Weekly Facts 2003-2004

November 5, 2003 Weekly Facts


November 5, 2003


| Joint Information | Elementary Information | Secondary Information |

| ELL Calendar |

Joint Information 

GRANTS IN ACTION - Journey to East Africa Inspires Teacher Professionally and Personally

Abdisalam Adam, an SPPS ELL teacher, received a grant from the Saint Paul Foundation to travel to Africa this summer. Read about his adventures in the Current Events section.

Interpreters for Conferenes

Please remember to schedule interpreters for conferences 5 working days in advance. Our resources are limited. if you do not schedule in advance, you might not get any person to help out in your building. Also remember that our list of Hmong interpreters is especially limited because many schools request this service. Remember to coordinate this process with your principal. The Translation Department cannot be responsible for setting up conference times.  Please contact Alejandra Bosch in the Translations Department if you have any questions. 

As schools schedule parent-teacher conferences, it may be necessary to take the following issues into considerations: The Muslim Fasting month of Ramadan will continue until November 24 or 25. It will be difficult for Muslim parents to attend conferences in the evening. They usually start eating at sunset. It may therefore be necessary to schedule them late in the evening, preferably after 7:00 PM. Howver, avoid holding any conferences on the 24th and 25th when Muslims will be celebrating Eid Al-Fitr (Feast  of Breaking the Fast). The exact day could not be determined untill the day before it occurs, depending on sighting of the new moon. Generally, students and staff will be absent from school on that day.  

Assistance with Professional Development

The ELL Department is having some problems with information on Professional Development Opportunities for mainstream teachers.  We have published the information in our Weekly Facts, on the website and in the Superintendent's Weekly Bulletin.  We have also submitted this infomration to the Professional Development Catalog which has not yet been published.  However, we don't yet have a regular means of communication with this population. 

We would like to request that you read the Weekly Facts with the idea of disseminating the information to others that may benefit from the information.  Meanwhile, we will look at ways of getting the  information to them directly.  Thanks in advance for your assistance in this matter. 

Scaffolding Strategies to Work With English Language Learners

Sessions: January 29 (Part 1) and February 19 (Part 2) March 8 (Part 1) and April 14 (Part 2)

Develop strategies and practices to support English language learners in content area classes at the secondary level. For more information and registration forms, you can go directly to the Scaffolding Strategies to Work With English Language Learners page. This professional development opportunity is for teachers grades 6-12. Please post and share the flyer with your staff.

 Have you Met your Neighbors?

In October, the City Pages ran a three part series enttled "Meet the Neighbors" about immigrants in Minnesota. We have provided a link to that series on-line as part of our Current Events related to ELL section of the website. Check this section out for other information. The information in the third part of the series, Who's Here and Why? is a breakdown of local immigrant populations collected from the International Institute of Minnesota, the Minnesota Department of Health, the U.S. Census, and the U.S. State Department

Grant Opportunities

Gates Millennium Scholarships
Perhaps students that you know would be good candidates for this.  It's a great opportunity for any who might meet the criteria.  Nominations are accepted for students we will be college freshmen next school year (2004-2005).  I hope you will pass it on to teachers who might have students they would like to nominate.  The nomination information, criteria and procedure are found at:


A FAFSA, legal immigrant status and a very healthy GPA are required.

Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund

MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund) has put together a list of scholarships for which a social security number is not necessary.  It can be found at: http://www.maldef.org/pdf/Scholarships_072003.pdf 

 You may also wish to share the above information with high school counselors who may be working with students eligible for one of the above. 

 Mary P. Diaz Director, Minnesota Field Office Comprehensive Center - Region VI Hamline University 1536 Hewitt Avenue  MS C1924 St. Paul, MN  55104 Tel: (651) 523-2239 Fax: (651) 523-3047

James and the Giant Peach Presentation

Lex-Ham Community Theater is presenting this theater experience. It is being directed by Virginia Anderson who works in the Grants Office.

James, a curious young orphan forced to live with his two cruel aunts, is taken on a fantastic journey when he discovers a magic peach. The play, based on a beautifully-written story by Roald Dahl, unfolds in a series of mishaps and adventures involving James, the peach, and a cast of wacky bugs.

Performances will be 7:30 p.m., Nov 7, 14, 21, 22 2:30 p.m., Nov 8, 15, 23 10:00 a.m., November 13, 2003 St. Paul Central High School 275 N Lexington Pkwy, St. Paul

Available Texts

The following texts are available for anyone who could use them. Spanish titles are texts written in Spanish. Please contact Mary McGill 767-8159 if interested.
  • Vecindarios y Comunidades- Soc. Stud. Silver, Burdett and Ginn - grade 2 text
  • Comunidades y Recursos - Soc. Stud. Silver, Burdett and Ginn -grade 3 text
  • Soc. Stud. Silver, Burdett and Ginn -Comunidades de Nuestro Pais - grade 3 text
  • Soc. Stud. Silver, Burdett and Ginn -Familias y sus Necesidades -grade 2 wkbk
  • Soc. Stud. Silver, Burdett and Ginn Comunidades y sus Necesidades (88) grade 2 wkbk
  • Writing Hampton-Brown- Via Libre - grade 4 text
  • Reading -The Economy Company - Hasta Luego - level 5
  • Reading Minerva Books - La Pata Pita - grade 1 text
  • Reading Macmillan/McGraw-Hill -Sal, Solecito - level 3 teacher's guide
  • Reading Macmillan/McGraw-Hill Luna, Lunera -level 5 teacher's guide
  • Reading Macmillan/McGraw-Hill Puerta del Sol - level 7 teacher's guide
  • Reading Macmillan/Mcgraw-Hill -Buen Viaje-teacher's guide
  • Reading Macmillan/Mcgraw-Hill -Naranja Dulce -teacher's guide
  • Reading Houghton Mifflin - Skylights - practice book
  • ESL Scott Foresman -English Around the World - level 2 skills
  • ESL Scott Foresman - English Around the World -level 3 skills
  • ESL Scott Foresman -English Around the World - level 2 activities
  • ESL Scott Foresman - English Around the World - level 3 activities
  • ESL Scott Foresman - English Around the World - teacher's guide
  • Foundations activity guide -preschool
  • Strong Women- a bibliography of literature for high school

Bilingual Tutors Wanted

The Title I Migrant Education Program is seeking bilingual (Spanish) ELL teachers or EAs for the secondary afterschool tutoring program in Harding and Arlington schools. The program is 2-4 hours a week of BST preparation after school. Days and times are flexible. Salary for teachers is $19.48/hour; for EAs, the same hourly rate you receive during the school day. If interested, please call or email Mary McGill at 767-8159, mary.mcgill@spps.org.

Embedding Hmong Culture into the Social Studies Curriculum

Choose one date:

grades K-1

  • November 3
  • November 5

Grades 2-3

  • November 10
  • November 12

Teachers will:

  1. Learn about the richness of the Hmong culture.
  2. Examine Hmong culture sample lesson plans as it relates to the Saint Paul Public Schools Social Studies Standards.
  3. Receive a grade level Hmong Culture Kit containing a Teacher's Handbook, teacher resource books about the Hmong, children's literature, Hmong dolls, children's games, and traditional Hmong music.
  4. Make and take samples to include in the culture kit.

For more information, you can go directly to the Embedding Hmong Culture page. Please help advertise these sessions by posting this flyer as this is a professional development opportunity for K-3 mainstream classroom teachers.

Letters About Literature

The Center for the Book in the Library of Congress invites readers in grades 4 through 12 to enter Letters About Literature, a national reading-writing contest. To enter, readers write a personal letter to an author, living or dead, from any genre-- fiction or nonfiction, contemporary or classic. explaining how that author's work changed the student's way of thinking about the world or themselves. The deadline is December 6, 2003.

There are three competition levels: Level I for children in grades 4 through 6; Level II for grades 7 and 8, and Level III, grades 9 - 12. Winners receive cash awards at the national and state levels.

Participation guidelines and other information are available at: http://www.loc.gov/loc/cfbook/letters.html

A Trip to the Past! Looking at Today's Somali Life

Session 1: November 10

These sessions will help district staff have deeper perspectives into the history, culture, and civil war experiences of Somali immigrants in Minnesota. A comparative overview of the past and present Somali life will be provided. Sessions will also cover what attracted the Somalis to Minnesota and how they have adapted to their new setting. Video clips and slide presentations will be presented depicting various aspects of Somali life. For more information and registration forms, you can go directly to the A Trip to the Past! Looking at Today's Somali Life page.

Classroom Management for Diverse Populations

Part 1: November 11

Participants will learn how relationship-building techniques such as morning meetings, goal setting and model/practice support English language learning. We will discuss student choice and classroom rules as "can do's." Teacher language and clear expectations will be a focus. For more information and registration forms, you can go directly to the Classroom Management for Diverse Populations page.

Elementary Information


Hmong Students: Cultural, Educational, and Special Education Issues

Sessions on November 19, December 3, January 7 and March 18. Choose one.

Hmong traditional cultural beliefs, values and family structure will be presented. Participants will examine how Hmong parents view the role of schools in educating their children. Hmong perspectives on Special Education will be discussed. This workshop is for K-6 classroom teachers. Please post and share with your staff. For more information and registration forms, you can go directly to the page. For more information and registration forms, you can go directly to the Hmong Students: Cultural, Educational, and Special Education Issues page.

LCD Pre-LAS Reminder

If you have not sent the LCD Pre-LAS report, please send it to the attention of Maria Alicia Arabbo as soon as possible. The dateline was October 24, 2003. Gracias.

Power of Language--MATH

November 12

Comprehension of word problems in mathematics is more than simply a function of reading skills. Participants will learn what makes story problems difficult for English Language Learners and how to minimize these difficulties in order to make math content accessible. Participants will also be able to adapt the Everyday Mathematics curriculum to better serve the needs of English language learners. This workshop is for K-6 classroom teachers. Please post and share with your staff. For more information and registration forms, you can go directly to the page. For more information and registration forms, you can go directly to the Power of Language--Math page.

Study Groups for Elementary ELL Teachers

Next meeting: November 12

ELL Elementary Circles are back with a new name: Study Groups for Elementary ELL Teachers.

Participants will be provided with an opportunity to come together to read, share, and discuss professional articles and their implication for teaching in a large urban public school district. Participants will be required to read assigned articles on educational issues prior to the meetings. The dates of the Study Groups are:

  • November 12, 2003
  • January 14, 2004
  • February 19, 2004
  • March 17, 2004
  • April 15, 2004

Participants should plan to attend all sessions and will receive a stipend.

Please register with Mai Vang


Secondary Information

Today: ELL Secondary Study Groups

Next session: November 5 from 3:00-5:00 at Humboldt JUNIOR High School

We will meet for the 2nd session of the 2003-2004 ELL Secondary Study Groups at Humboldt Junior High in Deb Armstrong's room. If you attended the last session, please come with your book and BST Writing Rubric. If you didn't make it last time and you want to join us this time, you are more than welcome. Please let Anne Lowe know via email or voicemail of your intent to attend.

To get to Humboldt Junior High School, take the Wabasha or High Bridge to George St. (left on George coming off the High Bridge, right on George if coming from the Wabasha Bridge).  Go south on Humboldt Ave. and follow the road up the hill to the Humboldt complex.  Humboldt Junior is the building on the right side.  Go in the door and follow the signs.  If you're confused by these directions, go to mapquest.com and type in directions to 640 Humboldt Ave. with a zip of 55107.

See you there!




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