School News

ISD 709 News

posted Nov 20, 2015, 8:26 AM by Communications ISD 709

2015 ISD 709 Annual Report Video & Booklet Available Online

   Thank you to everyone who attended the 2015 ISD 709 Annual Meeting!  The booklet and video overview presented at the meeting are available at or click here to access the page, review the information and share your ideas via the online survey.


Newly Tenured Teachers

   Following three years of rigorous evaluations, observations, in-servicing and mentoring, teachers and administrators who meet district standards and expectations are granted tenure.  This year’s newly tenured teachers were presented to the School Board and received formal recognition at the November 17 School Board meeting.  Congratulations to: Kevin Anderson, Amanda Borling, Katie Danielson, Jebeh Edmunds, Debra Jarvis, Shane Johnson, Brian Jungman, Linnea Lebens, Rhett McDonald, Lorraine Mitchell, Kellie Mulliner, Anthony Olson, Barbara Stortz Wiklund, Norliza Tarnowski, Anna Travaglione, Philip Warmanen.


Join Us and Celebrate!

Hmong New Year  

First United Methodist Church 230 E. Skyline Parkway Duluth

December 5, 2015

>Social:  9:00AM – 5:00PM

>Program:  11:00AM – 12:00Noon

>Lunch:  12:00Noon – 1:30PM  

Sponsored by:  First United Methodist Church Valley Youth Community Center, Northland Foundation, UMD Office of Cultural Diversity, ISD 709

Free & Open to the Public!


Activities, Accomplishments, Appreciation

--Maxton Walters and Jonah Peterson from Mr. McNulty's class at Homecroft were chosen as winners in the Essentia

Health "Light of Love" essay contest.  They will be honored at a lighting ceremony at St. Mary's Medical Center.

--Duluth East students took part in WE Day, a celebration of youth making a

difference in their local and global communities.  The program nurtures compassion in young people and gives them the tools to create transformative social change.

--ISD 709 students took part in Pathway to Careers at the DECC, a hands-on learning opportunity helping 10th and 11th grade students explore potential careers, learn about the steps needed to become trained in their field of interest and reach their occupational goals.

ISD 709 News

posted Nov 17, 2015, 6:20 PM by Communications ISD 709

All Are Welcome:

ISD 709 Annual Report For the Community

Thursday November 19, 2015

Denfeld High School  401 N. 44th  Avenue West, Duluth

6:00PM – 7:30PM

Displays & Booths, Music by Denfeld Jazz Ensemble

National Anthem by Denfeld Little Mob Members

Annual Report Overview

Light Refreshments by ISD 709 Culinary Arts Students, Music by Denfeld Chamber Strings

Free and open to the public.  If you plan to attend, please 

RSVP online for you and your guests:


ISD 709 Spanish Language Immersion Classrooms To Begin September 2016

  The ISD 709 Spanish Language Immersion program will be located at Lowell Elementary beginning next fall with three sections of kindergarten.  Students will learn the same state standards and district established curriculum covered in English-only classrooms, in the target language of Spanish. This will be a public school choice option for all Duluth families and enrollment information and procedures will be in place after January 2016.

  Spanish is the most common language spoken in the United States after English, and the fourth most common language spoken in the world.  Being bilingual or multilingual creates many social and professional opportunities, and develops an understanding of other cultures. Many research studies on the benefits of immersion education suggest the following:

>Academic performance is at or above the same level as peers in English-only classrooms

>Advanced levels of functional proficiency in the second language are acquired in comparison to traditional language programs

>Demonstration of high levels of cultural awareness, identity, and competency

>Exhibition of many cognitive benefits like increased problem solving skills and the ability to think creatively

  For more information please contact Crystal Goldman, Immersion Specialist at #218.336.8700, ext.1166


Coach Wicker Honored for Dedication and Service

   During their regular November meeting, Duluth School Board members honored long time Coach Dave Wicker.  In recognition of his decades of service to the sport and to the student athletes, Dave was recently inducted into the Minnesota Cross Country Coaches Hall of Fame.

   Dave served as head coach for the Duluth East Cross Country teams for nearly twenty years.  He led the girls to back to back state championships in 1997 and 98, and the boys to runner up in 2000, among other accomplishments.  His career includes Head Coach for Denfeld Cross Country from 1987 to 1996 and assistant coach and head coach for Denfeld and Duluth East Track & Field where, under his guidance, individual athletes and teams realized success.

   Through the years, Dave helped his student athletes improve their skills, develop character and gain confidence.  He built an authentic connection and in doing so supported students in learning new skills and life lessons. 


Top USDA Official Visits Lincoln Park Middle School

   Kevin Concannon, USDA Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services, visited Lincoln Park Middle School to highlight their model farm to school program and school garden project. ISD 709 has expanded school gardening activities and healthy, locally grown foods served to students, with the help of two recent USDA Farm to School Grants. 
   Lincoln Park students provided a tour of the school garden, Child Nutrition Manager Pam Bowe provided a tour of the school kitchen and Under Secretary Concannon had lunch in the school cafeteria – Philly Cheesesteak on a wheat bun, baked tater tots, steamed broccoli and seasonal fruits & vegetables. 
   The Under Secretary reports directly to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. He oversees federal nutrition assistance programs, including the National School Lunch and School Breakfast programs and summer meals programs, among others.




Duluth High School Lacrosse Unveils Name – Wolfpack!

   Last spring the Duluth School Board approved sponsoring lacrosse as a sanctioned sport for Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) play, adding boys and girls teams as an East-Denfeld High School co-op. The name of the team, Wolfpack, was announced at a special event at Clyde Iron in Duluth, along with unveiling of a team logo designed by Tim Cortes.  Girls Coach Sarah Cheeney and Boys Coach Scott Wishart were on hand for the ceremony. 




Healthy Northland Farm to School, funded through grants from the USDA Farm to School & the Victory Fund kicked off a Food Service Training Program during National Farm to School Month.  During nine sessions, Cafeteria Managers and Staff are learning how to integrate local whole produce into recipes. The training theme for October was Apples.  Students at Congdon Elementary sampled one of the recipes, Harvest Apple Quinoa Salad, made with local apples! Taste tests are a fun way to introduce new foods or recipes, allowing students to provide feedback and vote.  Tastings will rotate among schools throughout the rest of the school year. 


The Feeding Local Kids Halloween campaign raised $3,070.50 and 418 pounds of food to help feed local children. The Duluth Teachers Credit Union and Retired Teachers Association provided support for this event. Lowell and Lakewood schools took part in service-learning opportunities,  Denfeld's National Honor Society collected over $800 and supported Feeding Local Kids with volunteer time.  Duluth East students collected donations at performances of The Addams Family.

Many thanks to the organizations, volunteers and community members who helped make this year’s Feeding Local Kids campaign a great success!


The Denfeld Theater Department Presents the New Stage Hit “Leaving Iowa”

November 19 – 21, 7:00PM

$8.00 General Admission, Tickets sold at the door

Denfeld Auditorium, 401 N. 44th Avenue West

   “Leaving Iowa,” the critically-acclaimed play by Tim Clue and Spike Manton, is a toast to the idealism and character of parents from the “greatest generation,” and a little roast of their dedication to the family road trip. Leaving Iowa is a postcard to anyone who has ever found himself or herself driving alone on a road, revisiting fond memories of his or her youth.

For more information call (218)-336-8844 Ex. 1028.


Accomplishments, Activities, Appreciation

--The Duluth Debate Team had seven team medalists in a recent competition at Coon Rapids.  Nick Anderson and Quinten Rimholde took 2nd place, Jude Goosens took 4th, Flannery White 5th, Kong Xiong 6th, Kage Peterson, 7th and Conor Reindl 8th.

--Duluth East’s mountain bike team continues their reign as Division 1 State Champions by winning the overall team competition for the 2015 season.  Top individual Greyhound finishers for the season overall results include:  Girls Varsity - Sophie Farrow 3rd, Boys Varsity - Levi Hayden 8th, Girls JV - Moriah Johnson 4th, Boys JV - Ian Derauf 4th Eric Patterson 7th, Sophomore Boys - Noah McPherson 1st Shawn Higgins Jr. 4th, Freshman Boys - Sam Chandler 2nd. 

--Students at Ordean East Middle School collected sock to donate to people in need during the month of October or

“Socktober.”  They collected 334 pairs of socks which were given to CHUM.   

--Lincoln Park Middle School students participated in Duluth’s All Souls Night or Dia de los Muertos, a celebration often seen in Mexico, Guatemala, Spain and other Spanish speaking countries to commemorate those who have passed away.  Students created artwork in their art classes and shared it at The Depot.

--The Duluth East Nordic Ski Team was awarded a Growing the Birkie Lifestyle One Grant from the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation. The team received the maximum amount available to a high school team, $1,000.  Funds will be used to purchase team ski suits, most of which pre-date 1999 and are in need of replacement. The team is working toward a 2016 fundraising goal of $3,000 to purchase 20 suits.  The team purchases ski suits from Mt. Borah Clothing, a Wisconsin company with an office located one mile from the Birkebeiner trail.  

   The Duluth East Nordic Ski Team anticipates 120 members for the upcoming season.  The team is a welcoming community that encourages all kids with an interest to learn to cross country ski, while at the same time providing high-level guidance and coaching in Nordic ski technique and athletic training.  Since 1995, Duluth East has fielded six Boys’ State Champion teams and six Girls’ State Championship teams.  

   Please see below for a link to the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation grant award announcement:


Lincoln Park Middle School Hosts Health Fair

   Lincoln Park held a Health Fair during the first two nights of school conferences.  The school nurse was on hand to answer immunization and health questions, teachers answered questions from parents about how to assist with reading and math, and many local businesses and organizations provided information, take home items and door prizes. 

   Many thanks to everyone who helped make this a successful event:  Community Action Duluth, Lincoln Park Children and Families Collaborative, Adventure Zone, Chester Creek Cafe, Duluth Grill, YMCA, CVS, Twin Ports Insurance Agency, Members Cooperative Credit Union, Whole Food Coop, MNSure, LSS Safe Space, Human Development Center, Harbor City Psychological Associates, Northwoods Children's Services, Nystrom and Associates LTD, Northland Children's Mental Health Collaborative, St. Lukes, Woodland Hills/Cambia Hills, Insure Duluth, Text4Life, PAVSA, Lake Superior Community Health Clinic, Life House, Emily Program, Amberwing, St. Louis County Public Health.


FREE Family Night at Community Action Duluth

All families welcome!  Light dinner included

Every second Wednesday 5:30PM - 7:00PM

2424 West 5th Street - lower level cafeteria

Kids of all ages are welcome to come. Must be with their parents/caregivers for fun art and science projects!

Wednesday December 9:  Simple Gifts Family project in time for the Holidays with Northern Expressions Arts Collective

Wednesday, January 13:  Family Engineering - Paper Rockets, Paper Airplanes, with Duluth Children's Museum

Brought to you by the Community Action Duluth Participant Advisory Council

ISD 709 News

posted Nov 4, 2015, 12:02 PM by Communications ISD 709


You’re Cordially Invited:

ISD 709 Annual Report For the Community

Thursday November 19, 2015 

6:00PM – 6:30PM

Music by Denfeld Jazz Ensemble

Displays, Booths 

6:30PM – 7:00PM

National Anthem, Presented by Denfeld Little Mob

2015 Annual Report Overview 

7:00PM – 7:30PM

Light Refreshments by ISD 709 Culinary Arts Students

Music by Denfeld Chamber Strings

Displays, Booths 

Denfeld High School

401 N. 44th Avenue West, Duluth

Free and open to the public.  If you plan to attend, please 

RSVP online for you and your guests:


Denfeld Seniors Celebrate Minnesota’s College Knowledge Month

   The Denfeld Guidance Office, in conjunction with the Talent Search Program, brought seniors together to complete college applications for Minnesota's College Knowledge Month.  Through this event, students could complete applications (many colleges waive their application fees) and get their questions about post-secondary education answered.  The event included admission representatives from local colleges, prizes and a photo booth. The goal is to provide every graduating high school senior with the preparation, opportunity and support needed to apply to college.    


Food for Thought:  Student-Run Restaurant is Open for Business

   Chef Glenn D’Amour and students from Denfeld and Duluth East High Schools offer a classical menu for the public Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at Duluth East.  Reservations and orders are required at least 24 hours in advance and become part of the lesson plan as students learn introductory and advanced techniques in line cooking, culinary skills and the intricacies of service.  All this makes for a unique experience, a hidden gem for dining in Duluth.  Check online for details:

Student Success Story:  Denfeld Grad Cooks Way to Super Bowl

   Former Food for Thought student chef Matthew Johnson, Denfeld, went on to attend the Culinary Institute of America in New York.  In a national competition last year, Matthew and his teammate’s recipe took first place and won them a trip to the Super Bowl.  Judges included Food Network chef Anne Burrell, celebrity chef David Burke, New York Jets Pro Bowl Center Nick Mangold, CIA Director of Food and Beverage Operations Waldy Malouf, and PepsiCo Corporate Executive Research Chef Stephen Kalil.


Denfeld, Duluth East Construction Tech Students Tour Local Industries

   During October, Arrowhead Manufacturing & Fabrication Association, Lake Superior College, and the Lake Superior Carl Perkins Consortium provided tours around the Northland, allowing local high school students to experience and explore great-paying careers in construction and manufacturing right in their own backyard. 
   Denfeld and Duluth East Construction Tech students, and their instructor Tony Leone, toured Altec Industries and Bendtec. Altec is a leading provider of products and services to the electric utility, telecommunications, tree care, lights and signs, and contractor markets. Bendtec provides trusted steel bending and fabrication to a variety of industries, including pipeline, power, mining, and architectural.


October 29: 100 Days to Hockey Day Minnesota!

   For the first time ever, Duluth will play host to Hockey Day Minnesota, celebrating Minnesota’s outdoor hockey heritage.  Representatives from Denfeld & Duluth East High Schools, the Minnesota Wild, Minnesota Hockey, Duluth’s Local Organizing Committee, Fox Sports North and others were on hand October 29 to conduct a Hockey Day Minnesota flag raising ceremony, marking 100 days until the big event.

   Hockey Day takes place February 6, 2016 at Bayfront Park where Duluth East will face Lakeville North and Denfeld will take on Eveleth-Gilbert in outdoor games.  Proceeds from the event will benefit Duluth area youth hockey programs.


AEO Online High School Courses NCAA Approved

   Academic Excellence Online (AEO), ISD 709’s Online High School, has successfully completed the NCAA approval process for all courses and is an official NCAA-approved provider. 

Click here for more information.


Accomplishments, Activities, Appreciation

--Brynne Hauer, Shay Callaway, and Aili Hietala, Duluth East Tennis, qualified for State!  Brynne and Shay took 1st place in doubles, Aili took 2nd place in singles. Congratulations to the team and to Josie Humphreys and Gates LaSavage on their 3rd place finish in doubles in the individual sectional competition.

-- Duluth East Boys Soccer took 2nd Place in Section 7aa Competition.  Congratulations to Alec Sauve, Zach Madill, Cameron Ross, Hunter Zhuikov, Sam Brickley, Nolan Friday, Chris Stingle, Nick Braun, Luis Turner, Jack Lansing, Matt Campbell, Corrado Rosato, Zane Meyer, Jasper Corey-Flatau, Brian Waddick,  Head Coach Nick Bremer, Assistant Nick Guimont, Max Nachtsheim, RJ Waksdahl, Bryce Holak, Nick Lanigan, Jackson Manthey, assistant Mike Sorenson, Assistant Kyle Rock.

--Lester Park and Homecroft Elementary students worked on a service-learning project, creating auction paddles for a local non-profit.  About 100 paddles were designed and created in art class for Companies to Classrooms, providing free classroom supplies to local schools (donated by local businesses).  They’ll use the paddles for their November 10, 5:00PM auction at Clyde Iron Works.  Students enjoyed learning about good design elements and were able to put that knowledge to use. They also enjoyed being able to do something to help others. 


Community Education Course for Adoptive and Foster Parents

   You’ve opened your heart and home, you’ve changed your life for the life of another.  Join discussions that are unique to you as an adoptive or foster parent.  Enjoy conversation with others that may be experiencing similar joys and challenges of parenting.  Attend this 6 week class led by a licensed Parent Educator.                    

Class Fee: $40  Childcare Fee: $10 per child

Note:  No family will be turned away due to inability to pay

Wednesdays 11:30AM-1:00PM

Piedmont Elementary, 2827 Chambersburg Avenue

Dates:  Nov 4, 11, 18, Dec 2, 9, 16

To register please call 218-336-8890


Community Education Class Featured in Duluth News Tribune

   Through ISD 709’s Community Education program, people of any age can take enrichment courses ranging from arts, crafts and hobbies to cooking, computers, couponing, gardening, health & wellness, music and much more.

Courses are created and taught by members of the community.  The Duluth News Tribune highlighted one instructor and her class on natural cleaning options.  Click here for more.

   For a complete list of courses and registration information, click here.


4th Annual Project Joy Event Helps Feed Children in Need

Friday November 6, 5;00PM – 9:00PM

Duluth Curling Club

Proceeds benefit Second Harvest Northern Lakes Food Banks Backpack Feeding Program – feeding children in need on weekends throughout NE Minnesota and NW Wisconsin

Click here for detailed information and ticket cost.  


From the Duluth PTSA Council:

Smart From the Start Grant Supports Healthy Children, Families

   The Duluth PTSA Council received one of ten $10,000 grants provided by National PTA and The Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation (HWCF) addressing an early childhood school readiness program titled Smart From the Start.  The grant helped educate families of children ages 3-5 about practical ways to ensure their children achieve a balanced intake of nutritious foods and physical activity every day and mobilize community-based stakeholders to focus on increasing access to nutritious foods and physical activity options in the community.

