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ISD 709 News

posted Mar 16, 2016, 6:33 AM by Communications ISD 709

Fiscal Year 2017 Budget Planning Update

   During a Committee of the Whole meeting March 15, Duluth School Board members received an update on budget planning for next year, and steps being taken to ensure a balanced budget for FY 2017.

   Current budget plans focus on maintaining efforts focused on student achievement, curriculum updates and managing class size.  They prioritize General Fund spending to the instruction and support of students, maintain 2013 Education Levy investments and work toward goals associated with Minnesota’s World’s Best Workforce legislation.  They align with supporting plans, including Reading Well by Grade 3 Literacy and ISD 709 Achievement & Integration.

   The budget takes into consideration ongoing discussions with teacher, principal, and administrative leadership, the School Board, and multi-year community conversations through Think Kids.

   New proposed investments include a restructuring of Elementary Specialists to support efforts to raise student achievement, expansion of the Ojibwe language immersion classroom to include Grade 2, Leadership Teams to continue planning efforts to raise student achievement, among others.

   Approximately $3 million in adjustments and cost savings have been identified to help balance revenue and expense – they focus primarily on District level administrative expenditures, administration and support staff.  They include a mix of restructuring funding sources, adjusting expenses to reflect current information, reducing time associated with positions and in some cases eliminating positions.

   A final budget is approved in June per State Statute.  The new fiscal year begins July 1, 2016.

   Click here for detailed information.


Denfeld & Duluth East Dance Team Members Selected for All State

   Members of the Denfeld and Duluth East Dance Teams represented their schools at the MN Association of Dance Teams All State Performance - both schools had dancers selected for the All State Dance Team. 

Coaches were asked to nominate 2 dancers in each category and a review committee then scored the nominees and selected the top dancers in each class. 

   Hailey Pitoscia and Emma Alvarez represented Duluth East in the Jazz category.  Jenna Davis represented Denfeld in the jazz category and Mari Doffin represented Denfeld in the High Kick category.

   Kim Chick, Head Coach of the Duluth East Dance Team, has been elected to represent Class AAA as a member of the Advisory Committee for Dance Team.  The MSHSL has an Activity Advisory Committee for each of the activities it sponsors.  There are 2 coaches selected for each class.  Chick has been a head coach since 2007 and an active member of the MN Association of Dance Teams (MADT).  She was awarded Rookie Coach of the year for the 2007-2008 season and has been nominated for Head Coach of the year in 2011-2012, 2014-2015 and 2015-2016. 


Area Learning Center Students Collect Pennies for Patients 

   Proceeds benefited the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.  Students competed to collect the most donations; the winning class received a pizza party and got to choose a teacher to be in the Whipped Cream Toss.  This year students collected over $170 to support a great cause.  Many thanks to teacher Phil Thouin for being such a great sport in the Whipped Cream Toss and thanks as well to building maintenance staff for helping students clean up after all the fun.  


Denfeld, Duluth East Students Explore Careers at Construct Tomorrow
   Students from Denfeld, Duluth East and high schools took part in Construct Tomorrow at the DECC, a free, hands-on exploration of careers in the construction trades for young people, made possible through a partnership between the Building Trades, The Duluth Public Schools, The City of Duluth, and Lake Superior College. 
   Construct Tomorrow is a collective of apprenticeship skills instructors, prime and sub-contractors, representatives from labor and workforce development and youth educators with the goal of making students aware of apprenticeship training opportunities and careers in the construction industry to increase and diversify the talent pool to meet future demands.
Learn more about ISD 709 Career & Technical Education Opportunities





City Records Set at All City Swim Meet

   Congratulations to the following middle school students for setting new records at the All City Swim

Meet held March 3 at Lincoln Park:

Boys 200 Freestyle: 

>6th Grade - Christopher Kirby (OEMS) 

>7th Grade - Owen Manchester (OEMS) 

>8th Grade - Luke Sailstad (OEMS) 

Boys 100 IM 

>6th Grade - Beau Giddings (OEMS) 

Girls 50 Freestyle

>6th grade - Elle Westrum (OEMS)

>7th grade - Lindsay Johnson (Lincoln Park)  

Boys 50 Butterfly 

>6th grade - Beau Giddings (OEMS) 

Girls 100 Freestyle 

>6th grade - Elle Westrum (OEMS) 

Boys 300 Freestyle

>7th Grade - Reid Jarvela (OEMS) 

>8th Grade - Luke Sailstad (OEMS) 

Boys 200 Free Relay

>6th Grade - Jakob Langenbacher, JJ Erickson, Christopher Kirby, Beau Giddings (OEMS) 

>7th Grade:  Reid Jarvela, Ezra Schomberg, Wyatt Pierce, Owen Manchester (OEMS) 

Boys 100 Backstroke

>7th Grade - Owen Manchester (OEMS) 

Boys 50 Breaststroke 

>6th Grade - Christopher Kirby (OEMS) 

Girls 400 Free Relay 

>6th Grade - Elle Westrum, Kate Cranston, Grace Rubin, Camille Jones (OEMS) 

>7th Grade - Rilie Clark, Mary Johnson, Lillian Glass, Lindsay Johnson (Lincoln Park) 


Activities, Accomplishments, Appreciation

--Graham Godfrey and Stephanie Curran, Duluth East High School, were selected for All-State Choir. They attended a week long camp last summer at Concordia Moorhead and performed with the All-State Choir at Orchestra Hall in February.

-- ALC Art students are participating in the Tangible Interaction Pencil Project. The Pencil Project is an international art show in which people send in pencils with their name and location carved into them.  The pencils are then put into a permanent sculpture.  The ALC  students are sending their pencils to Vancouver, British Columbia!  Check out the project.

-- As part of a “Pay It Forward” project, Lincoln Park FACS students donated over 500 cookies to a benefit a deserving community member in need.  Students made snicker doodles and a healthy version of chocolate chip cookies. 

-- Students from Myers-Wilkins and Piedmont Elementary received awards in  the Twin Ports K – 12 Youth Art Exhibit, held on the University Wisconsin-Superior campus, Holden Fine Arts Center, Kruk Gallery.  Congratulations to Dominic for artwork of Chalk Leaf taught by Ms. Isenberg, and to Kiley for her painting of Birch trees in Winter, taught by Mrs. Deterling.


Community Education Instructor Featured in News Article

   For more than 40 years, Elmer Engman has taught and supported scuba diving in the Northland.  He’s an ISD 709 Community Education instructor and was featured in a recent article in the Duluth News Tribune.

Duluth News Tribune


Duluth East High School Students Move on to State History Day Competition  

   Several Duluth East students will advance to the 2016 Minnesota State History Day Competition in Minneapolis.  The National level competition will be held in Washington DC June 12-16

Group Exhibit:  Sam Anderson, Nate Clark, Amanda Susnik/Monroe Doctrine: Restricting European  Exploration

Senior Group Performance:   John Kroska, Andrea Hitz, Clara Baker Flannery White, Ellen Roubik /JD: From Hopeless Encounter to Medical Exploration

Senior Group Documentary: Cullen White, Jude Gossens, Gabriel Stanley/Atoms Split Worlds Collide

Receiving Honorable Mention: 

Individual Exhibit:  McKenna Clark/The Antarctic Treaty: Encouraging Scientific Exploration


Ordean East Middle School Students Move on to State History Day Competition 

   Several Ordean East Middle School students took part in Northeast Regional History Day and will move on the the MN State History Day Competition

Individual Exhibit:

Jade Westrum- USS Jeannette A Doomed Expedition

Max Thibault- American Indian Boarding School

Tom Rawlyk- Los Alamos National Laboratory of Nuclear Science

Individual Media Documentary:

Harriet Anderson- Orphan Trains

Ben Keppers- From Diode to Radio

Individual Performance:

Fred Taallerud- Bermuda Triangle/ Flight 19

Scout Weinandt- Anne Frank

Individual Website:

Ike Schwetman- The Trinity Tests

Group Websites:

Angie Davie & Saijal Vacek- Sylvia Earle’s Mission Blue

Ty Kruger & Matthew Thompson- Theodore Roosevelt- River of Doubt  

Receiving Honorable Mention:

Individual Exhibit:

Casey Fischer- Apollo Soyuz Test Project

Sam Hendrickson- The Battle of the Bulge

Group Exhibit:  Tong Wu & Sean Hampton- Qin Shi Huang and the Unification of China

Group Website:  Sydney Olson, Kennedy Jackman, Shay Callaway- Samuel de Champlain