April 17, 2020
April 17, 2020

Academic Office Newsletter

From the Office of Dr. Paula Knight, Deputy Superintendent of Academics

Got feedback? We want to hear it!
The SLPS Curriculum Team is Here to Support Virtual Learning!
Please reach out to a Curriculum Specialist to support successful virtual learning at your school.
Curriculum Specialist are available to host content-specific meetings to answer your questions about how to best serve students using the current curriculum tools.
Please feel free to call any of our Curriculum Specialists, Monday-Friday between 8am and 4:45pm. The Curriculum and Instruction team is here to serve you and to help make the virtual learning experience for SLPS teachers, students and families a success!
Curriculum Specialist contact information listed below:
  • Dr. Esther Palsenberger, Elementary ELA 314-779-5939
  • Judine Keplar, Secondary ELA 314-532-6427
  • LaRon Haymore, Elementary Math 314-930-6077
  • Zehra Khan, Secondary 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 
* Shout out to our fantastic, unicorn-loving model Harper K. Mitchell, pre-kindergarten student at Mann Elementary and daughter of Whitney MItchell, counselor at Kennard, and Carl B. Mitchell, external communications and marketing liaison in the Public Information Office!
2020-2021 Calendar
Staff, families and community partners are invited to visit www.slps.org/2021calendar to review the recommendations for next school year and provide feedback. There are two options presented. The window to provide feedback is open until close of day on Saturday, April 25.
Language Access Update
Teachers and staff should continue to contact district language access team via e-mail to support their communication with ELL families: www.slps.org/Page/42009
District language access team can make personalized phone calls to ELL families as well as support communication with ELL families via a 3-way phone call.
In addition, all principals in ESOL center schools received a site specific code to access telephonic interpretation services when support is needed with languages not available through the district language access team.
Note that site specific code should NOT be used for languages available within the district language access team.  
ESOL Instructional Supports
ESOL teachers should continue to provide language development support to ELL students.
ESOL teachers at the Elementary and Middle School Level will collaborate with classroom/content teachers to embed ESOL supports into virtual assignments and activities.
ESOL instructors teaching dedicated ESOL and Sheltered courses will ensure that the content of their virtual ESOL courses includes ELL supports.
To facilitate this work, the ESOL Office developed a resource toolkit and shared it with all ESOL teachers districtwide. 
Encourage Your Families to Be Counted!
Even in these uncertain times – perhaps particularly now –  it is important to think to the future. A kindergartener counted in 2020 will be starting high school when the next Census comes round. The Census is a way to help positively impact 10 years of school supplies, teachers, school lunches and more.
Census data guide how more than $675 billion in federal funding is distributed to states and communities each year for schools, heath care facilities, roads, transportation, recreation centers, social services and more.
Please help us encourage ALL of our families to participate in the 2020 Census. As of now, participation in the City of St. Louis is at only 38%. If we don't get that number up, we will all lose out on federal dollars we need in our community. 
Flyers are being dropped off to meal sites to share with families. If you need more copies or need to access the flyer in 14 different languages, please visit www.slps.org/census
We also ask that you upload a message to your school's website and social media accounts, encouraging Census participation. Images are available HERE and you can use some of the content featured in this newsletter or additional messaging is HERE. Or ... get creative with it and make your own pix and messaging! Let the Public Information Office know if you need assistance.
Some families may have concerns about providing personal information to the government. Please reassure them that responses to the Census are safe and secure.
The Census Bureau has a legal duty to protect the information it collects. In fact, every employee is bound by Title 13 of the U.S. Code to keep Census data confidential. This means that private data is protected and cannot be shared with law enforcement or other government agencies.
Thank you for your help in getting out the word! 
GOOD NEWS: Hometown Hero
Sam Espy, a graduate of Gateway STEM's Fire & EMT Program and St. Louis County Fire Academy, is currently deployed with Abbott AMR EMS to New York City to help with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sam's mom had this to say to Chief Ken Riddle, Sam's former instructor, “I just wanted you to know that he is doing Gateway STEM proud and representing in NYC via Abbott as a First Responder with FEMA and HHS.
"He deployed 3/30/20 for 15 days and just agreed to stay until end of the month. ... I know school is not in session but thought you should know what a far reaching impact your program has had on him and his desire to give back to communities. Thank you for teaching him all that he learned from you and the EMT program. He has been working every day, 12-hour days without a day off. So far, not sickfingers crossed. Feel free to share with your school and administration that SLPS students can and do make a difference in the world.”
Educator of the Year FINALISTS