   Thank you to the wonderful teachers and their classes for participating in the Smart From the Start program!

   Duluth PTSA Council is a City-wide PTA program that channels thoughts, ideas, and provides support for ISD 709’s schools. Anyone interested in the advancement of our communities’ children or outcomes at our public schools is welcome to attend, join and participate. 

ISD 709 News

posted Nov 2, 2015, 7:25 AM by Communications ISD 709   [ updated Nov 2, 2015, 7:34 AM ]

ISD 709 News

posted Oct 26, 2015, 3:21 PM by Communications ISD 709   [ updated Oct 27, 2015, 1:37 PM ]

2015 ISD 709 Annual Meeting - All Welcome!

   Community members, parents, teachers, staff, students are invited to attend the 2015 Annual Meeting and learn more about ISD 709's progress over the past year.

Thursday November 19, 2015

Denfeld High School

401 N. 44th Avenue West  Duluth, MN 

6:00PM: Display Tables, Student Work & Performance

6:30PM  Annual Report Overview

7:00PM Reception with Light Refreshments

Copies of the 2015 Annual Report will be available at the event and online at

If you plan to attend, please click here to RSVP for you and your guests.


From Peter Froehlingsdorf:

The Addams Family Broadway Musical to Open Duluth East High School Theater

One Weekend Only!  Tickets On Sale at the Door:  Adults $15, Students $10, Children under 7 Free

Thursday October 29 – Saturday October 31, 7:00PM

Sunday November 1, 2:00PM

Duluth East High School, 301 N. 40th Avenue East

Doors open ½ hour prior to show time.

>Costume Contest for the October 31 Halloween performance – tricks or treats provided

>Pictures with the kreepy, kooky cast are part of the family fun

> The cast of The Addams Family is giving back!  The Duluth East Drama Club will collect monetary and Food Donations for CHUM and Second Harvest at all shows. Donations help support the school backpack program which helps feed students and families over weekends/holidays/school breaks.

   Nearly 40 students grade 9-12 will participate in a musical comedy that brings this beloved and bizarre family to life, complete with show-stopping musical numbers, costumes by Kris Biles, music direction by Jerome Upton and choreography by Marney Crandall.  Stage Direction by Peter Froehlingsdorf and Greg Jones. 

   Don’t miss the show that Bloomberg News declared, “Uproarious! A glitzy-gloomy musical entirely worthy of the macabre drawings by Charles Addams.”

   For more information:


Historical and Generational Trauma and its Relationship to Adverse Childhood Experiences

**Featuring Sam Simmons**

Thursday November 12, 2015 6:00PM – 8:00PM

Lincoln Park Middle School Auditorium

3215 West 3rd Street, Duluth MN

All are welcome to this FREE event

   Sam Simmons has over 25 years’ experience as a behavioral consultant in the areas of chemical dependency, violence abatement and historical trauma.  He specializes in practical culturally sensitive trauma informed work and promotes healthy nonviolent relationships.  Mr. Simmons is an Adverse Childhood Experience Interfaced Trainer in the state of Minnesota and is currently the SAFE Families Manager at The Family Partnership managing the federally funded Be More Project to stop violence.

   He is respected for his highly informed work around historical trauma and his successful Community Empowerment Through Black Men Healing Conference around the country. 

   This is the first of two sessions that will be provided and open to the public this school year.  Mr. Simmons will also be working with two cohorts of district staff in a three-session Professional Development training series.


Duluth East Students Host 2nd Annual Path to Peace Walk   
   The Duluth East Exec Board hosts the annual event to raise awareness of the issues surrounding bullying behaviors. This year they invited schools throughout the area to participate. Students, staff and citizens walked to the Duluth Public Library where speakers, including ISD 709 Superintendent Bill Gronseth, talked about bullying and current efforts to provide education and effectively prevent, identify and respond to bullying behaviors.





Celebrating After School Programs for Children

  Families, business and community leaders gathered for a Lights On Afterschool rally at Lowell Elementary. The event celebrates the achievements of afterschool students and draws attention to the need for more afterschool programs to serve the millions of children nationwide who are unsupervised and at risk each weekday afternoon. 
   The gathering was one of more than 8,000 such events across the nation emphasizing the importance of keeping the lights on and the doors open after school. 

Duluth News Tribune



ISD 709 News

posted Oct 21, 2015, 7:23 AM by Communications ISD 709

Many thanks to all who took part in the October 15 Staff Development Day and helped organize and make it happen! 


Calvin “Cal” Harris Honored for Leadership

   During the regular October meeting, Duluth School Board members recognized Cal Harris for leadership with youth.  Cal is an Achievement Center Coordinator for ISD 709 and recipient of the 2015 “20 Under 40” Leadership Award from the Duluth News Tribune.
   As achievement center coordinator, Cal provides students with leadership training, goal setting, organizational skills, critical thinking skills, and decision-making, problem-solving and motivation skills.

   Cal is also a co-founder of Guys with Ties, an after-school program at Lincoln Park Middle School emphasizing academics.  Through his efforts, the group visited Lake Superior College to learn about degrees offered; met with legislators during Day on the Hill hosted by the Council on Black Minnesotans; and met with the Deputy Under Secretary of the Navy for Policy and Senator Roger Reinert, among other activities.

   He is an active member of the community, serving as President of the Twin Ports African American Men's Group; founder of the African American Student Alliance; volunteer at Neighborhood Youth Services; a member of Prince Hall Freemasonry; and a member of the NAACP.

   Through his work with our school district and the community, Cal is helping make a difference in the lives of young people in Duluth.


Interesting Piece of History
   Denfeld's Student Representative to the School Board Tom Olafson brought some wonderful school history to the October board meeting. It's his great-grandfather Otto Olafson’s grammar school graduation certificate, signed by Principal Laura MacArthur (for whom Laura MacArthur Elementary is named) and Superintendent Robert E. Denfeld (for whom Denfeld High School is named). The certificate is dated June 15, 1910.


October is Bullying Prevention Awareness Month:  What is bullying and what can you do about it?  Find information, tips and more at and The Bully Project.


Student Run Restaurant “Food for Thought” Opens Next Week (October 27)!  Click here for details, including a complete menu.  Reservations and meal orders are required at least 24 hours in advance!


The Duluth Federation of Teachers is eager to promote this year’s Teacher of the Year Recognition Program.  Please consider nominating an outstanding teacher - the Duluth Public Schools are fortunate to have many talented teachers.   Please complete the nomination form and submit no later than Friday, November 6, 2015.  Thank you!   Click here to use the electronic nomination form.

Committee members:  Al Chepelnik, Jill Lofald, Glen Tracey, John Randolph, Shane Johnson & Bernie Burnham


Learn About ISD 709 Job Opportunities at the LSC Fall Job Fair Wednesday October 21

   ISD 709 representatives will be at the job fair from about 10:00AM to 1:00PM in the Lake Superior College Main Concourse in the East Building. 
   Learn more about ISD 709 employment opportunities, including substitute teachers, school bus drivers, paraprofessionals, food service and playground monitors, to name a few.  Information is also available at, check under District/JobOpportunities for details. 
Directions to the LSC Main Campus:
Job Fair Location:


2015 Lights On After School Event October 22   

   Hundreds of children, parents, business and community leaders will come together for a Lights On Afterschool rally at Lowell Elementary School at 2:20PM on October 22.  The event celebrates the achievements of afterschool students and draws attention to the need for more afterschool programs to serve the millions of children nationwide who are unsupervised and at risk each weekday afternoon. 

   The gathering is one of more than 8,000 such events across the nation emphasizing the importance of keeping the lights on and the doors open after school. Speakers at the rally will celebrate the many benefits of afterschool programs, and will encourage lawmakers, businesses and other to support afterschool funding.


Speak Your Peace: The Civility Project is offering a series of free workshops on ensuring civility in our community and understanding how each of us can make a difference.

·  Saturday, Oct 31 (9AM-12Noon) ... Civility Starts With Me

·  Thursday, Nov 12 (4-6PM) ... But You're Not Listening!

·  Wednesday, Dec 2 (6:30-8:30PM) ... What Hurt Was How You Said It

All sessions are at First United Methodist Church, 230 E Skyline Parkway, Duluth. Speak Your Peace: The Civility Project is an initiative of the Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation. For questions or to register, please call 218-726-0232 or email


Awards, Activities, Appreciation

--Elizabeth "Betsy" Bartel, Lakewood Elementary, was named "Formal Educator of the Year" by the Minnesota

Association for Environmental Education.  Betsy has been committed to bringing quality environmental education to her students and school community.  In 1994 she worked to designate 7.5 wooded acres adjacent to the school as a Minnesota School Forest through the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Thanks to her efforts the Lakewood School Forest now has a trail system, outdoor classroom, bridges, signs, and trail markers. For over 20 years Betsy has worked extensively with the DNR and connected with individuals in her community to create a healthy and safe outdoor classroom for Lakewood. Betsy will receive the award at the Midwest Environmental Conference in Madison, Wisconsin.   

--Many thanks to the members of Boy Scout Troop 162, they’re working hard on improvements to the nature trail at Lakewood Elementary. 


From the Duluth PTSA Council and League of Women Voters Duluth:

Duluth School Board Candidate Forum
Monday, October 26, 2015, 6:00PM-7:30PM
2nd Floor School Board Chambers, Historic Old Central High School, 215 N. 1st Avenue East

Open School Board Seats Include District 2, District 3 and At-Large

Co-sponsored by:  Duluth Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA) Council and LWV Duluth


ISD 709 Community Education Aquatics
   Duluth Community Education provides public access to pool facilities with open swims, swim lessons, and pool rentals. The aquatics program also includes water aerobics, scuba diving, kayaking, specialty training and after school swim teams in the middle school. The pools are operated 11 months of the year.   Aquatics Programs and open swims are offered in partnership with the Lake Superior Swim Club (LSSC). For more information about LSSC, please visit

   Community School Pool Locations:  Ordean East Middle School - 2900 East 4th Street and Lincoln Park Middle School - 3215 West Third Street

   For more information on aquatics and enrichment classes: CLICK HERE for all our class offerings and registration information or call 336-8760

ISD 709 News

posted Oct 15, 2015, 2:14 PM by Communications ISD 709

Many thanks to the safety patrol volunteers, students and staff and our bus drivers who help children get to school safely each day!


High School Students Take On Homelessness

  Denfeld and Duluth East Key Clubs held Camp In a Box events to raise awareness and funds to help homeless young people. Together, the students collected over $4,200 to support Life House programs, providing youth with access to hot meals, shelter, and programs that help young people succeed in school, jobs, housing and health goals. “This is special because we are directly helping people our own age. You could be sitting in class next to someone who might not have a home to go to after school,” said Grace Lane, president of the Duluth East Key Club. “Life House helps teens and young adults who are homeless.” 
   In addition, during Hunter Homecoming Week, the Denfeld Key Club sponsored a Coin Wars competition between the classes.  Several hundred dollars were raised for Denfeld's Autism program. 




October is Duluth East for Peace Month

   Sharing messages of bullying prevention and kindness throughout the school.  Check Facebook to see more.


Denfeld Hunters Connect with Youth Hockey

   Members of the Denfeld Boys Hockey Team shared their skills with children in youth hockey programs during an event at the Heritage Center in Duluth.




ISD 709 Staff Share Bullying Prevention Info on KBJR-TV Northland Voices

   October is Bullying Prevention Awareness Month - Thanks to Denfeld and Duluth school district staff for sharing information on Northland Voices last weekend.  Click here to see the entire program.

For tips on bullying prevention check and The Bully Project


Duluth Public Library Events for Children

   The Duluth Public Library holds fun, creative reading events for families and children.  Click here for more information.


Duluth East & Denfeld High School Students Host School Board Candidate Forum
   Students from Denfeld and Duluth East organized a forum for school board candidates, providing an opportunity for students to learn more about their educational vision and to ask questions about their ideas for the school district.

Duluth News Tribune


Minnesota’s Immunization Laws – Please Be Sure You’ve Filed Documentation of Vaccination or Legal Exemption with Your School!

