Department News: November 6, 2017

  • Apple Classroom app is now available
    Apple Classroom is an iPad app for teachers. Teachers may use Apple Classroom to guide students’ experience with their iPad, to help them open an app, view a webpage, and more. Download the Apple Classroom app through SPPS Self Service to get started. Your class rosters are automatically configured and updated daily.

    Key Features of Apple Classroom

    • Sharing: View or project a student’s iPad remotely.
    • Differentiation: Create groups within your class.
    • Management: Open/close/lock an app or website on all student devices from your iPad.

    Training Options for Apple Classroom

    • Apple Classroom Overview and links to how-to resources
    • In-person training sessions: sign up in PD express (clock hour and no stipend for attendance)
      • Secondary Teachers: Nov. 15 from 2:30-3:30 p.m. at 345 Plato, Training Room 1
      • Elementary Teachers: Nov. 15 from 4:30-5:30 p.m. at 345 Plato, Training Room 1

    Elementary Principals: arrange for a full staff Apple Classroom training by contacting Maijue Lochungvu at

    Automatic transfer of grades from Schoology to Campus scheduled to begin Nov. 9
    The transfer of grades from Schoology to Campus will begin on November 9. You will only need to enter grades in Schoology. Grade changes in Schoology will be transferred nightly and will be reflected in Campus the next day.

    Note the following as you complete end of term grades:

    • Staff no longer enter or change grades in Campus.
    • Any teacher currently using Campus for entering their daily grades needs to create a Grade Period Override Column in Schoology and manually enter all final grades. Any grades that have been directly entered in Campus will be overwritten during the transfer from Schoology.
    • Be sure that your Schoology Course has a Final Grade grading scale selected that is returning a letter grade. (Grade Setup => Final Grade Settings => Gradebook Scale).
      • Acceptable letter grades include only: A+, A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D+, D, D-, N, P ,NP, NCR, CR,  I (Admin only), W (Admin only)
      • Contact your building Schoology Site Manager, or put in a Schoology Service Ticket for assistance.

    By November 14

    • All staff must complete grading in Schoology by 11:59 p.m.
    • Any comments about grading can be entered in Schoology, however, no comments will be transferred to Campus or shown on the report card.

    November 15-17

    • Administrators use Campus Grades Report to check for missing grades.
    • If grades are missing, please confirm that courses have the Final Grade grading scale for your school selected in Schoology.
    • Any missing grades should be entered in Schoology, not Campus. Grades will then be updated with a special transfer from Schoology to Campus.

    After November 17

    • Only school administrators can change grades in Campus. Teachers should also change the grade in Schoology for proper record keeping.

    Schoology end-of-quarter reminders

    • Secondary schools with semester-long courses in Campus: Teachers will continue working in the same Schoology course that they’ve been using since the beginning of the year. In the Schoology gradebook, teachers should select the first grading period if they want to check or edit grades from the first quarter.
    • Secondary schools with quarter-long courses in Campus: Quarter 1 courses will archive in Schoology and a new course will become active for quarter 2. Teachers can select Courses → See All and click on the Archived tab to view all archived quarter 1 courses.
    • Elementary schools: All courses are year-long and teachers do not need to make any changes to continue using their courses in Schoology.

    School Administrators: Sign up for Schoology professional development
    This year’s Personalized Learning goals include increasing the use of Schoology. Principals and other school administrators can help support teachers by attending Schoology PD:

    Schoology PD for School Administrators

    • Dec. 7, 8-10 a.m. or 2-4 p.m.
    • Location:  345 Plato, Training Room I

    Sign up for the professional development sessions in PDExpress.

    WE Day glow glasses design contest opens Nov. 9
    SPPS Community Education invites students to design the glow-in-the-dark glasses that SPPS students will wear at WE Day Minnesota 2018. The winning design will be printed on the arms of the glasses.

    The contest is open to all SPPS students in grades PreK-12. A panel of SPPS students will select the winning design. All entries must be submitted as a jpeg.

    To have the best chance of winning, your design should:

    • Contain words and/or images that exemplify WE Day
    • Be an image or slogan that is impactful at a small size, 2" x 3/8"
    • Clearly identify the wearer as tied to SPPS
    • Inspire community action
    • Be designed for printing in black ink

    The winning designer will receive:

    • $100 cash
    • Two tickets to attend WE Day Minnesota 2018
    • A certificate to attend two free classes at the YOUniversity Teen Program or a week-long summer camp in 2018

    To enter: Complete contact information and upload jpeg on our website.

    • Entry deadline is 3 p.m., Friday, Dec. 15
    • Winner will be announced by Thursday, Dec. 21

    Please note: Community Education reserves the right to ask the winning artist for minor changes to increase quality printing.

    Additional information about WE Day information can be found at If you have questions about the design contest, contact Lisa Crocker at or 651-487-7383.

    Principals: Read the Office of Specialized Services Newsletter
    The Nov. 2017 issue of the Office of Specialized Services Newsletter is now available.

    Extended Day for Learning (EDL) cancellation policy
    Schools are encouraged to schedule parent teacher conferences on non-EDL days. If schools do cancel EDL due to parent teacher conferences, it is the site leader’s responsibility to:

    1. Communicate the cancellation to the school’s transportation coordinator
    2. Inform families
    3. Inform CAMPUS staff (Jeannine Retelle and Joel Swanson)
    4. Inform the school’s Department of Alternative Education (DAE) TOSA (Christopher Ederer or Elizabeth Diemer).

    Other school events, if scheduled on EDL days, are great opportunities to showcase EDL.

    However, if EDL absolutely must be canceled, a principal can request permission to cancel EDL by emailing their area superintendent. Elizabeth Putnam, DAE Assistant Director, should be copied on the email.

    • If approved, the site leader must complete steps 1-4 above.
    • Canceled EDL days may not be made up on other days.
    • Neither schools nor the DAE may cancel EDL due to any reason such as weather, power outages, cold or hot temperatures, etc.
    • Cancellations due to weather, cold or hot temperatures, power outages, etc. are determined and communicated through SPPS Communications and the Superintendent’s Office.

    Scholarship opportunity from Saint Paul Retired Teachers, Inc.
    The Saint Paul Retired Teachers, Inc. is awarding up to eight $3,000 scholarships for licensed, tenured teachers in graduate programs. For more information and to fill out the online application, visit

    Professional development opportunity: Developing classroom frameworks for English Learners
    Teachers, administrators and coaches are invited to join an exciting professional development opportunity called “Enrich, Enhance, Empower: Developing Classroom Frameworks for English Learners.”

    This professional development session, designed by a multidisciplinary SPPS team in response to requirements under the LEAPS Act and other state mandates, taps into the assets and resources of all learners. Participants will enhance their knowledge and practices around:

    • Instructional planning and strategies for English Learners
    • Culturally relevant teaching methods for English Learners
    • Data and demographics of English Learners
    • Legal foundations of English Learner education in the United States
    • Frameworks and resources that support academic language instruction

    Colleagues are encouraged to attend in teams or partnerships. Each cohort will meet four times over the school year with subs provided. Between sessions, participants will have the opportunity to implement the strategies within the classroom and receive feedback and coaching from colleagues.

    Cohort 1 - Secondary Sessions: Nov. 13, Dec. 11, Feb. 12 and March 12

    Cohort 2 - Elementary Sessions: Nov. 14, Dec. 12, Feb. 14 and March 19

    If you have questions, contact

    Professional Days of Learning
    The Saint Paul Federation of Teachers (SPFT) Teaching and Learning Center is offering multiple professional days of learning for educators to choose from a variety of courses that meet Minnesota re-licensure requirements.

    • Jan. 13: Identifying Student Mental Health (includes suicide prevention requirement); Accommodations and Modifications; Digital Technology Strategies in the Classroom
    • Feb. 10: Positive Behavior Intervention Strategies; Supporting English Learners in the Classroom; Reading Preparation Seminar
    • March 17: Supporting English Learners in the Classroom; Accommodations & Modifications; Identifying Student Mental Health (includes suicide prevention requirement); Digital Technology Strategies in the Classroom. Participants will choose three of the four courses to participate in.

    Click here for more information or to register.

    Self Service App Store update
    All approved Self Service Apps are now available for student download. A complete list of available apps can be found on the Personalized Learning website.

    The next window for requesting apps is Dec. 1-22. Please visit the Personalized Learning website for more information about apps, websites and other digital resources.

    Professional development opportunities for elementary Talent Development and Acceleration Services (TDAS) staff
    TDAS staff from elementary schools are encouraged to participate in professional development sessions that provide an opportunity to learn and collaborate with other TDAS teachers during the 2017-18 school year. There are five professional development sessions throughout the
    year. Participants are not required to attend all five sessions, but are encouraged to register for the sessions that work for you.

    All sessions are held from 12:30-3:30 p.m. in Training Room II at 345 Plato Blvd. on the following dates:

    • Thursday, Jan. 25, 2018
    • Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018
    • Tuesday, April 17, 2018
    • Thursday, May 17, 2018

    To register, log in to PDExpress and look for course numbers TDAS1721 through TDAS1725. For more information, review the TDAS 2017-18 Elementary PD Flyer or contact Isis Buchanan at or 651-744-5409.

    Join the 2017 Holiday Weight Challenge and Celebrate health this holiday season
    Sign up for the six-week Holiday Weight Challenge today. The Holiday Weight Challenge kicks off Monday, Nov. 20 and continues through Sunday, Dec. 31. Participants will receive weekly emails for motivation and ideas to help them maintain their weight through the holidays.

    If you track all six weeks of the program, you will be entered into a drawing to win a FitBit.

    November Smart Nutrition Seminars: Getting through holidays
    The Smart Nutrition Seminars are a great way to learn how eating nutritious foods that taste great can improve your health.

    Staff yoga continues in November
    Yoga is a great way to reduce stress and develop self-care practices. During the sessions you’ll:

    • Explore mindfulness and self-reflection through yoga-based movement
    • Discover breathing techniques to lower your heart rate, reduce stress and increase lung capacity
    • Use yoga-based movement to deepen your connection to yourself, while increasing your strength, flexibility and stamina

    Staff Yoga Series at Four Seasons A+ Elementary

    • Monday, Nov. 6, 3:45-4:45 p.m.
    • Monday, November 13, 3:45-4:45 p.m.
    • Monday, November 20, 3:45-4:45 p.m.
    • Click here to register for the yoga series at Four Seasons A+

    Staff Yoga Series at Saint Paul Music Academy

    • Wednesday, Nov. 8, 4-5 p.m.
    • Tuesday, Nov. 14, 4-5 p.m.
    • Click here to register for the yoga series at Saint Paul Music Academy

    Financial Education Program: Investment Basics
    This Investment Basics course will cover fundamental investment concepts, review some of the investment options that are available to you and consider general investment strategies. For more information about this seminar, please see the Investment Basics video.

    This course will be offered at 5 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 16 at 360 Colborne in Conference Room J.                 

    Click here to register.