Weekly Update

ISD 709 News 9/24/21

From Superintendent John Magas

Dear Families:

As our third week of school comes to a close, two words come to mind: flexibility and teamwork.

Our students are showing a great deal of both as they engage in learning and a variety of fall activities. It’s exciting to see the different clubs, athletic events, and just general student interaction in our schools!

Our families have also shown an incredible amount of flexibility and teamwork in supporting their students, getting them to school and with their learning activities. It's been helpful to receive significant input through our district advisory committee and other conversations, such as the dialogue around our school resource officers facilitated by Marnita’s Table. Your questions, comments, and other input have led us to change certain aspects of how we are functioning in support of students. Thank you!

Finally, our staff has shown amazing flexibility and teamwork in supporting our students. In all situations, whether helping with additional hall supervision, pitching in as substitutes, adding students to the many bus routes we have, assisting students with special needs, or providing nutritious meals, we are delivering on our promise to serve.

We all know very well that the impacts of the continued pandemic, as well as the employment scarcity have made things challenging, but I am proud of everyone for continuing to do their best and rising to the occasion.

With appreciation,

John Magas

If you have questions or thoughts about what's going on in our school district, email:


Big picture

20 Under 40 Award

Congratulations, Winonah Ojanen (Gaagige Aanakwadikwe), recipient of the Duluth News Tribune 20 Under 40 Award! Ms. Ojanen is a member of the Bad River Band of Ojibwe in Wisconsin and is an Ojibwe immersion teacher with the Misaabekong Ojibwe Immersion Program at Lowell Elementary.

"My friends, family, dreams, love for the Ojibwe language and culture, and my passion for learning astronomy are all deeply important to me. They are the inspiration for my journey of intertwining Ojibwe, science and teaching," says Ms. Ojanen in the DNT article.

Duluth News Tribune Article

#Inspire709 #Misaabekong

Misaabekong Ojibwe Immersion


2021 Minnesota School Social Worker of the Year

Congratulations, Tracy Litman, recognized by the Duluth School Board for receiving the Minnesota School Social Worker of the Year Award from the MN School Social Workers Association.

Ms. Litman was nominated by Principal Gina Kleive and received numerous letters of support from her colleagues. The Award recognizes individuals who reflect the highest professional standards, demonstrate creative leadership, and provide service within the professional and wider community.

Ms. Litman will be formally recognized by the MN School Social Workers Association during a virtual ceremony this fall. Many thanks for Ms. Litman's years of dedicated service to our students and families, and congratulations on receiving this award.


Free Tutoring Available

Free tutoring for K-12 students is available through the CSS/ISD 709 Tutor Program.

We have tutors in a variety of grade levels and subjects. They've completed training and are ready to work with Duluth students!

Click here to book tutoring appointments.

  • Once there you will be able to choose the grade level needed, the content, the tutor and the time they are available.
  • Once you book a tutoring session you will receive an email with the details of your appointment.
  • Appointments are online. A link to the video conference session will be sent with the email.

If you have any questions please feel free to email Beth LaVigne blavigne@css.edu

Update: HOCHS Staff Move to UHG in October

It's getting real, folks! Historic Old Central High School staff will begin moving into the United Health Group temporary lease space beginning in October. The move to UHG is expected to be completed by the end of October. At this time it's expected that phone numbers will remain the same. This month the School Board decided to move forward with the Tech Village location as a better option for the ALC/AEO group.

Monthly progress reports are posted at www.ISD709.org/Property

Last Regular School Board Meeting in Historic Old Central

An historic night! After 70 some years, the last regular meeting of the Duluth School Board in Historic Old Central High School was held Tuesday September 21, 2021.

Future regular Duluth School Board meetings will be held at Denfeld High School, they'll be recorded and posted on the Board's YouTube page. Committee meeting locations are still to be determined as the move out of Historic Old Central begins next month.

Duluth School Board Web Page

Duluth News Tribune Article

We Need School Bus Drivers!

Like most districts, we're in urgent need of more school bus drivers. If you know a school bus driver looking for work, someone with a CDL license, or a valid drivers license with a good driving record who could be trained, or a retired driver who might be willing to work this school year, please send them our way.


Duluth Public Schools provide rewarding regular and substitute jobs in a variety of roles. Plus a robust benefit package to full-time employees and part-time employees who meet eligibility requirements. Please share this information with people you know - encourage them to join our team!

Current Job Openings

Questions? Email: noncerthr@isd709.org or call (218) 336-8722

Follow Us for ISD 709 News

Stowe Elementary Forestry Day

Fifth grade forestry day was awesome! Students were able to spend the entire day with Spirit Mountain as their outdoor classroom.



Community Building at Lincoln Park Middle School

Students in Ms. Iannucci'sclass did a fun community building activity last week - Sam the Gummy Worm flipped his boat and he can't swim! The object is to get the "lifejacket" on Sam and save him. Each player gets a paper clip and they have to work together to Save Sam.

#Inspire709 #Cooperation #GoodLuckSam


Ordean East Volleyball Action

Great to see the Ordean East Middle School Girls Volleyball team in action, go Huskies!

#Inspire709 #BumpSetSpike


Denfeld Hunter Hall of Fame Adding New Inductees

The Denfeld Alumni Association will add 11 new names to the Denfeld Hunter Hall of Fame on Saturday, September 25, 2021 at 10am in the Denfeld High School Auditorium, 401 N. 44th Avenue West, Duluth, MN.

The event is free and open to the public.

Eleven new faces will grace the hall of fame including: Elvira (Thompson) Johnson ’25, Ingrid Strom ’31, Armond Hauge ’46, James Felton ’52, Dennis Maki ’61, Ben Kanninen ’64, William Bester ’68, Patrick Schiltz ’78, Dawn Hocevar ’89, Diana (Nelson) Radestock ’90, John Salminen (teacher).

Contact: Reba Marana Copeland @ marana.reba@gmail.com