   Minnesota’s Immunization Laws require all students to provide documentation of vaccination or a legal exemption in order to enroll or remain enrolled in school or in a childcare facility.
Students whose families do not provide documentation of vaccination or a legal exemption are subject to exclusion from school.
• We want all children to be in school – please take steps to provide documentation of vaccination or to file legal exemption with your school.
• For a list of required immunizations, check the Minnesota Department of Health Website:
• To obtain documentation of your child’s vaccinations, contact your healthcare provider or call the Minnesota Immunization Information Connection at 651-201-5503 or 1-800-657-3970.
• To have your child immunized contact your healthcare provider or the St. Louis County Department of Health at218-725-5210 or toll free 800-450-9777.
• Parents may file for legal exemption:  medical exemption signed by a health care provider or a conscientious objection signed by a parent/guardian and notarized. 
   More detailed information available by contacting the Minnesota Department of Health online: or calling 1-800-657-3970651-201-5503.


From the City of Duluth Parks & Recreation:

Free Open Skating
Heritage Sports Center

120 South 30th Avenue West, Duluth


Every Wednesday that school is in session:  September 16-June 1, 6:30-8:00

MEA School Release Days:  October 15 & 16, 2:00PM-4:00PM

Special Skating Parties:  6:30PM-8:00PM

--Boo Bash, October 28

--Gobbler Glide, November 18

--Skate with Santa, December 16

--Skate for Your Heart, February 10

Holiday Break

--Monday, December 28, 10:00AM-12:00Noon

--Tuesday, December 29, 10:00AM-12:00Noon

--Thursday, December 31, 2:00PM-4:00PM

Semester Break

--Friday, January 22, 2:00PM-4:00PM

Mid-Winter Break

--February 15-19, 2:00PM-4:00:00PM

Spring Break

--April 4-8, 2:00PM-4:00PM

ISD 709 News

posted Oct 9, 2015, 8:52 AM by Communications ISD 709

MN Supreme Court Convenes at Denfeld High School

   About 1500 students from Denfeld, Duluth East and other area high schools had a

great opportunity to sit in on Minnesota Supreme Court oral arguments regarding a real court case.  The Court visited Denfeld High School and convened to hear the case in the school auditorium.  They’ve been hearing cases at schools since 1995 as a way to engage students and build confidence in the judiciary branch.  After hearing oral arguments, justices took questions from the students.

Duluth News Tribune Article




2015-16 Elementary Report Card Information

   As shared with families last spring and in back-to-school information, this year ISD 709 elementary schools will grade and report student progress using a standards-based system that helps provide:

>A clear measure for parents of their child’s individual progress

>A description of learning goals as parents help support their child’s achievement

>Consistency between elementary classrooms and elementary schools across the district.  

   Parents will receive a mid-year report card shortly after the end of first semester and a final report card in June.  Parent/Teacher conferences with goal-setting reports are held in October, and families are always welcome to contact their school with questions regarding their child’s progress.

Click here for more detail regarding Elementary Report Cards


Scholarship Season Begins with October High School Presentations!

   Often called Scholarship Nights, they provide students and parents an opportunity to identify resources to pay for college and ask questions of local experts.

   Local scholarship providers will introduce various awards, explain how to apply and stress the January 15 application deadline.  “Graduation may seem far in the future, but it will be here sooner than you think,” says Alworth Fund Executive Director Patty Salo Downs. “Now is the perfect time to start working on your application.”

Duluth East High School:  Thurs, October 22 6:00PM

Denfeld High School:  Wed, October 28 6:30PM

   “Few areas in the nation have the bounty of scholarships available to graduates of our local high schools,” adds David Hammer,  Scholarship Officer at the Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation.  “Generous benefactors have dedicated great amounts of money to support our students.”


Students Celebrate International Walk to School Day

   Hundreds of students from several ISD 709 schools filled sidewalks and trails in celebration of International Walk to School Day October 7.

   Students from Lincoln Park met at Wheeler Field and hiked up to their school.  Congdon Park students met at Ordean East and walked together.  The Lester Park Wellness Council provided coffee for parents who walked with their children to school. 

   Walk to School Day is a global event that involves communities from more than 40 countries walking and biking to school on the same day.  It’s part of a movement for year-round safe routes to school and a celebration – with record breaking participation – each October.  

KBJR-TV6 Coverage

MIX 108 Coverage


Lincoln Park Video Highlights


Lowell Kicks Off Bullying Prevention Awareness Month with Kindness in Chalk

   Lowell Elementary is encouraging parents and students to participate in "Kindness in Chalk."  During parent conferences in October, families are encouraged to "chalk a message" around the idea of kindness anywhere on the school grounds.  The program was started by a parent in the Twin Cities and has since spread to schools across Minnesota. For more information about Kindness in Chalk check this link:

   Several local media outlets covered Lowell’s event, see below.

Duluth News Tribune

WDIO TV Report

KQDS-TV21 Report


The Duluth Public Schools and the Interagency Coordination Council of Duluth (ICCOD) are jointly offering two Transition Resource Fairs at the high schools in Duluth.

   The Transition Resource Fairs are called Moving On II and will be held at Duluth East High School and Denfeld High School Media Centers during the fall conference evenings.  The resource fairs will provide high school students with disabilities and their parents’ transition information about post high school resources.  Students on 504 plans and their parents are also welcome to attend.

   The first event will be held at Duluth East High School on October 12 from 1:40PM until 6:00.  The second resource fair will be held at East High School on October 27 from 1:40PM until 6:00.    

   Representatives from area post-secondary education options, employment and supported employment providers, social service and community organizations that offer a variety of services and supports to young adults with disabilities will all be present to talk about their programs and answer questions.

   Contact Al Chepelnik at 336-8700 X4047 or Heidi Morris at 336-8740 if you have questions or need more information.  


Students From Dalian, China Tour Historic Old Central Clock Tower

   Over 30 high school students and teachers from Dalian China are spending three weeks in the Northland, attending area high schools and checking out the local sights.  The students and their host families met at Historic Old Central High School for a potluck supper and a tour of the Old Central Clock Tower.  Click here to see the video.

   Students also travelled to Bayfield for the Annual Apple Festival, visited UMD and Cirrus and will take a trip up the North Shore, among other activities.


Elementary Students Earn Ride to School In Fire Truck

   Students from Myers-Wilkins, Piedmont, Lowell and Laura MacArthur Elementary Schools received rides to school in fire truck this week.  The Duluth Fire Department holds a contest for the ride as part of Fire Prevention Week. Children complete a fire safety checklist that includes creating an escape plan and checking their home smoke detectors.

KBJR-TV6 Report


FREE Family Night Out at Community Action Duluth

All families welcome!  Light dinner included

Every second Wednesday 5:30PM – 7:00PM

2424 West 5th Street – lower level cafeteria

Kids of all ages are welcome to come. Must be with their parents/caregivers for fun art and science projects!

>Wednesday October 14:  Family Mask Making, Just in time for Halloween with Northern Expressions Arts Collective

>Wednesday, November 11:  Dinosaur Dig Investigation with the Duluth Children’s Museum

>Wednesday December 9:  Simple Gifts Family project in time for the Holidays with Northern Expressions Arts Collective

>Wednesday, January 13:  Family Engineering - Paper Rockets, Paper Airplanes, with Duluth Children’s Museum

Brought to you by the Community Action Duluth Participant Advisory Council

ISD 709 News

posted Oct 1, 2015, 8:56 AM by Communications ISD 709

October is Bullying Prevention Awareness Month

   As members of the Duluth community, we value creating welcoming environments where the uniqueness of each

person is honored and valued, recognizing that we all come from many different circumstances and cultures. 

   We strive to provide safe, secure and respectful learning environments for all students in our school buildings, on school grounds, school buses and at school-sponsored activities.  A safe and civil environment is needed for students to learn and attain high academic standards and to promote healthy human relationships.

   Click here to learn more about local school policies related to bullying behaviors.  For tips and information about what you can do to address bullying check: and


Presented by St. Luke’s Pediatric Associates’ Parent Advisory Council:

Bullying—What It Is and What Can We Do About It

Featuring Ron Lake, MSW, LICSW, Climate Coordinator for Duluth Schools

Tuesday, October 20, 2015 6:00PM–7:00PM

St. Luke’s Campus Building A, Level 5 1012 East Second Street, Duluth

   Everyone is welcome and encouraged to attend this free educational event.  Childcare is provided.   

   Ron Lake has worked with kids and families for over 20 years as counselor, supervisor, therapist, social worker and adjunct instructor. This interactive presentation will provide a common understanding of bullying, 

with emphasis on:

• Discussing implications of power differences

• Ideas for helping students involved in bullying behavior

Questions? Call 218-249-7870


Denfeld SPIRIT Program Gives Students a Voice in Identifying Concerns and Finding Solutions

   SPIRIT is a student-driven process designed to teach problem identification and problem solving techniques through collaboration.  This initiative involves students working with administrators, teachers, support staff and community members to identify racial and other human rights issues in schools, develop solutions, and create an action plan for resolving them.

   “We’re excited about this initiative and the potential it offers students to have a voice in shaping the climate and culture at DHS,” said Tonya Sconiers, Principal. 

   SPIRIT is a program created by the US Department of Justice Community Relations Service and stands for Student Problem Identification and Resolution of Issues Together. 


2016 National Merit Scholarship Semi-Finalists, Commended Students

   Sanna Berdahl, Sharon Billman, and James Hirsch, Duluth East High School, have been named 2016 National Merit Scholarship Semi Finalists.  Of the 1.5 million juniors nationwide who took the 2014 PSAT, these students scored in the top one half of 1% and had some of the highest scores in the state of Minnesota.  They are now eligible to compete for 7400 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $32 million to be offered this spring.

   Shannon Baker, Sylvia Bowen-Bailey, Brooke Davis, Daniel Dylla, Marianne Peterson, Rachel Sipress and Stevie Twining, Duluth East, have been named Commended Students in the National Merit Scholarship Program, recognized for their exceptional academic promise and for placing in the top 5% of more than 1.5 million students who entered the 2016 competition nationwide.


Progress on Duluth East Traffic Solutions

   A crossing guard at Duluth East High School is helping to address safety during high traffic at the beginning and end of the school day.  James Gittemeier, a senior planner with the Metropolitan Interstate Council, is coordinating a study of traffic and a process to identify additional solutions.

Duluth News Tribune Report


Congdon Park Elementary Students Celebrate Fall Festival

KQDS-TV21 Report


UMD Mobile Planetarium Visits Myers-Wilkins Elementary

Duluth News Tribune Report

KBJR-TV6 Report


Moving On II Transition Resource Fair

For students with an IEP or 504 Plan

Monday October 12, 2015  Duluth East Media Center, 301 N. 40th Avenue East

Tuesday October 27, 2015  Denfeld Media Center, 401 N. 44th Avenue West

2:30PM – 6:30PM

Learn about community, employment, and college resources!

--College Programs

--College disability services

--Social services

--Accessing the community

--Accessing recreational opportunities

--Getting job support after graduation

Contact Al Chepelnik at 336-8700 x4047 or Heidi Morris at 336-8740.


Duluth East Forestry, Fish and Wildlife Management students took a trip to Hawk Ridge to experience the migration of hawks and songbirds.  Student observed an osprey, bald eagles, and sharp shin hawks.  Hark Ridge staff captured a sharp shin and students were able to assist in its release back into the migration.  Students said it was a great experience.  

