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ISD 709 News

posted Jul 18, 2014, 7:02 AM by Communications ISD 709   [ updated Jul 24, 2014, 6:53 AM ]


--This summer, students from Denfeld High School participated in the Scott D. Anderson Leadership Forum.  The Forum provides high-quality, values-based leadership training and development opportunities for youth.  Participating students:  Ryan Benson, Lucy Billings, Kaitlin Marsaa, Brianna Montgomery, Thomas Stolee, Zane Peterson, Tyler Eaton, Liz Bergh, Crystal Armstrong and Chloe Conito- Page.

--The Duluth East Daredevils Robotic Team received a $5,000 check from the Lahti Foundation during a Duluth Huskies Baseball game in July.  The Daredevils brought their robot, Control Y, to throw foam Huskies baseballs for children to catch on the field.

--Jake Turner, Duluth East, was named to the Minnesota State High School League Baseball Coaches Association All State Team for 2014.  Turner was also honored as the Duluth News Tribune’s baseball player of the year.  Chris Olson, Frankie Hanson and Jake Turner, Duluth East, were named to the Tribunes All Area Team for 2014.

--John Rudolph, Duluth East Baseball coached was recently honored by being named to the Play Ball Minnesota North coach staff. He coached the north squad with Kyle Wojtysiak of Proctor and Frank Ivancich of Ely.  


Duluth School Board Recognizes ISD 709 Child Nutrition Department

   During their regular July meeting, Duluth School Board members took time to recognize the ISD 709 Child Nutrition Department for passing rigorous federal and state audits.  Representatives accepting the award include:

--Pam Bowe, Manager and Registered Dietitian

--Sheila Oak, Area Supervisor

--Betsy Sislo, Site Supervisor.

--Kathie Johnson, Cafe Manager, Duluth East High School

--Debbie Mckowski, Cafe Manager, Ordean East  

--Liz Russell, Cafe Manager, Lakewood  

--Jodi Puff, Summer Cafe Manager, Lester Park

--Patti Barber, Cafe Manager, Laura Mac Arthur  

--Wendy Wakefield, Cafe Manager, Stowe  

--Susan Geissler, Cafe Manager, Lowell  

   Earlier this year, food service programs at Duluth East, Lakewood and Ordean East passed a rigorous Federal/State audit by the Minnesota Food and Nutrition Department.  The ISD 709 Child Nutrition program also passed a Summer Audit and Review conducted by the US Department of Agriculture with flying colors. School district food service programs are regularly audited and must pass to remain part of the USDA food service program.

   The audits reviewed many areas including, but not limited to: Student applications; Daily business procedures in the kitchens, managers’ office and Child Nutrition Main office; HACCP compliance; Health Department Reports; Breakfast and lunch menu analysis (both nutritional and financial);  ISD 709 Wellness policy, sanitation, daily meal counts, the monthly financial claim and special diets

    The auditors were complimentary of the systems in place to serve appetizing meals to students within USDA/State regulations.


Superintendent Accepts National Award for Think Kids Project

During its annual conference in July, the National School Public Relations Association presented ISD 709 with a 2014 Gold Medallion Award for the Think Kids Community Conversation.  Superintendent Bill Gronseth accepted the award on behalf of all those who worked on this important project. 

    “There were many people involved in helping make Think Kids successful, from city, business and non-profit leaders to parents, students, teachers and staff,” said Gronseth.  “We know amazing things can happen when the community works together to support education and Think Kids is a great example.”

   The Gold Medallion Award is the highest award given by the Association in recognition of outstanding school communication programs.


Grades K-5 Social Studies Adoption

   The K-5 Social Studies Committee has completed the curriculum review process for Elementary Social Studies.  As a result of this extensive review, which included curriculum writing, review/aligning benchmarks, and evaluating materials from several vendors, it was determined that the components required for Social Studies delivery, as well as content literacy needs, will best be met with the purchase of the Pearson-Prentice Hall My World Social Studies Program. 

   The components of this program fit the need for social studies delivery as well as content literacy and allows for flexibility in terms of instructional texts and leveled readers to promote growth in reading among diverse learners.  The total cost of the adoption is $238,381.92.  


Grades 7 and 8 Social Studies Adoption

   The Middle School Social Studies Committee, including all middle school social studies teachers, has completed the curriculum review process for Middle School Social Studies.  Based on an extensive review process, which included reviewing/aligning benchmarks, curriculum writing, and evaluating materials, it was determined that Pearson-Prentice Hall American History and My World Geography are the best fit with regards to benchmarks. 

   For example, the American History text fits the unique time period set out by the benchmarks as it is a custom Minnesota version and the overall layout of the text and individual pages is student-friendly and at the appropriate level.  Differentiated reading level materials are available and included.  The total cost of the adoption is $122,048.64.


Hillside YouthTheatre presents “Constellation Revelation and the Big Space

   Students in the Hillside Youth Theatre program at Myers-Wilkins Elementary School are excited to perform an original musical play production, Constellation Revelation and The Big Space. The public is invited to attend.  

Matinee Performances:  July 23, 24, and 25 at 1:00PM

Evening Performances:   July 24 (special fund raising event beginning at 5:00 with appetizers, music, and

silent auction, $15 donation; play performance 7:00PM) and July 25 at 7:00PM

Performances will be held in the Myers-Wilkins Auditorium at East High School  (301 N. 40th Ave. East)

Admission is free (with the exception of the July 24 evening fundraiser)

Children must be accompanied by an adult.  

   The script, written by local playwright Jean Sramek, takes the audience on a comedic adventure as they explore the mysteries and wonders of space through different historical and cultural perspectives.  Mythology and science entwine as characters take you on an adventure through the universe to unravel the mystery about the true identification of Ursa Major.

   For More Information:  Jen Eddy, Executive Director

Ph: 218-336-8860 x8  or


Minnesota Immunization Laws

   Immunization laws protect everyone because high immunization levels prevent disease outbreaks. Minnesota has various laws requiring immunizations for children and adults enrolled in child care, school, and college settings. Legal exemptions are allowed - both for medical reasons and conscientiously held beliefs.

   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 may be excluded 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.

   Note, new state immunization requirements for schools, child care and early childhood programs begin September 1, 2014. They include new requirements for students entering 7th Grade and students enrolled in childcare and early childhood programs.

--For a list of required immunizations, check the August ISD 709 Back To School Packet for a list of Frequently Asked Questions and the “Are Your Kids Ready?” Immunization Schedule. Or, 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 at 218-725-5210 or toll free 800-450-9777.

-- Parents may file a medical exemption signed by a health care provider or a conscientious objection signed by a parent/guardian and notarized.  Notary services are available at no cost through ISD 709 Administration. Please call to make an appointment:

--ISD 709 Office of the Superintendent: 218-336-8752

--ISD 709 Human Resources: 218-336-8718

--ISD 709 Business Services: 218-336-8704

Notary services may also be available at low or no cost from banks, county government centers, local city hall or city managers.

More Information Available from the MN Department of Health: