As an elected Saint Paul School Board member and a parent of four Saint Paul Public Schools students, I want to start by acknowledging the enormous amount of work that our students, parents and families put forth on the home front to support our virtual distance learning model with teachers, staff and administration leaders throughout SPPS.

We asked our students, parents and families to rearrange their work schedules and to reprioritize health above all else. Thank you. Your work will not be lost on me as we move out of the Covid-19 pandemic.

If I could sum up the last school year in one word it would be “revealing.” The lessons I’ve learned from Covid-19 are emphasizing a flexible learning model, mastering protocols to mitigate the spread of disease and having patience to allow reliable data to drive decision making.

In retrospect, Covid-19 only revealed systemic inequities existing in SPPS for decades such as language barriers for English as a second language learners, lack of a reciprocal communication system to report on progress of learning models between student, parent, family, teacher and administrative leaders, along with predictable student outcomes based on race.

Going into the fall, I intend to learn from Covid-19 and focus on identifying actionable data to drive decision-making. I want to promote a more effective and rapid reciprocal communication system. I want to promote learning programs and curriculum such as language immersion and ethnic studies that can be used in our students’ homes and school lives.

I want to listen to and learn from families, students and educators from throughout the city. You are welcome to write to me at jim.vue@spps.org.

Jim Vue
Vice-chairman
St. Paul School Board

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