From the Office of the Superintendent 11/26/19

Weekly Briefing for ISD 709 Faculty & Staff

Dear Colleagues,

Each year, local superintendents, school transportation managers, representatives from the city and county get together to review cold and snowy weather procedures. It's a good way to make sure we're working together and doing our best to keep students safe.

Given we have winter weather in the forecast, please take a moment to review school district procedures during periods of snow and cold. This information is shared with all staff and families at the beginning of the school year and is available on our website. Stay warm and safe!

As we enter into this season of giving thanks, please know how much your efforts in support of students and families are appreciated. The work you do each day is important and makes a difference.

Kind Regards,


If you have questions or thoughts about what's going on in our school district, email: Superintendents@ISD709.org. Twitter: @billgronseth

ISD 709 Boundary Project Update & Next Steps

Following work sessions and focus groups in October and November, district leaders and the community were provided an update on the ISD 709 Boundary Project.

There's much more work to be done, in preparation for community discussion and feedback in January 2020. The Board will consider adjustments in February, the earliest changes would take place is September 2020.

Next Steps:

January 2020: Information Available Online

  • Draft scenarios will be available for community review online.
  • Information will include maps and detailed impact analysis.
  • Feedback will be immediately available through online survey.

January 22-23, 2020 Community Meetings

  • Presentation of draft scenarios and impact.
  • Opportunity to provide feedback and ask questions.
  • Online materials and survey available.

Watch the Boundary Study Update

ISD 709 Boundary Project Information and Timelines

Share ISD 709 Job Opportunities via Social Media!

Duluth Public Schools Human Resources Department has their own social media pages, making it easy to share employment opportunities with others:




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ISD 709 News

We know there are a lot of great things going on in our schools - let's make sure we're letting everyone else know, too! Share your school, student, staff accomplishments, projects and events with Kathleen.Kaufman@ISD709.org, they'll be used in email newsletters, social media, websites and other communication venues.

Follow Us For ISD 709 School News:





Duluth East National Merit Commended Students

Finn Braaten, Max Schoolderman, and Anna Kebbekus were named as Commended Students in the 2020 National Merit Scholarship Program, congratulations! Commended students are recognized for their exceptional academic promise demonstrated by their outstanding performance on the PSAT scoring in the top 1% of over 1.6 million testers.

#Inspire 709


Laura MacArthur Student Council Hosts Visit from Mayor
Student Council members from Laura MacArthur Elementary hosted a visit from Duluth Mayor Emily Larson. The students asked questions about the challenges and fun parts of being a leader and Mayor Larson shared her experiences. Thank you, Mayor, for spending time in our schools!
Thank you, Cal Harris, for the information and for leading this opportunity.
#Inspire709 #FutureLeaders

Lester Park Hosts Grandparents, Community Friends Visit

Students and staff at Lester Park Elementary hosted an open house to celebrate grandparents and community friends. Visitors enjoyed coffee and cookies, toured the Grandparent Museum and spent time in the classrooms. Student volunteers helped answer questions and show people the school. Great turnout, a warm welcome - thanks to all who participated and all who supported this event.

#Inspire709 #Community


As cold, snowy weather hits the Northland, Carolyn Zanko knit 72 pairs of mittens, numerous hats and created three quilts for donation to our schools. Last year she made a similar donation, whew! Thank you Ms. Zanko, for your generosity!

Stowe Students Honor Veterans

Stowe Elementary School staff and students held a special assembly to recognize families and extended families who are serving and have served in the United States military. Thank you for your service!



Exploring Lakewood's School Forest

Students at Lakewood Elementary spent time outdoors exploring the school forest. Duluth is fortunate to have people and organizations who devote time to these natural spaces for learning, inspiration and enjoyment.


Lincoln Park Middle School Super Spellers

Congratulations to Spelling Bee participants and winners:6th Grade: Mason K., John O.*, Lorelie S.*, Sophia I., Aarmani P., Braelyn I., Trey E.*, and Maria T.

7th & 8th Grade: Hailey D., Gabe M.*, Rilley S., Ben S., Noah W.*, Alyssa D., Griggs O.*, Alyssa G., Libby E.*, Travis S., Danielle B., and Jeremiah L.*

Students marked with a star are moving on to the District Bee!

#waytogo #superspellers


Ordean East Middle School Super Spellers

Congratulations to all the spelling bee participants, and here are the results of the Ordean East Spelling Bee:

7th/8th grade
1. Anders Breidenbach (7th grade); 2. Izze Williams (7th grade); 3. Lola Lillo (8th grade); Simon Dryke (7th grade), Vince Trok (8th grade)

6th grade:
1. Maddie Singer; 2. Caroline Eaton; 3. Van Luoma

Best wishes to Ordean East students moving on to the district spelling bee in December!


Stowe, UMD Partnership

This article is about a UMD graduate student exploring environmental learning at Stowe. Her students have been with her in the classroom, recreation center, and forest exploring all seasons. We appreciate community partnerships that support students! Thank you, UMD.

UMD News & Events Article

A Blizzard of Kindness at Homecroft

In honor of World Kindness Day, students in Homecroft KEY Zone discussed the many ways we can all be kinder to others.


Learn About Duluth KEY Zone


Spotlight: Duluth Community Education

Symphonic Winds

Duluth Symphonic Winds, a Duluth Public Schools Community Education adult community band, performed in concert in the beautiful Denfeld High School Commons.

"We are a group of about 40 musicians from all walks of life who enjoy playing in concerts," said Duluth Symphonic Winds director Tracey Gibbens. "We play at least three concerts every academic season and a series of outdoor concerts in the summer. We also perform at several ceremonies, such as Santa's Breakfast and the Alternative Learning Center graduation."

Rehearsals are held at Denfeld on Mondays at 7 p.m. during the school year and at 6 p.m. in the summer. Interested in joining the band? Call Tracey Gibbons at 218-591-0493.

Duluth Community Education Opportunities

2019 Duluth Public Schools Annual Report for the Community

Citizens are invited to review the 2019 Annual Report, including student achievement and school climate strategies, cultural competence, staff development, exceptional learning opportunities, use of resources and student progress.Citizens are encouraged to review the information and share thoughts and ideas:

Email: info@ISD709.org
Mail: ISD 709 Community Information, Room 213
215 N. 1st Avenue East, Duluth, MN 55802

Thanks to all who contributed to this year's report and to the Annual Meeting & Newly Tenured Teacher Celebration - you helped make it a festive, informative evening!