Transition Plus December 17

Think like a proton....always positive

A friendly reminder: If you have information that needs to go out to the whole staff, and it can wait until Monday, submit it to be included in the MMM. We are trying to cut down on all staff emails.

My Wish for You!

Please remember as we move into this darkest time of the year, the celebrations of light and joy are around for many cultures and religions.

While this may create a time of joy for you, your family and your friends, for others this may be a difficult time of the year. It may be a time to have to make hard choices about where to put resources of time energy and money. For some of our students being on break for two weeks will be fun and exciting, while for others this may be a time of missing friends, structure , routine and two predictable meals a day.

I hope each of you is able to take time to refresh and rejuvenate while away from school for two weeks. Enjoy this time away. Take time to reflect and find gratitude.

As we come back we will have a short time before the semester changes. The days will continue to get longer and we will need to continue to support our students in how they move forward for the rest of the school year and beyond.

My wish to all of you is Peace, Joy and Happiness as we closeout 2018 and move forward into 2019!

Case Manager Check-Ins

During several conversations over the past week, I learned there have been assumptions, misperceptions and judgments made regarding certain students and student programming.

If you have questions or direct information that would be important for a case manager to know about their student, please have a direct conversation with that person. Everyone is working hard for the success of their students and when misinformation is out there it can undermine student success.

When in doubt- check it out!

Hi, everyone!

I wanted to remind you all of our partnership between the Guthrie Theater and Transitions Plus. As a Guthrie Teaching Artist in residence, I offer collaboration with you on arts engagement strategies to use in the classroom.

This might look like me doing some co-teaching in your classroom on a particular unit or number of lessons. Or it might look like us brainstorming ideas during your planning period for you to try out and me offering some coaching from an arts integration standpoint. Recently, I have been working with one of Jake's social skills classes to incorporate acting activities that look at appropriate touch, based on the relationship and activities to practice setting and respecting boundaries. I've also been doing some acting scenes/role play in one of Janet's ELL classes and her CNA class to practice and reinforce skills they are learning.

You can think of me as a supplement to the work you're already doing. I am in the building most Mondays and Thursdays through 4th period, with some exceptions when I have other projects going on. I won't be able to work with every student and every teacher this year, but if you are interested in collaborating with me please don't hesitate to reach out and we can find a time to chat. Email is the best way to contact me - I'm looking forward to continuing to connect and collaborate!

Do you have a student who wants to apply to be an intern with Project SEARCH at Children's Hospital or Hennepin Health next school year? Check their date of birth to confirm that they have at least a year of eligibility left and consider getting started on some items for the application packet.

Project SEARCH applications will be available in early February in T227- the work coordinator office. Meanwhile, you can help your student gather some of the needed items together.

Each candidate will need: a resume, 2 letters of recommendation, their high school transcript, their immunization record, a photo of themselves, a copy of their most recent eval, and a copy of their current IEP. All of the items must be submitted together.

Please come to T227 with any Project SEARCH questions.

SEL Work Groups

There will be two opportunities for staff to deepen the work of SEL- We are a part of a grant. The grant will include some time to meet as a group and then to meet regularly after hours as determined by each team. We will be partnering with staff at Longfellow for these opportunities.

If you are interested in either of these opportunities and are a licensed staff member. Please let me know.

  • The first group will be exploring SEL and Project Based Learning
  • The second group will be expanding advisory activities from the work done this past summer- Ideally we would also like representation from Team 1 on here too.

Survey Says!

The 5E Survey is live for all licensed staff and students. You should have received an email with a username and passcode from UChicago Impact Surveys last week.

The window remain open until December 21st. Students will need their birth dates and student ID numbers to log in.

Please contact Rachel Prince for more information.

This is a survey we will need a certain percentage completed by this time. Thanks for completing it ASAP!

The next Accuplacer will be held on Wednesday, December 19th in

Patricia's room, T201, during 2nd, 3rd, and 4th period.

Sign-ups will be posted outside Rachel's room, T314.

February is African American Heritage Month which is a great time to reflect on the community we build with our friends, family and neighbors.

We can make this year's celebration meaningful with some preparation. As a building, we can do anything from inviting families for coffee to preparing students to reflect on and share their thoughts and journeys to inviting people from the community to help celebrate.

Tell Colleen your ideas for how to make it meaningful for our students and our community and how you are willing to participate in making that happen.

It is time to start planning for 2nd Semester CBI Modules. Some module pairings from 1st semester can be repeated if needed/appropriate.

Each teacher shall facilitate 2 rounds per semester. If you didn't facilitate a module in round 3, you are a good candidate to facilitate in round 4.

February 1st will come upon us VERY quickly after the break so it would be a good idea to make a plan before break.

Just a reminder--

  • Everyone should sign in. There have been instances where staff intercepts a visitor before the office staff has a chance to ask the person to sign in. Please support us in ensuring that all visitors have signed in. This includes district staff who are visitors to our building.

