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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