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ISD 709 News

posted May 21, 2014, 6:11 AM by Communications ISD 709   [ updated May 21, 2014, 2:24 PM ]

REVISED 2014-15 Calendar Will Be Available at

   The 2014-15 Calendar has been revised and was approved by the Duluth School Board May 20. The new teacher contract, approved by the School Board last month, provides three additional student contact days at all grades - the calendar has been changed to reflect the contract.


Duluth East Student Receives $3,000 MSBA Scholarship, School Board Recognition

   During the regular May School Board meeting, representatives from the Minnesota School Board Association (MSBA) presented Erik Thibault, Duluth East High School, with their 2014 Student Scholarship of $3,000. MSBA presents the scholarship to two high school seniors who served as student school board members - Erik served as a student representative to the Duluth School Board last year. The Duluth School Board also recognized Erik for taking 1st Place in the category of Discussion at the 2014 MSHSL State Speech Tournament and receiving the Wells Fargo Spotlight on the Arts Award of Excellence.


Music, Spanish V

   This week, readers of the local newspaper saw an article and a few opinion page items geared toward discussion of ISD 709 curriculum, particularly music at all schools and advanced language at Denfeld. Superintendent Bill Gronseth shared two pieces of information about these topics.

   “During our spring budget planning we invested in music for the coming school year as opposed to cutting. About $216,000 has been allotted, or the equivalent of about 2.4 full time music teaching staff, to our middle schools.

   “As regards high school class schedules, staffing decisions are still in process. Denfeld will be able to offer Spanish V next year, in part because of additional Federal funding provided for students who receive free or reduced price lunch. This funding also allows Denfeld to invest in lower class sizes, additional course sections and other supports.”

   Gronseth said budget investments for the September 2014 school year are tied closely to community priorities identified through Think Kids and supported by passage of the November 2013 Education Levy. For example, next year’s budget invests about $1.45 million in helping lower class sizes. An additional $150,000 is invested in updating curriculum, starting with Biology and with preparations to update Social Studies materials. Funds have also been allotted next year for proven strategies to help close the achievement gap – such as professional learning communities to formally bring teachers together to study individual student data and identify strategies to raise achievement.

   “Through the Think Kids community conversation, we know amazing things 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.


Denfeld & Duluth East Robotics Teams Unite at State Tournament

   Denfeld Nation Automation and the Duluth East Daredevils participated in the 2014 Minnesota State High School League/FIRST Robotics State Championship. After qualification rounds, Denfeld Nation Automation became a team captain and selected alliance partners Duluth East and Alexandria. The team quickly became known as “The Duluth Alliance” and placed 4th in the tournament. Kudos to both teams for their work to advance the word on Science, Math and Technology!


Homecroft Elementary Receives Donation from Local Pheasants Forever Chapter

   Pheasants Forever of St. Louis & Carlton County, based in Duluth, MN, donated $2,000 worth of supplies to Homecroft Elementary School. The curriculum and equipment donated will allow all grades to explore, photograph, and study nature with a “hands-on” approach in the Habitat for Homecroft outdoor classroom. Pheasants Forever is a 501.3c non-profit conservation organization dedicated to the protection and enhancement of wildlife populations in North America through habitat improvement, land management, public awareness and education.


Congdon Park Students Study Three Sisters Garden

   Congdon Park students in Mrs. Miller's 5th grade and Ms. Gallinger’s 3rd grade classes are studying the history and cultural significance of Three Sisters Gardens. A grant funded through the Duluth Public Schools Fund provided an opportunity for students to cook with a Duluth Grill Gardner and Duluth Community Garden Board Member using corn, beans, and squash.

   Students will visit the Ojibwe Demonstration Garden in Cloquet to learn traditional planting methods and will apply what they learn by growing a Three Sisters Garden within the Congdon School Community Garden.
   Save the Date: the Congdon Annual Plant Sale is Friday, May 30th. Organic edible & perennial plants, all at great prices!!! Proceeds go towards sustaining the Congdon School Community Garden. Cherry & Early Producing Tomatoes * Sweet Peppers * Chilis * Squash * Fennel * Herbs * Alpine Strawberries * Watermelon & More. Help Save the Bees & Butterflies with Native Flowers: Purple Cone Flower, Blazing Stare, Coreopsis, Cosmos.


2014 Summer Meals Program

   This summer ISD 709 will provide breakfast and lunch service at several schools, funded by the USDA Summer Food Service Program. Meals will be provided to all children 18 years of age and under without charge. Breakfast will be served from 8:00AM to 10:30AM and lunch served from 11:30AM - 1:00PM each day from June 10th until August 22nd (no service on July 4th) unless otherwise specified below.
   Meals are served at the following school cafeterias:
--Denfeld High School, 401 North 44th Avenue West (July 7 – August 22)
--Lincoln Park Middle School, 3215 West Third Street (June 10 - July 3)
--Laura MacArthur Elementary, 720 North Central Ave.

--Lester Park Elementary, 5300 Glenwood Street

--Lowell Elementary, 2000 Rice Lake Road
--Myers-Wilkins Elementary School, 1027 North 8th Avenue East
--Piedmont Elementary, 2827 Chambersburg Avenue
--Stowe Elementary, 715 - 101st Ave. West
Also Available: Brown Bag Lunches at the Lincoln Park Boys & Girls Club, 2407 West 4th Street!
Menus include a variety of food items: hot entrees, salads, sandwiches, vegetables, fruits, bread, milk, and dessert items.



-- ISD 709 FCCLA-HERO students did well at the State Leadership Conference in Brooklyn Park, MN. State Officer Sara Lemon, Duluth East, qualified for Nationals in Texas 2014 for her Distracted Driving Campaign.

Individual winners include:

Art for Children: 2nd, Megan Borich (Denfeld), 3rd Tevia Stromgren (East)

Circle Time Fun: 1st- Maricris Mudek and Brittany Heskin (both Denfeld)

Creativity Unlimited: 1st Sara Lemon, 3rd Dylan Glader (Denfeld)

3N's-nature: 1st Tevia Stromgren, 3rd Brittany Heskin

Total Look in Cosmetology: 1st Megan Borich, 3rd Sara Lemon, Honorable Mention Sarah Anderson (East)

Cake Decorating: 1st Brittany Heskin, 2nd Maricris Mudek, 3rd Sarah Anderson, Honorable Mention - Sara Lemon

Bulletin Boards- Discussion/Interactive: 1st Brittany Heskin, 3rd Megan Borich

Career Demonstration/Presentation: 1st Sarah Anderson, Honorable Mention Dylan Glader

Leadership Enhancement Opportunities: 1st Sara Lemon Community Service and FCCLA planning process, 3rd Sarah Anderson Community Service and FCCLA planning process, Honorable Mention Sarah Anderson Medical Abbreviations

National Programs in Action- Distracted Driving: Silver Award, Sara Lemon

Shining Star Award for Membership Excellence: Tevia Stromgren, Maricris Mudek