Where kids can go during St. Paul teachers strike

A mediation session with the St. Paul Federation of Educators lasted until approximately 3 a.m. Tuesday but failed to produce a new two-year contract. Teachers went on strike Tuesday, and schools remained closed Wednesday as teachers once again gathered at the picket line.

While the school district and teachers' union reached a compromise on some issues, the union’s demand for an increase in mental health, multilingual and special education funding were not met. That means more than 3,000 St. Paul Public School teachers hit the picket lines Tuesday for the first time in more than 70 years, forcing schools to close for roughly 37,000 students.

With so many students out of school, parents and children aren't totally sure what to do with their days, either.

All three Boys and Girls Clubs in the city are changing their hours and waiving their $5 membership fee to accomodate working parents who want a safe space where they can drop off their kids. 

Schools open for breakfast and lunch

SPPS will offer meal sites during the strike, serving breakfast and lunch to anyone 18 and younger at no cost to families.

Beginning Tuesday, March 10, 24 sites will serve two meals daily, with breakfast from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. and lunch from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Students will need their own transportation to get to these sites, which will be open for meals only:

Barack and Michelle Obama Elementary
Battle Creek Middle
Bruce F. Vento Elementary
Chelsea Heights Elementary
Cherokee Heights Elementary
Crossroads Elementary
Dayton's Bluff Achievement Plus
Four Seasons Arts+
Frost Lake Elementary
Galtier Community School
Global Arts Plus Lower Campus
Harding Senior High
Hazel Park Preparatory Academy
Highland Park Elementary
Highwood Hills Elementary
Horace Mann Elementary
Jackson Elementary
Jie Ming Mandarin Immersion
Johnson Senior High
L'Etoile du Nord French Immersion - Lower Campus
Mississippi Creative Arts
Riverview West Side School of Excellence
Rondo Education Center
Washington Technology Magnet School

Kid Space sites open Thursday

SPPS will be staffing Kid Space locations with supervised activities and meals for kindergarten through 5th grade students at no cost to families. Kid Space will begin on Thursday, March 12. More information and registration is available at www.spps.org/kidspace.

Kid Space will be staffed by SPPS employees who will continue working during the strike. The program will be able to serve approximately 4,000 kids. There will be no nurse or health care staff at the sites. 

Details about Kid Space sites and bus stops is available at spps.org/kidspace beginning at 7:30 a.m. and registration will begin at 8:30 a.m. Additional questions can be answered by the SPPS Student Placement Office at 651-632-3700.

Additional resources for students during strike

Recreation centers that normally open at 2 p.m. during the school year will open at 1 p.m. All other centers will operate normal business hours. For a full list of recreation center hours and locations visit stpaul.gov/reccenterhours

St. Paul Public Libraries will operate their normal business hours. For a list of locations and hours visit sppl.bibliocommons.com/locations/

Drop-in recreation center programs will be available, including open gym times, teen programs and more. For more information, visit stpaul.gov/opengym. 

Drop-in library programs will be available, including Homework Centers, Reading Together, Createch, and storytimes. For more information, visit sppl.org/spps-strike-information/

Como Park Zoo & Conservatory will be offering day camp options for grades K-4. Visit comozooconservatory.org to register. 

St. Paul Parks and Recreation S’more Fun sites will offer full-day programing for registered families. For families not currently registered for the S'more Fun program, limited space is available at our Highland Park and Battle Creek locations. Visit stpaul.gov/smorefun for registration information. 

The Saint Paul Parks and Recreation Rec Check program will open one hour early, from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.

For questions on programming available from the Parks And Recreation Department, call 651-266-6400 or your local rec center.