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A Welcome Letter from Principal Jones

Welcome to the 2020-21 school year!

 

All of us at Global Arts Plus look forward to seeing grades 1 - 8 on Tuesday, Sept. 8 and Pre-K and kindergarten students on Thursday, Sept. 10. As I begin my second year as principal at Global Arts Plus and reflect on my first year, I continue to be proud and impressed with the collaborative work of our entire staff.  Our team is preparing to do all they can to ensure ALL scholars have the best learning experience daily.

 

Speaking of staff, I’m excited to introduce to you our newest Global Arts Plus team members and their positions.

 

At our lower campus:

Emily Campbell - PreK Special Education Teacher Carrie Garcia - DCD Teacher

Leo Anderson - Behavior Intervention Specialist Charles Gunsten - 4th grade 

Madison Williams - Social Worker Djoser Ramsey - Kindergarten

Lori James - Guest teacher for Ms. Tepley-Uebe-ECSE Mary Morgan - PreK Teacher

Lara Cappelen - Special Education Teacher Shawn Huffman -Teaching Assistant 

 

At our upper campus:

Sharon Hendrix - Assistant Principal Janice Kelly-Dunkins - Lead Clerk

Crystal Hannon - 6th Grade Social Studies Olivia Williams - 7th Grade ELA Alexandra Young - Speech Therapist

 

Saint Paul Public Schools has been developing plans for most of the summer in anticipation of your return. Typically, this message discusses schedule pick-up dates, school supply lists, immunizations, etc. This year I realize that instead of those items, you need as much information as possible about what school will look like as we will start in distance learning.

 

You can find more detailed information and updates about the new school year at the following websites:

 

More details about our plans will be shared before school starts. With district support we will also be posting updates on our school website spps.org/globalartsplus. Our staff is ready to work with your family, and we look forward to seeing you virtually to start the school year, and hopefully in person later this year if the pandemic is in better control.

 

The first day of school can be overwhelming for students, and there is no doubt this year will bring some new and additional challenges. Here are a few things to know so you and your child can prepare:

 

Student and Family Distance Learning Checklist
Please view and use this technology checklist as a guide to make sure you are ready for the first day of school. This checklist is available at spps.org/fallchecklist.

 

iPad Help
If your iPad is damaged or needs to be replaced, please report the issue by emailing or calling Saint Paul Public Schools Technology Services:

  • Email: familysupport@spps.org 
  • Call: 651-603-4348 from 7 a.m. – 4 p.m.. Please leave a detailed voicemail and your call will be returned as soon as possible.

 

If you are having problems with your iPad, you may also contact your student’s teacher or our school. After a report is made, a member of the SPPS technology support team will contact you about replacement options to continue distance learning in Saint Paul.

 

If you are having issues logging into Seesaw, Schoology or other district-approved apps, please see the information on spps.org/ipadhelp.

 

School Contact Information
Relationships and timely communication is more important than ever in a distance learning environment. If you have questions, or need to contact someone at school: 

  • Call the Global Arts Plus attendance line at  651-744-2803 from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.. Please leave a detailed voicemail and your call will be returned as soon as possible.
  • Email: PreK - 4 Campus  globalartspluslower@spps.org  

           Grades 5 - 8 Campus globalartsplusupper@spps.org  

 

Please check our school website regularly at spps.org/globalartsplus for information and updates.

 

SPPS uses Blackboard Connect to alert families about important school news and information, events, weather cancellations, emergencies and more through email, phone and text. Update your phone number, email and other contact information through Campus Portal.

 

You may also download the MySPPS app from Google Play Store or the Apple App Store. Once you “Follow” Global Arts Plus Lower or Upper Campus, you’ll have instant access to school news and updates. Just search “MySPPS” in the app stores. Learn more at spps.org/MySPPS.

 

Open House

Global Arts Plus will host a virtual Open House to welcome students and families to a new school year on Thursday, September 3, 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm for both lower and upper campus. 

 

For families new to Global Arts Plus this year, I would like to invite only you to a special welcome gathering that will start at 5:00 pm, 30-minutes before our Open House begins. We’ll introduce you to a few key staff we feel might be helpful for you to know. 

 

We are still finalizing the plans for these two events. Please look for more details and meeting access information soon.

 

School Hours 

We are following our school’s regular start and end times from 9:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., regardless of whether students are distance learning or in hybrid or in-person learning scenarios. Instructional availability for learning occurs during this time. 

 

Childcare

Elementary only: SPPS Community Education will offer two childcare options for families this fall while students are in distance learning. Both programs are open to enrolled elementary age students.

  • Essential Kids Care will operate at three sites this fall for children of Tier 1 essential workers. Care is free during normal school hours, and transportation is available. For more information: spps.org/ekidscare
  • Discovery Club will be available at four sites this fall for PreK-5th graders. The fee-based program does not include transportation. For more information: spps.org/discoveryclub

 

Both options will be staffed by non-licensed childcare staff. Children will remain with the same small group each day. Masks will be required for all students and staff, and Minnesota Department of Health guidelines for childcare programs will be strictly enforced.

 

A portion of the day will be set aside for students to work on their independent learning, and the remainder of the time will include enrichment and physical activity. Breakfast and lunch are also provided. For questions, please contact Discovery Club at discovery.club@spps.org or call 651-632-3793.

 

Meals 

Nutrition Services will continue to provide weekly meal boxes through home meal delivery and curbside pickup while SPPS is in distance learning. All students eligible for free or reduced-price meals will receive meals at no cost.

 

Every SPPS family should complete an application for Education Benefits/Free or Reduced Price Meals -- regardless of family income. Not only does this help us identify families in need of assistance, it also allows SPPS to receive federal dollars for classroom programming. Applications are available online on SchoolCafe, and paper applications were mailed to homes in August.

 

Class Schedule

We are working with teachers to finalize plans for the daily schedules. More information will be shared with you before the start of school.

 

Distance Learning 2.0

  • All PreK-12 students will be issued an iPad
  • Distance Learning 2.0 will be a balance between any time (asynchronous) and same-time (synchronous) learning
  • Students will receive daily same-time (synchronous) instruction from their teachers
  • There will be daily student-to-student interaction
  • Students will have access to enhanced WiFi options

 

More details about Distance Learning 2.0 will be shared and updated on spps.org as it is made available. To view information about Distance Learning 2.0, visit spps.org/distancelearning.

 

If you have questions that you cannot find answers to on our website, please call Global Arts Plus. You may also call the Parent Help Line at 651-767-8347 or email family.engagement@spps.org for assistance.

 

Virtual Learning School

The SPPS Virtual Learning School is an option for PreK-12 students who prefer to remain in 100% distance learning for the entire 2020-21 school year. Students who enroll in the Virtual Learning School will begin the school year with their currently assigned class at Global Arts Plus.

 

Virtual Learning School students will stay in their currently enrolled school and classrooms until a transition is made to a hybrid model. As the district moves through the various levels of hybrid learning, students enrolled in the Virtual Learning School will transition to their Virtual Learning School classes.

 

School Calendar

A copy of our calendar is posted online at spps.org/globalartsplus. Please note that our calendar  is in the process of being populated; dates may change as the year progresses, and updates may be posted from time to time. For the full district calendar, visit spps.org/calendar.

 

Health And Wellness 

Immunizations 

Even though SPPS students will start the year in distance learning, it’s important to make sure your child’s immunizations are current and provide records to your child’s school. Learn more at spps.org/studentwellness

 

COVID-19 Student and Family Guidelines

Saint Paul Public Schools is committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for our students, staff and their families. To ensure this commitment is met, we have developed and will continue to revise the COVID-19 Guidance for Students and Families in response to the everchanging Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. 

 

COVID Testing Resources

Visit the Minnesota Department of Health website to find a location providing free COVID-19 testing. Reminder: Check with your insurance provider before making an appointment to make sure the office visit fee will be covered.

 

Student Mental Health

We recognize that school closure, distance learning, and COVID-19 may cause extra stress to many in our school community, including families, students and staff. Reach out to our school counselor or social worker for support for your child’s mental health and to be connected with community resources, where appropriate. 

Lower Campus Upper Campus

 

Counselors

Alyssa Mitchell - alyssa.mitchell@spps.org         Jessica Matter - jessica.matter@spps.org

         Jessica Mernin - jessica.mernin@spps.org

 

Social Workers 

Madison Williams - Madison.Williams@spps.org         Emily Madland - emily.madland@spps.org

 

Sport Physicals

 Students in secondary schools need a physical exam every three years to participate in sports. Download a copy of the physical exam form from spps.org/sports and take to your health care provider.

 

Face Coverings in SPPS

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz has directed that masks or face coverings must be worn throughout Minnesota in all indoor public spaces - including school buildings. This new executive order applies to all visitors, staff and students (kindergarten and older). SPPS staff and visitors have been expected to wear face coverings since April. Pre-K students are not required to wear face coverings under this order.

 

  • Read more about Face Coverings at spps.org.

 

I am looking forward to welcoming you and your child to a new school year Tuesday, September 8, for grades 1-12, and Thursday, September 10, for Pre-K and kindergarten

 

I’m so proud to be part of this wonderful school community. 

 

In Partnership,

Chreese C. Jones, Principal

Global Arts Plus

 

Go Green Wave!