Congdon Park Weekly News 5/25/2022

Powerful Learning in a Peaceful Environment

A Message from the Principal

May 25,2022

Dear Congdon Park Families,

At Congdon we train and prepare continuously for the safety of our school community and our school family, with the focus always being on our children. Safety in our school is our priority every day. Yesterday, the unspeakable horror that unfolded at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, is on all of our minds and in all of our hearts. There are no words for such loss, just pure heartbreak.

I want to acknowledge that you and your family may be dealing with a wide range of emotions. We all want to think of our school as a safe place for our students, our families, and ourselves. You may be feeling despair, grief, numbness, or guilt. Perhaps the worst feeling is not knowing what to do. At school we do not formally discuss any details of the tragic event. That would be a discussion you might have at home. If students ask, we remind them that they are safe and keep our conversations at school rather light. We did have a practice lockdown yesterday morning. The lockdowns are something we routinely practice and just happened to be yesterday morning. It was a coincidence with the tragic event in Texas.

In these upcoming days we will focus on listening and on safety while keeping our day as “Normal” as possible. Families, educators, and the Congdon park community… I would encourage you to listen, love, and hold each other up. We need to help each other. To help make sense of a world that sometimes can seem senseless. Together, we are Congdon strong and will focus to build a sense of compassion and safety.

At Congdon Park, we want to remind families and students that we work extremely hard to keep safety at the forefront. Here are some reminders related to Congdon Park Elementary.

  • There is limited access to our building, including a designated entrance with all other access points locked from the exterior.

  • Staff members monitor and supervise areas such as hallways, cafeterias, and playgrounds.

  • Guests must report to the main office, sign in, and wear badges; and staff members are instructed to report unfamiliar people to the school office.

  • These strategies are augmented by security systems (video monitoring, exit door alarm systems).

  • Our staff are trained in ALICE and students practice safety drills throughout the year.

Please know taking care of our students is priority #1.

When considering resources that you might use in talking with your students, here are a few resources:

Warm Regards,

Kathi Kusch Marshall

Students should stay home if they are sick

For the safety of our students, staff and families, we ask that you please continue to screen your child daily for any symptoms of illness and keep them home if they are ill. COVID-19, Influenza, Strep Throat, Norovirus, and basic colds are still present in our community and affecting some of our students.

If your student is experiencing any COVID-19 like symptoms, please keep your student home and test as soon as possible. Please review Duluth Public Schools district webpage for our current COVID-19 guidelines.

End of Year Events - subject to change based on Covid

  • There will be a Spring Concert on June 2nd 8:30am and 12:30pm. Prelude music will start at 8:00 and 12:00 - performed by students. Famiilies are welcome to attend.
  • June 8th will be the Fun and Field Day. Lots of volunteers will be needed. Sign up is below.
  • 5th grade families please watch for information from your student's teacher about the 5th grade celebration on June 9th, 9:00-10:15.

Congdon Park Playground

We are excited that many of the old windows in our building will be replaced this summer! However, because there is construction going on, the playground at Congdon Park will be closed during the summer - 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We apologize for the inconcenience, but what a great opportunity to check out some other great playgrounds in Duluth.

Fun and Field Day

Field Day - June 8th - Field Day is one of our favorite all school activities of the year. This year K-2 will participate from 8am-10:30am, and 3-5 will participate from 11am-1:45p. We would love to see 2 or more volunteers at each station. Volunteers will receive lunch. Sign up here: Thank you!

End of Year and Summer Volunteer Opportunities

End of the Year Teacher Brunch - June 10th - If you would like to help out with picking up items or donating items for the teacher brunch, please contact to coordinate a small task you can do to show our teachers our appreciation for all they have done for us and our students this year. Examples include: Picking up coffee or purchasing pastries or juice/sparkling water.

2022 Summer Garden Care - Help us keep the garden in tip top shape this summer and keep the plants thriving for class harvests. Congdon's School Garden needs tending from our families to water and weed the garden this summer. Choose one week beginning June 13th through the beginning of the 22-23 school year. It will include low maintenance watering a couple of times during a week (weather dependent) and a light weeding. Sign up here: Thank you!

