• SPPS Condemns Hate & Supports Our Asian Communities

    We were appalled at the shootings that occurred last week in the Atlanta area. These senseless acts resulted in the deaths of eight people, most of whom were Asian women. While the motive for these murders is being reported from many angles, it doesn’t really matter: These acts of hateful, targeted violence are unacceptable and must stop.

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  • Safety is everyone’s responsibility

    As we all know, community spread of COVID-19 directly impacts the spread within our schools. We all have personal responsibility to keep our buildings and community safe for students, families and staff. What we do both in and outside of school helps our whole community stay healthy and learn safely.

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  • Happy New Year

    I hope that you were able to find some time for yourself and had a chance to connect with loved ones over break, whether in person or virtually. You have more than earned this break, and I am truly grateful for each and every one of you. I have been waiting to write the words “Happy New Year” after what has proven to be a truly challenging 2020. The emergence and continuation of the unexpected over the last year has been an experience that none of us could have imagined. Rather than listing these devastating milestones, I’d like to take this opportunity to recognize the personal impacts you as SPPS staff have endured in 2020.

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  • Have a great break

    To close out 2020, a year of incredible heartache and challenges, I would like to thank each and every one of our Saint Paul Public Schools educators and staff members. It is difficult to find the words to express the many reasons I am grateful for and proud of your work. The ability to work together under rapidly changing conditions, and the unprecedented ways we have been forced to meet the needs our students, is nothing short of incredible.

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  • Virtual Meeting This Week

    As promised, I will be sharing an update this week on the steps we are taking to ultimately bring our students and educators back into the classroom as soon as it is safe to do so. I would like to invite you to a virtual all-staff meeting on Thursday, Dec. 17, at 3:30 p.m., when I will discuss our decision and next steps for supporting our students and staff while keeping health and safety our highest priority.

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  • Thank You

    I want to take this opportunity to say thank you. Each of you has contributed significantly to supporting our students, our families and each other under truly extraordinary circumstances.

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  • Our Students Need Us

    Our schools have not been in session full-time since Thursday, March 5. It hurts to scratch that date from my memory and acknowledge that it has been that long. This weekend, we have seen our country, state and county all eclipse COVID-19 case records that were thought to be the “worst case scenario” by experts as far back as early summer. Despite these historic marks, several people in our SPPS community have continued to safely serve our students in various capacities. I am also aware that our staff and community have not been immune to contracting COVID-19 or supporting family members or friends who have had positive cases. I’m sorry to all of you and my heart goes out especially to those who have suffered the most, including the loss of loved ones.

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  • Taking COVID Seriously

    Over the last week, Minnesota experienced new records of COVID-19 cases and, sadly, deaths on an almost daily basis. The ongoing impact of this pandemic is significant. Behind each of these statistics is a person. Many of them are people we know; perhaps a family member, a coworker or a neighbor. The pandemic is not just something being experienced by "other people." It’s impacting SPPS and our families directly.

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  • We Can Do This, Together

    I understand the heavy weight that is placed on you and our entire community as we await our updated weekly case rates from the Minnesota Department of Health. The case rate method was revealed on July 30, and is used as guidance in the recommended learning model for Minnesota’s schools. Last Thursday, the case rate for Ramsey County was 31.03 per 10,000 people - higher than the readiness target we set at 30 cases per 10,000 people. In addition, the state of Minnesota saw record-breaking new cases on consecutive days.

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  • I Know This Is Hard

    I cannot begin to thank you for your efforts on behalf of our students and families. The warm smiles, the tears of joy and the sense of belonging that Stage 1 students and staff experienced this past week have been truly remarkable. The positivity seen at our Stage 1 locations and our Academic Support Center has been heartwarming. Everyone in our organization has contributed to making this important step happen.

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  • Stage 1 Students to Begin Hybrid Learning

    On Friday, we announced that students in Stage 1 will begin hybrid learning on Monday, Oct. 19. This decision was made with the health and safety of students and staff as our highest priority and in accordance with guidelines from the Minnesota Departments of Health and Education. We will continue to ensure all 23 of our readiness targets for Stage 1 are met, while working to reach those same targets for Stage 2 to start additional hybrid learning in mid-November.

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  • Next steps toward hybrid learning

    On Friday we announced our intention to remain in Distance Learning for the time being. That decision, although difficult, was based on our two dozen readiness targets. While we were able to meet 23 of them, we need to meet all 24 in order to safely start a hybrid schedule for our Stage 1 families, and for each stage after that.

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  • Optimism & Gratitude in Times of Hardship

    We are facing a great many challenges lately, both individually and collectively. We have hazy skies to our west as fires have spread from California to Washington. We have strong storms like Hurricane Sally impacting people in the Southeast. Meanwhile, we are all continuing to be impacted by COVID-19 as the disease continues to proliferate around the United States and here in St. Paul. Through all of this hardship, I remain optimistic and grateful. While we cannot solve all of the world’s problems ourselves, I take comfort in knowing that your work is having a positive impact on the lives of our students and our community each and every day.

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  • Thank you for a great first week

    I want to sincerely thank you for your efforts in getting the new school year off to a good start. As challenging as Distance Learning is, I am proud of our educators and staff who share a singular focus: to provide the very best educational experience for all of our students.

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  • A First Week Unlike Any Other

    The first week of school feels a little different this 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! This week, we begin a new year in a new way. For most of you, your connections will be through distance learning. Others will resume their commitment to serving children in childcare settings or delivering meals to families throughout our community. No matter your role at SPPS, I want you to know that your work is important and you are valued.

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  • Superintendent Message: Welcome Back

    Welcome back to a new school year. This will truly be a year like no other. The most important thing to remember is that we are together in doing what's right for our students, families and each other.

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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 erica.wacker@spps.org.

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