  • All staff should use their swipe card or #3 key to gain access to the building from outside. Let's try to be gentle on the security monitors and be as self sufficient as possible.

  • Staff can gain entry to the office from the main, shared hallway by swiping your card on the wall to the right of the door as you are looking at the office.

  • Walkie Talkies should be put in the charger and turned off overnight. If they are not turned off, the charge will not last throughout the day.

  • If you need to order materials or goods for an upcoming class or project, please let Traci know as far in advance as possible. The purchasing department has launched a new system and for now, it may take a bit longer than usual to get orders.

  • The sensory room and quiet room are not for staff breaks

  • Payroll should be entered by Friday payday. Traci starts approving on Monday morning and continues through Tuesday. If you enter or change anything on ESS after Tuesday at 4:00, you will need to let Traci know.

Please refer to the payroll schedule here

Multicultural Literacy Resources

Check out these great multicultural literacy resources! Be sure to choose narration in the student's native language along with English. They can have the book read to them in their native language, then in English.

Unite for Literacy provides free digital access to picture books, narrated in many languages. Literacy is at the core of a healthy community, so we unite with partners to enable all families to read with their young children.

Storybooks Minnesota has stories from many countries. There are stories with Characters that reflect many of our students. Stories can be read to students in the language that you choose and in the level that you choose.

Work Based Learning Update

We are shifting the way we are doing work coordination to be more in line with providing supports based on teams. With this concerted effort, we hope to be clear on who can help you with providing the supports your students need.

Team 1 is served by Work Coordinator Ben Redriguez.

Team 2 is served by Work Coordinators Dana Treml and Trish Praus.

Team 3 is served by Work Coordinator Peggy Wilcox.

Team 4 is served by Trish Praus.

Please contact the work coordinator for your team with your Work Based Learning questions and to request that a work coordinator attend IEP meetings as needed.

If you have a student at a work site, and there are urgent concerns, please contact the Work Coordinator for that worksite with your questions and concerns. The site work coordinator will keep the primary team work coordinator informed of the situation. Please contact the work coordinator assigned to your team with non-urgent issues.

Work experience site

Ebenezer –Peggy

D. I. W. Food Shelf –Dana

Cookie Cart –Trish

Community Child Care Center –Trish

ARC Valu Village –Ben

Children’s Dental –Ben


Waite House kitchen & food shelf –Ben

Pillsbury Child Care Center –Ben

Reach Out & Read -Ben

Student leaders have been busy planning and acting in service learning and as youth advocates for students and our building.

The Youth Participatory Evaluation (YPE) Team is researching student voice and lunch options. We’re participating in Service Leadership. Students will be acting as Student Ambassadors by providing tours of our new building.

Also, look out for donation boxes for Pennies for Patients which benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Finally, students will be leading a food drive which will benefit the food shelf at the Division of Indian Work. More details to come...

Textbook Replacement Funds

We have a limited amount of money to use for replacement books, literature, etc. Please think of books that are needed to reinforce your class library, curriculum room, etc.

Send your lists to Traci no later than January 21st.


To ensure that you are paid timely on January 4th for the pay period December 10-21, this period must be entered on ESS by noon on Wednesday, December 19th.

If there are errors, I will put notes in mailboxes for on-site staff, and will send emails for off-site staff. I will not send emails if your time is not entered.

I will not have access to approve time over winter break.

Please see Traci if you have any questions.

ESS Outage

Planned Outage of SAP and ESS

There will be a planned outage of our SAP systems, including Employee Self-Service (ESS) and Online Purchasing (SRM), starting at 4 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 3, and ending by 7 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 7. During this time, staff will not be able to view paystubs, enter time, submit requisitions, etc.

Employees will be able to view their paystubs for their Jan. 4 paycheck (covering the pay period from Dec. 9 through Dec. 22) beginning at 12:01 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 3. Paystubs will be available until ESS shuts down at 4:00 p.m. that day.

Please plan your use of these systems accordingly. If you have any questions regarding your paystub, please contact MPS Payroll at

Center for Adult Education Celebration

On Friday, December 21 the administration team would like to celebrate our two groups of staff and provide lunch for you. This will be our gift to you this holiday season and a way to mingle and get to know our colleagues we are sharing a building with.

Lunch will be provided in the staff break room from 10:45-1 pm.

Come and celebrate !

Grand Opening

Our Grand opening will be Wednesday, January 9, 2019

We will celebrate in the lobby from 10:30-11:30. Please feel free to bring your students down during this time to get a treat.

Be aware, there will be a number of people touring the building during this time.

Upcoming at TPlus

Monday -------- PSWE/ Equity & Engagement ---------- 8:30-------T213

Tuesday -------- Team 2 Meeting

Wednesday---- Team 3 Meeting

Thursday-------- Team 1 Meeting

------------------------ Family Resource Event- International Potluck

------------------------This will be an opportunity for families to tour the new building.

Friday ------------ ILT --------------------------------------------------- 8:30------T106

------------------------Luncheon provided by building administration.

----------------------- A chance to mingle with our neighbors