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Virtual Learning! ----August 24, 2020

Dear TPlusRock Stars

Thank you to all of the dedicated staff who have been working to get the schedule ready for students. I am both excited and apprehensive to see what this new school year will bring for us, our students and our families. I believe if we continue to keep students at the forefront of everything we do and they are our "why" we will help them do amazing things this year as we all move through this pandemic and season of change.


I hope you have had a chance to look at the district PD offerings. The schedule was released on Friday 8/21. If you missed it, here it is


I believe we will have an amazing year !


If you'd like to learn more about Phase 2 for back to school see the slides from the board meeting on August 4. Here are some FAQs from that presentation.

Calendar for Return

Licensed Staff/ Teachers- August 24 optional - August 25 -

All ESP return- September 3


Please click here for the back to school weeks to know what is going on. You will also be getting emails from the district regarding registration for these days. NOTE- There has been some changes (and possibly more to come).

Course Design Guidelines

The purpose of these guidelines is to ensure a level of course quality across the district. By using course design guidelines, we can establish consistency in both expectations of staff members and the student experience. Click here for the guidelines.


Staff Building Access

In an effort to plan for who is the building I would like you to share what your intentions are regarding building access while in Phase 2. Please take a moment to fill out this form.


Every time you enter and leave the building you will need to complete this sign in/ sign out. I recommend bookmarking it. It will be time stamped so please complete as you enter and leave the building. You will only be able to enter the building through Door 6. This is to maintain safety and limit contact surfaces.


Please ensure you complete the two trainings on The Source before you enter the building- See Below.

Required Trainings

Two training courses will be available on The Source for Planning for a Safe Return to Work & School. All staff will need to complete the training series before they return to our buildings.The training covers the following information:

  1. COVID-19: Health & Safety Protocols

  2. COVID-19: Cleaning & Disinfecting Surfaces

Back to School Event

We will be having a drive thru Back to School Event on August 27 from 3-6 pm for new and returning students. Students will have the opportunity to pick up or return devices/hotspots, schedules and registration forms. Families have been called and sent a link to a survey to see what their needs are for technology.


If any students/ families contact you with updated technology needs please share that information with Daphne as she is working to ensure that students have devices prior to September 8th start.


This will be an outside event. If you'd like to assist with this event please notify Daphne.


If you would like to help with any technology distribution of students/ families who can not attend our event please see Daphne.

A Note from Our COVID Coordinator- Daphne Breauxsaus

As a COVID Coordinator, I will collaborate with Emily, Angela, engineers and other staff to ensure that both staff and students needs or concerns about safe spaces and having PPE items will be available when and if requested.


There is a Special Education, Health and Related Services District Wide PD September 1st-3rd.


Please click here to find out more and to register for sessions.

Important Staff Information


Staff Information on T-Plus Website -


  • The link to the T-Plus Website is https://transplus.mpls.k12.mn.us/
  • There is a STAFF ONLY section where you can find forms, pay schedule, calendar, MMM issues for you to refer to, along with other good information.
  • The password is Tplus4100
  • It is alos a good idea for you to familiarize your self with the website in general. There is a lot of good information that may be helpful to you if you need to refer anyone to what T-Plus is all about.
  • If you find anything that needs to be corrected, or added, both on the website and the STAFF only section, let Traci know.
  • The website will be updated regularly.
  • Save it to your Favorites 🙂


ESP Communication -

  • All of the ESP staff has been added to Google Shared drive. You will find information that is pertinent to ESP staff only. ESP calendar, expectations and more.
  • If you find anything that would be helpful on the shared drive, let Traci know.
  • https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0AGdYpe9TxQRVUk9PVA
  • Save it to your Favorites 🙂

DPF Help

Deborah Moen and Ross K. Porter will be supporting TPlus this year.

In the first week back, they will be focusing on supporting staff with amending IEP’s. A key part of that is ensuring that students and families are reached, additional services added [if required] and instructional materials provided by teachers as we think about meeting the needs of those students in DL.


You can contact them via email at:

Ross.Porter@mpls.k12.mn.us

Deborah.Moen@mpls.k12.mn.us

Preparing the IEP for Distance Learning:

Here is the presentation of what needs to be done in preparing each student's IEP for Distance Learning.


During Distance Learning, our special education staff (which includes special education teachers, special education assistants, district program facilitators, itinerants, speech and language pathologists, social workers, school psychologists, occupational therapists, physical therapists and SEL Staff) will provide special education services using a variety of different strategies and online platforms based on an individual student’s needs.


Distance Learning will include tools such as instructional videos, online access to educational programs, virtual live sessions, parent consultation, telehealth sessions, and additional resources which will be on Google Classroom for student centers. Special education staff will collaborate with families to determine what services are needed during Distance Learning. In addition, special education staff will collaborate regularly with general education teachers in order for students to access the general education curriculum with the modifications and accommodations in their Individual Education Plan (IEP).


Our students need us more than ever before during these challenging times of COVID-19 and the ongoing racial injustices highlighted by the widening opportunity gap in our city. Special education teachers, support staff, and related services are asked to maintain their ongoing professional responsibilities during distance learning. The plan is for services to look a bit differently than face to face delivery but the quality of instruction needs to remain high and the frequency and duration of the services need to match the IEP as proposed until changed. MPS Monitoring and Compliance will produce documents to guide the writing of IEPs and PWNs as we move forward toward the start of school.


Here is the Special Education Section of the Principal Handbook for this year.

Attendance and Absences

During Distance Learning, the top priority is that students are engaged in learning every day. As such, the definition of an absence is when a student, or parent/guardian for elementary students, does not have contact with the teacher (or designee) on an instructional day.


Click here to review the attendance process.

SEA Expectations

  • SEAs will support students in academics, social emotional learning, and functional/communication as directed by student case managers.

  • SEAs may be a part of both special and general education classrooms during distance learning.

  • If SEAs are working at food sites, delivering packets/devices, etc they will inform the case manager and building administration they work with as well as inform parents that their scheduled student meeting time has changed.

  • SEA’s will provide strategies and home behavior management techniques for families based on each student’s individualized education plan under the supervision of a special education licensed teacher.

  • SEA’s will provide daily/weekly support to students that receive one to one services on their IEPs..

  • SEA’s will consult with the general education teachers and special education staff as directed by the teacher(s) they work closely with.

See 20-21 Expectations for SEAs

SOCIAL EMOTIONAL LEARNING

We recognize that having time and resources to support the social and emotional wellbeing for our students, families and staff is essential to our successful return to our learning community this fall.


In order to further this goal the Accountability, Research & Equity Department’s Equity, SEL and Engagement teams will be focusing on a set of key topics. A list of additional resources has been compiled. Please view then here.

Instructional Leadership Team (ILT)

I have been waiting for the updated application from Q Comp for leadership positions. As of today the application has still not been updated on the district website. If you are interested in applying you can fill out an application from last year - until the new ones are out.

On the team we will have the following staff members continuing-


  • Jason Backes- Principal
  • Greg Kalberer - ILT Lead/ Team 3 teacher
  • Tia Jamison- SEL Lead/ Team 2 teacher/ Union Steward
  • Jamie Brummel- ELL Lead/ PD Lead
  • Christina Brantner- PSWE Lead
  • Trish Praus - Work Coordinator DPF
  • Jeanne Forbes - SSW DPF
  • Brad Albrecht- PDP Lead/Team 3 teacher
  • Rachel Prince-Counselor
  • Aria Campbell- SEA/ Union Steward
  • Colleen Knuth- Family Liaison/ Transportation Coordinator/ CBI Coordinator

New members joining

  • Collin Beachy- Team 1 teacher


If you are interested in being on the ILT please let myself or Greg know and complete an application on the Q Comp website. Send me the completed application.


Team meeting dates and times to be determined after schedule is determined.

PSWE/ SEL/ Equity & Engagement Team

Positive School-Wide Engagement Team (PSWE) has several teams under it. The Equity Team and Engagement and Equity Teams are under this umbrella.


Christina Bratner is the lead for this team. We will need to have a new Equity Lead as Jewell has taken another position. Please Apply here, Send me the completed application.and I will let you know what the team make-up is prior to September 8.


Team meeting dates and times to be determined after schedule is determined.

Staff Changes

We have had a few people leave TPlus beginning this fall and we want to recognize them-
  • Jenneba will be leaving for a new job at Fraser
  • Mary Bock has retired
  • Peggy Wilcox-Browning has retired
  • Katie Flaherty has retired
  • Jewell Reichenberger has accepted a Social Emotional Learning- District Program Facilitator position at Davis
  • Erin Ditmarson has left TPlus
  • Chad Lizakowski will be at another school
  • Michael Green is a part of the teacher residency program
  • Grace Christensen is a part of the teacher residency program


We have some new additions to the TPlus family- 1 additional new teacher

  • Mary Cannon - Team 3 teacher
  • Rekhet Si-Asir- New Psychologist - working with Team 3
  • Hali Good- New Security Monitor
  • Faith Binman- Team 1 teacher joining from Riverbend
  • Rebecca Mijal - New Team 1 teacher
  • Kelly Narden- SEA- joining from Edison
  • Jennifer Yates- SEA joining from Edison
  • Marlene Leighty- SEA joining from Edison
  • Kimberly Doss-Smith- SEA joining from South
  • Matthew Xiong- New SEA
  • Emma Blum- New SEA
  • Muzamil Ibrahim - New SEA


TPlus Staff in New roles

  • Jeremiah Satterthwait- technology teacher
  • Chris Stewart- Engagement Staff
  • Jason Zeihm- SEA

Songs!

Share the songs that help pump you up or calm you down. We can all use a little music to keep us going during these dynamic times.

School Starting and Football Starting are usually Fall Events - Check this out!

Protesting the National Anthem - Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man - Ep. 8 pt.1