April 25, 2019

ISD 709 School News

Duluth School Board Approves School Boundary Project Resources

It's been at least ten years since Duluth Public Schools made adjustments to school boundaries. For most larger school districts adjustments are made more regularly to help better balance enrollments.

This week the Duluth School Board approved moving forward with a company called Cooperative Strategies to begin studying school boundaries, researching enrollment data and facilitating community discussions. They have 25+ years experience helping over 2000 school districts with this type of work. One of their clients includes Rochester Public Schools here in Minnesota.

The process of developing boundary adjustments for consideration would likely take at least 12 months, possibly more. The earliest we might reasonably expect to see changes would be the 2020-2021 school year, however implementation of changes could take longer. And there would be much discussion with staff, families and community members before the Board approved any changes.

ISD 709 News is one of many ways to share information about the boundary project going forward. Other ways will likely include social media, the district and school websites, mailings home, local news media and others.

April School Board Agenda Items - Detailed Information Online

(This is not a comprehensive list of Board agenda items)

>>May is Mental Health Awareness Month: During its regular meeting in April, the Duluth School Board approved a resolution declaring May Mental Health Awareness Month in Duluth Public Schools. The Board recognized all staff who are involved in helping support mental health services and support our students.

>>Support for Boundary Research and Community Discussion

(At about 2:53:09) Handouts

>>FY 2019-20 Budget Planning Update

>>Facilities Management & Capital Projects Status Report

>>Assistant Superintendent and Director of Curriculum Reports

>>Policy Updates

View School Board Meetings on YouTube

MN Department of Education Releases 2018 Graduation Rates:

Over Duluth Graduation Rate Increases

Newly released information from the Minnesota Department of Education shows progress in increasing the 4-year, on-time graduation rate for Duluth Public Schools.

• The overall 4-year, on-time graduation rate increased from 76.04 in 2016-2017 to 78.09 in 2017-2018.

• Graduation rates for the following groups increased: Asian, Black, White, Special Education, Free/Reduced Lunch, and Homeless. The graduation rate for Black students significantly increased (26.8 percentage points).

• The 5-year graduation rate was 80.16, the 6-year rate was 79.90, and the 7-year rate was 84.15.

“Through our continuous improvement process, our teachers are staff are using data and collaboration to identify and meet individual student needs,” said Jeff Horton, Assistant Superintendent of Duluth Public Schools. “We appreciate the support of families and the Duluth community for the important role they play in student achievement.”

“The results show good news for many students. They also show us areas where more work must be done to ensure all students have an opportunity to be successful,” said Bill Gronseth, Superintendent. “We look forward to further studying the results and using the information to inform the work we do toward increasing student achievement.”

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Congratulations, 2019 Gold Star Teacher Award Nominees

The Goldfine family presents $5,000 annually to an outstanding teacher within the Duluth Public School system. The Award recognizes public school teachers who inspire their students and provide a strong foundation for educational, personal and professional success.

Nominees for 2019:

  • Philip Warmanen, Lowell Elementary
  • Lynn Thompson, Piedmont Elementary
  • Kristin Paschen, Lester Park Elementary
  • Erin Krizaj, Homecroft Elementary
  • Nancy Broman, Myers-Wilkins Elementary
  • Adam Metzer, Laura MacArthur Elementary
  • Lisa Heehn, Stowe Elementary
  • Kim Evavold-Bolf, Lakewood Elementary
  • Kathleen Lofstuen, Congdon Park Elementary

You're Invited: All Duluth Public School employees, families, students and friends are invited to a special event to announce the recipient of the $5,000 Award and help celebrate our inspirational teachers:

Wednesday May 15, 2019 7:00PM

Lincoln Park Middle School Auditorium

3215 West 3rd Street, Duluth

The evening includes an Ice Cream Social, it's free and open to the public.

Please RSVP number attending by May 12 (helps plan for the ice cream!) https://2019goldstar.eventbrite.com

Denfeld, Duluth East HOSA Students Earn Recognition

The Duluth School Board recognized these talented students for earning top honors at the 2019 State HOSA Leadership Conference: Adriana Birdseye, Arralynn Cora, Madeline Smith, Sophie Jezierski, Alyssa McCorison, Isabella Lind, Elora Weiland, Rian Braun, Noelle Stellmaker, Shiena Sonaco, Alexandra Dahl, Trinity Alm, Mullen Johnson, Kaleb Rock and their instructor Kim Olson.

Students took top spots in Medical Terminology, Medical Spelling, Home Health Aide, Nursing Assistant, Veterinary Science, Medical Reserve Corps Partnership, Barbara James Service Award, MRC Volunteer Recognition and a service project for the National Pediatric Cancer Foundation, among others.

