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ISD 709 News

posted Aug 18, 2016, 12:24 PM by Communications ISD 709   [ updated Aug 18, 2016, 12:32 PM ]

Welcome Back!  Students return to school Tuesday September 6, 2016.

View 2016 Back to School Information

Please Note:  ISD 709 schools and school offices will be closed the morning of Tuesday August 30 as employees participate in staff development.  Activities focus on researched-based best practices to improve student learning and strategies for strengthening the focus on culture in our schools.  Athletic practices will take place that morning as scheduled by coaches.  Thanks for your patience! 


Denfeld Robotics Team Receives School Board Recognition

   During the regular August meeting, members of the Duluth School Board presented a certificate of recognition to the Denfeld Nation Automation (DNA) Robotics Team and congratulated them on the success they had this season.  Team co-Captains Jamie Larson and Brianna Williams, Coach Andy Gunderson, team members and mentors were on hand for the presentation.

   According to Amy Starzecki, Assistant Superintendent, “These bright, talented students, with support from community partners, mentors and volunteers, are, if I may paraphrase FIRST founder Dean Kamen, ‘…helping to transform our culture by creating a world where science and technology are celebrated and where young people dream of becoming science and technology leaders.’”

   Congratulations to the Denfeld Robotics team for their successful season!

July 2016: 1st & 2nd Place, Gitchi Gummi Mini-Regional, Received Helping Hands Award for Gracious Professionalism

May 2016: 2nd Place, MSHSL State Robotics Championship, Received Dunwoody Award for Outstanding Engineering & Design

April 2016: FIRST Robotics World Championship, Semi-Finalists in the Galileo Division

March 2016: 1st Place Lake Superior Regional, 14 matches undefeated, Received Engineering Inspiration Award


Congratulations, CJ!  

   Former Denfeld High School fullback and Augustana University alum C.J. Ham scored on a 10-yard run in the third quarter and Minnesota Vikings held on to defeat Cincinnati 17-16 in a National Football League preseason game in Cincinnati, Ohio. Ham rushed for 35 yards on 12 carries and had one reception for nine yards and a first down.


Duluth East Robotics Team Hosts Lego Robotics Camp

   Great to see our high school students encouraging interest in science, technology, engineering and math!


Tech Camp:  Using Technology to Boost Achievement, Engagement

   This week principals, teachers and staff participated in Tech Camp, learning how to use new

technologies and social media in the educational process.  Opportunities include learning more about the Fab Lab equipment at Denfeld, using Facebook and Twitter to engage, inform and interact with families, creating interactive webquests to meet multiple learning targets and much more.  Nationally recognized speaker Dr. Joe Sanfelippo talked about the success his school district has seen using social media to share day-to-day school activities and accomplishment and how it has helped engage families, helped parents talk with their children about what goes on in school and build a positive school and district culture.


ISD 709 to Receive More Than $400,000 in State Funds to Help Support Pre-K  Programs

   Early Childhood programs are an important way to help support student achievement...…/State-Program-Benefit…/41112718


Duluth East Student Receives State Counselors Association Scholarship

   Nancy Swanson, Duluth East High School, received the Minnesota School Counselor Association Scholarship.  As part of applying for the Scholarship, Nancy wrote about her school counselor at Duluth East, saying, “Mrs. Berini came into my life my senior year and changed everything. She became my counselor, helping me plan my schedule when it was too overbooked, coaching me to write scholarship essays, and continually talking to me about future plan ideas. She listened to my story in a way no one had before: with her ears and her heart. I laid all the pieces of my life before her, but she didn’t look at me like I was broken. She saw my strength.”


Area Learning Center (ALC) Open House

Tuesday September 6, 2016

3:00PM to 5:00PM

Historic Old Central High School, 215 N. 1st Avenue East, 3rd Street Entrance

Taco Bar meet and greet with the staff, students, and parents

For information: or 218.336.8756 x 1164


REMINDER, LOOKING FOR DONATIONS:  CHUM Adopt-A-Backpack For Kids in Need of School Supplies

   CHUM is once again working with the Duluth School District to host a “Back to School Fair” on

Tuesday August 23.  Families with limited resources will be provided school supplies and backpacks at this event, check with CHUM for details:

You Can Help:  Donate a Backpack filled with Supplies!  Backpacks can be dropped off in the HOCHS Board Room Thursday August 18 or Friday, August 19 between 9:00AM and 3:00PM(use the 3rd Street entrance, other doors are locked).

Backpacks are distributed to two age groups:


3 Wide Ruled Notebooks, 1 Box Crayons1 Scissors, 2 glue sticks – not glue bottles6 Pencils, 3 Pocket Folders, 1 Box Markers 

GRADE 6-12 BACKPACK:  6 Pencils, 3 Pens, 1 College Ruled Loose Leaf Paper3-Ring Binder, 3 Pocket Folders3 College Ruled Notebooks, 1 Box Colored Pencils

   To ensure fairness to all students, we pack each backpack identically based on this list.  It is helpful if additional items are not included in your donation. If you are unable to donate a full backpack, the items most needed each year are backpacks, 3-ring binders and pocket folders.

Thank you for supporting local students!   


From the City of Duluth:

Imagine Duluth 2025:  What’s Your Vision of Duluth?

   Members of the Duluth School Board met with representatives from the City’s Imagine Duluth 2035 as part of Duluth’s Comprehensive Plan data analysis and public input process.  The entire community is invited to share their vision for the city of Duluth over the next 20 years:

Kickoff Celebration:  Wednesday September 21, 5:30PM, Denfeld High School

Web: Take a Survey at


Phone:  218-730-5580

Address:  City of Duluth Community Planning Division, City Hall, Room 208, Duluth, MN 55802

Find @ImagineDuluth on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter

   The Comprehensive Plan is the City’s road map for development, the delivery of public services, the layout of public infrastructure and the preservation of natural beauty and open spaces.  The plan guides all that the City provides and oversees for the residents of Duluth, from the location of job centers to residential sites along with park development and where streets, buses and trails are located.


Duluth East Athletic Association Gold Classic September 25

   The 2016 Duluth East Athletic Association Hounds Golf Classic will be held Sunday, Sept. 25 at Lester Park Golf Course. The 18-hole, four-person scramble begins at 11:00AM, cost is $70 per person, includes golf, cart and lunch.

Contact Brett Hauer at 218.481.4600 or for more information.


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.