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Duluth Public School Norms

Click here for a printable, color poster outlining ISD 709 Norms


  The following norms help identify an agreed upon standard of behavior for employees and volunteers of ISD709.  They are intended to guide day-to-day interactions, help frame decision-making processes, and promote consistency and efficiency.       Practicing these norms within our organization will support a positive, collaborative, and respectful culture and provide more and better opportunities to focus on building shared knowledge, achieving goals, and meeting the needs of our students and families.   

  Development of the norms began with a community-driven vision established through Think Kids and the ISD 709 4-Year Continuous Improvement Plan.  They are associated with the goal to Improve Communication, Cooperation, and Teamwork Within and Across Employee Groups.  A committee comprised of teachers, principals, administration and staff representatives researched and developed the draft norms. The determined norms were reviewed by other leadership teams and ISD 709 groups for feedback and revision.  


In written communication, we will strive for clarity and professionalism.  Email, letters, and all other documents will communicate important information with a tone of respect.   

Interpersonally, we will communicate as professionals.  We will actively listen, seek to understand multiple perspectives, and share information in a timely manner.   

In meetings we will focus on agreed upon issues, avoid distractions that take away from full engagement in the discussion, and allow and encourage each other to participate.  During meetings, the use of technology will be limited to professional tasks and directed toward completing the work at hand.   

Across our school district, we will ask staff what information is important to them and share this information through multiple forms of communication.  We will work to prioritize and coordinate sharing of information in an efficient and effective manner at the district, site, and classroom levels.   

The aim of all communication will be to discuss ideas and foster community.  


With helpful intent, we will be open and flexible in our approach to working together.  We will value one another and his/her opinions.   

We will engage in our work, support each other, and focus on what we can control to creatively find solutions and solve problems.   

We will strive for consensus and use compromise to resolve concerns.  Once final, we will represent common messages and decisions in the manner intended and agreed upon.  


We will establish a positive culture of working together to achieve common goals.  We will recognize the importance of relationships, focus on strengths, and integrate diverse perspectives.   

We will be tight about outcomes and, when possible, loose about how teams achieve them.  We will clarify roles and expectations with each other and share the responsibility and accountability for what we achieve.   

We will seek feedback from each other and consciously recognize and celebrate our successes together.   

I am - because WE are and U Matter! 


We will assume positive intent and see conflict as an opportunity to continuously improve. We will share our concerns and address our challenges with those involved.  If necessary, we will seek help, compromise, or agree to disagree.

Mistakes happen; if we make a mess, we will clean it up.  We will listen and ask questions to understand each other, work to restore relationships, and solve problems.