Weekly Facts 2003-2004

September 24, 2003 Weekly Facts

Saint Paul Reading Recovery Conference

Title of Session:

Ninth Annual Saint Paul Reading Recovery Conference

Target Audience:

Administrators, Reading Recovery Teachers, and Saint Paul Teachers Sponsored by Saint Paul Public Schools


Arlington High School, 1495 Rice Street, Saint Paul, MN


Saturday, October 4, 2003


8:00 a.m.-8:30 a. m. Registration and continental breakfast

8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Conference time


$10 for Saint Paul Public School Teachers

Make checks payable to I.S.D. 625

Center Contact:

Karen Odegard, Literacy Coach karen.odegard@spps.org 651-793-5551

Reading Recovery Registration Form.pdf

Tutors for Migrant Programs


The Title I Migrant Education Program is seeking bilingual (Spanish) ELL teachers or EAs for the secondary afterschool tutoring program in Harding, Humboldt, Arlington and Cleveland 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.


New Cultural Courses Preserve Hmong Culture and Language


John Welbes article "Sharing Lessons From Home" in the Saint Paul Pioneer Press describes Phalen Lake Elementary in St. Paul, Minnesota, which offers both Hmong and Spanish cultural courses to its students as electives. The courses were instituted at the request of Hmong parents and community leaders who were concerned that their children were losing their native language and culture. Although similar Spanish-speaking courses had been offered for decades in the district through the Latino

Consent Decree, these bilingual courses were a first for Hmong students.

For many of the students at the school, Hmong is the language they feel most comfortable speaking; however, the cultural courses will also

develop the students? reading and writing skills, areas less developed. This summer the school is adding on seven rooms to meet the growing requests for attendance.

To read the entire article, visit: http://www.twincities.com/mld/pioneerpress/news/local/6676992.htm


Change in Weekly Facts Format


In order to provide a way for staff to review old Weekly Facts, we are going to begin publishing the Weekly Facts directly on our web page rather than sending the contents by email every week. This does not mean that you will not receive an email each week. The email that you receive will have a link to the Weekly Facts webpage and a link to the ELL Calendar. You will receive a test copy of this email after you get this Weekly Facts. The links in that email will take you to a copy of this information. We will run the two systems together this week and next week to ensure that you are getting the links and that they are working.

In order for the link to work, you will need to make sure that your internet browser options are set correctly (You can choose the option that you prefer). First, just try clicking on the link in the email. If it works, you won't have to do anything. If it doesn't work, there are instructions from the Lotus Notes Help File below to guide you through the process.

You can choose which Web browser to use with Notes. The Notes browser and Notes with Internet Explorer let you view Web pages without leaving Notes. You can also have Notes launch another browser application (such as Netscape Navigator or Microsoft Internet Explorer) when you want to open a Web page from within Notes.

To change browsers

  1. From the menu, choose File - Preferences - Location Preferences.
    Macintosh OS X users: Notes - Preferences - Location Preferences.
  2. Click the Internet Browser tab.
  3. Select a browser in the Internet Browser field.
  4. Select Notes or Notes with Internet Explorer to view Web pages without leaving Notes.
  5. Select Netscape Navigator, Microsoft Internet Explorer, or Other to have Notes launch another browser.
  6. If you selected Other in Step 3, click the flashlight icon to specify the path to the browser program you want to use.
  7. Click Save and Close.

More Practice to see if your Web Browser Preferences Work


Below is an email from Paul Magnuson at the Minnesota Department of Education. The information and the link are about an organization that advocates for immigrant students. The website contains information in several languages about immigrant rights. If the preferences discussed above are set correctly, the link at the bottom will take you to their webpage.

Here is a link to the organization that publishes annually the school opening alert re rights of immigrants to public education. You might want to consider printing and copying relevant info for distribution and/or posting in your schools.






Below is an attachment that was sent to all principals in the Superintendent's Weekly Bulletin about the TEAE and SOLOM Assessments. I have attached the file in Word and as a PDF. Please make sure you are familiar with the information. Thanks.

PrinLetTEAE&SOLOM F03.pdf




September 11, 2003


Teachers Reminded to Save Receipts for Educators' Deduction


As the new school year begins, the Internal Revenue Service is reminding teachers and other educators to save their receipts for purchases of books and classroom supplies. These out-of-pocket expenses may lower their 2003 taxes.


Taxpayers may subtract up to $250 of qualified expenses when figuring their adjusted gross income (AGI) for 2003. This deduction is available whether or not the taxpayer itemizes deductions on Schedule A.  In his budget for next year, President Bush has proposed increasing this deduction to $400.


The deduction is available to eligible educators in public or private elementary or secondary schools. To be eligible, a person must work at least 900 hours during a school year as a teacher, instructor, counselor, principal or aide.


The IRS suggests that educators keep records of qualifying expenses in a folder or envelope with a label such as "Educator Expenses Deduction," noting the date, amount and purpose of each purchase. This will help prevent a missed deduction at tax time.


More information about the Educator Expense Deduction is available on-line at:


09-11-03 NCLB Extra Credit.pdf


Professional Development Opportunities

for ELL educational assistants - Reading Skills for Paraeducators starting October 2, 2003 - December 18, 2003

Reading Skills for Paras.pdf

for ELL elementary teachers - Writer's Workshop Level I Professional Development. See flyer for dates

Writer's Workshop Flyer.pdf


Minnesota Humanities Commission Workshops

Here are several workshops that might be of interest to you:


Hmong Language, Literacy, and Literature Workshop

Tuesday, October 14, 2003; 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

Location: Humanities Education Center, St. Paul

Cost: $10, including lunch and one children's book from the Hmong Translation Initiative

Learn more about Hmong language, literacy, and literature through presentations and displayed resources. Featured resources include contemporary adult literature, a Hmong/English

dictionary produced in both book and CD formats, Hmong Public Library resources, an annotated bibliography of Hmong-related works, Hmong/English bilingual children's books, and much more. Materials will be available for sale during the workshop.

Register on-line using our secure server at: https://secure.minnesotahumanities.org/secure/tiregister.phtml

Family Literacy Book Club: English Literacy Instruction for Immigrant/Refugee Parents

Saturday, October 18, 2003; 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.

Location: Humanities Education Center, St. Paul

Cost: $25, including lunch and book

Participants in this book club will read and discuss The ESL Handbook by Jill Bell. The session will also include two presentations on the topic as well as resource viewing and small group discussion of the book with peers. Patsy Vinogradov (Hamline University and Metro North ABE) will be the morning speaker. Questions that will be addressed during this session include: What are the different literacy backgrounds of refugee/immigrant parents? How can I teach parenting and/or basic English lessons when my students have little or no literacy skills in their native language and/or English? What are some teaching resources for use with low literate adults?

Register online using our secure server at: https://secure.minnesotahumanities.org/secure/tiregister.phtml

Elementary Information


English PreLAS2000 Scores Due

English Pre-LAS scores are due by October 10.

Please send the scores on the Pre-LAS Data Score Sheets to Al Levin at the ELL Department via inter-district mail.

The Score Sheet is the same as the one used last year. Please be sure to include the students' CIF number and

indicate (using a "K") if the child is a KLDM student. If you do not have the Score Sheet, you may download the

following PDF file to print and make copies as needed:

PreLAS200score sheet'03-'04.pdf


Spanish PreLAS 2000 Scores Due

Please, complete the Spanish Pre-LAS testing and send the scores by October 24, 2003.

Send the scores on the LCD Pre-LAS Scores Sheet to Maria Alicia Arabbo at the ELL Department via inter-district mail.

Here is the form:

Pre-LAS Spanish.pdf

Study Groups for Elementary ELL Teachers


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 at mai.vang@spps.org

Secondary Information

Star Tribune

Star Tribunes will be starting to come to your buildings the week of September 29th. Here's a note from Anne: I contacted Cheryl Rosebrook at the Strib and she told me that they cannot deliver newspapers inside the building, so if on the order form you wrote a room for the papers to be delivered to, please be aware that they will not be delivered there; In those cases they will be delivered to the main entrance. I also asked about having your bundles marked with the contact teacher's name, but she said that if other teachers in your building order newspapers, they will be delivered with yours, not separately. So if you are having a problem with getting your 30 papers, please talk to your secretary, principal, or announce at a staff meeting that you also receive papers on "X" day and that they should leave 30 for you. If you have other problems with the papers, you can call me at 767-8387 or send me an email.

Newspapers In Education (NIE)

Many of you have asked about the on-line articles and practice tests that were once offered by the Star Tribune. While they don't seem to offer the same service, the Star Tribune does have an education section on their website: http://www.startribune.com/education/


Your principal has received a letter from Maria Lamb and Valeria Silva in the Superintendents Bulletin (http://staff.spps.org/superintendent/bulletin/) regarding the upcoming TEAE and MN-SOLOM assessments. It explains the importance of getting all of our students tested and assessed between October 20 and 31. This letter includes a list of teacher training dates, which are as follows:


October 2 7:30 - 9AM rooms J and K AND 3- 4:30 PM auditorium B

October 7 7:30 - 9AM auditorium A

October 8 3- 4:30 PM auditorium B

October 9 3 -4:30 PM auditorium B

October 14 7:30 - 9AM rooms J and K

October 15 3 -4:30 PM rooms D and E


Attention ELL Testing Contacts

Your principal received a letter from Valeria regarding TEAE and MN-SOLOM assessments preparations. In this letter she requested that your school set up a meeting among your assessment team (building administrator, your building test coordinator, you and at least one other mainstream teacher). Phi Vu and your friendly TOSA will attend this meeting to plan logistics and administration of these assessments. Please make sure your principal faxes the assessment team meeting contact form to Phi Vu at 651-293-5411 by September 27th, 2003.


ELL Secondary Study Groups (formerly known as Secondary Learning Circles)

The Learning Circles, now called ELL Secondary Study Groups, will begin on October 1, 2003. Anne has heard from 7 people who are interested. Please let Anne know if you're interested in taking part in the study groups this year by emailing her at anne.lowe@spps.org. Let her also know what your interest is for topics;, i.e. examining student work, reading a book, or reading articles. You will be paid the workshop attendance rate for 2 hours and you can use this as part of your PDP.

Would you be willing to host one or more of the ELL Secondary Study Groups at your school? We need hosts for the following days (all are Wednesdays from 3-5 pm):

-November 5th -December 3rd -March 3rd -April 7th -If you can host for any of these days please contact Anne Lowe today.




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