last six passwords used. Accounts will lock out after four failed attempts and require a manual reset by contacting the Payroll Department. These password changes are for PeopleSoft/Employee Self Service only. PeopleSoft is not a part of Active Directory.

    If you have questions, email

    Staff: Share this information about free or reduced price lunch eligibility letters for Metro Transit
    Nutrition Services is experiencing a spike in requests for Free/Reduced Price Lunch eligibility letters in response to Metro Transit’s recent announcement of their new Transit Assistance Program, which offers $1 fares for low-income riders. Nutrition Services is able to provide copies of eligibility letters for this program only with parental consent.

    To receive copies of eligibility letters:

    • Families can request to have a copy mailed or emailed to them by submitting a request to Nutrition Services at or by calling 651-603-4950.
    • School staff wishing to obtain a letter on behalf of the family must have written authorization from the parent or guardian.
    • To receive the written authorization template, please submit a request to Nutrition Services by email (

    Third grade teachers: Request free dictionaries for your students
    The Saint Paul Chapter of Rotary International will once again be providing a dictionary for every third grade student in SPPS. Rotary members enjoy being able to deliver the dictionaries in person and meeting the students who benefit from this project.

    Interested schools should sign up as a group and, if possible, assemble all third grade students in one area for the presentation. Rotary members will take a few minutes to explain Rotary before handing out the dictionaries. Dictionaries become the property of the students.

    Saint Paul Rotary members are available to make visits to schools throughout the month of November with the exception of Tuesdays between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.

    Please sign up as soon as possible. Email with the following information:

    • School name
    • Contact person
    • Requested date
    • Best time
    • Number of third graders

    If you have any questions, contact Kathy Weyandt at 651-767-8373 or