Health Occupation courses and HOSA are part of our Career & Technical Education Program. Students can earn certification or college credit through some of these courses. We're proud of these students for their hard work and accomplishments.

Denfeld Speech Success at State
Denfeld qualified six team members to the MSHSL State Speech Tournament held at Wayzata High School. Congratulations to Seniors Quinten Rimolde, Autumn Zierman and Keeli Gustafson for being named to the All-Tournament Team! Keeli placed 5th in State in Extemp. Reading and Autumn placed 8th in State in Serious Drama.

Duluth East Alumni News:

Mentoring program puts Duluth East grad in the center of Lyme disease research

Duluth News Tribune Article

Denfeld Robotics Team Heading to State
The Denfeld Robotics team (DNA 4009) earned a spot at the state tournament this year. This will be the team’s fourth appearance at state, qualifying in 2014, 2015 and 2016. Denfeld DNA finished second in the state championship in 2016.
Bolstered by an undefeated run through the qualification rounds at the 2019 Lake Superior Regional, DNA finished seventh in overall state ranking points. The top 36 teams in Minnesota receive invites to the state tournament, to be held May 18 at Williams Arena on the University of Minnesota campus.
Senior team captain Kaleb Robison, who was on the team for the championship run in 2016, noted "We have an amazing team and robot this year. It's great to be heading back to State. I'm so excited for what the State Championship has in store, and for my teammates to get to experience this wonderful event."

Duluth East Dress Wear Drive Apr 29 - May 10

Duluth East National Honor Society (NHS) is kicking off a dress wear drive, they're collecting items through Friday May 10. Donations will be used to create a dress wear closet at the school for all students to access who have need of formal clothing.

NHS is seeking donations for all genders and sizes, including dresses, skirts, dress shirts, dress pants, ties, shoes, blazers, and suit jackets. The group is hoping to meet several needs including clothing for Harvest Ball in the fall, job and scholarship interviews, music concerts, athletic events, and any school sponsored activities.

If you’d like to contribute items please bring them to the main office at Duluth East High School during school hours. 301 N. 40th Avenue East.


Misaabekong Students Head Outdoors to Study Bineshiinyag

First and Second Grade Misaabekong spent a morning in the most beautiful outdoor classroom setting learning about bineshiinyag (birds) with staff from Hawks Ridge.

Laura MacArthur Students Make Healthy Choice

Students went on an 8-week "no candy" streak. Lakeside Dental committed to supporting this challenge and awarded students with care packages to promote healthy teeth, healthier eating habits, healthy energy and focus on replacements such as fresh fruit, raw nuts and other nutritious foods. Over 50 students took part in the challenge.

Duluth East Students Visit Notre Dame

The Duluth East Travel Club visited Notre Dame days before fire damaged the historic cathedral.


Outdoor Learning for Congdon Park Students

Fourth graders learned about the weather at Hartley Nature Center as part of their Water Unit in Science. Outside learning is sometimes the best kind of learning.

Piedmont Students & Staff "Rock the Test"

They rocked out with 450+ "Rock the Test" t-shirts to celebrate their year of learning. DJ Amundson and DJ Johnson led the MCA/FAST Panther Fest, they had great music, prizes, skits and singing. Principal Beth Shermoen set goals and talked about the MCAs.

Denfeld High School Theater Presents:

Charley's Aunt

April 25, 26, 27, 2019 7:00PM

Denfeld High School Auditorium

401 N. 44th Avenue West, Duluth

Tickets are $10 and sold at the door.

The theater opens at 6:30PM, the show starts at 7:00PM.

What is the craziest thing a friend has ever asked you to do? Join us and watch as roommates Charley and Jack convince their friend to dress as Charley's Aunt and chaperone a double date. This delightful comedy is sure to make you laugh as everything that could go wrong, does.

Duluth East High School Theater Presents:

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time

May 2, 3, 4, 2019 7:00PM

Duluth East Auditorium, 301 N 40th Ave E, Duluth

Cost: Students $5; adults $10.

Contact: 218.336.8845

Fifteen-year-old math whiz Christopher Boone lives with his divorced dad in Swinton, a working-class town west of London. After being falsely accused of killing a neighbor’s dog, Christopher—who is brilliant but has difficulty dealing with the sounds and stresses of everyday life—decides to investigate the crime. The secrets he unearths prompt him to leave his trusted teacher and the familiar streets of his hometown for a life-changing train trip to London. Based on Mark Haddon’s best-selling 2003 novel, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is a thrilling and heartwarming adventure story featuring an unforgettable young hero.

You're Invited:

2019 Duluth Public Schools Student Art Exhibition

April 22-28, Barnes & Noble Court, Miller Hill Mall

Opening Reception Wed April 24, 5:00PM - 7:00PM

Lots of great work by our talented students - please come out and show your support.