Summer meals are available to all kids

Duluth Public Schools will be serving summer meals once again from June 20 through August 19. Meals will be available to all kids age 18 and younger at no cost. To eat, just show up.

Breakfast will be served from 8-10:30 a.m. and lunch will be served from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Laura MacArthur Elementary, Lincoln Park Middle School, Lowell Elementary, Myers-Wilkins Elementary, Piedmont Elementary and Stowe Elementary.

If you have questions, please call 218-336-8707.

Congdon Park Bike Rodeo - a huge success!

Thanks to all the volunteers who helped make the bike rodeo a success. Thank you Marshall Hardware for the bike donations and congratulations to our two winners, pictured below. Thanks to all the other sponsors: Skihut, Duluth DEVO, Essentia Health, St. Luke's, AAA Auto of MN, SuperOne foods, YMCA bike fleet, Continental, Redhead MTB trails, The Rambler, K&B grilled cheese, City of Duluth, Duluth Police, Duluth Fire, Mayo Ambulance, Zeitgeist, and of course the wonderful Congdon Park PTA. Thank you also to all who brought a food shelf item for CHUM. We were able to collect 444 pounds of non perishable food items.

Safe riding everyone! See you next year!


Fox News:


Bingo for Books

Bingo for Books was so much fun this winter, we are going to do it again!. We are in need of more books to give away as prizes, chapter books are especially in demand. Please bring any books to the school lower lobby, we will have boxes there for you. Please drop off no later than Friday June 3d. Thank you

Planning has begun for Wolf Ridge

Dear parents of soon-to-be 5th graders at Congdon Elementary,

As this year comes to a close, we are starting to plan the (former) annual Wolf Ridge overnight field trip for the soon-to-be 5th graders. Wolf Ridge is an "experiential outdoor environmental school" that offers kids a chance to be outside and learn about the natural world through direct observation and exploration. The day is broken up into morning and afternoon classes and additional evening activities - these evening activities can be led by parent volunteers as interested.

Unfortunately, like most activities, Congdon 5th graders have been unable to attend for the last 2 years. Wolf Ridge has since re-opened and ISD709 is allowing field trips currently, however, due to the vast amount of planning that needs to occur to make the trip an actuality, the current 5th graders were unable to attend. Hence, a group of us are starting the process now before the kids even complete 4th grade in order to make this trip a success!

Currently, we are scheduled for October 14-16, 2022 (Friday afternoon leaving from Congdon, arriving back Sunday afternoon).

To make this happen, we will need a LOT of parental participation! We need volunteers to help with coordination, and we will need MANY parent chaperones. Please let me know ASAP if you can help with planning and/or would like to be a chaperone.

Additionally, we will be offering the kids/parents the opportunity to sell Wolf Ridge Calendars to offset expenses. The cost of the trip this year is roughly $172/person (chaperones too). This includes the 2 overnights in a cabin and food for 2.5 days. The PTA has paid for the buses in years past and likely will do so again.

For more information on the Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center, please go to:

Please email if you would like to volunteer as a Chaperone, or if you would like to become involved in the planning committee. Please include the name of the parent chaperone, phone #, email, and your child(ren)'s name(s) and gender of parent chaperoning.

Thank you!


Deborah Sah

Susan Midlo

Jennider Engel

aka the Wolf Ridge Planning Committee

Updated Safety/Learning Plan for Duluth Schools

We are seeing a return of Covid cases in the district and at Congdon. Please click on the link below for the full version of information from the district (pages 6-8 pertain to Covid). Here are the highlights:

*Please continue to test your child for Covid if they have symptoms

* If they are positive, please fill out this FORM and contact the Congdon Health Office - only for positive test results for a student, not exposure.

* If positive please follow this timeline:

  • Isolate for 5 days at home, returning on day 6, if the individual wears a well fitting mask, is fever free without the use of fever reducing medication and other symptoms have improved.
  • If the positive individual cannot wear a well fitting mask or continues to have a fever or other symptoms that have not improved after 5 days of isolation, the individual will isolate another 5 days.

For counting purposes, day 0 is test date and isolation days start the next day.

The district is no longer sending out exposure letters and is required to report all positive cases to the MN Dept of Health.

MN Math Corps

Love math? Love working with kids? Here is a great opportuity for you! While MN Reading Corps has been at Congdon Park for many years, we are happy to announce that MN Math Corps is coming to Congdon next year. Check out the links below to find out how you could be a MN Math Corps tutor at Congdon Park. Contact Mrs. Kusch Marshall with any questions.

Math Corps Flyer

Math Corps Job Description


From the School District Newsletter last week: "KEY Zone has had limit number of spots due to staff shortage"

Due to the nationwide shortage of employees, the K.E.Y. Zone program has to limit the number of spots available for our summer and school year programming. Once the program has secured more staff, it will enroll families from the waiting list in the order that they signed up. K.E.Y. Zone is a certified state program and we must follow student-to-staff ratios to stay in compliance along with being able to provide a safe care environment for all.

Families can be placed on a waiting list by calling the K.E.Y. Zone registration office at 218-336-8900 x2 or emailing

We are hiring K.E.Y. Zone Youth Specialists to support our programs. Please help us spread the word so that we can allow more youth to participate in our programs. We are accepting applications at

PTA May Happenings

Happy May! One more month of the school year and then it's time for fun in the sun!

Thursday, May 12 at 6pm, we will be having our first IN PERSON meeting! We will be gathering in the Ordean media center. Masking is optional. We have some topics scheduled to discuss for next year and would love to get plenty of parent input and involvement.

Do you have any interest in playing a bigger role in our Congdon Park PTA? We have many ways for you to get involved including being the actual, entire President of the Congdon Park PTA! We are a friendly bunch and are always willing to help each other out, so don't fear the unknown. :)

Our PTA committees have been hard at work doing all kinds of amazing things!

Our teacher appreciation committee has been doing a ridiculously good job treating our teachers like the amazing people they are. The first week of May is Teacher Appreciation Week and we hope our teachers feel our gratitude for them.

Our wellness committee has been doing some great work with Safe Routes to School (yay for a school zone speed limit!!!) and planning Bike to School Day and a really cool sounding bike rodeo.

Our 5th graders are going to be able to do their big field trip to St. Paul next month and PTA is funding the coach buses for them. We were also able to book inflatables for our field day celebration in June!

Thank you so much to everyone who has really put in the time and effort to make our PTA what it is this year. You are all the best!

Teacher wishlist:

Library volunteering:

Lunchroom volunteering:

Keep up with all your PTA! Check out all we are up to and become a member at our website today!

Community Activities - most recently added will be on the top of the list

School of Minnesota Ballet Summer Dance Opportunities

Our Summer Classes will not only provide dance training to kick off your summer, but this year we will delve into all things Sleeping Beauty!

Primary, Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced classes and activities will be available for ages 3 and up. For dancers that are new to SMB, a placement class will be offered free of charge. At the end of our third and final week, there will be a Sleeping Beauty soiree where dancers give a mini-performance of what they’ve been working on and enjoy light refreshments in our Depot studio space.

Duluth East Boys Basketball Summer Camps

Duluth East Girls Youth Basketball

Registration for the summer basketball program is now open for all girls going into grades 3-7 (2022-23 school year). No previous experience is necessary. Use the following link for more information or to register.

Duluth East Girls Youth Basketball

Big picture


JUNE 13-AUGUST 12, 2022!

We are excited to have the opportunity to host you and your campers during Summer 2022. We are looking forward to a summer a bit more normal than the past two, but if needed, we are ready to implement any of the protocols that allowed for such a successful camp last summer.


UMD KIDSROCK 2022 Summer Camp “Early Registration” is Tuesday, March 8, 9am-5pm. Registration during this time will be ONLINE only on RSOP’s registration site. We recommend that you visit the RSOP REGISTRATION SITE before-hand to make sure that you can access your online account.

For camp details please visit our KIDSROCK Summer Youth Camp page at

Duluth Wolfpack Youth Lacrosse

Registration is open for ages 8U-14U