May 28, 2021
May 28, 2021
Welcome Aboard!
The Student Support Services Department is pleased to announce Ms. Shanetta Harrington as the Interim Nurse Coordinator.
Please contact Ms. Harrington at 314-345-4401 or with any nursing questions. We are delighted to have her here!
ECE Curriculum Resource Review
The SLPS Early Childhood Education Department in cooperation with Curriculum and Instruction is inviting you to participate in an Early Childhood Education Curriculum Resource Review.
This is a specialized process curated for the procurement of Early Childhood Education curriculum resources in cooperation with the St. Louis Public Schools Foundation. 
If the proposed resource receives a favorable approval rating from the committee, we will move forward with the process to seek approval for the procurement of the selected resource with the support of the SLPS Foundation. If the proposed resource does not receive a favorable rating, we will move forward with identifying alternative resources for review in the 2021-22 SY. 
ECE Curriculum Resource Review Week June 1- 4, 2021 
- In Person Review 8am - 4pm by appointment (ECE Loft)
  • Teachers will have an opportunity to engage in a hands-on review of the resources and give their feedback using a digital rubric. 
Please contact Sally Topping at or 314-331-6150 to schedule an appointment to review the proposed curriculum resource items.
- Live Presentation June 2, 2021 10am - 11:30am 
  • If you would like to attend the live presentation on June 2nd, please complete the form linked HERE.   
Thank you and we look forward to your engagement. 
Summer Job Opportunities
The City of St. Louis is hiring for Summer 2021. Lifeguard and Lifeguard Supervisor positions are available for applicants who will be at least 15 years of age by April 30, 2021, can complete a swimming skills test and pass a drug screen. For more information on the positions, click the links. 
REMINDER: Last Week of School Schedule
  • June 1: Wellness Day, activities planned by the building principal
  • June 2: ELA Literacy Adoption K-8 PD (or other activities assigned by the building principal)
  • June 3: Summer School PD (or other activities assigned by the building principal)
  • June 4: Recordkeeping Day
The workday for teachers the week of June 1-4, 2021, will be 8:15 am to 3:15 pm.
Lunch 'n' Learn: Teaching Teens Smart Money Choices
The City of St. Louis' Office of Financial Empowerment has partnered with PNC Bank to provide a virtual Lunch 'n' Learn on June 17 titled “Teaching Teens Smart Money Choices." Participants will explore topics such as saving money earned from their child's first job, understanding "fintech," aka financial technology, and preparing their teen for their first credit card. For more information and to register, please click here
GOOD NEWS: Happy 20th Anniversary, Samir Mujagic!
Have you visited the ESOL Bilingual Migrant Program website lately? The man responsible for the informative graphics, design and organization is ESOL Data Specialist Samir Mujagic. The ESOL Bilingual Migrant Program asks all District staff to join them in thanking Mr. Samir Mujagic for 20 years of dedicated support to SLPS. 
Mr. Mujagic wears many hats in the Saint Louis Public School District. You may have contacted him for information on ACCESS, help with WIDA login, to run a report on ELs in the district, or help with technical support. He is always willing and able to assist. After work hours, he volunteers at every EL Parent and Family Event as the photographer or librarian. Over the past 20 years, he has ensured the accuracy of ELL data in SIS for thousands of English Language Learners. One way or another, the success of the ESOL Bilingual Migrant Program -- and the Saint Louis Public School District as a whole -- has relied on Mr. Mujagic’s meticulous work. Thank you, Samir!
Standards-Based Learning Corner
Click here to explore past topics related to Standards-Based Learning and Grading in SLPS.
Curriculum Specialists:
  • Dr. Esther Palsenberger, Elementary ELA, 314-779-5939
  • Judine Keplar, Secondary ELA, 314-532-6427
  • Zehra Khan, K-12 Math, 314-532-3574
  • J. Carrie Launius, Elementary Science, 314-934-5258
  • Dr. Valentina Bumbu, Secondary Science, 573-544-6835
  • Dr. Glenn Barnes, Social Studies, 314-934-5267
  • John Grapperhaus, Visual Arts, 314-934-5320
  • Kaye Harrelson, Performing Arts, 314-934-5445
Curriculum Corner: Social Studies with Dr. Glenn Barnes
Recently, I was scrolling through Twitter to see what is happening in the world of education and Jennifer Gonzalez posted her latest edition of the Cult of Pedagogy podcast and blog. I didn’t read it at the time, but I saw one of our AICs post it the following day and then it was posted in the Marshall Memo this week, so I knew it had to be really good. Her focus was “No More Easy Button: A Suggested Approach to Post-Pandemic Teaching.” Her premise is that humans are wired to look for the easy. Whether that easy is our food choices, how we shop for things, or even how we teach. As a teacher with an average class of 30 students spread across seven classes (do the math), the easy button was a necessity. However, it became the norm in a lot of ways.
When the pandemic hit, we were forced to change the way we do business. For some, it was all about learning technology. For others, it was trying to foster relationships through a computer. No matter the shifts made, hopefully, we see ourselves growing in the process. The one thing we cannot do is go back to the old way of doing things. The Cult of Pedagogy podcast and blog goes through and identifies areas in lesson design, assessment, inclusivity, and relationships that can evolve and change as a result of the forced shifts in education over the last year. Please take the time to read, reflect and plan with some of these shifts in mind. We saw so many thrive in the changed environment, while others withered as a result. How might we reach all of our learners when we return in the fall? What seeds are you planting right now?
  • Today’s Front Pages shows how the news is conveyed around the country. Great for media literacy and checking for bias.
  • If you have not visited Amplifier in a while, check it out with all of the open-source art and posters available. Send a file to Ricoh and have it printed up in color on 12x18” paper for a quick and colorful addition for your classroom.
  • For elementary teachers and other teachers…Be sure to put the words of real people into the hands of students to analyze. Eyewitness to History has a wealth of first-hand accounts from people who lived during historic events. While some trade books may be based on actual events, let students discuss and analyze events from those who were there and recorded their thoughts.
SMART Goals for Social Studies: LINK
Curriculum Corner: ELA, Elementary with Dr. Esther Palsenberger
SMART Goals for Elementary ELA: LINK
Congratulations to those schools that completed the ELA CFAs and the CSAs for the year. The fourth set of assessments results in overall growth of 16% among the schools. However, some grade levels went above that district average. Here's a special shoutout to those schools and grade levels:
  • Kindergarten - growth of 16% 
  • 1st Grade - growth of 16%
  • 4th Grade - growth of 28% 
Bryan Hill:
  • 1st Grade - growth of 29% 
  • 4th Grade - growth of 29%
  • 2nd Grade - growth of 21%
  • 4th Grade - growth of 25%
  • 1st Grade - growth of 42%
  • 3rd Grade - growth of 17%
  •  4th Grade - growth of 18%
  • 1st Grade - growth of 25%
  • 4th Grade - growth of 20%
  • Kindergarten - growth of 16%
  • 1st Grade - growth of 26%
  • 4th Grade - growth of 32%
  •  Kindergarten - growth of 23%
  • 1st Grade - growth of 26%
  • 4th Grade - growth of 26%
Have a great summer and stay safe!
If you need to meet with Esther Palsenberger, click here for the appointment calendar. 
Curriculum Corner: Visual Arts with John Grapperhaus
I encourage teachers, students, and their families to continue taking in artwork throughout the summer. This nurtures our love of learning, critical thinking, and an expanding worldview. When it’s 95 degrees, I like to hide in the air conditioning of a museum, then head out for some Ted Drewes frozen custard! One of my personal favorites for families is the Golf the Galleries exhibit at the Sheldon Concert Hall and Galleries. You actually get to play mini-golf on original art installations!  
Here are summer exhibits at some of our local art institutions:
SMART Goals for Visual Art: LINK
Curriculum Corner: Science, Elementary with Carrie Launius
To continue on with habits of mind, I want to give you lucky #13 all by itself. I often ask, is this me? My hope is that I never set up a situation for not only myself but anyone else to be afraid to take a risk.  
13. Taking Responsible Risks. “There has been a calculated risk in every stage of American development -- the pioneers who were not afraid of the wilderness, businessmen who were not afraid of failure, and dreamers who were not afraid of action.” Brooks Atkinson Flexible
When someone holds back from taking risks, she is confronted constantly with missed opportunities. Some students seem reluctant to take risks. Some students hold back games, new learning, and new friendships because their fear of failure is far greater than their experience of venture or adventure. They are reinforced by the mental voice that says, "If you don’t try it, you won’t be wrong” or “if you try it and you are wrong, you will look stupid.” The other voice that might say, "If you don’t try it, you will never know” is trapped in fear and mistrust. They are more interested in knowing whether their answer is correct or not, rather than being challenged by the process of finding the answer. They are unable to sustain a process of problem-solving and finding the answer over time, and therefore avoid ambiguous situations. They have a need for certainty rather than an inclination for doubt.
SMART Goal for Elementary Science: LINK
Curriculum Corner: Science, Secondary with Dr. Valentina Bumbu
Assessment SMART Goal for 6-12 ScienceLINK
Curriculum Corner: ELA, Secondary with Judine Keplar
Important Links: 
Curriculum Corner: Math with Zehra Kahn
Smart Goal for K-12 Math: LINK
Curriculum Corner: Performance Arts with Kaye Harrelson
SMART Goal for Performing Arts: LINK
Contact Kaye Harrelson for more specific guidance, 314-934-5445.
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