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ISD 709 News

posted Mar 19, 2015, 1:19 PM by Communications ISD 709   [ updated Mar 20, 2015, 12:46 PM ]

School Board Leadership, Superintendent Duluth News Tribune Column:

Let racist incident lead to community unity, learning

   Recently, students within our school district altered a photo of another student.  The alterations and captioning were racist in nature and involved references to lynching.  Shocking by any measure, but especially coming from young people.

   Such images are not acceptable and have no place in our community or schools. Minnesota laws protecting the rights of juveniles don’t allow much detail to be shared, but it’s safe to say the consequences for the students involved in creating and distributing the image are serious.

   Teachers, principals, district administrators and School Board members care deeply about students and families. We were not only shocked but profoundly saddened that something like this would happen in Duluth, especially in one of our schools.

   From the time the image was discovered until now much has happened…

Click here to read the entire column.


Detailed Demographic Study Projects Enrollments to Stabilize

Boundaries to remain the same, steps taken to further manage enrollments and equity

   During a committee meeting March 17 the Duluth School Board received results from a months-long professional enrollment study.  The report, created by RSP, projects ISD 709 enrollments at the elementary, middle and high schools to continue to stabilize through 2020. 

   A previous school district study indicated the possibility that several elementary schools could be over capacity within a few years – the current report, which is more detailed and comprehensive and includes data from the city and county, indicates otherwise. The report also projects that high school enrollments will become more balanced over time. 

   Superintendent Bill Gronseth says, given results of the report, there are no plans to adjust boundaries. “The projections indicate adequate capacity at all levels and more balanced enrollments east-west in the future.  We’ll continue to seek ways to effectively manage enrollment and to ensure east-west equity without changing boundaries.”  Gronseth talked about recent changes to the transfer policy, which takes into consideration class size, and a team-based approach to class scheduling at the high school level, among others.

   Click here to see the presentation.  Results of the enrollment study will also be shared with the community for consideration and comment during the annual Think Kids meetings March 30 – April 22.    


Your Ideas Matter:  2015 Think Kids Community Conversation March 30 – April 22

   Our community is helping to create schools that welcome children, inspire them and educate them for the future through annual Think Kids conversations.  

    During the 2015 Think Kids conversation participants will be asked what’s going well and what could be done better in Duluth’s schools.  

    Anyone who wishes to can share their ideas – no one is excluded.  Click here for meeting schedules and other ways to participate.


ISD 709 Seeking Qualified Candidates for Substitute School Bus Drivers

  Candidates must possess a valid MN Drivers License and must be able to pass a drug test and criminal history background check.   You will be paid while training.  $14.15 per hour.  Interested candidates must complete an online application at

  ISD 709 is also seeking qualified candidates for substitute paraprofessionals, food service and playground monitors.  Check under District/Job Opportunities or click here for details.


Lincoln Park Middle School Students Take Part in German Language Trip

   Lincoln Park German students took part in the district-wide trip to the German Language Day competition at the Minnesota Zoo in the Twin Cities.  They watched students from all over the state give presentations about different animals in German, cheered on Duluth teams, and then sampled authentic German cuisine at Gasthof zur Gemütlichkeit in Minneapolis.    


March 26, 27 & 28 Ordean East Middle School Theatre presents:

A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare

   The 80’s: a time of big love, big music, and big hair.  Dude, Ordean East Middle School Theatre, under the direction of John Pokrzywinki, presents Shakespeare’s comedy of totally messed up love and donkey-loving fairies set in the awesomest decade of all – the 80’s!  Come rock out with an energetic cast and crew at The Ordean East Little Theatre, 2900 East 4th Street.  Shows run Thursday-Saturday, March 26, 27 & 28. Curtain is at 7:00PM.  Admission $8.00, $5.00 for students.

For more information:


Accomplishments, Activities, Appreciation

--Olivia Nelson, Ordean East Middle School, is a Grade 8 winner of the Middle School Essay Contest sponsored by the Richard I. Bong Veterans Historical Center.  This is the second year Olivia has competed and won!  Winners and honorable mentions were chosen from nearly 200 entries.  

-- These talented Lincoln Park Middle School art students were selected to have their art work featured in local exhibits: 

UW-S Twin Ports K-12 Art Show:  Noah McGrew., Izabella Reed, Colton Covington,Donavin White, Phoenix Ocean, Hannah Thompson, Emma Haugen, Alexis Mhyre.

Duluth Art Institute:  Emma Haugen,Bella Larson, Miranda Shinn, Emily Linberg, Raven Pokorney, Jack McCormick, Greyson Burns, Brynn Plasch, Courtney Hegg, Kylie LeMay, Anna Thomsen, Marissa Wittke, Alaiana Panfil, Alexis Edmonds, Kayla Skorich.

-- Congdon Park and Stowe Elementary Schools, Duluth East High School and Ordean East Middle School are working hard to collect food and raise funds for CHUM during the Minnesota FoodShare Campaign.  During the month of March, all contributions to Minnesota food shelves receive a proportional match from the Minnesota FoodShare

Campaign, so donations have an even greater impact.

--The Denfeld Key Club held a fundraiser for the Leukemia/Lymphoma Society called" Pennies for Patients" and raised $865.00. They reached out to the community and to students and staff at Denfeld High School for support.

--Lakewood school also conducted a “Pennies for Patients” fundraiser  and collected $626.00 in one week!

--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. 


Duluth East Daredevils Robotics Team Compete in Central Illinois Regional

   The Duluth East Daredevils are competing at the Central Illinois Regional​ in Peoria, IL which runs March 19, 20, and 21.  Since the Daredevils have already qualified for the World Championship in St. Louis, MO through the Chairman’s Award, this regional will allow the team to prepare and improve their performance with their robot, Ace​. Participating teams will be working their hardest to insure their robots​ run smoothly and have a great competition with the hopes of qualifying to the World Championship.  Links to photos and video will be sent out in the evening at the end of each day through the team Flickr and YouTube accounts.