School News‎ > ‎

ISD 709 News

posted Mar 13, 2015, 7:10 AM by Communications ISD 709   [ updated Mar 14, 2015, 1:11 PM ]

ISD 709 FY 2016 Preliminary Budget Considerations Include More Investment in the Classroom

Projections also maintain investment to support class size reduction, curriculum updates and student achievement strategies

   Duluth school board members reviewed and discussed FY 2016 budget planning information during the March Business Committee meeting.  A final budget will be approved in June. 

   Preliminary classroom investments include more teacher collaboration time in the elementary schools; development of another elementary language immersion program; adding a first grade to the current Ojibwe immersion program; support for ISD 709’s new online high school, and maintaining lifeguards at the middle school swimming pools/

   As a result of favorable adjustments made for K-12 education during the 2013 and 2014 legislative sessions, along with passage of the 2013 Education Levy, the district is in a position to continue investments made to support class size reduction, curriculum updates and student achievement.

   While projections for next year present a surplus as a result of the pending sale of the Central property, the ability to sustain additional ongoing investments remains limited.  State per pupil funding is under discussion by the Minnesota legislature and will be included in the projections when their decision making process is more complete.  

   Board members reviewed and discussed ideas both for using budget funds efficiently and for increasing investment in strategies related to student achievement. 

   Clickhere to see more detail.


Members of the Duluth School Board reviewed the Achievement and Integration Budget for 2015 – 17 at the March Education Committee meeting.  The budget includes, but is not limited to, support for teacher training, high school Achievement Centers, PASS parent involvement and family engagement programs, Integration Specialists, after school and summer school programs, and other support for increasing student achievement.  William Howes, Coordinator of the Office of Education Equity, provided the report to the Board.


Acclaimed drum group Pipestone Singers performed at the ISD 709 Area Learning Center this week and conducted a

master class with music students.  Pipestone Singers are winners of the Native American Music Awards Record of the Year and are considered among the “top 40” of pow wow music today.  The group pays tribute to the singers of yesteryear who have kept singing traditions alive and acted as the voice of the people.  Their appearance at ALC was made possible through support from the ISD 709 American Indian Education Department and the ALC Music Department.

Check out Pipestone’s performance at the 2009 Native American Music Awards on YouTube:


INVITATION: Come and enjoy delicious tribal foods from Indian Country

Wild Rice hot dish (Ojibwe), fresh tortillas (Dine), Acorn stew & Tamale Cho (Apache), Potato chowder (Ho-Chunk), and other dishes. 

Everyone is welcome!  This event is free and open to the public.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015  5:00PM – 7:30PM

 Trapanier Hall, 212 W 2nd St., Duluth  


Duluth East Students Candidates for U.S. Presidential Scholars Program

   Alyssa Everson, Devin Johnson and Derick Rossell, Duluth East High School were selected as candidates in the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program.  Scholars are selected on the basis of superior academic and artistic achievements, leadership qualities, strong character and involvement in community and school activities.  Over 3,900 candidates were selected from nearly 3.4 million students for their exceptional performance on either the College Board SAT or the ACT Assessment. Inclusion in the Program is one of the highest honors bestowed upon graduating high school seniors. 

Click here for more information about the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program.


Jordan McMillian, Denfeld High School, was named 2014 Youth of the Year by the Boys & Girls Club of the Northland.   Being named Youth of the Year is the highest honor a member can receive, recognizing outstanding contributions to a member's family, school and community as well as overcoming personal challenges and obstacles.  Jordan is eligible to compete for   Minnesota Youth of the Year and a $1000 college scholarship.  Winners of the state competition are able to compete for Midwest Region Youth of the year and from there to Washington DC to compete for National Youth of the Year and receive additional scholarships.


Lincoln Park Middle School hosted an informational tour for local legislators this month.  Senator Roger Reinert, Representative Mary Murphy and Representative Erik Simonson took time to visit with school and district leaders and learn more about the educational opportunities available to students.


Denfeld and Duluth East Students Learn More About Career Opportunities in the Construction and Building Trades

   Students from Denfeld and Duluth East attended Construct Tomorrow, an event providing local high schoolers with an opportunity for free, hands-on exploration of careers in the construction trades.  Duluth Mayor Don Ness and ISD 709 Superintendent Bill Gronseth  also attended the event, which took place at the DECC.  Construct Tomorrow is a collective of apprenticeship skills instructors, prime and sub-contractors, representatives from labor and workforce development and youth educators with the goal of making students aware of apprenticeship training opportunities and careers in the construction industry to increase and diversify the talent pool to meet future demands. 


Student Run Restaurant Food for Thought Now Open!  Enjoy delicious gourmet meals created by Denfeld and Duluth East students under the supervision of Chef Glenn D’Amour, CEC.  The restaurant operates Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.  Reservations are required at least 24 hours in advance – click here for a menu and complete details.


Accomplishments, Activities, Appreciation

--Homecroft Elementary raised $2,400 for the Jump Rope For Heart Event held during their Physical Education Classes.  Students participated in this year’s event and broke the school record for their donation effort.  Donna Hanna is the Physical Education Specialist coordinating this wonderful event.  Thank you Homecroft students and family for your awesome fundraising effort.

--Lester Park Elementary students raised $ 2,645 for the American Heart Association (AHA), a new school record.  Participation included an in-school event during their physical education classes. Donna Hanna, Physical Education specialist, has been helping raise funds for the AHA for 13 years and has helped collect over $30,000 for their life-saving efforts.