Laura MacArthur Eagle Update

Family Newsletter - June 2020

A message from Mr. Erickson

I shared this post on Facebook earlier, however I believe worth repeating.

With so many people hurting from the events in Minneapolis, our Laura MacArthur family acknowledges the frustration, outrage and hopelessness that many of us, our families, our students, and community feel about these tragic events. We love our students and we accept the responsibility of teaching our children and staff about tolerance, racism and privilege and want to prepare them for the future they deserve. Unfortunately we are unable to protect them from all elements of racism that exist in our society. We see our parents, guardians and caregivers as our partners in this process.

We continue to have much to do in addressing racism and equity in our state, community and schools. To our students of color and families, we hear you! As Principal of Laura MacArthur, I want to share our commitment to continue to address systemic racism, tolerance, privilege and equity within our school community.

I also want to share again, we appreciate all of the efforts our parents and families made during Distance Learning. This was a challenging semester to say the least. Thank you for your continued support of our staff in keeping our kids learning through this unforgettable time in our lives.

As we close out the year, we are uncertain as to what the start of next will look like, but we are continuing to plan now and into the summer for a plan that will continue to educate our students in best way possible with their safety in mind .

I'm grateful to the fantastic Laura MacArthur staff that continue to be hard working and dedicated to support the individual needs of our students. Stay safe, be strong, keep learning this summer and remember to SOAR!

Have a great summer!

Jim Erickson


Duluth School Board Column: Our Children Are Watching

Written By: Duluth School Board members | Published in the Duluth News Tribune June 4, 2020

As former South African President and anti-apartheid revolutionary Nelson Mandela so poignantly stated, “No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate they can be taught to love; for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”

It is our responsibility and our duty as elected officials of the Duluth School Board — and as humans — to challenge the systems that we have created or perpetuated, as those systems continue to create results that, for some, end with adverse and unequal outcomes.

Our children are watching as we react to the death of Mr. George Floyd while in the custody of a Minneapolis police officer now charged with his murder. We must remember that many in our community, especially our children, are grappling with the fear they have just because of the color of their skin, and it is critical that we as elected officials continue to commit ourselves to equity and justice in the systems in which we have power.

As people of privilege, we must close our mouths and open our ears to hear the cries for meaningful change and follow black, brown, and indigenous voices to empower those best equipped to make that change.

We choose to stand with our students, staff, and communities as together we fight injustice while acknowledging the deep and historical pain that underpins the sadness, outrage, and fear.

Our children are watching as we make the choice of change or complacency. We on the School Board of Independent School District 709 choose change.

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20-21 School year - as of today's information

  • September 8 for grades 1-5 - 1st day of school for the 2020-2021 school year
  • September 10 - Kindergarten students first day. Kindergarten Parents and students will have an opportunity for a pre-start conference with their teacher on September 8-9. This will allow your student to feel comfortable and confident for their 1st day of elementary school.
  • September 3, 2020 from 4-5:30 pm - Fall Open House

Kindergarten Registration 20-21

  • Kindergarten Registration for the 20-21 school year is taking place now. Please spread the word to other families you know that have a child ready to start Kindergarten in September as we missed our registration events this spring due to the coronavirus and social distancing.

  • Please sign up using the link below to get on our list to receive further information regarding times and how to sign up or contact us at school. 336-8900. Thank you

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Since our transition to distance learning due to COVID-19, many experts have suggested how grading will adapt to these trying times. Grading is frequently defined as "student engagement with learning." Student engagement can be defined in a number of ways: online communication, assignments, parent communication and assistance, and other ways defined by teachers and schools. Examples of student engagement: a “daily check in” assignment within Google Classroom, a daily practice activity, paper packet completion, formative feedback, call, email, or anything that leaves a digital footprint saying they looked at your class.

Our main goal throughout this crisis period of Distance Learning is to provide students with activities to continue to encourage their love of learning and to continue to maintain the sense of connection and community.

Elementary Schools

Student engagement with teachers and academics during this time is the foundation of distance learning practices at the elementary school level. Students will continue to engage in distance learning for the duration it is required by the state.

Elementary report cards are standards based and are reflective of growth over time. As the governor’s orders for school closure occurred mid-way through the second semester, many standards-based grading points have already been recorded by teachers. Since the shift to distance learning, grading for the remainder of the school closure will focus on more on-going, qualitative feedback from assignments. Feedback in Google Classroom work and paper packets should be focused on formative feedback and could be provided through an email, phone call, or comment on the work being submitted. Students will not be penalized for the work being submitted during this time, maintaining their base score before the school closure.

Longer term closure

Numeric grades will only be given if evidence of standards had previously been collected and will not be assigned for K-5 students in the remainder of the second semester grading period where distance learning was provided. Teacher will be given additional choices for grading options. The letters “IP” will be used where teachers have collected some evidence but due to the lack of rigor or more time with the standard do not have the evidence to say a student met or exceeded expectations. The letters “DL” (Distance Learning) will be used in standard fields where student progress scores had not previously been ascertained or no assessment evidence was collected. The report card at the end of the year will note in the comment section the evidence of engagement the student has made in meeting distance learning expectations during the second semester. Additionally, the report card will note that the student will be promoted to the next years’ grade.

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Teachers will be completing student grades and mailing report cards home to all families after June 8. Thank you for your patience with this process.

Thank you!


KEY Zone Summer 2020 Registration

Programming will start on June 15, and run through August 21.

Open to area children (need not attend ISD 709).

For students who have completed kindergarten through completed 5th grade.

Field Trips, Enrichment & STEAM Activities, Physical Activities & Team Sports, Support for Learning Goals, more.

Program Dates: Monday June 15 - Friday August 21

Hours: 7:00AM - 5:30PM

Summer Sites: Congdon Park, Laura MacArthur, Lester Park, Lowell KEY Zone Outdoors

Please contact Anne Rawlins, at 218-722-4745 x124 or or

Mark Connor at 218-336-8900 ext. 3109


We apologize once again for the delay in our yearbooks and class pictures. Due to the closure of Lifetouch during the coronavirus pandemic, all of their deliveries were delayed including ours.

We will let our families know when the items arrive and do our best to get them to you.


Free Breakfast & Lunch Available Through the Summer!

This information is also available online and via flyer.

Bagged meals available weekdays to Duluth students 18 years of age and younger. No paperwork necessary. Any student can pick up a meal at any location.

June 8 - June 30, 2020 - Distribution at the following school sites & bus hubs:

School Locations 11:00AM – 12:30PM
Homecroft Elementary, 4784 Howard Gnesen Road
Laura MacArthur Elementary, 720 N. Central Avenue
Lester Park Elementary, 5300 Glenwood Street
Lowell Elementary, 2000 Rice Lake Road
Myers-Wilkins Elementary, 1027 N. 8th Avenue East
Piedmont Elementary, 2827 Chambersburg Avenue
Stowe Elementary, 715-101st Avenue W.
Ordean East Middle School, 2900 E. 4th Street

Bus Hubs (Look for the School Bus)
9:50AM 88th Ave West @Hilton Street
10:14PM 9428 Grand Ave/East Entrance Lower Side
10:55PM 3614 Grand Avenue Wheeler Field
12:13PM 500 West Superior Street Downtown Library
1:28PM Lismore and Mcquade Road

July 1 - August 21, 2020 - The distribution schedule will change again to meet USDA Summer Meals program requirements.

Questions? 218-336-8707. This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

Treat reading as an enjoyable summer activity!

To keep your child reading over the summer, treat it like any other fun summer activity. Let it be something they can do whenever they feel like it. Show them that reading can be enjoyable. And never make summer reading feel like homework.

If you help your child make the connection between books and the simple pleasures of childhood, their desire to read may last a lifetime.

To take a summer approach to reading:

  • Suggest that your child reread a favorite book. Then find another book by the same author. Or find one on the same topic.
  • Connect books with summer activities—sports books for a summer league player, for instance, or camping books for a camper.
  • Let your child stay up past bedtime when a book is just too good to put down.
  • Start your child on a series of mystery or thriller books. These page-turners hook kids into a reading habit.
  • Encourage a change of venue. Read books at the beach or pool, in a tent or at the park.
  • Watch movies, videos and plays based on children’s books. Then read the books together and compare the versions.
  • Share your favorite books and magazines with your child.
  • Encourage your child to retell stories or parts of stories from the books he reads.
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Student/Family Summer Activity Calendar

Click but for download or see below!

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  • 2020-2021 School Year
  • 9/3: Open House (4:00-5:30 pm)
  • 9/8: 1st day of school for grades 1-5
  • 9/10: 1st day of school for Kindergarten students

Join the Movement and Like Laura MacArthur Elementary School on Facebook

Want to see what is happening at Laura MacArthur? Like the Laura MacArthur Elementary Facebook page to get updates, see photos and videos from around our school, and get connected with our PTA.

Join the movement and see what happens at Laura MacArthur on Twitter

Want to see what is happening at Laura MacArthur? Go to JamesWErickson on Twitter to get updates, see photos and videos from around our school, and get connected with our PTA