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Through The Lens: A Year in The Life at SPPS

Published by Saint Paul Public Schools May 30, 2019

There are great things that happen in our schools every day. Take a look at some of our favorite moments this year.

Summer graduation

More than 100 students participated in SPPS Summer Graduation 2018 at Saint Catherine University in the O’Shaughnessy Auditorium. Proud families, principals, counselors, administration and school board members were on hand to celebrate the SPPS Summer Class of 2018 as they walked across the stage to receive their diplomas.

First day of school

A new building needs new traditions, like high fives on the way to class the first day of school at Horace Mann Elementary School.

Kids in canoe

Central Senior High School AP Statistics classes participated in a data collection field trip to the Mississippi River. Students paddled a 6.5 mile stretch of the river through Saint Paul in large Voyageur canoes provided by Wilderness Inquiry, an environmental education organization. Students took water samples and measured temperature, pH, conductivity and dissolved oxygen levels, which supports a greater data collection and analysis project.

Teacher doing experiment

A little dry ice, curious minds and science leads to a lot of learning for these students at Horace Mann Elementary School.

Kids making play-doh

Humboldt High School sixth graders in Accelerated Math 6 making homemade Play-Doh for their multiplying and dividing fractions unit.

Students celebrating science teacher

St. Anthony Park Elementary School held an all school assembly to honor science teacher Jim Schrankler for winning the Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching. Only 102 people in the United States were awarded this honor - with Mr. Schrankler being one of two educators in Minnesota to receive the honor. St. Anthony Park Elementary School presented Mr. Schrankler with a banner and check to fund a new Schrankler Science Section in the school library.

Kids with blankets they made

Advanced art students at Capitol Hill Gifted and Talented Magnet made fleece blankets and donated them to Project REACH. The students used math, design and cooperation skills to create 25 blankets.

Student looking at artwork

A second grade student from Mississippi Creative Arts School is mesmerized by a large Hmong story cloth during a recent visit to the Minneapolis Institute of Art. The trip was part of a project called “Water Is Life.” MIA is one of the collaborative partners of this program. The artist, Ka Zoua Lee, made the Village Story Blanket nearly 40 years ago.

Principal Rich receiving award

The University of Minnesota College of Education and Human Development, awarded the Alumni Society Award of Excellence to Catherine Rich, principal of Phalen Lake Hmong Studies Magnet. She was recognized for her service in the field of education, specifically to Hmong and Indigenous students and professional and community leadership. This award recognizes alumni who have demonstrated outstanding achievement and leadership in their profession, served as mentors to others in their field, or shown exceptional volunteer service.

Teacher being interviewed for TV

See Yang, a teacher who is participating in the Saint Paul Public Schools Urban Teacher Residency (SUTR) program, was interviewed by Ellen Galles of KSTP-TV. The SUTR program is designed to recruit, prepare, support and retain teachers from diverse backgrounds. Watch the full story:

Highland Park Nordic Ski team

The Highland Park Senior High School Nordic Ski team raced the Mesabi Invitational on the Iron Range. It is the biggest high school ski race in the country with 55 teams and 900 skiers on a challenging course. The varsity girls and junior varsity boys won the team titles.The junior varsity girls finished in second place and the varsity boys finished in fifth place. Celeste Alden and Molly Moening swept the varsity individual titles.

Wild mascot with students

Groveland Park Elementary School students were energized with the Minnesota Wild "Faceoff for Fitness Assembly Program." Students had a chance to play hockey with Hannah Brandt, 2018 Olympic Gold Medalist; Charlie Coyle, current Wild player and Nordy, Wild mascot. Rusty Kath, Wild in-game host, announced the plays and led the assembly through tips for a healthy and active lifestyle.

Farnsworth students

Farnsworth Aerospace 5-8 Upper Campus students attended the 2019 Governor's Council MLK Day Celebration at the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts to hear Mae Jemison, the first African American woman astronaut in space.

Debate team with medals

Ramsey Middle School's brand new debate team, competed in their second tournament at Washington Technology Magnet School. Students pictured earned first, second and third place team medals in their division. The debate team, which started in January, is part of the Minnesota Urban Debate League and the Flipside After-School program.

Students with Senator Amy Klobuchar

Como Park Senior High School AP Government students participating in the Close Up Washington D.C. program met with Senator Amy Klobuchar in the U.S. Capitol.

Galtier students

Galtier Community School third graders made it through five rounds of competition to the "Elite Eight" in the Read to the Final Four competition.

Frost Lake students with WCCO reporter

WCCO-TV | CBS Minnesota reporter Heather Brown interviewed students from Frost Lake Elementary school for a story about International Women’s Day. Students answered questions about the careers they want when they are older.

American Indian students at conference

Saint Paul Indian Education students Alyssa, Callista, Kathleen and Quinlan representing Harding Senior High School and American Indian Magnet at the National Johnson-O’Malley Conference in Las Vegas.

Hmong dance group

SPPS Community Education celebrated their fifth annual Neighbor Day this year. Over 800 community members came out for a free evening of food, activities and performances to help celebrate the legacy of Fred Rogers. Amongst the performers were a Hmong Dance Group from the Farnsworth Aerospace PreK-8 Flipside after-school program.

Teacher with students and homemade breakfast bags

Highland Park Elementary School students pose with their art teacher, Seth Stratton, and the reusable breakfast bags he made for each student at the school (approximately 350). He crafted the bags out of queen-sized bed sheets and ribbon from a thrift store to promote eco-friendly habits to reduce, reuse, recycle.

Humboldt's womens group

The women's leadership group at Humboldt High School participated in a round table discussion with Mayor Melvin Carter about concerns students have regarding their community's needs and issues. The mayor said he was impressed with the group's fundraising efforts to raise more than $735 for Project Reach, an SPPS program that supports homeless students.

Student on donated bike

Como Park Senior High School teamed up with Allina Health to give bikes to Como Senior High School students and their families. About 300 bikes were donated. Allina and Free Bikes 4 Kidz collected the bikes in October and Free Bikes 4 Kidz worked during winter to refurbish them. This is the Fifth year Saint Paul Public Schools and Allina have partnered for this event.

Students delivering May Day baskets

Farnsworth Aerospace PreK-4 students delivered May Day baskets to homes in the Eastside neighborhood. Each basket included handmade flowers and a greeting from the school. Some neighbors came out to share with students about their gardens and yards.

Hazel Park band

Hazel Park Preparatory Academy Band students worked with band teacher, Dan Anderson and composer, Daniel James Felton on his original piece, "Freedom Suite". The piece is based on the composer's experiences and musical culture and was made possible by a grant from the Center for Equity and Culture.

Students reading outside

Third grade students at American Indian Magnet School enjoyed their publishing party after they finished their Realistic Fiction Unit, then shared stories with each other at the circle of stones.

CNA students

LEAP High School students hoping to become Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA) by the end of the year recently gained clinical experience at Episcopal Homes. The students worked with the Episcopal Homes nursing staff and residents to provide direct care.

Students experimenting with circuits

Fourth graders at Barack and Michelle Obama Elementary School used Makerspace to learn about circuitry by working with Makey Makey and coding to explore the connection between circuits and computers.

Students working at Cookie Cart

Focus Beyond Transition Services is expanding opportunities for students with disabilities. In addition to many other community sites, now the Cookie Cart -- "baking bright futures" -- will be providing paid work and leadership opportunities to Focus Beyond students.