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ISD 709 News

posted Sep 23, 2016, 11:01 AM by Communications ISD 709   [ updated Sep 23, 2016, 11:04 AM ]
Duluth Students Take Part in 2016 Minnesota WE Day – Inspiring Transformational Change!

   Students from Denfeld and Duluth East High Schools, Lincoln Park and Ordean East Middle Schools, traveled to St. Paul to take part in WE Day, a celebration of youth making a difference in their local and global communities. 

WE Schools is a yearlong program that nurtures compassion in young people and gives them the tools to create social change.

Learn more about WE Day

 Denfeld & Duluth East High Schools

 Lincoln Park & Ordean East Middle Schools


Nachtsheim, Oliver, Receive Recognition

   Katie Oliver and John Nachtsheim, Lincoln Park Middle School, were recognized by the Duluth School Board for their work in helping obtain a $50,000 grant from the Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation to support the parent-teacher home visits project. 

   The project seeks to build a strong connection with parents of school age children by bringing teachers into a student’s home to meet their entire family. It’s an innovative strategy to help increase family engagement and address the opportunity gap.

   The Opportunity Gap refers to differences in opportunities available to poor and rich families nationwide. The gap impacts the ability of communities and the nation to solve problems, seize opportunities and achieve goals for education and economic growth.  According to Foundation president Holly Sampson, “We hope to make an important difference in the lives of children and families locally as well as develop models that can be expanded and replicated to make meaningful change elsewhere.”


Old Central Bells Ring Out in Peace

   The bells in Duluth’s Old Central High School clock tower rang out with others across the city to mark the International Day of Peace this week, which began with the ringing of the Peace Bell in Enger Tower Park.  The commemoration was established by the United Nations and calls for all to help build a world free from violence.

(Photo:  Dave Spooner, Facilities Management, readies the clock mechanism at Old Central to ring for International Day of Peace)


Denfeld Aerospace Engineering and Design Students Off to a Flying Start

   To learn the basics of flight, students put together simple model planes and tested distance, flight path and velocity.  They were then asked to make three modifications to improve performance and retest the planes.  For their final project, students will collaboratively use physics and engineering principles to design a model aircraft, build it and fly it. 

   The course was created in collaboration with Duluth's Science Department, CTE Engineering and Design Department, and Lake Superior College's Aviation school and meets Minnesota graduation standards in physics. Duluth was involved creating the first commercial airline and today the aviation industry is one of the region’s top employers.  The class helps students prepare to for a career in aviation and earn required physics credit.

Learn More about Career & Technical Education Courses


Looking For Preschool?
   ISD 709 preschools currently have some half day openings for children who are four years old in the Myers-Wilkins and Piedmont Elementary Schools. If you have a child in these attendance areas, call or email today to see what options are available.  If you live within these school service areas, your child may qualify for transportation and breakfast or lunch.  ISD 709 preschools are committed to preparing your child for success.

Please call our office at 218-336-8890 or email

Learn More About The Opportunities


From the MN Department of Education:

YOU’RE INVITED:  Join Commissioner Brenda Cassellius and

The Minnesota Department of Education for a regional meeting on

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

Wednesday October 5, 2016  6:00PM - 7:30PM

Denfeld High School Auditorium

401 N. 44th Avenue West, Duluth, MN

>For more information and to register, visit the ESSA page of the MDE website:

>If you have questions, please contact

>To request a reasonable accommodation to participate in these events call 651-582-8800 or email

   The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) replaced No Child Left Behind (NCLB) and changed many portions of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).  All states will be required to submit a new state plan to the U.S. Department of Education for the 2017-2018 school year. The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) is committed to engaging with districts, stakeholders, and the general public throughout the process of developing Minnesota’s new plan for how we will implement ESSA.


Kids Voting Returns to Duluth Schools – Volunteers Needed
   Remember Kids Voting when you were younger? A great opportunity to learn how voting works and the role it plays in civic responsibility.  You could go to the polls on Election Day and vote for your favorite candidate along with the adults.

   Well, Kids Voting is back and needs your help. Volunteers are needed to be election judges at the polls. You will help kids register, hand them a ballot, and assist them in casting their vote. Judges are needed at all polling sites. You can work at one near your home or join with a friend and choose another location. Sign up to be an election judge at


Denfeld 2016 Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony

Open to All

Saturday, October 8, 2016  1:00PM

Denfeld High School Auditorium

401 N. 44th Avenue West, Duluth, MN

Reception in the Commons to follow

2016 Inductees:

>Andrew Sobczyk (deceased):  Ph.D. from Princeton, theoretical mathematician who taught at Universities of Oregon, M.I.T., Boston, Florida, Miami, Southern Illinois and Clemson where he established their graduate program in mathematics and authored over 50 papers on theoretical mathematics.

>Robert M. Fraser (deceased):  Robert started in the shipyards in highs school, worked his way up to Superintendent and finally owner of Fraser Shipyards in Superior, WI.  Very innovative he is credited with keeping shipbuilding and ship repair alive in the Twin Ports after WWII.

>Lew Latto (deceased):  Lew began his broadcasting career at WKLK in Cloquet and became music director at WDSM as a high school senior.  As a promoter he brought Buddy Holly, Richie Valens and "The Big Bopper" to Duluth.  He bought his first radio station in 1964 (WAKX) and stayed in broadcasting as a dynamic on-air personality and station owner.

>Kristen (Nelson) Coggin:  All State in Basketball and Softball she made Sports Illustrated Faces In The Crowd for her volleyball serving accuracy.  She won 13 letters in volleyball, basketball and softball and excelled at UMD in basketball and academics.

>Richard Swanson:  The first coach at Denfeld whose teams in two sports - girls basketball and girls softball – reached 300 wins.  A member of the MN GBB Coaches Hall of Fame, his teams set school records for wins in a season (22 in GBB) (19 in GSB). The softball fields at Wade were renamed the Dick Swanson fields in 2016.

>Rolland "Rollie" Strand:  Legendary coach Walt Hunting's last football captain, All-City and Honorable Mention All-State, went on to a distinguished career teaching and coaching.

>Ed Felien:  Ed taught high school science for 43 years, the last 26 at Denfeld.  Nominated for and won several distinguished teacher awards on the local, state, and national level, coached baseball and volleyball and officiated hockey and volleyball.

>1947 State Champions Basketball Team: This iconic team has become a legend in Western Duluth.  The five living members of that team: Kenny Sunnarborg, Tony Skull, Keith Stolen, Howie Tucker, and Eugene "Pug" Norlander have all been invited back.

>Dale Stocke (deceased):  An elementary teacher who dedicated his free time to promoting youth basketball, he ran the elementary feeder program for Denfeld in conjunction with DAYBA and single handedly got more kids interested in playing the sport than anyone before or since.

>Gary Lepisto:- Gary played tennis at Denfeld and was a tennis, Nordic skiing, swimming, and most famously a track and cross-country coach. He coached for 35 years at Denfeld, taking several individuals and teams to State meets.  He is a consultant with many Minnesota and National level distance runners.


Lincoln Park Middle School Students Learn about Sustainable Farming at UMD

   Students spent the day at UMD’s Sustainable Agriculture Program farm, learning about local food and the components of farming. They rotated through six interactive, hands-on stations, where adult leaders taught about soil health, land cultivation, composting, planting, harvesting, pollination and local food.

WDIO-TV10 Coverage


Duluth 5th Grade Students Participate in Forestry Field Day

The event is a chance for kids to learn about how trees grow, wildlife management, hydrology and other information related to forestry.    

WDIO-TV Coverage  


Hands On Learning in the Garden 

   Children in an Early Childhood Family Education class harvested tomatoes and peppers from the school garden. They took the vegetables inside where they were washed and sliced to make a great snack. The children also enjoyed the sensory garden with fragrant mint, bristly millet and sunflowers. Happy kids making memories at ECFE!
Learn More About the Opportunities