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ISD 709 News

posted Apr 22, 2015, 7:38 AM by Communications ISD 709

YOUR IDEAS MATTER - Think Kids Meetings 4/22 & 4/23 or Take the Online Survey!

   During the 2015 Think Kids conversation participants are asked to share thoughts and provide advice


--The results of an in-depth enrollment report.

--What’s going well and what could be done better in Duluth’s schools.

--How to further address racism in our community and schools.

   ISD 709 staff and volunteers will be meeting with people from across our community to lead these important discussions. Anyone who wishes to can share their ideas – no one is excluded. 

Wednesday April 22: Denfeld High School, 401 N. 44th Avenue West, 4:00PM

Thursday April 23: Duluth East High School, 301 N. 40th Avenue East, 6:30PM

   Can’t make a meeting?  Take the Think Kids Online Survey!  Click here to access information and a link to the survey. 


Duluth School Board Honors Lester Park Elementary for Helping the Hungry

   During their regular April meeting, members of the Duluth School Board took time to recognize Lester Park Elementary for helping make a difference in the lives of those experiencing hunger. 

   Pat Pfingsten and Nancy Dallum run the school’s food drive and Pat initially set a goal eight years ago of collecting  'One Ton' of food annually - the Lester Park community has achieved or exceeded this goal since then, including this year!  Students and staff recently collected over a TON of food for donation to the Union Gospel Mission in Duluth.  In addition to collecting 2,961 pounds of food they also raised $471 in funds. 

   Congratulations to Pat, Nancy and the students and staff at Lester Park for a very successful effort and for investing time and talent into making a difference in our community!


This month, Denfeld High School students formally presented custom-designed stained glass window projects to the

Duluth Fire Department, Minnesota Ballet, the Duluth Heritage Sports Center, Bentleyville, Keystone Bluffs and several other local businesses and organizations.  Representatives from each organization were on hand to accept the windows prior to the April School Board meeting. 

   The students are advanced members of the "Stained Glass, Metals and Fibers" art class taught by Terry Norton and they created these unique pieces of art specifically for donation to the community.  Future projects include a window for Historic Old Central High School, United Way, Spirit Mountain, the Duluth Curling Club and the West Duluth Junior Football League.  


Myers-Wilkins Elementary World Beat Drummers – Opening Act for the 2015 Duluth Homegrown Music Festival!   World Beat Drummers will perform on Sunday, April 26 at 6:00pm - Teatro Zuccone, 222 E Superior St.  This is the first time a student group has been accepted to perform for the annual community-wide music festival.  Admission is free for this performance.

For more information about World Beat:

For information about the Duluth Homegrown Music Festival:


From the Lowell Elementary PTA:

The Lowell Lions 3K Color Fun Run/Walk is scheduled for Thursday May 14th!  The Lowell kids have been working hard to raise funds for this event which coincides with the annual family fun run.  There will be prizes for kids and an after party with color bursts and music!   The event is open to the public - please join us in this fun fitness event!  The registration fee is $30 and includes a Color-A-Thon shirt and color pack.  Register online: Support LOWELL ELEMENTARY LOWELL LIONS COLOR FUN RUN   The link is also available on the Lowell School Website and the new Facebook page for Lowell.    PTA sponsored events will be using the new Facebook page so please "Like" Lowell Elementary School" Facebook page to stay up to date with our happenings.  We hope to see you at our Color Run, enter today!


Help ISD 709 Destination Imagination Teams Travel to GLOBAL Competition in Tennessee!

Teams are working to raise funds for the trip to Knoxville, please see below for details.

    Ordean East Middle School:  Their “Mission Improvable” team took first place in the 2015 State Destination Imagination tournament.  They’re hosting a freewill offering fundraising event this weekend.

When: Sunday, April 26, 6:30PM - 7:30PM

Where: Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 1325 N 45th Ave E, Duluth

What: They’ll introduce you to DI & Globals, and the kids will show what they do - come watch the team perform and help raise money to send these kids to Globals!

    Laura MacArthur Elementary:  This team tied for 1st Place in Elementary Improv in the State Tournament.  The Team has two fundraisers going on to help their team travel to the GLOBAL competition. 

Sunday May 10 (Mother's Day):  Chipotle at the Miller Hill Mall will donate 50% of purchases made between 12:00PM to 4:00PM to help the Laura MacArthur DI Team travel to Tennessee. 

Thursday May 14:  Beaner’s Central Coffeehouse (324 North Central Avenue) will host a fundraiser and silent auction from 6:00PM to 8:00PM.  The event includes a performance by the students.  The suggested $10 cover fee and proceeds from the silent auction will go to the Laura MacArthur DI team.


Pheasants Forever Donates $5,000 to Duluth East Pollinator Habitat

   During the April School Board Meeting, Pheasants Forever presented a check for $5,000 to support a pollinator habitat between the Lakewalk and the Duluth East High School parking lot.  The project was conducted in partnership with Duluth East High School's "Green Club" and Agriculture/Natural Resources students.  The habitat is designed to favor the attraction, survival, and reproduction of pollinators, as well as providing a weigh station along the Monarch butterfly's migration path.  It also provides a valuable learning environment for students of Duluth East High School.  

   The Duluth School Board formally recognized Pheasants Forever for their partnership and support.


The Duluth East Orchestras invite you to their Concerto Concert this Thursday, April 23 at 7PM in the East High School Auditorium, 301 North 40 th Avenue East. Violin, Cello, Trumpet, Saxophone and Piano Concertos will be performed by seven outstanding Senior East HS musicians, accompanied by the orchestra. Student soloists include: Kristina Bock, Jonas Biles, Yuqi Chen, Nick Cortes, Elise Hauer, Dan Richards, and Lydia Sayers.  Cost is $5.00 per adult, and $3.00 per student.  We hope you can come to enjoy an evening of great music, and celebrate the accomplishments of these talented seniors.


Activities, Accomplishments, Appreciation

--Six Denfeld Key Club students attended the Key Club District Conference in St. Cloud and won two trophies:  1st Place for top service hours per member and 2nd Place for Most Distinguished Club Award! Julia Ketola was elected Lieutenant Governor for District (3A) for the 2015-16 school year which is a great honor. Attending the conference:  Denisha Walther, Breanna Love, Meaghan O'Connor, Julia Ketola, Skyar Sarvela and Christine LeGarde.

--Twenty-four Lincoln Park Middle School students attended Global Youth Service Day in Edina, MN. The students participated in service projects, watched student performances, and a group of young 7th grade women from Lincoln Park performed a dance routine. Global Youth Service Day is the largest service event in the world that celebrates the leadership of young people with an estimated 2 million youth in more than 135 countries on 6 continents expected to lead service projects.   

--Author Wendy Muhlhauser (pen name SissyMarySue) recently visited Laura MacArthur Elementary School to talk with students and read from her book “Jelly Beans the Cheetah and Hope.”  The book is set in Tanzania, Africa with the Barabaig Tribe and is based on a humanitarian trip Mulhauser took with the Edina Rotary Club in 2007.  The book includes messages of empathy, shared humanity and a connection to all and is intended to empower youth with empathy to spring into compassionate action in their families, communities, schools and in service for the


--Denfeld Show and Concert Choirs spent spring break in New York City.  The highlight of the trip was performing in front of visitors at the 911 Memorial site and singing the The Star Spangled Banner.  The students went to a performance of the Broadway musical Wicked and visited the Metropolian Museum of Art, Radio City Music Hall, Top of the Rock, Times Square, Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty.

-- Duluth HOSA students Shelby Routsalainen (Denfeld State MRC HOSA President) and

Tracy Onchwari (East State HOSA Officer) were invited by the Assistant Secretary of Preparedness

and Response to participate in a Twitter Chat about energizing young health volunteers. 

They talked about the benefits of volunteering to support healthy communities before, during and after disasters, the challenges of engaging young volunteers and the benefits of volunteering.

-- The Duluth East Volleyball program raised $167.00 for the Circle of Hope Foundation and the Greyhound Volleyball Booster Club matched the amount made for a total donation of $334.  The team held the event at a home game where they raised money and promoted awareness about breast cancer and the Circle of Hope Foundation.  According to Coach Danna Anderson, "The athletes had a blast, my staff and I had a great time and we cannot forget to acknowledge the fans and supporting staff that also participated.  Esko's Volleyball program even came ready to support breast cancer awareness month!  It was a great way to get the community involved and raise some hard earned money for a great cause. We will surely continue this event in years to come. Go Hounds! "


Ordean East “The Cookie Monsters” Team Named a State Winner in the 13th Annual 

   Ava White, Leah Yates, and Grace Ridgewell, Ordean East Middle School, participated in the Ecybermission STEM Competition in a category related to health and fitness.  They modified cookie recipes with substitute ingredients and then performed taste tests to see if people would enjoy the healthy alternative.  

   Through this web-based competition, students in grades six through nine are challenged with developing a solution to a real-world problem in their local community.  eCYBERMISSION is sponsored by the U.S. Army and administered by the National Science Teachers Association, and builds students’ interest and knowledge in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).  Students compete on state, regional, and national levels for monetary awards.


Duluth East Students are participating in YES!, a group Empowering youth to partner with their community to create economic and environmental vitality through hands-on learning and team-based projects. YES! is a team-oriented youth program that uses hands-on, experiential learning and energy action projects to address energy opportunities and issues in rural Minnesota communities.   YES! student groups represent schools or communities in grades 7 through 12, guided by local adult coaches. Since 2007, the program has engaged 1,794 youth working with over 1,870 businesses, organizations, and community members to accomplish their goals.  These projects have impacted 99,637 community members and 60,627 additional students.  

Click here for a video featuring Duluth East students participating in YES!