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March 20, 2020 11:00AM:

We’d like to take a moment to thank you, our Duluth Public Schools families.  You’ve shown amazing strength over the past few days and weeks as our world changes.  And there will be more changes and adjustments as we enter a distance learning environment. Our teachers, administrators and staff are committed to supporting you as we move forward. 

Student Learning Expectations
To be clear, students are not expected to complete lessons that will impact their grades during the short-term school closure for planning (March 18 - March 27).  Distance learning, if necessary, would begin March 30.
 
District Staff Prepare Plans for Distance Learning
Groups of technology staff are preparing Chromebook laptops for teachers so they can begin communicating and collaborating with each other digitally.  Curriculum specialists, principals and teachers are working together to develop plans - this includes for students receiving special education services.  Teachers are reaching out to students to understand the best way to communicate and to help make them aware of available services.  Should the state extend the school closure order, students and families will be notified on what to watch for through a variety of communication channels.
 
Free Breakfast & Lunch Available to Duluth Students March 18-27
Child nutrition staff, bus drivers and paraprofessionals are working to deliver free breakfast and lunches to Duluth students weekdays through March 27. Students must be 18 years of age and younger, no paperwork necessary.
>>Bagged breakfast will include fruit or fruit juice, cereal or breakfast bar and milk.
>>Bagged lunch will include a sandwich, veggies, fruit and milk.  
Both breakfast and lunch are served from a school bus at the designated locations and times.  Any student from any school can pick up a breakfast & lunch at any location.

 

COVID-19 Information Available from MN Department of Health
 
Free School-Age Child Care Available to Children of Emergency Responders, Health Professionals
During the short-term closure, and in response to the Governor’s Executive Order, we are offering free school-aged (4-12yrs) child care to children of emergency responders and health professionals that are currently attending Duluth Public Schools ISD709 and Stella Maris Academy.  We are also offering this service to ISD 709 district teachers & staff. We will provide programming at all our current locations to families who fit the mandatory order criteria.
Questions?  218-336-8760 x6 or mark.connor@isd709.org
 
Governor Walz Highlights Unemployment Resources for Minnesotans
At a recent news conference, Governor Walz spoke about the difficult implications of business closings across the state, including by highlighting how unemployment insurance can be found at www.uimn.org. (He recommended going online rather than calling given the growing number of people calling in.)
 
Talking to Children about COVID-19 (MDE Guidance)
It’s important to remember that children look to adults for guidance on how to react to stressful events. If adults seem overly worried, children’s anxiety may rise. Adults should reassure children that health and school officials are working hard to ensure that people throughout the country stay healthy. 
Children also need factual, age appropriate information, so the focus of conversation should be concrete instructions about how to avoid infections and the spread of disease. Teaching children positive measures, talking with them about their fears, and giving them a sense of some control over their risk of infections can help reduce anxiety. 
Additional information and specific guidelines: