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ISD 709 News

posted May 16, 2014, 8:23 AM by Communications ISD 709

Kindergarten Ojibwe Immersion Open House

All interested families are invited to hear more about the program and receive enrollment materials.

Wednesday May 28, 5:15PM – 6:00PM

Lowell Elementary School, 2000 Rice Lake Road, Duluth, MN 55811


Students from Denfeld High School presented stained glass windows to the Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans (MACV). The windows were created as part of a service learning lesson in which students were asked to do a project that would benefit a community group or organization. Students chose MACV which is located near the school and helps veterans. Students incorporated images into the window designs to convey collective gratitude and a sense of Minnesota serenity.


"Think Kids" Receives National School Communication Award

   ISD 709 has been selected to receive a 2014 Gold Medallion Award from the National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA) for the “Think Kids: Community Vision & Priorities” initiative.

   NSPRA Executive Director, Rich Bagin, APR, said of the project, “This district’s work to build a community vision for its public schools is exemplary. This is a great example of a win-win for the community and schools through proactive, intentional community engagement.”

   Superintendent Bill Gronseth expressed thanks to all citizens who participated in the Think Kids initiative, which informed the ISD 709 Community Vision and 4-Year Continuous Improvement Plan. He also thanked community leaders and staff who helped create and implement the conversation.

   “It’s amazing what can be accomplished when people from our city, business, non-profit and education communities work together in support of Duluth’s public schools,” said Gronseth.
   NSPRA’s Gold Medallion Award is the highest award given by the Association in recognition of outstanding school public relations programs. The standards are high, as the judges look each year for those special programs, projects and campaigns that are truly outstanding – that combine insightful assessment, superb planning, creative communication and careful evaluation.


Students for the Future Host Community Forum on Bullying

Monday May 19, 6:00PM – 8:00PM, Central Hillside Community Center (12 East 4th Street)

   Students for the Future will host a pro-active community forum addressing what Minnesota new safe school/anti-bullying legislation could mean for students attending ISD 709 school.

The event includes a 14 minute documentary on diversity, speakers, a presentation on the specifics of Minnesota’s anti-bullying legislation and brainstorming around the ideas connected with the video and safe schools. Please think about attending this important discussion planned and hosted by local youth.


“Ford Drive 4UR School” Fundraiser Saturday, May 17th between 10:00AM – 3:00PM at Denfeld HS. This no strings attached fundraiser is an easy way to test drive a Ford vehicle and support Denfeld High School activities at the same time.

· Test drive a Ford vehicle in the school parking lot – Denfeld earns $20.

· Participants must be 18 or older and have a valid driver’s license.

· The $20 donation is limited to one per household.

· This is truly a NO STRINGS ATTACHED fundraiser – you will not be added to any mailing lists, email lists or pressured to buy a Ford vehicle.

· $6,000 can be raised if we get 300 people to test drive a vehicle.

Please stop by the Denfeld parking lot between 10:00 am – 3:00 pm on Saturday, May 17th to help support Denfeld activities. Contact Tom Pearson at if you have any questions.


2014-15 ISD 709 Health Insurance Costs Lower Than Projected

   Health insurance costs for ISD709 will be about $450,000 lower than projected next year. Information received from the Public Employees Insurance Program (PEIP) indicates a 1.7% increase, most of which is related to the national health care program.

   District employees receive health insurance coverage through the PEIP Advantage Plan, a group which now includes 64 Minnesota school districts. Since signing on with this plan in 2010, savings have been realized through lower fixed costs, higher negotiated discounts, spreading risk over a much larger group and making employees more accountable for their health care decisions.



-- Students in the Duluth East and Denfeld CTE Graphic Arts Program designed logos for the CTE Agriculture/Natural Resources Science Program. A design created by students Katie Plachta and Kelsey Brantley was selected for the FFA Forestry Farm logo. The logo will be used for publicity and labels for the maple syrup made and sold by students in FFA.

--Alex Trapp, Duluth East High School, is the recipient of a 2014 Hobey Baker High School Character Award. The award develops, recognizes, and rewards exemplary character and sportsmanship demonstrated by high school players.

--Piedmont Elementary School students Darian Lewandowski, Riley Onofreychuk, and Adler Wormuth received awards at the Inventor’s Fair in Duluth and were invited to participate in the State Inventor’s Fair in Minneapolis. At the State competition, Riley and Adler received the Kids Choice Award for their heated hockey bag.

--Homecroft Elementary School students raised $836.83 for the Childhood Cancer Fund. Kathy Stenehjem, a student at Duluth East High School and Key Club member, worked with students to help raise the funds.