Capitol Hill Headliner

What's Going On In The World Of Cougars October 23, 2020

SPPS Phase 2 Hybrid Decision

A message from SPPS:

"Thank you for your patience and understanding as we continue planning to transition to hybrid learning. We appreciate your ongoing support and dedication to our SPPS community.

After careful consideration using local data about COVID-19, and these 23 readiness targets, SPPS has decided we cannot transition students in Stage 2 to hybrid learning at this time.

Prioritizing the health needs of students and staff is the first guiding principle for planning to reopen our schools. At this time, SPPS has 8,000 of the expected 10,000 air filters with MERV 11 ratings needed for each Stage 2 building to safely transition to hybrid learning. All buildings currently in operation have adequate supplies of these filters, but due to a national backorder, the filters needed to open additional buildings have not yet been delivered.

Installing air filters with MERV 11 ratings, which catch 10 times more COVID-sized particles during air circulation, is an important part of safely bringing students and staff back to school for in-person learning.

Transitioning students in Stage 2 to hybrid learning will continue to be guided by our readiness targets. SPPS will reevaluate these targets weekly in order to ensure students and staff can return to hybrid learning as quickly and safely as possible.

On Friday, October 30, we will look at our readiness targets again to determine if we are ready to transition Stage 2 schools to hybrid learning. We will use Monday, November 30, as our start date.

Please check your email, and communications from your child’s school on a regular basis for the latest information.

Virtual Learning School

Families in any stage that are not comfortable with their student(s) returning to school have the option to register for the SPPS Virtual Learning School to continue with distance learning for the entire school year.

Stage 2 families who made their enrollment requests by October 16 will be prioritized to keep students at their current schools and in their current programs. Enrollment requests received after that date will be processed and may result in a Virtual Learning School assignment at a different school.

As a reminder, all students enrolled in the Virtual Learning School, before or after the deadline, will maintain their enrollment in their current school for the 2021-22 school year.

Planning for Stages 3-4 Transition to Hybrid Learning

Our ultimate goal is to welcome students and school staff back to our buildings when it is safe and possible to do so.

SPPS will determine on November 30 if students in Stage 3 (grades 3-5) can transition to hybrid learning on January 19. Stage 3 families will get an email early next week with the deadline for enrolling in the Virtual Learning School.

We will provide an update in the near future regarding Stage 4 students (grades 6-12).

All families will receive more information about what hybrid learning looks like in SPPS early next week. For more information, please visit

Thank you for supporting your students, and Saint Paul Public Schools."

PTO News

The Capitol Hill Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) could use your help to support our school community! Please fill out this (quick) volunteer form by November 1st to help us get you connected to the right opportunity. Thank you!

Thanks to all who came to Monday's PTO meeting on Google Meet. Check out the meeting recording to hear Principal Hodges discuss the hybrid and virtual learning school options. To find meeting minutes for October (and information from the past PTO meeting), go to the PTO Hub and click on Meetings.

Please join us in welcoming Kristin Morris to the PTO Board. After a unanimous vote at the October meeting, Kristin will step into a new position as Equity Lead. We plan to explore how the PTO can support equity within our organization and the Capitol Hill community. Kristin's personal experience as an SPPS parent, professional experience as an educator, and enthusiasm for helping out are a great fit for this position. We are excited to begin the PTO's equity journey with Kristin at the helm! Please email if you would like to be connected with Kristin and equity efforts.

Fall Conference Update

Elementary Parent/Teacher Conferences

It is time to sign up for elementary parent/teacher conferences.

At Capitol Hill we use the PTCFast website to manage our conference appointments. This is the same website we used for our goal setting conferences in September. Conferences will be held on Google Meet and you will need to use your child's ipad to attend the meeting due to security settings.

Since we are in distance learning, the conference schedule is very flexible. Each teacher has designed their own schedule. If you are not able to meet at one of their posted times, please contact your child's teacher to make other arrangements.

Here is the link to sign up for a time:

Middle School Parent/Teacher Conferences

We will have more information about how to sign up for middle school conferences next week. Middle school conferences will also be virtual and scheduled in a two-week period beginning Nov. 9 and ending Nov. 20.

Free Meals Continue for School Year 2020-21

Applications Still Needed

On Oct. 9, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that schools may continue to provide free meals to all students and children age 18 and younger and to those with a disability currently enrolled in a school program for the entire 2020-21 school year. More information on Nutrition Services meal access, including meal box pick-up information and home delivery registration, can be found at

While meals for the 2020-21 school year will be provided at no cost, it is still critical for families to complete an Application for Educational Benefits/Free or Reduced Price Meals as these applications will determine how much educational funding each school receives. Also, families must complete an application and qualify for free or reduced price meals to qualify for other assistance programs such as Metro Transit’s $1 Ride program, Comcast’s Internet Essentials, and some scholarships for summer camps. Online applications can be completed at www.schoolcafe/spps. Paper applications can be requested to be sent to your school by emailing