ISD 709 News

posted Sep 23, 2015, 12:12 PM by Communications ISD 709

Denfeld, Duluth East Student Leaders Recognized for Helping 9th Graders Transition to High School
   During their regular September meeting, the Duluth School Board presented certificates of recognition to student leaders and advisers associated with Denfeld Link Crew and Duluth East Hound Pack.  
   The transition from middle school to high school is a critical time for students.   One way to help make that transition a smooth one is through the work of groups like the Denfeld Link Crew and Duluth East Hound Pack.  These student leaders are trained to support incoming ninth grade students by orienting them to the school, informing them of activities and opportunities, making introductions and helping them feel at home.  They assist in building a feeling of connectedness, serving as role models and mentors and important information resources.  The work of Link Crew and Hound Pack students contributes greatly to the success and well-being of Duluth’s newest highschoolers. 
Many Thanks for Community Support!
   During the September School Board meeting, Superintendent Bill Gronseth and Board members expressed appreciation to the anonymous donor who helped provide free Duluth Pack backpacks to second grade students at Myers-Wilkins Elementary.  Superintendent Gronseth also thanked Maurices for their generous donations to local schools during their “Grand Give” event in September an talked about the Minnesota Supreme Court’s planned visit to Denfeld in October to help students learn more about our legal system.
   “We’re fortunate to live and work in a community where the education of children is an important priority,” said Gronseth. 
SAVE THE DATE:  ISD 709 Annual Report For The Community
Thursday November 19, 2015  6:00PM – 7:30PM
Display tables, celebration of student work & performance, overview of progress, reception with light refreshments 
Denfeld High School Commons, 401 N. 44th Avenue West
Community members, parents, teachers, staff, students are invited!
ISD 709 Projected Pay 2016 Levy Below State Average
   During the September School Board meeting, administrators provided a preliminary levy estimate to the school board, emphasizing that the numbers would be adjusted as the district receives more information from the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE).
    According to the preliminary estimate the pay 2016 maximum levy would be an increase of about 1.4% or $476,000.  This is below the statewide average projected by MDE of about 9.9% for all school districts.
   The estimates were developed in preparation for the maximum levy certification process required by MDE. A final levy will be calculated and presented to the School Board for approval in December.
Myers-Wilkins Elementary In the News
Harvest Fest:  The Myers-Wilkins Community School Collaborative sponsored a Harvest Fest at Myers-Wilkins Elementary this month.  The event included displays of homegrown vegetables; harvest-themed games and artwork; food sampling including potato soup and apple crisp and other fun activities.
Click below to see local media reports:
Donated Duluth Pack Backpacks Delivered to Myers-Wilkins 2nd Graders:   A generous donor saw a need for backpacks at Myers-Wilkins Elementary and this fall made sure every second grade student received their own Duluth Pack backpack.  The backpacks are designed to last a lifetime and the design includes a leather Myers-Wilkins patch.
Click to see local coverage:
Lincoln Park Middle School 1st Annual Wildcat 1K Hill Climb!
   Walkers, runners, bikers - conquer our hill (1K with elevation increase over 200 feet) while enjoying a great day of fun, food, and friendship. 
   Join us on Saturday, October 3, for our 1st Annual Wildcat 1K Hill Climb!  
--Register at:  .  
--Race Day Registration 8:00AM – 9:00AM
--Runners and Walkers Race Time:  9:15AM
--Bicycle Heats Begin:  11:00AM  
Registration is $15 for ages 7 and over and free for ages 6 and under.   Can't decide if you want to walk, run, or bike?  Pay one registration fee and participate in as many or few of the events you want!
Money raised will be used to fund continued lunchtime physical activities and after school clubs and programming.
Check out our Facebook event page at:
2015 Duluth East Hall of Fame Football Game 
Friday October 2, 2015
5:45PM – Duluth East Hall of Fame Class of 2015 introductions by the voice of the Greyhounds, Brian Prudhomme
6:00PM – Kick-off (East vs Rogers) 
From the Duluth East Foundation:
Duluth East Hall of Fame Induction 2015 
Thomas “Dukes” Knutson, Kristi (Duncan) Plante, Glenn Lawrence Rolle, Judy Smith, Phil J. Verchota
Saturday October 3, 2015
Duluth East High School Mezzanine, 301 N. 40th Ave E., Duluth MN
Social:  6:00PM, Dinner:  6:30PM, Program: 7:00PM
Tickets:  $50.00 (must be purchased in advance, pick up at door).
In person:  $50/ticket at the East High Activities Office (address below)
To order: (Available through September 28, 2015)
Send a check for $50 (per ticket) to: Duluth East Foundation - 301 N. 40th Ave East, Duluth MN 55804.
Check made out to "Duluth East Foundation"
Hall of Fame Social at The Pickwick immediately following the program
Questions:  Contact Activities Director Shawn Roed @
Mark Your Calendar: Student-Run Restaurant Opens October 27!
Food for Thought restaurant (Duluth’s only high school student operated restaurant) will re-open for service on Tuesday, October 27.  
   This program, providing valuable experience for student chefs in grades 9-12, is open to the public by reservation Tuesday – Thursday.  Reservations and pre-orders are required at least 24 hours in advance as orders become the lesson plan for that day. Guests are asked to arrive between 11:35AM – 11:40AM, seating begins promptly at 11:45AM.  Make reservations and pre-order by calling: (218) 336-8845 Extension 4055.  Click here to see the full menu and more detail regarding service.   Please help provide Denfeld & Duluth East student chefs valuable experience by sharing this information with potential customers!
--Choose from a variety of delicious menu items:  salads, burgers, sandwiches, pasta, seafood, steak, homemade bread, desserts, and more. 
--Look for Weekly Features served with choice of soup or luncheon salad, homemade focaccia bread and choice of beverage:
   October 27, 28, 29  Halibut Provencal En Papillote:  Alaskan Halibut in a French sauce of fresh tomatoes, herbs de Provence, capers, olives, wild mushrooms, wrapped in paper and baked. Served with Haricot Verts and herb potato gratins   $14.00
   November 3, 4, 5  Chicken Tetrazzini :  A classic Italian dish of sautéed chicken breast wild mushrooms, sweet peppers and peas, in a creamy garlic sauce and gratin ‘ate of mozzarella cheese served on student made linguini.  $11.00                 
   November 10, 11, 12 Tuscan Roast Leg of Lamb:  Leg of Lamb seasoned with garlic and fresh rosemary and lightly pan smoked, and served with roasted tomato and authentic homemade Fettuccini Alfredo.  $12.00


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