Teaching and Learning



To provide easy access to resources, information, and learning opportunities for every educator.

Table of Contents

Music at UMD - Teri Akervik

FAQs on Student Identification for E-Squared (Gifted and Talented) - Katie Greene

Immersion FAQs - Crystal Goldman

Technology Update - Bart Smith

Photos from Fall Staff Development & Elementary Interventionist Training

October Staff Development Day Resource Links

Concert at UMD

-Teri Akervik, Music Curriculum Specialist

Students from Piedmont and Myers-Wilkins attend a concert at UMD on Oct.16 with Director Rudy Perrault. Collaborations with the universities and high education programs support Duluth students learning success.
Big picture

FAQs on Student Identification for E-Squared (Gifted and Talented)

FAQs on Student Identification for E-Squared (Gifted and Talented)

-Katie Greene, Academic Extension, Enrichment and Acceleration Specialist

How are students identified?

Students are identified for separate math and reading groups by scoring in the top tenth percentile on aMath or aReading assessments compared to students in the same grade at their school. Teachers can also nominate students who are consistently in the top 10% in grade wide classroom assessments or whose longitudinal scores show that the most recent FASTBridge assessments are not an accurate account of their abilities.

Why use the FASTBridge assessments?

Using a universal screener that all elementary students take helps to catch students who may otherwise be missed. While the MCAs measure grade level standards, FASTBridge tests can measure far beyond the student’s current grade level, and since they are taken three times each year, the data we use is always fairly recent. Using tests that students are already taking allows the E-Squared TOSAs to focus on delivering instruction rather than administering assessments.

How do these guidelines help with inclusivity?

The definition of Gifted and Talented used by the Minnesota Department of Education emphasizes that gifted students are “capable of high performance when compared to others of similar age, experience, and environment, and represent the diverse populations of our communities”. By using local norms, we are comparing students to others in their own schools and neighborhoods rather than the whole district or state. This, together with using a universal screener to provide everyone access to the opportunity to qualify, helps make the identification process more inclusive.

For more details, please refer to the district E-Squared website at https://www.isd709.org/departments/curriculum-and-instruction/esquared-services

Immersion FAQs

Have questions about the Immersion Programs offered in the Duluth Public Schools?

Find those answers and more on the Immersion Program FAQ's.

If you have more questions:

Please call Crystal Goldman, crystal.goldman@isd709.org, Spanish Immersion Coordinator ext 1166 or Charles Smith aka Nenaaw, Misaabekong Immersion Coordinator

charles.smith@isd709.org ext 2252.

Technology Update

- Bart Smith, Manager of Technology

The following technology information was included in the October 25, 2019, Principal Bi-Weekly Newsletter. Please coordinate with your principal to sharing this information with your building staff.

  • Share with your staff - Received a Zoom Meeting Invite?

    • Please use the https://zoom.us/wc/join/ plus your Meeting ID to join your Zoom Meeting

      • We have blocked the Zoom App from being installed do to security reasons.

  • Share with your staff - Looking to use a Google Add-on, App, Extension, Software or Software as a Service (SaaS)

  • Share with your staff - Technology Google for Education Audit findings or internal enhancement we have or will be addressing for the 2019/2020 school year

    • Enabling Google’s new Groups with Contact Hovercards - better group communication

    • Allowing staff to view almost all our district groups - better group communication

    • Disable the ability for staff to remove themselves from a group (keep group managers and group owners better in the loop and avoids the accidental removals that have occurred)

    • Enabling Google’s new confidential mode emails for staff

    • Enabling Google’s new schedule emails to send emails for staff

    • Verifying our data retention periods match in our @isd709.org Google Domain, Google Vault, SysCloud and Spanning systems.

    • Enable walled garden for elementary students to allow for safer gmail communication within isd709.org domain and approved domains only

    • Prevent students from emailing staff groups (not yet completed)

    • Limit student domain directory searching to staff and students within their respective building

    • Limit group creation by using our internal Google Group Request form

    • Move suspended staff and students to custom OU's based on year for easy access and removal depending on retention policies

Please use the hyperlinks below to access the past technology information that was shared in the Principal Bi-Weekly Newsletters.

2019-10-7 Technology Department Bi-Weekly Newsletter

2019-9-27 Technology Department Bi-Weekly Newsletter

2019-9-13 Technology Department Bi-Weekly Newsletter

2019-8-30 Technology Department Bi-Weekly Newsletter

2019-8-16 Technology Department Bi-Weekly Newsletter

2019-6-21 Technology Department Bi-Weekly Newsletter

2019-6-7 Technology Department Bi-Weekly Newsletter

Fall Staff Development Photos

October Staff Development Day Resources