Strong Schools, Strong Communities

  • At Saint Paul Public Schools and in school districts around the country, students of color perform at lower academic levels than their white counterparts - regardless of socioeconomic status. Closing the achievement gap is an urgent need for SPPS, with a student population that is 76% students of color and 30% of students receiving English Learner Services.

    Our goal is to eliminate racial disproportionality and preductability of achievement by accelerating the achievement of our lowest performing students and increasing achievement for all schools.

    Our commitment to excellence in equity is the foundation for the Strong Schools, Strong Communities Strategic Plan - in the classroom, in school choice and in the assignment of resources. Our plan seeks to transform classrooms, thereby transforming lives, families, neighborhoods and touching our entire community.

    Courageous Conversation Protocol

    "Courageous Conversations About Race: A Field Guide for Achieving Equity in Schools," written by Glenn Singleton and Curtis Linton, is recommended reading for all SPPS staff. The specific protocol for having Courageous Conversations about race include using the agreements, conditions and compass. 

    Four Agreements

    1. Stay engaged
    2. Speak your truth
    3. Experience discomfort
    4. Expect and accept non-closure

    Six Conditions

    1. Focus on personal, local and immediate
    2. Isolate race
    3. Normalize social construction & multiple perspectives
    4. Monitor agreements, conditions and establish parameters
    5. Use a "working definition" for race
    6. Examine the presence and role of "Whiteness"


    The compass was created to help us understand how we each process and engage with information about race. It is a way to understand one another's opinions and beliefs. According to the compass, there are 4 ways that people deal with race:  Emotional, Intellectual, Moral and Social.

Equity at SPPS

  • “Achievement, alignment and sustainability. We will focus all of our efforts in these three areas to build the strong schools that will become the heart, and the hope, of our communities.”

    - Superintendent Valeria S. Silva