• Listening and Learning Makes Us Better

    Connecting with and in our community remains a top priority. This week took me to the Jewish Community Center on Saint Paul Avenue where I learned about the Center’s history and gained a better understanding of their mission and vision. They have more than 100 students enrolled in early childhood education with many eventually enrolling in SPPS. I also learned they serve dozens of our K-8 students in their afterschool program. Jewish Community Center CEO, Michael Waldman, is a 1990 graduate from Highland Park and an ever gracious host, but more importantly, an open and willing partner with SPPS.

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  • Difficult Decisions for the Right Reasons

    What a week. I never thought I’d see consecutive days where the feels-like temperature struggled to get above negative 30 degrees. Some are calling it a “once in every 25-years event”. Others say it’s just part of winter in Minnesota. I call it extraordinary.

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  • Winter weather: Be Informed and Be Safe

    The safety and well-being of students and staff is our top priority. This is brought into sharp focus with the current dose of arctic temperatures that are expected to last into the coming week. SPPS has developed a Winter Weather Plan designed to provide both clarity and direction for students, families and staff. It’s based on input and expertise from the National Weather Service, staff members and our partners in transportation and public safety. It not only includes guidelines for closing school; it also contains safety tips and clothing guidelines for families so they can help students make good decisions when preparing for their school day.

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  • Legislative Priorities: SPPS Advocates for Stable Funding, Safety and Aligning the Budget's Focus with Our Strategic Plan

    The 2019 legislature gaveled into session just a week and a half ago, bringing with it a new governor, 40 new members and an opportunity for SPPS to move forward on a robust agenda. The legislature and the Governor have until May 20 to agree on a state budget for the next two years. Stable funding for schools is our chief priority.

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  • Thank You for Producing a Successful School Choice Fair Event

    On Saturday I had the privilege of attending the annual SPPS School Choice Fair at the Saint Paul RiverCentre. I can’t begin to tell you how proud I am of the efforts of our staff, and all of the work that went into this successful event. The feeling of having our entire district present at the fair demonstrates our commitment to the Saint Paul community.

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  • Superintendent Column: New Mission Statement Guides Our Success

    As a large, urban school district, one of the most important questions we can ask ourselves is, “Why do we exist?”. The answer to that question should help clarify our core purpose and what we hope to accomplish as an organization.

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  • Superintendent Column: Thank You for Your Service to SPPS

    As we head into our 2018-19 winter break let me take this opportunity to thank you for your service to Saint Paul Public Schools. Another year is nearing an end and the days, some more than others, move quickly.

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  • Column: Passage of referendum will help implementation of SPPS Achieves

    I woke up last Wednesday proud of our community for voting to support our students and our public schools. Resounding passage of the referendum by the largest approval margin in at least 20 years is a testament to the work and the vision of all of us at SPPS. This, more than anything, is a win for our students. I want to express my sincere thanks to the voters of Saint Paul for their affirmation of the hard work and student-centered efforts that are put forth in our classrooms, offices, departments and buildings each day.

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  • Column: Time to Connect. Time to Act.

    One evening last week I and other leaders in the District had the opportunity to make phone calls to Saint Paul residents and talk with them about our referendum. As you can imagine, the responses to these calls varied. We spoke with SPPS families; people who have children in other schools; caretakers whose children have graduated from our schools; current and former teachers; and many, many others. I came away from that experience with renewed motivation to continue moving forward, creating change, and making progress on the initial stages of our SPPS Achieves Strategic Plan -- all in the name of student achievement; positive school and district culture; and family and community engagement.

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  • Column: Building an Inclusive School District that Works for Our Students

    Every day I have the privilege of meeting with students, parents, teachers and community members to talk about the great things happening within Saint Paul Public Schools. I’m inspired by each of these conversations because they affirm we’re making progress in student achievement; positive school and district culture; and family and community engagement.

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  • Superintendent Column: Value Based, Student Centered

    One of the things that’s most inspiring to me is to observe how much our students mean to all of our SPPS staff – who provide students with the very best education possible. We share several common values, grounded in our belief every student can be successful in school, career and life and every student deserves an opportunity to succeed – built on their unique qualities including race, gender, religion family income and ability.

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  • Referendum Ambassadors: Are You Ready?

    In 30 days Saint Paul residents will vote on whether to increase local funding for our schools through an operating levy increase. I will be proud to vote on this request as a Saint Paul resident -- my family and I are moving to our new home in the city this week!

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  • Learning Environments: A Collective Responsibility

    The professionals on our custodial team are knowledgeable and dedicated to the SPPS mission. They understand the impact of their work in providing safe, clean learning environments for our students.

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  • Bringing Our Best to Students

    It’s great to have everyone back at work, and even better to have students in all our buildings. Thank you all for a remarkably smooth back-to-school season. These first two weeks offer a glimpse of where we’re headed. Kids are excited to be at school, and families are eager to be involved. As talented staff members, you are bringing new ideas to your work every day. Meanwhile many of our colleagues are creating the action plans that will enable us to carry out our new strategic plan.

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  • A New Look: How to Submit Items to The Bridge

    New this year: All submissions must be posted directly to The Bridge website. Please log in to the website with your Active Directory and Password to submit a post. If you have questions about how to submit an item, please email thebridge@spps.org.

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  • Superintendent Column: Select SPPS: Our Students, Our Schools, Our City

    This is what I’ve learned since April 11 of last year, when I received and accepted the offer to become your superintendent. I’ve learned that Saint Paul is a district filled with incredible people of all ages. I’ve learned that your dedication to students here is second to none. Our teachers, EA’s, TA’s, counselors and other staff go the extra mile every single day.

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