As we look to this long weekend, I hope you take time for yourself and time to connect with your loved ones. After the events in Uvalde, Texas, and the second anniversary of George Floyd’s murder, we as a school community have a lot on our minds and a lot to unpack in the classroom. Time off is a gift we can give ourselves to honor the work we do.
As always, I want to share my unending gratitude to all of you and the support you provide to students and your coworkers. Each and every one of us serves an important role in a student’s life.
Have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend,
Dr. Deeqaifrah Hussein is the new executive director of Special Education
Dr. Deeqaifrah Hussein is the new MPS executive director of special education after having served as interim executive director starting at the beginning of the 2021-2022 school year.
Dr. Hussein has 17 years of experience in the education field and earned her doctorate in educational leadership at University of St Thomas. Her research focused on much-needed work in special education, specifically in autism in diverse communities. She earned her master’s degree in special education and holds licenses in special education (autism and emotional/behavioral disorders) as well as general education (science and social studies). She served as chair of the Somali Parents Autism Network where she connected families of children with autism through outreach, education and collaboration. As a LEND (Leadership in Education and Neuro-Development) fellow, Dr. Hussein has extensive skills in community advocacy.
Dr. Hussein is excited and deeply grateful to have the opportunity to make a positive impact on MPS. She believes every student possesses special talent and can be taught given the right support at school and home.
Mortgage assistance available through HomeHelpMN
HomeHelpMN provides financial assistance through Minnesota Housing for families who have fallen behind on their mortgage or other housing-related expenses due to the pandemic. The month-long application period is from May 17-June 17.
In Minnesota, only 48.9 percent of those over five years of age who are eligible are up to date on their COVID-19 vaccines and boosters. Supplemental booster shots can lessen the severity of the virus if a fully-vaccinated and boosted individual does contract COVID-19.
COVID-19 has kept children from doing the things they love, so the best way to keep them healthy and safe, according to public health experts, is to get them vaccinated. Children who have received the recommended COVID-19 series of shots, including any boosters when eligible, do not have to stay home (quarantine), if they are exposed to someone who has the COVID-19 virus.
To get your child vaccinated, you can:
Check with your child’s healthcare provider, pediatrician, or your family physician.
Make an appointment with your local pharmacy and search for more information on pharmacy locations on vaccines.gov.
Watch for pop-up vaccination clinics being offered at schools or other community locations around Minneapolis.
Currently, 5- to 11-year-olds are eligible for their first boosters, if they completed their primary vaccine series at least five months ago.
You are eligible for a second COVID-19 booster if you are:
50 years of age or older and got your first booster at least four months ago, OR
12 years of age or older, and are moderately or severely immunocompromised, and received your first booster at least four months ago.
Mental Health Supports newsletter highlights resources for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders
May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month! Read the May edition of the Mental Health Supports newsletter to learn more about topics and resources for Asian American and Pacific Islanders.
As shared in the superintendent’s email, there are numerous resources available to support students during this difficult time. Visit and bookmark the Critical Incident Recovery Team (CIRT) SharePoint webpage for resources.
Roosevelt’s Adrian Davis conducting music honoring George Floyd at Orchestra Hall
Dr. Adrian Davis was selected to conduct Joel Thompson’s “Seven Last Words of the Unarmed” at Orchestra Hall and George Floyd Square. The work sets music to the final words of seven unarmed Black men who were killed during encounters with police or authority figures.
"Jamar Clark was killed two minutes from where I live," said Davis, who established the music department at Roosevelt High School. "Philando Castile happened about a mile from where I was at the time. And Floyd ... one of my students was the one who recorded the incident to begin with.
Congratulations to the MPS Adapted Bowling team on their Cognitive Impairment State championship! Team members include Jazmyn Mendez, Nick Staloch, LindaSue Anderson and Charlie Barnes, coached by Gregory Smith. Congratulations to all MPS students who participated in adapted bowling this spring.
New MPS Explained episode highlights mental health resources
Just as exercise is good for your physical health, taking time to care for your mental and emotional well-being is equally important. We all need support at times. Sarah Washington, an MPS parent and Special Education Advisory Council member, shares resources available to families.
Student auditions for the Minneapolis Community Education summer production of ‘Legally Blonde: The Musical!’
Students entering 11th grade or 12th grade, recent graduates and adults of all ages and experience levels are welcome to audition for Minneapolis Community Education’s production of “Legally Blonde: The Musical.”
Sign-up for a one-hour block on Thursday, June 2 at Anwatin Middle School or Friday, June 3 at Justice Page Middle School. Call backs will be held on Saturday, June 4. Pit musicians and tech crew members for all areas of the production are also needed. Rehearsals are weekday evenings with performances from July 14-23, at Washburn High School. With questions, email email@example.com.
Culinary and Wellness Services hosts discussion on Indigenous plants
Learn about Indigenous plants commonly found in Minneapolis on June 7, from 6-7 p.m. We will hear from MPS staff and view MPS schools that are already growing and discovering the importance of medicinal plants and their many uses.
High school students surprised with $16,000 four-year scholarships from Wallin Education Partners
The Wallin Education Partners recently announced the largest class ever with 316 four-year scholars, from more than 50 high schools, and more than $7 million in support. Students from FAIR, North, Patrick Henry, Roosevelt, South, Southwest and Washburn are part of the cohort. South High students were featured in a surprise video.
Share with families: End of year technology collection
Students must return all learning resources, including district-issued technology devices (Chromebooks, iPads, mobile hotspots, and charging accessories), no later than the student’s last day of school or by end of day June 24, 2022. Over the summer, IT services will complete a physical inventory, provide critical maintenance, repair, as well as clean and replace outdated technology. Technology that is not returned will be disabled and will no longer be usable.
For more information, including frequently asked questions, review the IT Newsletter on the staff intranet site. The IT Newsletter also contains other information, including an update on the student information system project, the new Staff EdTech blog, and an opportunity to earn 50 vitality-points by signing up for multi-factor authentication.
Spread the word: MPS hosting annual Career Expo hiring event
MPS is excited to host our annual Career Expo on June 16, from 10 a.m.–2 p.m at the Davis Center (1250 W. Broadway, Minneapolis). We’re looking for folks of all backgrounds, cultures, ethnicities, experiences, and skills–from GED to PhD. We have 11 departments represented with hiring managers ready to interview candidates.
FREE to all job seekers
FREE parking featuring ‘Good in the ‘Hood’ Shoe Bus
FREE resume and application assistance
FREE haircuts and reading books
FREE swag and Career Expo raffle
Share this opportunity with people you know. For more information, contact Human Resources at firstname.lastname@example.org or 612-668-0500.