Weekly Facts 2003-2004

April 14, 2004 Weekly Facts

April 14, 2004

| Joint Information | Elementary Information | Secondary Information |
| ELL Calendar |

Events on the ELL Calendar for this Week

These events for the next week are listed below are detailed in the ELL calendar. All other ELL events that have been scheduled are also listed in the ELL Calendar in the same location.

Apr 14, 2004 3:30 PM

Scaffolding/Content Area Part 2

Apr 14, 2004 4:00 PM

Teaming with Bilingual Educational Assistants

Apr 14, 2004 4:15 PM

KLDM Cadre Meeting

Apr 14, 2004 4:30 PM

Traditional Hmong Ways and Hmong Marriage Ritual

Apr 14, 2004 5:45 PM

LCD PAC Committee

Apr 15, 2004 4:00 PM

ELL Elementary Study Groups

Apr 16, 2004

Family Ties - Somali

Apr 17, 2004

Family Ties - Hmong

Apr 15, 2004 4:00 PM

ELL Elementary Study Groups

Apr 16, 2004

Family Ties - Somali

Apr 17, 2004

Family Ties - Hmong

Apr 19, 2004 4:00 PM

ELL Writer's Workshop Level 1 for ELL Teachers (K-2)

Apr 21, 2004 4:30 PM

Traditional Hmong Ways and Hmong Marriage Ritual

Apr 22, 2004

Districtwide Multicultural Celebration

Apr 24, 2004 8:00 AM

ELL Writer's Workshop Level 1 for ELL Teachers (K-6)

Letter from Valeria

DATE: April 8, 2004

TO: Teachers

FROM: Valeria Silva, Director of ELL Programs

SUBJECT: Hmong Refugees

It has been several weeks since I joined Mayor Randy Kelly's delegation to Wat Tham Krabok, a Hmong refugee camp in Thailand. Since my return, I have been busy with day-to-day ELL issues, as well as preparing for the upcoming arrival of many Hmong refugees to Saint Paul Public Schools. I'm writing now to tell you a little bit about my trip, and to thank each of you for your support, encouragement and dedication to the refugees. I feel honored to be a part of a staff that is so welcoming to this group, and I felt honored to be able to visit our future students in their own environment.

I know our future students will be in the best hands when they arrive at Saint Paul Public Schools, and in our ELL Programs.We have had experience with refugees coming to our district for over thirty years, with a large percentage arriving between 1975 and 1990. Because of our experience, we are fully prepared for a smooth transition.

The purpose of our trip to Thailand was to collect information on the refugees that would help us better prepare for their arrival to America, and more specifically, to Saint Paul.The trip was a great success.The delegation was able to collect accurate, insightful and meaningful information that is allowing us to start planning and preparing for the future Hmong Americans. For some members of the delegation, the visit was almost like a reunion; some met relatives they had never seen before. The trip was an emotional experience for them, and for everyone.

For those of you interested in the details of the trip, let me tell you a little bit.We spent the beginning of our trip discussing the current legal situation of the Hmong refugees at Wat Tham Krabok with Thai government officials and the U.S. Embassy. The Thai government has had over six million refugees in the past 25 years. Currently, they are trying to dissolve the remaining refugee camps in Thailand. They want to leave that last chapter of the Vietnam War behind them.

Next, our delegation had the opportunity to go into the camp and spend time with the refugees. This group of Hmong refugees is an extraordinary group of individuals.I could tell, from the look on their faces, that they are full of hope, anticipation of their future and a desire to do better for themselves and for their children. They looked to us for hope. We represented to them the hopes and dreams they have had over the past 20 years to begin new lives with opportunities for prosperity. Those days I spent in the camp were overwhelming, and days that will never be taken away from me personally, professionally or as a U.S. citizen.

Working with this delegation on behalf of Saint Paul Public Schools allowed me to interact with community members who play crucial roles in the future arrival of the refugees.We have been in continuous contact with each other, trying to make the best possible decisions that will affect the future lives of these refugees.

At this point in the journey, we are starting to look at Transitional Language Centers for these Wat Tham Krabok refugees as their first contact with SPPS. The purpose of the TLCs is to provide students with cultural and educational building blocks to better transition to Language Academy, and for TLC staff to collect information on educational and emotional needs of the students.

