Weekly Update

Duluth Public Schools News Feb. 18, 2022

From Superintendent John Magas

Dear families:

While many are looking forward to a much needed break in the coming days, the past week has been a whirlwind of activity!

No matter how busy we are, however, it is always important to take time to focus on reflection and self-growth. While still working closely with district leadership and others, I have been participating for the past few days in the Urban Superintendents Academy (USA) as part of the American Association of School Administrators national conference.

As part of this conference, researchers, educators and practitioners have come together for intensive debate and discussion on Leading for Student-Centered, Equity-Focused Education, and what that means for our leadership role, community collaboration, district outcomes and student success. I am grateful that the board encouraged me to take on this learning as a key area of my professional growth as your superintendent.

This event, along with the bi-weekly USA sessions I have participated in throughout the year, have been a great resource to me as we face the many challenges to lead equitably as we educate throughout the pandemic and beyond. Collaboration with district leaders from across the country has given us access to a wealth of perspective and resources.

As Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona shared with us in his keynote Thursday night, “Despite the immense challenges, the positive impact we have had throughout this past year on students is because of the hard work of schools, teachers, staff and leaders, as well as our parents.”

Thank you for all that each of you have done to support our students and schools. I hope that each of you takes the time for self-care, rest and a little fun during this week of February Break.

Enjoy this well deserved time!


John Magas

If you have questions or thoughts about what's going on in our school district, email:


A tribute to Historic Old Central High School

Duluth Public Schools closed on the sale Historic Old Central High School this month, giving the building hope for a new life. The building served the district from 1892-2021. Enjoy this small tribute to this amazing historic building.
A tribute to Historic Old Central High School in Duluth, Minnesota

Local, State COVID Data

Detailed updates are available from the Minnesota Department of Health and St. Louis County Department of Health.

Minnesota Weekly COVID Report

Minnesota Situation Update

St. Louis County MN COVID-19 Dashboard

District COVID-19 numbers

These numbers reflect positive COVID-19 cases by site. The total includes all self-reported positive cases based on the date the case was reported to the school district. Not every person who reported a positive case was in a district building while contagious. These numbers include at-home COVID-19 test kits.

The CDC and Minnesota Department of Health only report positive cases where the person was inside a school building while infectious. The department’s numbers do not include positive cases determined by an at-home COVID-19 test kit.

They do this because there is not a medical professional present to:

  • Confirm who is taking the test,

  • That the home test has not expired,

  • That a proper sample is taken and more.

The CDC and Minnesota Department of Health is also reporting numbers that are at least a week old. If you have questions regarding these numbers, feel free to send your questions to covidquestions@isd709.org.

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Lost puppy

Do you know this puppy? He was found on a Voyageur school bus recently and is hoping to get back home.

If you are the owner email us at info@isd709.org.

Fun at the library during break

Looking for fun, free entertainment this February break? The Duluth Public Library has you covered!

Stop by the library to:

  • Stock up on books & movies
  • Play board games
  • Play computer games
  • Participate in our Choose Kindness GooseChase (i.e. scavenger hunt)
  • Try out virtual reality (ages 13+)
  • Participate in our Winter Reading Program

In The News

Duluth East's Lauren Carlson takes first place at alpine ski state tournament

Lauren Carlson blitzed the Innsbruck course in 38.06 seconds to capture the state Alpine championship Wednesday, Feb. 16, at Giants Ridge. Counting her Helsinki run, she finished with a combined time of 1 minute, 18.14 seconds to edge Minnehaha Academy senior Grace Torgeson by .29 seconds.

KBJR Story

Duluth News Tribune Story

Duluth East relay tandem captures first girls sprint relay state title

Duluth East Nordic skiers Liesl Cope-Schaeffer and Rowan Bixler, both sophomores, became Minnesota’s first state sprint relay champions, crossing the finish line in 17:52.41 to edge Forest Lake (17:52.66) by a quarter-second on a historic afternoon at Giants Ridge.

Duluth News Tribune Story

WDIO Story

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Duluth East math team headed to state on Pi Day

Duluth East Math Team is headed to state for the second year in a row and have earned the most points in East Math Team history. They are first in their division and Andrew Sailstad is tied for 1st place individual in the division. They will be heading to St. Paul to compete on Pi Day.

Look luck team!

DEastFan Tweet

Duluth East's Grant Wodny takes ‘a systems analyst approach’ to swimming

After finishing third in the state in the 500-yard freestyle in 2021, Duluth East junior Grant Wodny owns the best Class AA times in Minnesota in the 200- and 500-yard freestyle events in 2022.

Duluth News Tribune Story

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Duluth Community Education Course Catalog

Duluth Community Education provides opportunities for all ages through classes and activities serving people’s social, recreational, enrichment and academic needs.

We got your learning, social and growth opportunities covered whether it is the arts or a new hobby, technology savvy, cooking or dancing, hot topics and community issues, health, wellness and exercise, sports and nature, new languages, music exploration, all types of yoga, aqua fitness, swim lessons, and much more! In-person, live online or webinars…

Register for classes online using VISA, MasterCard or Discover.

View the Winter 2022 Online Catalog

Register for Classes Online

Duluth Community Education: Building Bridges Through Lifelong Learning

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