Congratulations to the finalists for the Educator of the Year competition. Many thanks to those who nominated their colleagues for outstanding teaching and learning. We want to acknowledge all of the teachers who did apply, as just being nominated is an honor in and of itself. Help us celebrate the finalists:
College & Career Readiness: 
  • Tamara Johnson, Metro
  • Tawana Hall, Central VPA
Early Childhood
  • Iris Holmes, Hodgen Tech
  • Christine Thompson, Adams
  • Melissa Johnson, Stix EEC
Elementary STEM
  • Lisa Abernathy, Mann
  • Jana Flynn, Mason, Humboldt
  • Amanda Boxx, Ames VPA
Elementary Reading
  • Janice Phelps, Herzog
  • Brittani Allen, Woerner
  • Chavon Hopgood, Gateway Elementary
Health & Wellness
  • Jacob Franklin, Busch
  • Jonathan McComb, Mullanphy
  • Megan Willard, Patrick Henry
  • Lori Gardner, Mann
Secondary ELA
  • Tiffany Clay, Clyde C. Miller
  • Christine Betterman, Roosevelt
Secondary Math
  • Renee Amoroso, Lyon
  • William Heisse, Fanning
Secondary Science
  • Lisa Stortzum, McKinley
  • Ninfa Matiase, Collegiate
Special Education
  • Carrie Burgett, Mullanphy
  • Therese Nims, Roosevelt
  • Lisa Rigg, Mann
  • Constance Berry, Mann
Visual and Performing Arts
  • Lakeisha Walker, Columbia, Bryan Hill
  • Robin Mik, Adams
  • Kristine Terrance, Patrick Henry
  • Dianna Dix, Carnahan
  • Ellis Smith, McKinley
Leader and Supporting Leader finalists will be named at a later date.
Barnes & Noble Discount for Educators
Every weekend in April, Barnes & Noble is offering 25% off list cost of ALL eligible items to make your remote teaching and home learning as warm and welcoming as possible! Shop online and key in your Educator Discount Card number in the final check-out screen to receive your discount. If you have forgotten your number, email Meaghan Harned, mharned@bn.com, and provide the phone number you used to sign up for the program.
Recent District Communication to Families
Check out this week's St. Louis American! It includes a pull-out section of our Virtual Learning Plan and a message from Dr. Adams and Board President Rohde-Collins.
Starting TODAY, our meal distribution sites are moving from operating five days a week to one day a week, FRIDAYS. Families can pick up a kit with seven days of meals. This shift will allow us to reduce contact and the number of trips a family has to make to our schools during this time. Click HERE for the new flyer. Sites are at www.slps.org/meals.
Going forward, we ask for your help in passing on regular communication to parents. We will launch information centrally, but as they are released, please reinforce the messaged on your school websites, with email and through Teams. THANK YOU!
Math Symbols
GOOD NEWS: Math Tournament Results
Congratulations to these students and schools from Pool A (Central VPA, Cleveland, Gateway STEM, Northwest, Clyde C. Miller, Soldan, Vashon, Roosevelt, Sumner and Carnahan) for their achievements in the annual math tournament
Algebra 1
♦ Jordyn Johnson - CVPA
♦ Masajid Mohamed - CVPA
♦ Michelle Hernandez - Cleveland
♦ Alexander Petronilo-Morales - Gateway STEM
♦ Terrance Snipes - Gateway STEM
♦ Kiet Ly - Gateway STEM
Algebra 2
♦ Timothy Schumaker - Gateway STEM
♦ Moses Thau Ceu - Gateway STEM
♦ Tania Whitley - Roosevelt
♦ Ethan Henning - Gateway STEM
♦ Obike Anwisye - Gateway STEM
♦ Amsatou Mbacke - Soldan
♦ Pukar Basnet - Gateway STEM
♦ Sun Minsheng - Gateway STEM
♦ Chibale Anwisye - GATEWAY STEM
Stay tuned! In the next edition of the Academic Office Newsletter, we will announce the winners from Pool B. 
SLPS Foundation All Stars
The SLPS Foundation is happy to announce the winners of SLPS Foundation All Stars for the week of April 13th. There were more than 90 nominees, click here to see nominations! Congratulations to the winners! Winners include food services staff working to make sure families are connected to technology, ECE teachers demonstrating live classes for PBS, and teachers doing daily social/emotional well-being check ins with students. We are fortunate for their dedication and creativity. Congratulations!
The All Stars Program is designed to recognize and thank staff who are going beyond the norm in these unprecedented times. We will be making weekly awards ($15 electronic gift cards) to approximately 30 SLPS school and district staff.  Anyone can nominate an SLPS Teammate who is innovating and working hard to ensure that SLPS students, families and staff stay positive, learning and growing during these tough times. Nominations will open up each week on Fridays and close the following Wednesday at noon. Each Friday, the SLPS Foundation will announce the week’s winners.
Snoopy and STEM Lesson Plans for K-5!
The Space Foundation and Peanuts have created a series of Snoopy-themed lesson plans to strengthen K–5 students’ skills in STEM. The lessons support the NGSS and feature activities such as designing a doghouse lunar lander, repairing a hole in a simulated damaged spacesuit, exploring the fitness requirements of an astronaut and building / testing a hydroponic germinator.
Publication of the lessons coincides with the release of two Peanuts books from Simon and Schuster: Shoot for the Moon, Snoopy! and Snoopy, First Beagle on the Moon. The books can be incorporated as part of several lessons to engage students in the excitement of space study and provide background information on lesson topics. Even without the books, the website gives you lots of ideas that are standard based and match the Missouri Learning Standards.
REMINDER: Virtual Presentations for Juniors 
The Missouri Association for College Admission Counseling and StriveScan are partnering to offer juniors a four-day Virtual College Exploration Week (300+ colleges from 44 states and 10 countries!) April 20-23. Free for students. Space is limited.
Registration for students and parents is now live: www.strivescan.com/virtual
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