Academic Programming SY2017-18

  • School Year 2017-18 St. Paul Public Schools Academic Programming



    This report presents the results of an internal inquiry of academic programming across St. Paul Public Schools (SPPS) in three areas:

    1. The district’s addressing of academic content standards
    2. The district’s approaches used to address academic standards across SPPS
    3. The instructional time allocated to addressing academic standards across SPPS

    The information in this report should not be use in any of the following ways:

    • To isolate one or more schools’ approach or allocated time to address academic standards
    • To evaluate one or more schools’ program
    • To rank schools across the district on one or more pieces of information
    • As basis for performance comparisons

    This information should be used in the following ways:

    • To inform systemic practices regarding academic programming
    • To identify patterns in academic programming
    • As internal reflection on how standards are addressed
    • As a basis for exploring time-resource allocation that supports equitable learning across SPPS
    • As clarification of academic priorities and requirements



    The following cautions should be taken when reviewing information in this report:

    1. Although individual schools have information; that information is not meant to be reflective of the quality of learning opportunities at the school, the quality of the instructional staff of the school.
    2. Choices regarding academic programming at individual schools is determined by several factors both internal and external to the school.
    3. Statue regarding academic programming varies by content and grade band; 9-12 requirements for academic programming are specified according to requirements for graduation in the state of Minnesota; unlike K-8.
    4. The information in this report represents schools that have grades K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 irrespective of the schools grade band distribution. (i.e. a school that serves grades 6-12 has information contained in this report for the grades 6, 7 and 8 in the school).
    5. Information in this report does not address the breath, depth or scope within any academic content standard.
    6. Information in this report addresses standards required by Minnesota state law; regional or local policies regarding academic requirements are not addressed.
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  • Background

    Since the implementation of the Strong Schools, Strong Communities (SSSC) strategic plan in 2009-10, SPPS has undergone several large-scale changes in academic structures, school programming, budget reductions, and enrollment.  The impact of those changes on how standards are addressed across district schools is largely unknown, however as we embark upon a new strategic plan, it becomes necessary to determine a baseline for academic programming.  It is particularly important as unlike the previous strategic plan which was systemic and comprehensive in nature, the new strategic plan is primarily instructionally-focused.

    SPPS as a large district of choice, has designed a system of schools with articulated programmatic pathways that may appeal to families across the city.  Foundational to pathway articulation, magnet or program focus is a solid academic program floor that ensures opportunity and access to learning for all students, the legislation is ultimately realized in the classroom.  To that end each school building/program must be adequately equipped to meet the expectation of the law.  Individual schools function as charging stations for learning.  It becomes the responsibility of the district to create and maintain powerful charging stations that do not vary greatly from one to the next.


    Methodology and Procedures

    In the spring of 2018, each school principal was asked to respond to a large-scale data collection regarding academic programming.  Principals were given training in understanding the collection and given 8 days to respond.  The data was then cleaned and summarized according to themes.