• Congratulations to New Board Members and a Survey Reminder

    Last Tuesday, our community's commitment to education was reflected in this year's school board election. Join me in congratulating our new board of education members Jessica Kopp, Director-Elect and Chauntyll Allen, Director-Elect and re-elected board members Zuki Ellis, Chair and Steve Marchese, Vice-Chair.

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  • A Survey That Will Better Inform Next Year's Budget

    I am writing today to let you know about a survey we are conducting that is designed to help us make better, informed decisions about next year�s budget. This survey is part of our SPPS Achieves strategic plan work. It will be sent via email to each staff member and will be available to SPPS families and the Saint Paul community as a whole later this week.

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  • Addressing the Social Emotional Learning and Mental Health Needs of Students

    I believe in addressing the social emotional learning and mental health needs of students. There is no better place to do this than in our schools, with expert staff members who have relationships with students, families and our community. And, while I do not believe we will be able to build this level of support immediately, we must work with available resources and create a pathway moving forward.

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  • Strategic Partnerships Help Our Students Learn, Grow and Thrive

    This past week I had a front-row seat in the unveiling of a continued partnership between Saint Paul Public Schools and the Saint Paul Public Library. The setting was at the Rice Street Branch with students from Crossroads Science and Montessori. We gathered to promote the �Library Go Program,� which gives virtual library cards to all SPPS students. Last year, more than 100,000 items including ebooks were checked out using Library Go accounts. The program brings three of my greatest passions together: my love for our students, my appreciation for our community partnerships and reading. I was fortunate enough as a child to have access to great public libraries and a summer bookmobile full of invaluable resources. I am proud to lead an effort to bring these resources to our students.

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  • Professional Development Begins with Self-care

    There is a lot of discussion about and planning about professional development (PD) in SPPS. In education, the term professional development is used to reference to a wide variety of specialized training, formal education or advanced professional learning intended to help all of us; teachers, leaders and other educators improve their professional knowledge, skills, competence and effectiveness by providing meaningful and relevant growth opportunities. That�s all well and good and I encourage all of us to seek these occasions to further our knowledge and skills. But equally important is the concept of self-care. Getting enough sleep, building in time for daily physical activity, practicing healthy nutrition are easily forgotten in the chaos of work-life balance.

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  • SPPS Achieves: Laying the Groundwork for Transformational Change

    This week I want to provide an update on the progress being made on our strategic plan, SPPS Achieves. As you know, over the last eight months SPPS staff have invested in laying the groundwork for transformational change. The impact of this work is already being felt in schools and classrooms, with increasing momentum as the school year progresses.

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  • Celebrating Partnerships, Big and Small, New and Old

    All our partnerships, big and small, old and new contribute to our students and our community. Each brings talent, expertise, and yes some bring funding; but they all bring a commitment to work together toward common goals. We are fortunate to work with these incredible allies. In many ways, the work we all do on a daily basis is a partnership; with our students, families and the greater community. Thank you for being a good partner, and for all you do for the students and families of SPPS.

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  • SPPS Achieves: A Focus on Belonging

    One focus of a positive culture is belonging. That means being respectful and treating coworkers as partners, and welcoming new colleagues in the way that you would want to be welcomed. Belonging means being respectful and inclusive when we communicate. And as leaders, it means setting clear expectations for all employees and providing support for accountability and success.

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  • SPPS Achieves: Working on a Positive School and District Culture

    One of the focus areas of our strategic plan, SPPS Achieves, is a positive school and district culture. That applies to our students and to our coworkers. Positive culture includes a workplace that provides equal opportunity, free from harassment, discrimination and retalitation. Last year I established the Office of Equal Employment Opportunity, an independent department, specifically to conduct investigations through an impartial and neutral process. What this means for staff is that investigations are conducted by an office that is outside of Human Resources.

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  • Watching the Concept of 'Team SPPS' Unfold at Every School

    I had the privilege of spending lots of time in our schools last week and beyond the sheer joy and wonder of our youngest students, beyond the confidence and determination of our older students and even beyond the smiles (and some tears) of our parents, one thing really stood out for me: The teamwork of our educators and staff.

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  • Welcome to the 2019-20 School Year

    For me, there's nothing like the exhilaration of a new school year. So many possibilities, so many new opportunities - and so many new faces! I vividly remember feeling anxious walking into my classroom as a new teacher. There were new surroundings, new colleagues, new rules and lots and lots of new expectations.

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  • How to Submit Items to The Bridge

    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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