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ISD 709 News

posted May 18, 2015, 10:02 AM by Communications ISD 709   [ updated May 18, 2015, 10:07 AM ]

2015-16 Elementary Report Card Information for Parents

  Beginning in September 2015, ISD 709 elementary schools will grade and report student progress using a standards-based system that helps provide:

  • A clear measure for parents of their child’s individual progress
  • A description of learning goals as parents help support their child’s achievement
  • Consistency between elementary classrooms and elementary schools across the district.

Click here for more information regarding Elementary Report Cards. 


Duluth East Daredevils Robotics Team Alliance Takes 1st Place at State!

   After an amazing competition, the Daredevils walked away with their first ever MSHSL/FIRST State Robotics Championship win, allied with Team 3130/Errors from Woodbury, MN and Team 4215/Trinity Tritons from Eagan, MN.

   The Daredevils ended qualifiers in first place and after selecting their alliance the Daredevils continued on to the final rounds which are win/loss best two out of three.  In the first round everything clicked for the Duluth East alliance scoring a 206-125 victory.  During the second round the lift on the Daredevil’s robot stopped functioning - the alliance lost 108-157 and the finals stood at one win each.  A quick repair and the Daredevils alliance stood ready for the final round.  This time the robot functioned as designed scoring 20 points during the 15 second autonomous period and the alliance won 198-157.

Link to Daredevil Championship highlights:


Denfeld DNA Robotics Team Receives Engineering & Design Award at State Competition!

   Denfeld Nation Automation (DNA) Team 4009 competed at the 2015 MSHSL/FIRST State Robotics competition at Williams Arena on the University of MN Twin Cities Campus.  Out of 193 Minnesota teams, 30 were invited to compete.

   DNA finished 9th and earned the Outstanding Engineering and Design Award sponsored by the robotics manufacturing department of the Dunwoody College of Technology. The award recognizes those teams that exhibit unique engineering and design solutions to the robot challenge. The award comes with a trophy and $500 check to be used toward next year’s team expenses.

Moreinfo about DNA Robotics at


Achievement, Activities, Appreciation

--Mark your calendars for the Congdon Plant Sale Friday, May 29 from 2:15PM to 6:00PM! Organic edible & perennial plants at Congdon Park Elementary, 3116 East Superior Street, for sale to support the Congdon Park School & Community Garden Program.  Master Gardeners will provide growing demos for the Vegetable of the Year (the POTATO) and

distribute a free seed potato. 

--Chang'aa Mweti, a Kenyan story teller and professor at UMD, visited Ms. Poppenberg's Lincoln Park classes to tell stories of working together and kindness.  In addition to meeting Mr. Mweti and hearing him speak, students also had an opportunity to learn about and dress in traditional Kenyan attire.  

--Congratulations to recipients of 2015 Duluth Public School Grants for innovative classroom projects!  Guided by an independent volunteer advisory board, comprised of civic and business leaders, the Duluth Public Schools Fund annually reviews proposals and recommends grant awards (ranging from $500 to $2,000) within ISD 709 for projects by teachers that encourage creativity and innovation in the classroom.  The fund is managed by the Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation, click here for more information.

>Integration:  Social Studies and the Visual Arts, Laura MacArthur – Christine Valento

>Rocket Day, Laura MacArthur – Linda Pelto, Kristen Resch, Tamara Meyer

>Life Cycle: Hands on Experience with Vertebrates, Lester Park Elementary – Pat Isbell

>Closing the Achievement Gap in Mathematics through Parent Involvement & Technology Year 2, Ordean East Middle School – Nathan Norman, Michael Valesano

>What Goes Around, Comes Around, Duluth East High School – Peter Froehlingsdorf, Greg Jones

>Once Upon a Time, Lester Park Elementary – Susan Mikel

>Summer Science Academy, Piedmont Elementary – Stephanie Larson

>Sensory Learning Centers, Homecroft Elementary – Cher Obst

>Explorations in Green Energy, Denfeld High School – Eric Holmstrom, Denfeld Science Teachers

>Teaching History/Social Studies with Informational Text Sets, Congdon Park – Gwyn Curran

>Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Barnes Head Start – Sarah Walker

>Multiple Perspectives Unit Revolution and Freedom Summer, Ordean East Middle School, Holly Bowen-Bailey

>Denfeld’s Night at the Prove, Denfeld High School – Alexandra Breilein

>Three Owls Outdoor Classroom, Lester Park Elementary – Samantha Webster

>Kool Chromatography, Denfeld & Duluth East High Schools – Cynthia Grindy, Bob Fox

>Allowing Students with Cognitive Disabilities Opportunities to Implement Grad Standards into Their Functional Curriculum, Ordean East Middle School – Stephanie Aagenes, Cindy Rourke

>Here We Grow, Homecroft Elementary School – Elizabeth Kersting-Peterson

--Thursday, May 21 is Bike & Walk To School Day at Congdon Park Elementary.  Students will arrive to school energized and ready to learn!  A Safe Routes to School Mini-Grant provided t-shirts for participants and helmets for those in need.