Department News: June 12, 2017

  • Register for Equity Edcamp at Hamline University
    Gather with other educators for a day of conversation, sharing and advancing the work of educational equity in Minnesota. Register now for Minnesota Educational Equity Edcamp July 20 in the Anderson Center at Hamline University.

    Summer professional development
    Summer offers many opportunities for professional development. Please visit the district’s professional development webpage and PDExpress to learn about the sessions.

    Summer technology learning opportunities
    Ready for a little iPad fun this summer? The hands-on iLearn Institute is open for all, with three different options, and a new course created by SPPS teachers is available for more advanced tech users.

    View other summer professional development opportunities here.

    Schoology: End of the year announcements
    Here is a list of announcements about Schoology:

    • Every SPPS staff person should be a member of the Schoology Group called SPPS SGY: Schoology Staff Users. If you are not a member, email with your name and employee number to join.
    • Important announcements about preparing for the end of the year in Schoology will be shared in the SPPS SGY: Schoology Staff Users group. Other important announcements regarding Schoology are shared in The Bridge throughout the year.
    • Secondary staff will be expected to use Schoology Gradebook in the fall. See SPPS Level 1 Schoology Checklist for Secondary Teachers 2017-18 for a how-to list. The SPPS OTL: Schoology Gradebook for Secondary Course is also open, with the access code FKK4N-9WNXQ
    • Options for summer in-person training are posted in PDExpress.

    Staff iPad hand-in and hand-out information
    Information for staff about iPad hand-in and hand-out is now posted on the Personalized Learning website.

    Please note:

    • All staff iPads must be returned by the end of school.
    • iPads should be wiped and Apple IDs removed (see website for instructions).
    • Staff with leased devices received an email notifying them of the asset tag number of the iPad to return.
    • Staff who are eligible for spring iPad hand-outs (mostly those who currently have iPads) received a notice about how to pick them up.

    Additional staff will be eligible for iPads in the fall. Eligible staff will receive a notice at the beginning of the school year; eligibility is based on job codes that meet the following criteria:

    • Work with students in school settings, during regular school hours
    • Use the device to support instruction
    • Provide professional development and support for teachers using technology.

    Fall student iPad hand-out update
    The 2017-18 student iPad hand-out will be completed by September 22, a month earlier than last year. Individual sites will choose their specific iPad handout date, so please contact your building administrator for additional details.

    To accommodate this schedule, the SPPS Self Service App Store will limit the number of apps available during hand-out to reduce bandwidth use as iPads are set up. Teachers will continue to have access to the Apple App store.

    The full Self Service selection of more than 350 apps will be added to iPads by October 1. Students with an IEP will have access to the full list of over 350 apps in Self Service when their device is distributed.

    Here is a list of the Self Service Apps for September. Please plan lessons accordingly.

    Early registration for Como Planetarium trips now available
    Book your 2017-18 Como Planetarium trip now. The grade-level specific trips are designed to help students learn astronomy standards found in the Minnesota State Science Standards. There are no entry fees for any SPPS students to attend the Planetarium, and all grade levels are welcome. First, third and eighth grade students receive free transportation thanks to a grant from 3M (please use the "SSEI" budget code when ordering your bus).

    • Schedule your program here.

    If you have questions, contact Planetarium Director John Iverson at or 651-293-5398.

    Visit the SPPS Virtual Library
    Library Services has a new website and Schoology Group to connect students and staff to a variety of reading and research resources. The virtual library has Info Sheets to help you learn how to access and use all of the resources available. For more information, visit or join the Schoology group with code: N65G9-4DCMF.

    2017-18 Extended Day for Learning calendars now available
    The Extended Day for Learning (EDL) 2017-18 calendar is now available:

    Please consider EDL program days while planning your calendar and scheduling school events, conferences and staff meetings. Job postings for site leaders, teachers, clerks, and paraprofessionals will be available in August on PeopleSoft via our Human Resources website.

    Principal professional development: The complexity of special education
    The Office of Specialized Services is holding three professional development sessions in June and August to help administrators and administrative interns better understand special education requirements and documentation and how they pertain to students.

    This hands-on workshop will dive into Ed Plan and the online referrals used in our schools so workshop participants know how to:

    • Access their students’ special education due process reports through Ed Plan.
    • Know where to find key information in the special education evaluations, IEPs and Behavior Intervention Plans (BIPs), and Manifestations Determinations to prepare them for IEP meetings and to ask targeted questions that support student growth.
    • Pull information about service minutes, service providers and due process timelines to assure compliance.

    Participants will receive three administrative clock hours.

    Register for the workshops on PDExpress.

    All professional development workshops take place at 360 Colborne in Room A. Dates and times for the workshops are:

    • June 22 (7:30-10:30 a.m.)
    • June 22 (11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.)
    • August 14 (8-11 a.m.)

    TD&E: End-of-year reflection package
    Educators under the teacher bargaining contract are starting to create and submit TD&E end-of-year reflection packages, including components for individualized growth and development plans, student achievement and student engagement.

    Specific deadlines have been determined by each school and/or department for the end-of-year reflection package to be submitted through PDExpress. The Schoology group SPPS TDE: TD&E contains video tutorials and directions on how to create, name and submit the end-of-year reflection package.

    Teacher Development and Evaluation (TD&E): Cycle transition
    The TD&E Oversight Committee has developed a plan to help schools and departments balance the number of tenured summative evaluations that occur each year. The goal is to have about one-third of tenured educators in each school/department complete a summative evaluation each year.

    If schools and departments have less than one-third of tenured educators scheduled for a summative evaluation next school year, staff scheduled for evaluation during the 2018-19 school year will be asked to volunteer to move it forward one year.

    If the goal of completing about one-third of tenured educators is not obtained voluntarily, staff will be drawn at random from that same group. Tenured educators will be notified by their supervisor of their rotation status (open, peer collaboration or summative) by September 30.

    General questions about TD&E can be directed to Amy Steele at

    Register for Reclaiming and Restoring Humanity: Restorative Practices Summer Institute
    SPPS restorative practice leaders and community partners are leading a three-day learning session that will explore understanding your personal and professional implementation of restorative practices. Social emotional learning, arts integration, racial equity and mindfulness -- all through the lens of circle processes and practices -- will guide your learning and facilitation of restorative processes.

    The morning sessions will dive deeper into the understanding of how restorative practices connect to your individual and school culture. The afternoon sessions will support your planning and practice of circle processes, anchored in community reflection.

    If you have questions, contact Becky McCammon at

    Join one of the summer programs to complete your 2017 Wellness Program
    If you still need to complete your 2017 Wellness Program, consider participating in one of the summer programs. Staff can find new ways to be active this summer by participating in either the Summer Scramble or Gear Up and Go Challenge. The challenges run June-August.

    Have you completed your 2017 Health Assessment?
    To earn the 2018 Health Care Savings, staff must complete two steps:

    If your spouse is covered on your health plan, both you and your covered spouse must complete the Wellness Initiative to earn the health care savings in 2018.

    The deadline to complete the Assessment and Wellness Program is October 20.