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ISD 709 News

posted Dec 16, 2015, 7:55 AM by Communications ISD 709
School Board Honors Outgoing Student Representatives

   During the regular December meeting, Board members formally recognized the work of outgoing Student Representatives Tom Olafson, Denfeld, and Jude Goossens, Duluth East.   In their leadership role, Tom and Jude invested time and effort to learn more about how the school district operates and how decisions are made. They shared information with their peers and brought a thoughtful student perspective to School Board meetings.

   Their participation this year has helped immensely as Board members and administrators considered decisions impacting student achievement, school climate and effective systems.  New student representatives from Denfeld and Duluth East will be seated after the first of the year.

   Many thanks to Tom and Jude for their service to the Duluth School Board.  We wish them the very best in their future endeavors.


Pertussis (Whooping Cough) Information for Parents & Staff

   Pertussis, or whooping cough, is a disease caused by a bacteria that affects the lungs.   While there are currently no confirmed cases of pertussis in ISD 709 Duluth Public Schools, the MN Department of Health has confirmed several cases within the Duluth area.  They’re sharing information about pertussis, emphasizing the importance of immunizations, and reminding students, staff and families to take steps to prevent the spread of illness.

   Pertussis is a persistent cough illness.  The first symptoms are similar to a cold.  After a week or two the cough worsens and begins to occur in sudden, uncontrollable bursts.  Vomiting can occur following coughing, and children may make high-pitched whooping sounds when gasping for breath.  Pertussis may include a low grade fever – the flu will generally include a high grade fever.  Families are encouraged to contact their health care provider if their child has a persistent cough.  Click here for more information from the MN Department of Health.

   The best way to prevent pertussis is to be vaccinated.  In addition to routine childhood immunizations, a pertussis vaccine booster is recommended for adolescents and adults.  The booster shot (Tdap) is given in combination with tetanus and diphtheria.  Ask your local healthcare provider for more information or click here for more information about vaccinations.

   Follow these tips to prevent the spread of pertussis, flu, colds.  Pertussis is spread through the air in droplets produced during coughing or sneezing.

>Wash your hands often

>Stay home if you’re ill

>When coughing, cover your mouth with a tissue or cough into your sleeve

   Check the Minnesota Department of Health website for more detailed information or call your school nurse if you have questions. 


Elementary Standards Based Report Card Information

   Parents of students in grades K-5 are encouraged to learn more about the elementary standards based report cards coming out in January.  The standards based report card  is different from the old system and 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

>Meaningful, user-friendly feedback

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

Click here for detailed information with Q&A


ISD 709 Recommended Pay 2016 Levy Below State Average

   During their December 15 meeting, the Duluth School Board approved a pay 2016 levy increase of about 0.9% or $296,000.  This is below the statewide average projected by the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) of about 9.9% for all school districts.  It’s also below the projected maximum levy of about 1.4% certified by the School Board in September.

   For the second year in a row, the levy will not increase property taxes but instead result in a decrease - about $16.57 for the owner of a $150,000 home and a reduction of about $40.17 for the owner of a $150,000 business - due in part to new developments and property revaluation.

   Preliminary estimates were developed as part of the maximum levy certification process required by MDE and discussed at the November and December Business Committee meetings in preparation for the annual Truth in Taxation meeting December 15 in Historic Old Central High School.


Donate Your Old Vehicle and Help Students Learn a Career in Automotive Technology!

  Vehicles donated to this “hands-on” program help Denfeld and Duluth East High School students learn the skills they need to enter the high-tech field of automotive repair:

·         Live on-car diagnostic and repair work on computer controlled electrical and brake systems

·         Applying engine theory

·         Construction, diagnosis, computer, fuel and ignition systems, steering and suspension systems, and wheel alignment

   Students learn how to service various systems using proper technical skills and are encouraged to participate in job shadowing and/or an internship at a local repair facility.
   Automotive Youth Education System (AYES) curriculum is utilized and the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF) Certification Program is implemented.

Click here for more about how to donate a vehicle to this program.

Check the ISD 709 High School Course Catalog for more information about Automotive Technology courses and other career/tech ed opportunities



December 16, 7:00PM

Amsoil Arena, Duluth

   Duluth East and Marshall meet at Amsoil Arena, their first meeting since the Greyhounds’ 6-3 win in 1999 as Lake Superior Conference rivals. Both teams look to lock down bragging rights and seeding favor for the Section 7AA playoffs.  $6 Adults and $4 Students – sorry no passes accepted.


Activities, Accomplishments, Appreciation

-- The Duluth East Daredevils provided free workshops and presentations for all Minnesota teams at Itasca Community College (ICC). The workshops were all about helping new teams get on track for build season and upcoming competitions and to give more experienced teams new ideas. The Daredevils provided  six different presentations on the subjects of media, programming, building, team management, electronics/wiring, and strategy. The event was open to all FIRST Robotics Teams.  For more info about Duluth East Daredevils FIRST Robotics Team 2512: or

--The Lincoln Park Middle School Knowledge Bowl Team took second place in the Northern Minnesota Regional Competition in Mt. Iron. Congratulations to team members Sam Townsend, Nicole McGinn, Phoenix Ocean, Logan Griggs, Chase Firn and Jack McCormick

--Solar panels at Lowell Elementary are offsetting energy costs by several hundred dollars a year.  According to Enphase Energy, last month the panels generated 92.2 kWh, a carbon offset of about 140 pounds or the equivalent of two trees.

--Denfeld and Duluth East Health Occupation Students of America (HOSA) took part in the 3rd Annual HOSA Medical Reserve Corp. training at Camp Ripley. The training helps participants prepare for disasters, respond to needs and build resiliency.  Students trained in First Aid, CPR, took part in crisis simulation experiences and emergency response drills and exercises.