December 15, 2023
Engaging Our Families
We have heard from families over the years, and especially during our strategic planning process, that they want more significant family engagement with the district and want to feel included and welcomed when it comes to their students' education.
As part of our efforts to strengthen family engagement, the district recently hired a family and community engagement specialist to help the district grow stronger connections with our families and community stakeholders. We hired Shalon Monroe, and you may recognize her name or face, as she previously was a reporter on WDIO.
On Wednesday night, Shalon held her first family engagement event at the Steve O'Neil Apartments in the Central Hillside neighborhood. There was food, activities and coloring for kids, principals from three different schools, early childhood staff, Duluth Adult Education, teachers from Myers-Wilkins and so much more! Overall, it was an extremely successful event and I can’t wait for the next event.
Here is what Communications Officer Adelle Wellens had to say about the event:
“Many families came to the event and were able to learn more about our district and what we have to offer. Parents were able to talk to their students’ principals and even some of them were able to talk to their teachers. One Myers-Wilkins teacher told me she was able to meet one of her parents that she hasn’t had a chance to meet before. Staff at the Steve O’Neil even told us that the event on Wednesday was the most well attended event an outside organization has held.”
Research has shown time and time again that families who are engaged in their child’s school and education have a positive impact on their children’s success in academic performance.
Here at Duluth Public Schools, we are committed to working to strengthen our family engagement and hope to connect with you soon!
With deep appreciation,
Duluth Public Library Port Cards now available to all students
The Duluth Public Library and Duluth Public Schools are collaborating to expand access to public library resources for Duluth's students with the Port Card program. Port Cards are electronic library cards that enable all ISD 709 students to borrow books and other materials from the Duluth Public Library by simply punching their student ID number into a keypad when they check out. To check out items with a Port Card, the student must be present.
With the Port Card program, the library seeks to remove barriers to access and make it easier for kids to borrow physical and electronic materials.
Students can use their Port Card to check out books, magazines, DVDs, CDs, toys, and language kits when they visit the library. They can also use Port Cards to access Duluth Public Library's digital resources while at school, giving educators an opportunity to integrate those resources into their teaching.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF A PORT CARD?
- Access the Duluth Public Library's online resources from school, including ebooks, audiobooks and databases for research.
- Check out up to 5 physical materials (such as books, magazines, and toys) at a time for FREE.
- Check out a 7-day MN State Parks pass or a 4-person pass to the Lake Superior Zoo for FREE.
- Check out up to 10 ebooks or audiobooks at a time for FREE.
- No physical library card needed. Students can check items out with their student ID number!
- No financial risk.
Port Cards are now available for use by students at all three Duluth Public Library locations and in the Duluth Public Schools. To learn more about Port Cards or to opt-out your student, visit https://duluthlibrary.org/library-cards/port-cards.
Denfeld Boys Soccer Team Volunteers
Denfeld staff, students preserve history
Earlier this year the top of the Denfeld High School clock tower was replaced due to structural issues. The original one was discarded except for the spire was saved by an observant building engineer. This engineer recognized the importance of the ornamental copper piece that had been covered in many layers of paint as well as decades worth of pigeon droppings. He salvaged it and put it into safe storage.
Under the guidance of Denfeld staff, proud young Hunters came together to demonstrate their creative imagination, as well as their well honed carpentry skills to create a display that is worthy of this magnificent piece of Denfeld history.
Bill Denfeld, one of Robert Denfeld's great grandsons had this to say, "I'm so proud of the Denfeld High School family for their dedication to the school and it's rich history. I have visited the school several times over the years and have always felt the reverence that the students and faculty have for their school. May it always be a shining symbol of their community."
On Monday, Dec. 18, the spire will be revealed and prominently displayed in the panel lobby outside of the auditorium. The reveal will coincide with the annual holiday concert that will take place at 7 p.m. in the auditorium. All are welcome to come and celebrate the season and remarkable talents of today's proud young Denfeld Hunters.
Denfeld students get hands-on experiences
Denfeld students enrolled in Child Development / Child Psychology, along with their teacher, Chef Stacy Gizas, hosted their 1st Toddler Play Date this week!
Denfeld Hunters partnered with Aunty's Child Care Center, a local Community Child Care Center serving more than 50 families all across Duluth, to make this play date possible. Students and Toddler friends began the play date with a singing circle time of welcome songs and requests, then they rotated between 4 different student-led centers: dramatic play, sensory play, manipulatives, and block center.
Brenna Brannan, mother of Noelle, 19 months, said "Can we do this every Thursday?!" This experience is just one of the examples of the ways we are working to build and strengthen connections between our Community and the Duluth Public Schools!
Free Tutoring for Duluth Public School Students
Dear Duluth Public Schools Families,
Free online tutoring for K-12 students is available through the CSS/ISD 709 Tutor Program. We have tutors in most grade levels and subjects. They have completed training and are ready to work with Duluth students!
Go to this web address: https://css709tutor.setmore.com/ to book tutoring appointments. Once there you will be able to choose the grade level needed, the content, the tutor and the time they are available. After you book a tutoring session you will receive an email with a Google Meets (video-conference) link. Use that link at the time of your appointment.
If you have any questions please feel free to email Beth LaVigne firstname.lastname@example.org
Duluth Adult Education now offers *FREE* childcare!
Need free childcare to attend class?
Downtown DAE classes from 9 .m. to 1 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday (2 hour limit)
Bring your child(ren) to the YMCA. Come to class at DAE. After class your teacher will give you a voucher. Get your voucher validated at the DAE front desk. Go to the YMCA to pick up your child(ren) and turn in your voucher.
Children must be picked up by 1 p.m., no exceptions.
If you don't have a validated voucher you will pay $5.72 per child.
For more information call 218-336-8725
Or register online at: dae.isd709.org