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ISD 709 News

posted Jan 7, 2015, 3:33 PM by Communications ISD 709   [ updated Jan 15, 2015, 11:31 AM ]

AEO Online High School Hosts Open House Event   Teachers and staff from ISD 709’s Academic Excellence Online High School welcomed visitors to their offices in Duluth this week during their Open House event.  People interested in online learning could see lesson demonstrations, meet teachers, ask questions, and learn about the enrollment process.

Information about AEO is available any time at


Duluth School Board Elects Officers for 2015

   The Duluth School Board elected the following officers during an organizational meeting held Monday January 5, 2015 at Historic Old Central High School:

·        Judy Seliga Punyko, Chairperson

·         Annie Harala, Vice Chairperson

·         Rosie Loeffler-Kemp, Clerk

·         Bill Westholm, Treasurer

   Officers will serve in their positions for one year.  Serving as a school board member is an important responsibility, helping to establish educational standards that will affect the future of Duluth’s students, community and society.  School board meeting schedules, agendas, minutes, detailed information packets and more are available online at, check under District/School Board.


Superintendent’s Duluth News Tribune Column Talks School, Student Success and Making Student Achievement a Priority

   At the request of the DNT, Superintendent Bill Gronseth joined other local leaders to talk about the achievements of the past year and vision for the future.  In the newspaper column, Gronseth talks about a quiet but certain optimism – practical and realistic – aware of the challenges but confident in the ability of our schools and community to meet them.  He emphasizes the importance of working together with people inside and outside of schools and how each person can work to champion the success of our students.

   Click here to read the column.


THE 2015 MARTIN LUTHER KING HOLIDAY Events in the Twin Ports

For complete list of sponsors and more info, visit

Thursday, Jan. 15 - 6:30 PM:  Mayor’s MLK Reception

   A chance for the community to come together in unity amidst our diversity.

   The Underground ~ 506 W. Michigan St ~ Lower Level

Saturday, Jan. 17 - 7:00 PM:  Jam’n with MLK

   A Night of Celebration of the Contributions of People of African Heritage

   Peace United Church of Christ ~ 1111 North 11th Avenue East

Sunday, Jan. 18 - 5:00 PM:  Community Ecumenical Worship Service

   Speaker Christopher Little and a community choir led by Dr. Roderquita Moore.

   Christ Temple Victory Center ~ 330 North 59th Avenue West, See for more details.

MLK Holiday ~ Monday, Jan. 19 - 7:00 AM:  Free Community Breakfast

   Featuring Vernon Jordan

   First United Methodist Church Church ~ 230 East Skyline Parkway

   7:00 AM Breakfast begins

   8:00 AM Broadcast of Vernon Jordan’s speech from Minneapolis

   Funding from the General Mills Community Foundation.

Monday, Jan. 19 - 10:45 AM:  March & Rally

   Gather at 10:45 AM at Washington Center (corner of 4th St. and Lake Ave.) March

   starts at 11:00 AM Route is from Washington Center through downtown to DECC.

   Rally at DECC begins approximately at 11:45 AM.

   The rally will be interpreted into America Sign Language and broadcast live

   on Wisconsin Public Radio - 91.3 FM.

Sponsored by: African-American Men’s Group | ISD #709 ~ Office of Educational Equity

UMD Office of Cultural Diversity | St. Mark AME | City of Duluth | The Underground

Christ Temple | First United Methodist Church | NAACP | Peace United Church of Christ


Making Decisions to Open/Close School During Cold Weather

   Below is basic information regarding such decisions, keeping in mind each situation may be a little bit different.  Each cold or snowy weather situation is carefully reviewed and considered individually.  What doesn't change is a superintendent's primary consideration in making the decision - the ability to transport children safely to and from school.

   When the National Weather Service predicts cold temperatures with a wind chill warning or advisory, personnel work with the National Weather Service to closely monitor both ambient temperatures and wind chills predicted overnight and into the early morning hours. 

   Superintendents consult with their transportation personnel about the ability of school buses to safely function in the cold and also consult with other school districts.  They also balance the need for children to be in school and learning. 

   In the end, superintendents make the best decision they can given the data in front of them, knowing some people will agree with the decision and some will disagree.  The school board and administration realize that their decision for the majority of students may not fit with individual family circumstances. A decision to keep a student home for safety reasons will be considered an excused absence.

   Here’s a link to information sent to ISD 709 families at the beginning of the school year regarding cold/snowy weather closings: