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ISD 709 Return to Learn

We appreciate the help and support of our staff, students and families as we address this continually evolving situation.  We’ll continue to communicate as often as possible through a variety of venues, including this web page.  

January 14, 2021
Update: Elementary In-Person Learning
As we return elementary schools to in-person learning, the safety of students, teachers and staff is of utmost importance.
Starting on January 25, all elementary schools and early childhood programs of Duluth Public Schools will begin a return to full in-person learning.
We’re following a rolling start process (required by MDH and MDE) in which students are gradually brought back in the building.
We’ll bring in Pre-K through second graders first, and then grades three through five two weeks later:
  • Monday, January 25: Pre-Kindergarten through second grade return
  • Monday, February 8: Grades three through five return
  • Families may choose to remain in distance learning if they wish.
To prepare for the transition, there will be no distance learning for elementary students Pre-K through Grade 5 January 19, 20, and 21.
Those three days were chosen to reduce the impact on students - they’re sandwiched between the Martin Luther King Jr. student holiday Monday January 18 and the Friday January 22 semester break, another student holiday. Note, Tier 1 emergency childcare will be provided January 19, 20, 21.
A web page is prepared to help families understand in general what to expect when students are in school. It may be updated with new information as planning continues. Each elementary is sharing school-specific information with families, too, please check with your school if you have questions.
Thank you for your understanding and patience as we work to bring students back to school safely.
Additional Information:

January 14, 2021
Northland We Can
Denfeld, Duluth East, Proctor, Superior Students, Teachers, Coaches, Community Lift Up COVID Safety
Continuing to follow COVID safety protocols until vaccinations are widespread helps schools, hospitals, nursing homes, area businesses - everyone. It's more important than ever, as local schools begin bringing students back to in person learning and athletics and activities resume.
More COVID Safety Tips:
Help spread the message:
Many thanks to those who helped with the videos and all who help control the spread.
#Inspire709 #WeCanNorthland

COVID-19 Resources for Families


Families are asked to check temperatures and conduct home symptom screening before sending children to school.  Keep children home if they have a fever or symptoms.  Please review the following information from the Minnesota Department of Health and keep the Home Screening Tool handy for daily checks.
Download the MDH Home Screening Tool
Download the COVID Attendance Guide for Parents and Families
Please report your child's illness and absence to your school. 

Please make sure your child has a face mask.  Masks are required in school and on buses. 
Per the Governor’s Executive Order, and Duluth Public Schools policy all students older than 5 years of age and staff will be required to wear cloth face coverings, (unless medically exempt). Only students with documented medical conditions and/or IEP team determined cognitive or behavioral health concerns will be allowed to not wear a mask.

ISD 709 COVID-19 Case Reporting for Schools  

Schools must report all confirmed cases of COVID-19 to the MN Department of Health (MDH) or their local public health agency. Briefly, confirmed cases are reported to the ISD 709 COVID Contact and the MN Department of Health or local public health agency.   

  • MDH or the local public health agency conduct a case investigation and identify anyone who potentially has been exposed to the confirmed case.
  • MDH or the local public health agency notifies those who have been exposed and provides them with information about how to protect themselves, their families and their communities.
  • The ISD 709 COVID Contact is asked to assist in the notification process of all close contacts.
  • Throughout the process HIPAA/FERPA data privacy laws are followed.
  • Facilities staff follow guidelines for cleaning and disinfecting
Follow the appropriate path if a child, student, or staff person is experiencing the following symptoms consistent with COVID-19.

MDH COVID-19 Attendance Guide for Parents & Families
Staying home when you are sick is one of our best ways to fight COVID-19. Keeping sick children and children who are exposed to COVID-19 away from others helps stop the spread of the virus to other children, staff, and the surrounding community. Parents and guardians can use this guide to understand when their child can attend school, youth programs, and child care during COVID-19.

Stay Safe, Duluth - Video Resources
How to Wear Your Mask (1 min)

COVID Safety Tips for Individuals & Families
Helpful tips from the Minnesota Department of Health for athletic activities & sports, social gatherings, dining at restaurants, shopping, outdoor activities and more.

From the MN Department of Health: Mental Health Support
The COVID-19 pandemic is causing a tremendous amount of stress, fear and anxiety for many people. It’s important that Minnesotans have access to the mental health care resources they need to stay well during this challenging time. State agencies are working together to ensure these services are available, and they are also connecting people with private organizations that can provide support. This includes telemedicine resources (which replace clinic visits) and other well-being supports to help families and individuals cope.

Important Links

Concern or question?

Student and staff safety is our top priority. If you have a question, concern or comment about any health or safety issue, please let us know.


Resources: MN Department of Health

COVID-19 Hotline: Questions about COVID-19? Call the MDH COVID-19 Hotline at 651-201-3920 Monday - Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Resources: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention