School News

ISD 709 News

posted Dec 13, 2017, 11:04 AM by Communications ISD 709

ISD 709 News

posted Dec 7, 2017, 9:48 AM by Communications ISD 709   [ updated Dec 7, 2017, 9:48 AM ]

Students Take On Emergency Preparedness
   Denfeld and Duluth East students attended a Minnesota HOSA training at Camp Ripley this week, designed to introduce them to disaster preparedness, foster community resiliency, and build leadership skills. Students are enrolled in Denfeld and Duluth East Medical Occupations or First Aid/BLS and EMR courses, part of ISD 709’s Career & Technical Education Program.

Denfeld Mural Project Unveiling Event
Please join us for the unveiling of a mural created by Denfeld students in collaboration with members of the community and visiting artist Jonathan Thunder.  
Free and Open to the Public
Date: December 14, 2017
Time:  4:00PM – 6:00PM
Place:  Denfeld High School Commons & Auditorium, 401 N. 44th Ave West
Presented by the Duluth American Indian Education Department

Lincoln Park Middle Schoolers Art Show
   The following students will have their artwork displayed at the Denfeld Whole Foods Co-op during the month of December, come see their amazing work!  Shayla Goodsky, Chloe Brown, DeLayna Auginash, Faith Grammer, Gigi Boheim, Annabelle Soderberg, Paris Allen, Javon Griggs, Kamryn Hill, Qamar Ali, Bella Corbett. Yavin Flowers, Jada Brown, Mya Yunk. 

Students Join Women in Welding Program 
   Abbigayle Lundberg, Duluth East, received an Anne Bancroft Dare to Dream Award and will learn to weld after school at the Duluth FAB Lab at Denfeld High School for two months. She’s joined by Grace Daniel, Andrea Sas and Abigail Dryke, recipients of an AMFA grant for women in welding incentive programs.
   The program provides personal encouragement and incentives through mentorship by women currently working as welders. They’ll work with Lindsay Paulseth from Altec and Roxane Simonsen, Denfeld Tech Tutor, who is completing her welding certification program from Lake Superior College. T


Heading to State!
   Congratulations Tim Hoeksema, Duluth East HS and member of the Duluth Debate Team! Tim earned a spot at the Minnesota State High School League Congressional Debate tournament in Minneapolis. He’ll represent Section 5AA during the state tournament January 12-13, 2018 at the University of Minnesota.

Denfeld, Duluth East Students Explore Careers
   Students took part in the annual "Dream It. Do It." tour to learn about manufacturing going on in their own back yard, local career opportunities and how Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) skills are put into practice in modern manufacturing facilities. Students visited:
>>AAR and Cirrus (Engineering class) 
>>Ikonics, SCS Interiors and APAvionics (Graphic Arts class) 
>>Altec and AAR (Automotive and Work-Based Learning class)
   About 125 students took part thanks to funding and support from APEX Duluth, Lake Superior Carl Perkins Grant Consortium, 360 MN. Thank you to all involved for this great opportunity!
Local Scholarship Available – Apply by January 15, 2018
   Now is the time to apply for the huge bounty of scholarships available to graduating high school seniors.  Duluth is truly blessed with a huge number of awards. Some are based on academics, but others, like the Minnesota Power Community Involvement Scholarship, recognize community volunteerism. Other scholarships limit their eligibility pool by financial need, prospective major, school attending or religious affiliation and, with over 50 scholarships, there’s something for everyone.  Find out what’s available by using the Eligibility Quiz on the Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation website. 
   Applications are due by January 15, 2018.  They'll take some time to fill out, so start early. More information can be found on the Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation website or by phone to 218-726-0232. 
December School Board Agenda Items - Detailed Information Online
(This is not a comprehensive list of Board agenda items)
>>Truth In Taxation Hearing: Minnesota's Truth in Taxation Law requires school districts to provide a public hearing before adopting a tax levy for the following year. The hearing includes a presentation about the current budget and proposed tax levies.
>>Fiscal Year 2017 Audit: The School Board will receive results of the annual independent audit for the past school year. This is the last step in closing out last year's financial statements.
>>Current Budget Year Update: The Board will hear an update based on numbers from a variety of sources, including the MN Department of Education. Generally, the projections and final numbers over which we have control are fairly close. As we gathered final data for last year, however, we found an unexpected loss of revenue, due in part to a change in the special education formula combined with increased expenses reflected in out-of-district tuition adjustments.
Duluth East Outdoor Classroom, Veterans Concert 
Thank you, Look at Lakeside, for the nice articles!

Thank You, Duluth Fire Department  
   Children and families from our Early Childhood Family Education Program (ECFE) visited the Duluth Fire Department, exploring and learning a lot about fire prevention and safety. Many thanks to firefighter Cory Flesch for the great tour!
Congratulations DFT Minnesota Teacher of the Year Nominees
   The DFT Teacher of the Year Committee met to review and select nominees to move forward for Education Minnesota’s 2018 Teacher of the Year program. Upon review and careful consideration of 12 nominations, a big congratulations to Holly Bowen Bailey, Ordean-East, Elizabeth Kersting-Peterson, Homecroft and Cindy Upton, Lowell. The Minnesota Teacher of the Year program, now in its 54th year, is the oldest and most prestigious recognition program in Minnesota to honor excellence in education. The program chooses one teacher to represent Minnesota's thousands of excellent educators. That teacher will be announced in May 2018.
Handle With Care
   This Duluth Police Department and Duluth School District partnership helps provide extra support for students who may have experienced trauma outside of school. Thanks to St. Louis County, First Witness Child Advocacy Center, and PAVSA for your assistance with the project!

Duluth East Hoops Helping Out 
Student athletes gave of their time to bell ring for The Salvation Army of Duluth, Minnesota.

Denfeld Hockey Team Brings Holiday Cheer to Local Families
Inspiration and Purpose
   Art students from the ISD 709 Area Learning Center visited The Prøve Gallery in downtown Duluth to see the 2017 Plys With Purpose exhibit and talk with gallery founder Flo Matamoros about DIY art showings, choosing artists and supporting the subculture of artists. Plys With Purpose is Prøve Gallery’s fourth exhibition and a silent auction of 30 crafted skateboard decks by local, national, and international artists all sharing one purpose, building skateboard parks in communities.
ISD 709 Career & Technical Education:  Graphic Arts and Digital Design
   Through this program, Denfeld and Duluth East students explore digital design and communication careers through hands-on use of industry-based software utilized in advertising, design and layout. Students apply and contextualize art concepts for client and business needs to provide an authentic learning environment and career connections.
ISD 709 Career & Technical Education:  Aerospace Physics 
   Students learn the concepts of Physics through exploration of Aerospace Engineering and Design. Students are introduced to theories of flight, principles of engineering, airplane design and manufacturing. 

2017 Greg Irons Staff Award Nominations Due by January 15
   Know a great educator who deserves a pat on the back or some special recognition? Consider nominating them for the Greg Irons Teacher/Staff Award. Named after a former ISD 709 teacher, the Award recognizes individuals who ‘demonstrate their belief that all students have worth and the desire to succeed and that responsibility, sincerity, honesty and hard work are the foundation of a person's life.’ Past winners have received a cash award of $500.
   Nominations are due by January 15, 2018. Applications are at and can be submitted electronically. Details at or 218-726-0232.
“Paws”ing to remember Catsby
Remembering Catsby, a favorite at Duluth East High School...

ISD 709 News

posted Nov 29, 2017, 11:29 AM by Communications ISD 709   [ updated Nov 29, 2017, 11:31 AM ]

Duluth School Board Honors Congdon Park Teacher 
   Jebeh Edmunds definitely deserves the Duluth News Tribune's 2017 20 Under 40 Award which looks for "awesomeness" in young leaders.  She teaches at Congdon Park Elementary and also taught at Myers-Wilkins Elementary. She holds a Masters of Science in Teaching from The College of St. Scholastica, is a Blandin Community Foundation Alum, recipient of a Minnesota Reading Corps Teacher Corps Scholarship, Cofounder of the multicultural blog and she founded the EBOLA BlockAID Fundraising initiative for Liberia. 
   Her service with the school district includes the Nettle Site Council Committee, ISD 709 African American Educational Advisory Committee, the ELA Adoption Team, and ISD 709 Professional Development Committee.  Congratulations, Jebeh!

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 21 School Board meeting.  

Duluth East Choir Performs at Statewide Festival
   The A'Capella Choir appeared in a state-wide high school choral festival conducted American conductor/composer Mack Wilberg, artistic director of the internationally renowned Mormon Tabernacle Choir in Salt Lake City UT.

Here's to Health
   A big thank you to Josh Gorham, PHN, St. Louis County Public Health (and newly elected School Board member), for teaching Lincoln Park Middle School students more about nutrition and inspiring healthy choices.

Record of Continuous Improvement (RCI) Presentations
   Throughout the school year, each school is providing an update to the Board regarding their school improvement plan. The work on RCI is led by the school's Continuous Improvement Team (CIT). Each school has gone through a comprehensive needs assessment and developed action steps to improve student outcomes. This month Duluth East and Congdon Park made presentations.
Secondary Schedule Task Force Update
   We recognize that our community would like more course options than can be accommodated under our current secondary schedule (6-Period Day).  Last spring, a process was designed to gain a full range of feedback from stakeholder groups and includes staff and family surveys. The process also involves a team of teachers and administrators from both high schools and middle schools to review the options, consider organizational priorities and make recommendations.
Rockridge Academy
   Woodland Hills Academy will soon be relocating their school operations to the Rockridge building. The Duluth school district provides the educational program for Woodland Hills.  District administration recommends the name change from Woodland Hills Academy to Rockridge Academy.
Duluth Special School Board Meeting November 28
   The Board heard from community members and staff regarding distribution of compensatory education dollars and equity. The interest and passion of the attendees is much appreciated and we hope all will continue to support a larger conversation regarding education equity in the coming months.
>>Plans for a community driven conversation about educational equity are being developed. Community advisers, focus groups, public input and board discussion will be used to develop a commitment to equity.
>>The FY 2019 budget process has already begun internally as we continue to build projections for the next school year, finalize enrollment and percentages of students eligible for free/reduced price lunch, which will determine Compensatory Education and Title I funding levels for next year. There will be opportunities for staff and public input through that process.
>>The preliminary planning stages for renewal of the 2013 levy referendum also began early last year.  In the coming weeks and months we will continue to develop a community vision for the referendum.

Early Childhood Education Counts - 
The Road to Graduation Starts at Birth
>>Research indicates high quality early learning experiences help children get ready to learn and succeed later in life.
>>Children who attend quality preschool are better prepared for kindergarten, behave better in class, have higher math and reading skills, and are more likely to graduate from high school and go to college.
>>They show better overall health, less depression and improved mental health.
ISD 709 Early Childhood Birth to Age 5 Programs - Do you know someone with a preschool age child? Pass along the information.

ISD 709 News

posted Nov 17, 2017, 11:10 AM by Communications ISD 709   [ updated Nov 17, 2017, 11:10 AM ]

2017 State MIEA Award for Leadership
   Edye Howes is the recipient of the 2017 Administrator of the Year Award from the Minnesota Indian Education Association (MIEA).  Ms. Howes is coordinator for the Office of American Indian Education for the Duluth Public Schools.  The Award recognizes Edye’s leadership, her work in the American Indian Education Community, the reflection of American Indian culture in her life/work and other achievements. Congratulations, Edye!


Ordean East Student Receives Greenhouse Grant
   Jackson Descombaz received a Youth in Philanthropy Grant to complete the inside of Ordean East Middle School’s greenhouse. This could help provide more locally grown food for the school cafeteria and more learning opportunities for students.  The grant is provided through the Northland Foundation and Minnesota Power.

Healthy Harvest
   The Duluth school district harvested more than 1,750 pounds of produce this fall, much of it making its way into school lunches, lessons and snacks. Many thanks to the community groups, organizations and individuals who help make this possible, especially Healthy Northland Farm to School, Essentia and coordinator Renee Willemsen.
Congratulations, Denfeld Swim & Dive Team! The girls team took 3rd at Sections, broke three records and is sending Erin Rudd and Shelby Johnson to State.
Stowe/Laura Mac Flag Football Program a Success: A big thank you for community support from D'Andre Sherill, Demetrice Whittaker, Duluth Area Family YMCA, the City of Duluth Parks and Recreation, Boys & Girls Clubs of the Northland, the Duluth Police Department, the Valley Youth Center and from school principals Nathan Glockle and Clay Norman. WDIO-TV10
Meet Hunter, Denfeld High School's therapy dog!
Please Get Your Application In Now for Free/Reduced Price Lunch
A New Application Must Be Submitted Each Year
   Applying is easy and confidential; choose which application works best for you.
>>Apply online at, click the link and follow the instructions.  Online application is safe, secure, convenient and available 24/7.
>>OR fill out a hard copy form and submit by mail or drop off at the school office.   Hard copy forms are available from the school office, from the Child Nutrition Office or download an Application for free and reduced meals.
   Qualifying for free/reduced price lunch may also qualify families to pay a lower fee or no fee for school activities.  Students who qualify take the ACT Test at school for free.  Families who qualify are helping Duluth schools qualify for additional education funds and discounts. Approval for school meals is good for the school year.
Minnesota’s Immunization Law: Please be sure you’ve filed documentation of immunization or legal exemption with your school.
   Minnesota has various laws requiring immunizations for children and adults enrolled in child care,
school, and college settings.  Legal exemptions are allowed - both for medical reasons and
conscientiously held beliefs.
   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 may be excluded 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.

***Please Share*** 
   Apply online at, click Online Application.  Call (218) 336-8722 for more information.  
   Use our computers to apply! Available 9AM - 3PM Monday thru Friday in the Human Resources Department at Historic Old Central High School (215 N 1st Ave East). Parking available in the Third Street parking lot, use the Third Street entrance to enter the building.
> Food Service Helpers (contract and substitutes)
> Instructional Paraprofessionals (contract and substitutes)
> Special Education Paraprofessionals (contract and substitutes)
> Supervisory Paraprofessionals (contract and substitutes)
> Custodians (contract and substitutes)
> School Bus Drivers Substitutes
> Bus Helpers Substitutes
> Certified Substitutes with a valid MN teaching license
> Homebound Teachers with valid MN teaching license
(short call substitute license is not eligible)

Chilly Reading Challenge  
   When a Lowell teacher asked Jen Larva, Principal, to participate in the Pizza Hut Book It Challenge, Jen immediately said yes.  The program encourages students to set a reading goal – if they meet the goal they receive a certificate and a reward.  In this case, their reward was seeing the Principal spend a day out in the cold reading Betsy Bowen books to students.  Said Jen, “If I had known it was going to be so cold, I might have picked a different challenge!  Brr!” 


As cold, snowy weather hits the Northland, Carolyn Zanko knit 69 hats, 57 mittens and four quilts for donation to our schools.  Thank you Ms. Zanko, for your generosity.

ISD 709 News

posted Nov 10, 2017, 9:45 AM by Communications ISD 709   [ updated Nov 10, 2017, 9:47 AM ]

2017 Annual Report for the Community
   Many, many thanks to all who contributed to this event, including people representing our Schools, Programs, Denfeld Deli, Denfeld Choir, Denfeld Band, Volunteers, Lincoln Park MS Staff and all participants; to the schools who provided photo and video opportunities, to the teachers and staff who helped with the video and the administrators and managers who helped compile information for the booklet.  
   All helped make this a great night for our Duluth Public Schools.

Media Coverage:
Governor Dayton Proclaims Community Education Day
   In his proclamation, MN Governor Mark Dayton said, "Community Education enables full use of public facilities, programs and services by every age group in the community.  When local communities identify their own needs and resources and public agencies work cooperatively, communities will thrive."  Thanks to our Duluth Community Education staff for the multitude of opportunities they provide our city!
Denfeld High School Begins New Work to Improve Student Outcomes
   It's called BARR — Building Assets, Reducing Risks — and it was created by a St. Louis Park, Minn., school counselor in 1998. It's grown into a national model, and is now in more than 80 schools in 13 states. The federal government has invested in it with multiple grants.
Congratulations Johanna Caskey, Ryan Johnston, Brita Larsen, Angela Park, Annika Pokorny, and Kahl Steinmetz, Duluth East High School, named as Commended Students in the 2018 National Merit Scholarship Program.
Commended students are recognized for their exceptional academic promise demonstrated by their outstanding performance on the PSAT.

Bravo, Denfeld & Duluth East Theater Students  
   Sold out shows for Beauty & the Beast at Duluth East, packed houses for High School Musical at Denfeld. Congratulations to all student actors, crew, sponsors and advisors on two hugely successful productions!

Congratulations Rebecca Miles and Molly Weberg for All-State Academic Honors! The two Duluth East Cross Country runners finished in the top 15 at sections and hold 4.0 GPA's.

Denfeld, Duluth East Students Building Home
   Duluth Denfeld and Duluth East carpentry students are helping Lake Superior College students build a beautiful home in Hermantown this fall.  They’re taking part in Construction Technology classes, part of ISD 709’s Career & Technical Education program.

Congdon Park Students Enjoy Science Night
Thanks, UMD, and all who helped make this engaging night possible!
Duluth East Graduate Selected First BA/MD Cohort at U of M
   Tatianna Maghan was one of 10 students chosen to be in this cohort.   is the fourth from the right.  The U of M receives approximately 40,000 applications for the freshman class each year, and Tatianna was one of 10 students chosen to be in this cohort.  The B.A./M.D. pipeline program enables students to gain the knowledge and confidence needed to thrive during their medical training and careers.  
Article:  Student rewards…that aren’t junk food!
   Have I mentioned that I’m tired of all the junk food at my daughter’s elementary school? And I am not talking about what they’re serving in the cafeteria. I am talking about the junk food that’s constantly being used for rewards, parties and activities.

ISD 709 News

posted Nov 1, 2017, 2:48 PM by Communications ISD 709   [ updated Nov 1, 2017, 2:48 PM ]

Denfeld Theater Presents:
See this Disney smash hit come to life on the historic Denfeld Auditorium stage!
November 2 - 4: 7:00PM
November 5:  2:00PM
$10 General Admission, Tickets sold at the door.
Denfeld High School, 401 N. 44th Avenue West, Duluth


Denfeld’s Gibson Selected for All-State  
Ben Gibson was selected for All-State by the Minnesota State High School Soccer Coaches Association. Players are nominated by coaches, and all-state selection committees vote to determine which players make the First and Second teams.  Congratulations, Ben! Thank you, LeAnn Jaksha Photography, for the great pics.


Duluth East Division Champs  
The Duluth East Greyhound Cheer Team took first and won division champions at the 10,000 Lakes Competition. Congratulations, proud of your hard work and determination!


Denfeld, Duluth East Earn Energy Star Certification
  Report cards are in and these two high schools are among the most energy efficient learning environments in the country!  The accomplishment reflects a long-time commitment to energy efficiency and continues today with a focused facilities management team and support from Minnesota Power...(read the article)    WDIO-TV10


Denfeld Student Leaders Up Their Skills
   Members of the Denfeld High School Link Crew attended a conference in Coon Rapids in October, a great learning experience!  Student groups like Denfeld's Link Crew and Duluth East's Hound Pack are trained to support incoming ninth grade students, orienting them to the school, informing them of activities and opportunities, making introductions and helping them feel at home. 

ISD 709 News

posted Oct 31, 2017, 2:23 PM by Communications ISD 709

ISD 709 News

posted Oct 24, 2017, 1:06 PM by Communications ISD 709

National School Bus Safety Week
   Thank you to our ISD 709 and Voyageur Bus Company drivers who get thousands of students to school safely every day!

State Bound ‘Hounds:  Congratulations to the 
Duluth East Boys Soccer Team!


Congratulations, Denfeld Debate Team
   Great performance at Coon Rapids!  Autumn Zierman and Quinten Rimolde, champions in Public Forum Debate; Tim Hoeksema, 4th in Congressional Debate; Grace Hollander and Elsa Madson Honorable Mention as best speakers. Congrats coaching staff Fred Friedman, Brian Schilling and all team members.


Invitation from Bill Gronseth, Superintendent:
   “To learn more about where we’re going and what we’re doing in Duluth Public Schools, I invite you to attend our Annual Report for the Community, Thursday November 9, 6:00PM at Lincoln Park Middle School.  It’s informative and fun, an evening showcasing our schools, student work and performance, with music by members of the Denfeld Band and Choir, and delicious food by students in the Denfeld Deli culinary arts program.  It’s free and open to the public, all are welcome; I hope you’ll join us.”
Lincoln Park Middle School is located at 3215 West 3rd Street in Duluth.
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Hunters and 'Hounds Help Out
   Denfeld and Duluth East Key Clubs conducted Camp In a Box events to help raise awareness of homelessness and collect funds for Life House. These caring high school students collected about $1,125 at Denfeld and $2,000 at Duluth East. Life House will use the funds to support area teens as they move into permanent housing.  Life House provides for the needs of young people left to fend for themselves on the streets, providing a place where youth can reclaim a positive, healthy and hopeful future.

Thank You, Jonathan Thunder
   Denfeld and Duluth East High School students are invited to work with painter and digital media artist Jonathan Thunder to create a mural at Denfeld High School for the Duluth American Indian Education Department. They'll be working on the project after school on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays starting October 18.
   Thunder’s work has been featured in many state, regional, and national exhibitions, as well as local and international publications. He has won several awards in SWAIA's Annual Class 'X' Moving Images competition for his animation work on multiple projects.
Duluth Public Schools American Indian Education Department
   We Are Here to Support You:  We are in an ever changing world, and how we view and identify
with race and ethnicity is ever changing too. However, most school districts have created additional departments to help support groups that are at times under-represented, or that may demonstrate a special need. This can be anything from culture and language to academics, tutoring and mentorship. One group in our district that falls within this category is the Duluth Public Schools American Indian Education Department, which has their own set of staff and is spread throughout various sites within our district.
   Who Qualifies?  As educators we believe in supporting all students, but our main focus is American Indian and Alaskan Native students. These students are anyone who has self-identified or who a parent has identified as being a descendant of an American Indian or Alaskan Native family member or who is an enrolled member of a tribe themselves.
   How Do We Know Who You Are?  In the beginning of the year parents and guardians complete paperwork for their child or dependent. Within this paperwork is an area that asks the ethnicity of the child. Most of the time, you can only choose one race. Other times you can choose more than one option, which makes sense. However, if a parent or guardian is interested in receiving services for their child and are A.I. or A.N., this must be marked on the information cards under the race and ethnicity section.
   If a person is A.I. or A.N. and chooses not to identify or use our services, that is okay too. If you are a parent or guardian of an A.I. or A.N. student and would like these services available to your child, please make sure the paperwork is filled out correctly. If you have already filled out the paperwork and have not identified your child but want to, you can do this or make changes at any time.
Amanda Horton, American Indian Home Liaison
East High School, Ordean East Middle School
ISD 709 American Indian Education Department:  (218) 336 - 8700 ext. 1149 and 1152
Food For Thought Student-Run Restaurant Open to Public
   High school students 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
Duluth East HS Theatre presents Musical
October 26-28, 7:00PM: Tickets can be purchased with cash or check the evening of the show. Tickets go on sale at 6:00PM with general admission seating and doors opening at 6:30PM. The show starts at 7:00PM.
October 29, 1:00PM: Sunday matinee ticket sales begin at 12Noon with doors opening at 12:30PM. The matinee begins at 1:00PM.
Duluth East High School, 301 N. 40th Ave East, Duluth
$10 Students, $15 Adults, kids under 5 Free

Coming in November, Denfeld High School students are hard at work, prepping and rehearsing a production of "HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL!"
Mark your calendar and get ready to see this Disney smash hit come to life on the Denfeld Auditorium stage: 
November 2 - 4: 7;00PM
November 5: 2:00PM
$10 General Admission, Tickets sold at the door.
Denfeld High School, 401 N. 44th Avenue West, Duluth

Visual/Media Arts teacher Debra Hannu was selected to serve on the Minnesota Department of Educations's Arts Standards Committee.  Tasked with updating the MN Academic Standards in the Arts, the committee work will take place over the course of the school year.
Exploring Possibilities:
Students from Denfeld High School traveled to the Minneapolis College of Art & Design this month. They toured the school, had their portfolios reviewed by several colleges and universities
and spent time at the Minneapolis Art Institute. 
--Riding the Rails: Students in Jennifer Fabbro’s class at Denfeld High School took a ride on the Lake Superior Railroad, with fall colors peaking and gorgeous weather.  
--Schools Go Crunch:  Apple Crunch Day was a big success, with students across our district taking healthy bites out of local produce. Thank you, Healthy Northland Farm to School!
Join KEY Zone Thursday, October 26 for Nationwide Lights on Afterschool Event
   Celebrating the importance of keeping the lights on and doors open after school and showcasing the remarkable work done by students. A powerful reminder that afterschool programs offer a range of supports to children and families.
   Connect with your KEY Zone site to see what kinds of activities will be going on. Duluth’s Enger Tower will be lit up in blue and gold that evening to bring awareness to this national initiative.

ISD 709 News

posted Oct 12, 2017, 10:13 AM by Communications ISD 709

October is Principal Appreciation Month
   Thanks to all Duluth Public School principals and school administrators for your leadership, hard work, and dedication to helping every student succeed, every day!
Enrollment on the Rebound?  Duluth School District Enrollment Up
"We are starting off with higher numbers, not only higher than we projected but higher than last year, which is great," said Duluth superintendent Bill Gronseth.
For More ISD 709 News:
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Sharing Our Vision:
2017 ISD 709 Annual Report for the Community
An evening of music, food, school exhibits, program displays and information 
regarding the education of Duluth’s children.
Free and Open to the Public, All Welcome!
Thursday November 9, 2017
6:00PM – 7:30PM
Lincoln Park Middle School
3215 West Third Street, Duluth MN
VIDEO:  11 Year Old Narrowly Misses Getting Struck by a Truck After Exiting School Bus
   Please be alert around school buses, follow the law and watch out for little ones! A reminder that as of Aug. 1, drivers who violate the state's school bus stop arm law will face a larger fine as citations increase from $300 to $500 this year.

Respect the Rice:  
Students in Lowell Elementary's Misaabekong Ojibwe Language Immersion program spent time outdoors this week, experiencing traditional wild rice (manoomin) processing. 


Lifesaving Work:
  ABO Hounds did it again! Largest blood drives in the region with 268 units collected in 2017. Their next blood drive is November 10. Thank you, students, staff, donors.

Activities, Accomplishments, Appreciation
--Kindness in Chalk:  During Bullying Prevention & Awareness Month, students from Lowell Elementary wrote messages of kindness across the school sidewalks.
Talking with Children About Tragedy
   With the recent shooting in Las Vegas we want to share some best practices for talking with your children about tragedies of any nature. 
>>First, our responses matter. This is an opportunity to have healthy conversations and shape core beliefs. Listen and validate feelings, then share information. Talk about the good people are doing as much or more than the tragedy itself.
>>Second, limit exposure to information, news, and visual imagery that is developmentally appropriate and they can handle. You know your children best. At the same time, most kids have likely seen or heard about the shooting in Las Vegas, whether you talked about it with them or not. Ask them what they’ve seen, heard, or have questions about. 
>>Third, you don’t have to figure this out on your own. Talk with family members, friends, your child’s doctor, or a local mental health provider. 
PLEASE SHARE: From the Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation:
What if every single child in this community had the opportunity to reach their full potential?
We invite you—our neighbors from every corner of Duluth—to be our guest as we kick off a major initiative to forge a path to better opportunity for all of our kids.
OPPORTUNITY RISING:  Our promise to our kids.
Community-Wide Dinner October 25
Join us to share a warm meal of soup and bread, meet each other and learn how—by working together—we can provide rising opportunities for all our kids. 
Date:   Wednesday, October 25, 2017
Time:  5:30PM–7:30PM, Program begins at 6:00PM
Place: Lincoln Park Middle School—Commons Area, 3215 W 3rd St, Duluth, MN 55806
Need a Ride? Free rides to and from the event will be provided.
Event Free and Open to the Public 
RSVP: Seating will be limited, so please let us know you are coming, and if you need a ride, by October 18. Call 218.726.0232 or RSVP ONLINE HERE
NOTE!  If you registered prior to 10/12/17, please use the link above to register again. The link provided in previous messages was a test and did not capture RSVPs. The Foundation apologizes for the confusion.
Wellness Supports Learning 
   Research clearly demonstrates that attendance and academic performance are linked to good nutrition and physical activity.  Making healthy choices during the school day can be helpful in supporting a child’s education. The goal this school year is to work collaboratively with employees, families and students to make further progress through the ISD 709 Wellness Policy:
Food and beverages marketed to students meet USDA Nutritional Guidelines
All foods and beverages sold on school grounds to students during the school day(including items sold a la carte in the cafeteria, vending machines, schools stores, in-school fundraisers) meet USDA Smart Snacks in School nutrition standards at a minimum. 
Provide healthy ideas for celebrations and parties, classroom snacks, rewards and incentives and fundraisers held outside the school day, including alternatives to food and a list of foods and beverages that meet Smart Snacks nutrition standards.
Proactively teaching and encouraging positive recess behavior and indoor active recess throughout the year
Providing periodic classroom breaks for students to stand and be moderately active
Encouraging walking and biking to and from school based on age appropriate standards 

Resources for Nutrition, Foods That Meet USDA Compliance:
Pam Bowe, ISD 709 Child Nutrition Manager:
Josh Gorham, ISD 709 Wellness Committee:
Fundraising Resources:
Questions regarding the ISD 709 Wellness Policy:
Amy Starzecki, ISD 709 Assistant Superintendent:

ISD 709 News

posted Oct 9, 2017, 1:40 PM by Communications ISD 709   [ updated Oct 9, 2017, 1:53 PM ]

October is National Bullying Prevention & Awareness Month
   As members of the Duluth community, we value creating welcoming environments where the uniqueness of each person is honored, 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 achieve 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:
Indigenous Peoples Day – October 9, 2017
From the Duluth Indigenous Commission:
   The public is invited to a special event to recognize and raise awareness of Indigenous people's culture, contributions and current issues in our community. 
   Thursday, October 12, the public is invited to the annual Feast and Forum to be held at 5:30 PM in the Dr. Robert Powless Cultural Center (AICHO/Trepanier Hall), 212 W. Second St. in downtown Duluth. This yearly celebration is open to the public from 5:30PM - 9:00PM where attendees can bring a dish to share and discuss the most serious issues facing our Indigenous community today. The topics will deal with issues affecting Native youth today—primarily in educational disparity and opioid addiction.  The event is free and open to the public.
ISD 709 Wellness - Encourage Students with Healthy Alternatives
From the Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation:
What if every single child in this community had the opportunity to reach their full potential?
We invite you—our neighbors from every corner of Duluth—to be our guest as we kick off a major initiative to forge a path to better opportunity for all of our kids.
OPPORTUNITY RISING:  Our promise to our kids.
Community-Wide Dinner October 25
Join us to share a warm meal of soup and bread, meet each other and learn how—by working together—we can provide rising opportunities for all our kids.
Date:   Wednesday, October 25, 2017
Time:  5:30PM–7:30PM, Program begins at 6:00PM
Place: Lincoln Park Middle School—Commons Area, 3215 W 3rd St, Duluth, MN 55806
Need a Ride? Free rides to and from the event will be provided.
Event Free and Open to the Public
RSVP: Seating will be limited, so please let us know you are coming, and if you need a ride, by October 18. Call 218.726.0232 or rsvp online here.
Activities, Accomplishments, Appreciation

--2017 Walk/Bike to School Day:
  Over 1,000 students turned out to promote active lifestyles this month - joined by Superintendent Bill Gronseth and Duluth Mayor Emily Larson. Many thanks to all the families, staff and community
members who helped with this event.
--Denfeld Holds National Honor Society Induction:  Denfeld held its National Honor Society induction ceremony this month and welcomed Duluth Police Chief Mike Tusken, DHS Class of '87, as the keynote speaker. Congratulations,Hunter scholars!
--Leaders of the Pack:  Myers-Wilkins Elementary presented several students with the first ever “Leader of the Pack” Award this month.  The award was a
surprise for the students and presented with family members present.  It’s a way to recognize students who demonstrate school wide expectations of being respectful, responsible and safe. 
--Thanks, Mr. Erickson: Denfeld High School and Harvard University alum Cliff Erickson visited Denfeld to share his post-secondary experiences at an Ivy League school and to encourage students to aim high, set goals and pursue the life they want after high school. Mr. Erickson visits the school each year, thanks for inspiring our students
--Inspiring Musicians:  Orchestra students from Ordean East Middle School attended the Minnesota Orchestra concert at Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis this month.
--Denfeld Key Club Pies Teachers (for a good cause):  Members of the Denfeld Key Club organized a Coin War, pitting teachers against students.  Students collected the most change, earning science teacher Robert Fox and English teacher Matthew Pursi pies in the face. Coin War proceeds totaled $626 and went to the school’s Special Education Department to fund field trips for students in that program.
--Homecroft’s Kersting Peterson Named Teacher of the Year:  The Bong Chapter of the Air Force Association named Elizabeth Kersting Peterson their Chapter Teacher of the Year.  She was selected from a group of nearly 40 candidates for demonstrated excellence in education and in recognition of sustained, outstanding performance as an educator.
--Exchange Program a Great Success:  Duluth East hosted nearly 30 students from Albstadt, Germany as part of the German American Partnership Program (GAPP).  The students visited the North Shore,
MN State Capitol, and the Mall of America and experienced American life with their host families. In June 2018, Duluth East German language students will visit their German partners during a three-week stay in Germany, visiting Berlin, Munich, and Austria, in addition to living with their host families.
--Students Dig Sustainable Farming:  Lincoln Park and Ordean East Middle School science students had a great time at the UMD Land Lab, aka Sustainable Agriculture Project (SAP) Farm. They learned about a variety of
topics including pollinators and soil. Some favorites include harvesting squash and eating fresh carrots. Many thanks to volunteers, UMD, and Duluth Community Gardening.
--Metamorphosis:  Piedmont Elementary students learned about the life cycle, migration and habits of monarch butterflies.  Tom Uecker and Carolyn Schroeder from Duluth Monarch Buddies
provided three chrysalides for each classroom so students could watch them become butterflies, identify male and females, and then tag and release the monarchs for their migration to Mexico.
Thank you, Duluth Monarch Buddies, for this opportunity.
--Eyes on the Skies:  Students from Congdon Park Elementary took a field trip to Hawk Ridge to continue study of birds of the boreal forest. Many thanks to Hawk Ridge educators for the great, hands-on learning experience.
--Touchdown:  Thanks to everyone helping out with flag football for Stowe and Laura MacArthur Elementary students, lots of healthy, active fun!
2018 Twin Ports Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Mass Choir Rehearsals 
“Birth of a New Nation”
Guest Clinician:  Mr. Johnny Barker from St. Louis, Missouri
October 16-20, 2017  6:00PM
Peace United Church of Christ
1111 North 11 Avenue East, Duluth, MN
For More Information email:
New Members Welcome!
   The Historic Old Central Museum Committee welcomes alumni and interested community members to join their group. They’re dedicated to preserving Duluth's educational heritage, connecting today's youth with tradition, and instilling a common vision of respect for the value of public education.
Committee members:
>>Manage a local high school Scholarship program
>>Manage donations and assist with sales of t-shirts, yearbooks and prints to support scholarships
>>Manage and maintain the 1890’s Classroom Museum
>>Conduct tours of the Historic Old Central High School building and clock tower by appointment
   Learn more by attending a monthly meeting, held the first Friday of each month from 9:00AM to 11:00AM in Room 112 of Historic Old Central High School, 215 N. 1st Avenue East. 
Contact us, we’re happy to answer questions:
218-724-1887 or email
218-728-2904 or

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