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ISD 709 News

posted Dec 5, 2014, 1:33 PM by Communications ISD 709   [ updated Dec 5, 2014, 2:23 PM ]

Teachers Continue Work on Updating Curriculum

  Groups of teachers from across the district are taking part in grade level curriculum and content area meetings.  It's a

continuation of work to update curriculum that began this summer and involves staff development and feedback opportunities.   

   “It’s exciting to see all the good work being done by these teams,” says Superintendent Bill Gronseth.  “For the first time in years we’re in a position to review and update our curriculum on a regular basis and develop consistent assessments across the district.  These efforts will play an important role in helping raise student achievement.” 

   A portion of funds from passage of the education levy is earmarked for updating curriculum.  Discussions regarding multi-year planning for ongoing curriculum review and updates will be included in the 2015-16 budget development process.


Many thanks to all who provided feedback regarding bullying through ISD 709 community meetings and community and staff surveys!  Your input will be used as bullying policies and procedures are updated and we work to improve our safe and welcoming schools.


Grant Provides Two Health Workers at Myers-Wilkins Elementary

   Myers-Wilkins Elementary was selected as one of Minnesota’s 12 Accountable Communities Health (ACH) sites, a program bringing health care and community organizations together to create profound change in population health. The $369,172 grant will support a two-year project at the school and provide for a family health coordinator and community health worker to be based at the school. They will help families and residents of the Myers-Wilkins neighborhood make get needed health care.      


From Elizabeth Gorski:

Chester Creek Academy hosted a presentation by US Hockey Hall of Fame member, Olympian, NHL player, author and movie maker Henry Boucha.  Mr. Boucha, a Native American, talked with students about the importance of not holding grudges, learning to forgive, setting small and attainable goals and embracing their families and their culture.  He urged students to be proud of who they are and remember to dream, and spoke of leaving a piece of his heart in the hearts of the students.    


Piedmont Students Featured on KBJR TV “Making A Difference” Segment

   Piedmont Elementary students showed their appreciation for a snow removal crew responsible for clearing hundreds of driveways and parking lots in the Twin Ports by writing letters of appreciation.  The crew at Core Landscaping responded by providing students with mittens and hats!  Click below to see more, as featured on KBJR-TV’s Making A Difference segment:


From Lila Boehland

Please join us at Barnes & Noble on Saturday, December 13th from 9:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m. for the Denfeld Media Center's B&N Bookfair.  Just ask for a Denfeld voucher when you make your purchases.  A percentage of every sale will purchase books for Denfeld's Media Center, at no cost to you. Can't be there? Then use the Bookfair ID 11514932 for your online purchases between December 13th and 18th. Thank you for supporting literacy @ Denfeld!


From Rachel Jackson:

Students at Ordean East are working to decrease tardies, increase attendance and boost their achievement.  During the first grading period, about 76% of 6th grade students, 79% of 7th grade and 74% of 8th graders made the Merit Roll or Honor Roll.  For Perfect Attendance, 21%, 14% and 12% of 6th, 7th and 8th grade students respectively made the list.  The entire school is working to increase percentages for attendance and achievement and decrease tardies over the next grading period.


From the City of Duluth:

Free Winter Skating Parties 2014-15

3:00PM – 5:00PM Sunday December 7, Amsoil Arena: Skate with the Bulldogs Day!

3:00PM – 5:00PM Sunday December 28, DECC

3:00PM – 5:00PM Sunday January 25, DECC

3:00PM – 5:00PM Sunday March 8, Amsoil Arena

All Skating Parties are Free!  Bring your own skates.  No Chairs, sticks, pucks or shoes on the ice.

Kids 10 and under must be accompanied by an adult.  Helmets strongly recommended for children

18 years and younger.


From Nicholas DeShaw:

Avalon Educational Institute presents the First Annual Brazilian Capoeira Batizado  

The event will include a free show and live demonstration of the Brazilian martial art Capoeira.

It will be held on Saturday December 6 at 5:00 pm, dinner at 7:15 pm at Avalon Educational Institute (404 W. Superior St) A fantastic cultural event for everyone featuring many special guests from around the country!


Green Ribbon Schools Award – Application Available

   Apply for the U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools award and be recognized for your school’s efforts at being Green! This award honors public and private early childhood, elementary, middle and high schools, school districts, and institutions of higher education that are exemplary in:

• Reducing environmental impact.

• Improving health and wellness.

• Providing effective environmental education.

Awardees receive a plaque and a flag for the school, local recognition, and an invitation to the national ceremony in Washington, DC. The awards are announced on Earth Day and the national award ceremony occurs in the summer. Access the application for Minnesota schools and local informationView additional information about the national Green Ribbon Schools program on the U.S. Department of Education websiteThe application is due by January 5, 2015. For assistance with questions, contact John Olson, 651-582-8673.