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College faculty involved in federal leadership grant to Saint Paul public schools

Several individuals in the College were involved in a successful grant submission for a "Turnaround Schools" project: Professor Karen Seashore and Professor Jennifer York-Barr in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development (OLPD), and Dr. Kyla Wahlstrom, Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement. Professor Peter Demerath, also in OLPD, is expected to be involved in the initiative along with his departmental colleagues Seashore and York-Barr.

ST. PAUL, Minn. - Aug. 4, 2010 -- Saint Paul Public Schools (SPPS) was awarded a total of more than $3 million over five years to build a senior leadership program for five schools that will bring successful practices from the private sector into those schools. This School Leadership Grant from the U. S. Department of Education makes Saint Paul one of only 14school districts nationally to implement a program that draws on locally based international experts in education and business leaders to make a difference in students' lives.
At SPPS, the funds will be used for a program called "Turnaround Saint Paul," a collaboration between the District professionals and organizations including Target, Travelers Foundation, Minnesota Business Partnership, the University of Minnesota and the Center for School Change at Macalester College. The program will also be a collaborative venture between St. Paul Public Schools and some charter schools in Saint Paul.
"We are grateful that the U.S Department of Education recognized our plan as one of the best in the country to help turnaround our schools and I believe this grant is in large part due to the incredible leadership in education and business we have in the Twin Cities," said SPPS Superintendent Valeria S. Silva. "This is the kind of innovative, out-of-the-box thinking that we have embraced at Saint Paul Public Schools which will help us as we work to successfully and positively impact the lives of students, their families and our community."
Specifically at SPPS, the resources will go to help leaders at schools including Maxfield Magnet and Humboldt Secondary School. It also will assist leaders at Saint Paul City Charter (formerly known as New Spirit), Saint Paul High School for the Recording Arts and Urban Academy. Through "Turnaround Saint Paul," school leaders will be provided mentoring opportunities from successful private sector professionals including support for job-embedded learning and guidance to align their schools.
Through this work, the District will continue to build upon a foundation of quality collaboration between business leaders and experts in education using instructional practices that help the city's students reach their academic goals and beyond.
This federal grant will build on an approximately $2 million dollar grant from the Robins, Kaplan, Miller and Ciresi Foundation for Children that invested in the SPPS to develop aspiring principals at the "St. Paul Public School Leadership Institute for Aspiring Principals."
The Superintendent would like to thank the experts who worked in this grant proposal: Jim Eaton, Dr. Lisa Jones, Joe Nathan, Dr. Karen Seashore, Dr. William Sommers, Dr. Kayla Walstrom, Dr. Kate Wilcox-Harris and Dr. Jennifer York-Barr.

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