The Saint Anthony Park Elementary School community is led by principal Karen Duke.
Dr. Duke grew up in the St. Anthony Park neighborhood and attended this school as a child. She has worked for St. Paul Public Schools for over 25 years as a teacher of English language, a staff developer, and an administrator. Prior to Saint Anthony Park, she served as principal at Randolph Heights Elementary and mentored new principals and assistant principals throughout the district.
To contact Dr. Duke directly, call 651-293-8735 or email her at email@example.com
January 2, 2019
Dear St. Anthony Park Families,
I hope everyone had a wonderful winter break. It’s great to be back in action and I’m looking forward to a productive and fun month! Last month at the Site Council meeting, I gave the group an update of what I’ve been working on during the past few months. They thought I should share it with all of you through this newsletter, so here it is:
Enrollment Our enrollment is at a very healthy 519. We have continued welcoming new students throughout the fall, which is good news. We are on track to open a fourth section of second grade next year. Enrollment season is starting: we are giving tours twice per week and will welcome prospective families at our open house on January 28, 2019, from 5:30 to 6:30. The SPPS Parent Choice Fair is on Saturday, January 12, at RiverCentre in St. Paul.
District Strategic Plan “SPPS Achieves” is our new district strategic plan. It will be rolled out publicly this January. The plan has six strategic focus areas: positive school and district culture; effective and culturally relevant instruction; program evaluation and resource allocation; college and career paths; and family and community engagement. For more information on the strategic plan, see the SPPS Achieves website.
Staffing We have hired a part-time teacher to support our third-grade classes. This position was funded by the district because our class sizes in that grade were over the limit. Katie Graves will be here three days per week and support students in reading, writing and math. We have a new special education teaching assistant who will start in mid-January. Lucas Nafziger holds a special education teaching license. He recently moved to Minnesota and is working as a T.A. while he gets to know the Twin Cities and our school district. Welcome Ms. Graves and Mr. Nafziger!
Working With Teachers One of the most enriching parts of being principal is working with our educators to talk about how we can best support students. Part of my job as principal is to provide opportunities for our staff to learn together and improve our work. I learn from and with them in this work. Last year, when our building was under construction, we weren’t able to focus as much on instruction. This year, we have a robust plan of collaboration and professional development. In October and December, we had “data days,” on which grade level teams met for about 90 minutes to look at student scores in reading and math. We talked about what supports students need and how to provide them. We also meet twice monthly in a “professional learning community,” in which we are learning more about how to use data from our FAST reading assessment (three times per year) to monitor students’ progress and provide interventions for those who need them.
Another focus of our work has been “Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS).” We are creating a school-wide PBIS framework so we can consistently teach positive behavior, using the same language and expectations throughout the school. We also have further developed how we support students who need more behavior help and collect and track behavior data so we have an accurate picture of how we’re doing.
2019 promises to be full of fun and learning here at SAP – I hope it is for your families as well!
Remember, contact me any time with questions or concerns!
Karen Duke, Principal