We are still in the planning phase of this project, but we will continue to update you with our plans through the Weekly Facts.Also in the near future, I will be giving a presentation on my trip where you will have the opportunity to hear more details and see pictures.I will notify you of the place and time of this presentation through the Weekly Facts as well.

I need to ask each of you to once again renew your commitment to joining SPPS and my leadership in an effort to create the best programs possible for these future Hmong Americans.I feel, as director of English Language Learner Programs at Saint Paul Public Schools, that this new influx of refugees has awoken my passion. The future opportunity we have to change the lives of so many young children and adults is the opportunity of a lifetime.  All of you who work daily with ELL students understand the power of helping people with their future. Saint Paul Public Schools has the opportunity to be a development model for large groups of refugee resettlement in the United States, and we need to create a roadmap so needs of future refugees are met in the most effective and appropriate ways. Thank you, once again, for your support of these new refugees.

Valeria Silva
ELL Programs Director


EA Nominations are due in 9 Days!!!

Reminder--EA nominations are due Friday, April 23, 2004. They're due earlier than previous years to allow for engraving. Take this opportunity to show appreciation for the job your EAs are doing to support ELL students.

"A Focus on the Latino Student"--Presentation on April 29th

Raul Yzaguirre, President, National Council of La Raza, will be speaking at a free event, THURSDAY, APRIL 29TH 2004, at the University of St. Thomas. He will be the keynote speaker on Issues Affecting Urban Education, "A Focus on the Latino Student". The presentation will take place from 6:30-9:00 at Terrence Murphy Hall. Call (651) 962-4455 for a reservation.

FYI - Information on Hmong Refugee Sponsorship for Relatives

Hmong American Partnership, a St. Paul-based mutual assistance association for Hmong and other immigrants, held two public meetings for Hmong residents of the Twin Cities who are interested in sponsoring resettlement of relatives from a camp in Thailand on April 12 and 13 at Arlington High School.

Twin Cities residents who want to sponsor relatives for resettlement from the temple compound can fill out a "refugee interest card" at one of the agencies that assists with refugee resettlement:

Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota, 612-879-5305, www.lssmn.org

Catholic Charities of St. Paul and Minneapolis, 651-222-3001, www.ccspm.org

International Institute of Minnesota, 651-647-0191, www.iimn.org

Minnesota Council of Churches, Refugee Services, 612-870-5660, www.mnchurches.org

Filing the form can help speed the process, advocates say, but those who do should make sure the information they put down is accurate and complete because government agencies will check it thoroughly.

Señorita Extraviada: Missing Young Women

The Human Rights Center, La Raza Cultural Center, and the Office for University Women at the U of M Law School will host a Screening and Community Discussion: Señorita Extraviada: Missing Young Women.

The screening is part of the Human Rights Center's Human Rights Film Series that endeavors to bring experts and community members together to raise awareness, allow for discussion, and take action on issues about human rights abuses affecting local, national, and international communities.

Señorita Extraviada: Missing Young Women
Monday, May 3, 2004
6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
University of Minnesota Law School, Room 25
Free and open to the public, Community discussion will follow
Schedule of Events:
6:00 pm - 6:30 pm: Reception and Registration
6:30 pm - 6:45 pm: Introduction and Background to Film
6:45 pm - 8:05 pm: Showing of film, Senorita Extraviada
8:05 pm - 9:00 pm: Discussion with Audience and Panelists

Three organizations at the University of Minnesota: The Human Rights Center, La Raza Student Cultural Center, and the Office for University Women - will host a free screening of Señorita Extraviada: Missing Young Women, the story of over 370 kidnapped, raped, and murdered young women of Ciudad Juárez and Chihuahua City, Mexico. The murders first came to light in 1993 and young women continue to "disappear" to this day without authorities taking concrete action to stop the killings or punish those responsible. The climate of violence against women continues to grow at an alarming rate. The three partnering organizations are joining efforts to facilitate learning about the situation of women of Northern Mexico and what actions can be taken to assist in the women's movement. The documentary moves like the unsolved mystery it is, and the filmmaker poetically investigates the circumstances of the murders and the horror, fear, and courage of the families whose daughters have been brutally murdered.

The screening will begin with a brief presentation to provide a historical background to the film provided by Ms. Alondra Espejel, Outreach Coordinator, University of Minnesota Chicano Studies Department. This will be followed by a panel discussion featuring: Ms. Alondra Espejel; Ms. Carol Kiecker, Mother of Cynthia Kiecker, who is wrongly accused for the murder of Viviana Rayas and currently held in custody with her husband (Ulises Perzabal) in Chihuahua state prison; Ms. Robin Phillips, Executive Director, Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights; and Maritza Valenzuela, collective member of local activist group, Solidaridad para Mujeres (Solidarity for Women).

Donations will be welcome to support Justicia para Nuestras Hijas based in Cuidad Chihuahua, Mexico. This group supports a number of families in their search for justice in their daughters' cases, while defending those wrongly accused of committing the murders.

Señorita Extraviada is produced by Lordes Portillo whose films have focused on the search for Latino identity. She has worked in a richly varied range of forms, from television documentary to satirical video-film collage.


Please contact Jacqueline at 612-626-0041 for additional information.


Don't miss these MNYWI training opportunities! Get Positive Outcomes in Tough Groups


Discipline problems and resulting burn-out can undermine good youth work and good youth workers. Join Marius Massie in this 4-hour workshop where he will give you the tools you need to:

  • Create the proper environment for effective learning
  • Model excellent character for your youth
  • Build appropriate and beneficial relationships
  • Develop effective discipline
  • Help your youth find the positive strengths within themselves


Thursday, April 29
8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Bethlehem Community Center
2539 Pleasant Ave. So.
Minneapolis, MN 55404
Cost: $40 ($30 if you register by April 21)

Understanding Urban Youth

Youth in urban America face desperate social and economic conditions. Why do some succeed despite the overwhelming odds against them?

Dr. Corliss Outley will lead youth workers to explore this paradox along with the myths and truths of urban youth culture as they develop a deeper level of understanding of some of the dynamics related to working with urban youth.

Participants in this three-session, 9-hour workshop will be immersed in urban youth culture and:

  • Examine assumptions about urban youth
  • Explore the truths and myths of urban youth culture
  • Develop tools to effectively mentor and communicate with urban youth
  • Learn how to implement programs that appeal to urban youth


Three Thursdays: May 6, 13, and 20
8:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Minneapolis Urban League
2100 Plymouth Ave. No.
Minneapolis, MN 55411

Cost: $100 ($90 if you register by April 29)

Class sizes are limited! Take advantage of the Early Registration discounts and ensure yourself a place in the class. To register, visit our website at www.youthworkinstitute.org

Questions? Call Colleen at (612)624-1999.

Teaching about Islam in the context of Social Studies and World Religions

On Monday, May 3, we will be offering a professional development opportunity about teaching Islam in the context of social studies and world religions. If you are interested in a registration form or more information on this or other opportunities - visit the professional development section.


We are now in the Spring Pre-LAS testing window

This year we will be requiring all kindergarten students that have an HLQ other than English and a fall Pre-LAS level of 1-4 to be tested again this spring. The testing window for the spring is from April 5-April 30. Scores are due by April 30. Please use the score sheet (see attachment at bottom of page) to record scores. Send the score sheets via inter-district mail to Al Levin at 360 Colborne--ELL Department.


Fall Window

September 2 - October 10, 2003

Due: October 10, 2003


Students entering between October 10 - February 13
should be tested immediately and again in the spring.


Students entering between February 13 - April 5 should be tested immediately.
This will be their spring score.


Spring Window

April 5 - April 30, 2004

Due: April 30, 2004




 Teachers Wanted!

Iskawaran! Do you know someone who is looking for a part time job? The adult high school diploma program supervised by Volunteers of America is looking for a teacher for their program on the west bank in Minneapolis. The adult learners are mostly Somali and Oromo.

Here are the logistics:
Time: 5:00 - 9:00 PM (M-F)
Pay: $20/hour
Class size average: 15 students
Location: 924 - 19th Avenue South, Minneapolis (Cedar and Franklin)

If you are interested, please contact: Weli Dirie @ 612-272-6518 or email wdirie@voamn.org. Their fax number is 612-375-0800.




Saint Paul Public Schools, District 625 | 360 Colborne Street, Saint Paul, MN, 55102|651-767-8100|communications@spps.org