May 8, 2020

ISD 709 School News

Update: Distance Learning

Survey Open through May 11

Please complete the Distance Learning Parent/Family Survey and submit by Monday, May 11. Surveys can be completed electronically or by paper and returned to any site or hub. We appreciate your feedback! Take the Survey

Packet Due Dates Shifting

Due to May 1 and 4 being declared non instructional days by the Governor, our packet due dates have shifted. Packet distribution days remain the same. Please see this calendar for specifics. There is no penalty for turning in work after the due date. In order to be included in final grades, all packets are due by Friday, June 5.

Reminder that the preferred method of receiving work is through Google Classroom or dropped off at a hub or site. If a student’s assignment needs to be emailed, please include the student’s name, class, hour, teacher etc. on work.

School Materials Collection

School materials such as books, chromebooks, and musical instruments will be collected on a schedule the week of May 25th. Details will be shared by specific schools in the near future.

Elementary Specialists Contact Expectations

In general teachers are able to respond to students and families within 24 hours. Due to the volume of students for our elementary specialists (art, music, phy.ed. media), we ask for patience as they will respond within 2 business days.

Grading during COVID19

Work is being done to finalize grading practices during the COVID19 pandemic. The goal is to hold students harmless during this unprecedented time, understanding that students are facing high levels of stress, uncertainty, and various obstacles to learning. Final language will be available at the Tuesday, May 19 school board meeting and will be shared out following.

National Teacher Appreciation Week May 4-8

Thank You, Duluth Teachers

Teachers change the lives of millions of children every day—their immense work and impact moves us beyond words. And with the abrupt end to the physical school year, our teachers have done even more to continue education with distance learning. All to ensure every student has the tools they need to reach their full potential.

Many thanks to our dedicated faculty for supporting students and families, making a difference in children's well-being and success and for their incredible efforts as we continue education in this time of pandemic.
#Inspire709 #ThankATeacher

National School Nurse Day May 6, 2020

Thank You, Duluth School Nurses
Celebrating National School Nurse Day - this year, more than ever, all members of our school communities, school nurses included, have been required to take on unprecedented roles and adapt quickly to changes in their jobs. During a time of pandemic, many thanks for the experience, skill and authoritative voice of these health care professionals. They help keep us up to date on the latest from the MN Department of Health, screen children, advise and train our staff and families on the best ways to prevent illness and so much more.

MN School Age Care Day May 7, 2020

Thank You, School Age Care Workers

This week, Governor Tim Walz proclaimed May 7 School-Age Care Workers Day.

"From the start of distance learning planning during the state’s COVID-19 response, Minnesota’s schools have provided care for thousands of children of critical workers each day.

This care is essential so that our frontline workers can continue serving Minnesotans in industries such as health care, emergency response, retail, food, transportation, and more. Staff in our schools, from paraprofessionals to teachers to school-age care specialists, are providing this service while also managing other aspects of their jobs. This incredible, important work by our school-age care providers deserves our praise, gratitude, and recognition."

From the Mn Association for Children's Mental Health

Mental Health Month & Children's Mental Health Awareness Day

Resources, news articles and other information in an effort to further support you and your children. Thank you for all you do!

News & Resources

+ Helping Children Cope with Changes Caused by COVID-19 (available in 10 languages)

+ Disparities in Distance Learning

+ Implications of COVID-19 for LGBTQ Youth

+ Resources to Protect Kids During COVID-19

+ Connecting with Kids & Teens Via Telehealth

+ Addressing Racism During COVID-19

+ 4 Ways to Stop Myths About Mental Health

+ Youth MOVE MN - Amplifying Youth Voices to Raise Mental Health Awareness

FREE WEBINAR: Helping Children Manage COVID-19 Realities, examines children's experiences during the pandemic and explores potential strategies for mitigating the challenges of living through this crisis.

Anne Gearity, PhD, LICSW

Learn more & watch the webinar.

On-Demand Trainings

Learn at your own pace and earn CEHs anytime, anywhere with our on-demand learning opportunities, including topics such as:

+ Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders

+ Suicide Prevention

+ Trauma

+ Eating Disorders

+ Anxiety

+ and more

Access Additional Resources at www.macmh.org

Facilities Staff Go the Extra Mile

Many thanks to our facilities & maintenance staff for the work they do each day, cleaning and sanitizing buildings and schools throughout the pandemic.

"They care about keeping buildings safe," says Heather Ashbaugh, Supervisor of Building Operations. "They impress me every day, with ideas that go over and above MDH and CDC guidelines. They work in the buildings, they know the buildings and what needs to be done."

"We care, we're here to make this a clean, safe environment," says Thomas Esse, Chief Engineer for Duluth East High School. "My crew goes the extra mile, we do what we have to do to take every situation into consideration."

Like all of us, Esse says, "We'll be happy when the normal times start again and the kids are back."


Denfeld Students Make All-State, Qualify for Nationals

Congratulations Abigail Longnaker and Sydney Rabold, named to the All-State Speech Team by the Minnesota Speech Coaches Association! Qualifications to achieve this appointment are strict - they must be a 4 year member of the team, have competed at the MSHSL State Speech Tournament two years and have placed in the top 6 speakers in their event in 8 tournaments over two seasons.

Both of these seniors also qualified for the National Tournament of Champions that would have been held this month in Houston, Texas.

Thank you, Jill Lofald, for the photo and information.



Duluth to Light Lift Bridge Different Colors to Honor Class of 2020

The City of Duluth will light the Aerial Lift Bridge different colors to honor the Class of 2020. Each high school and college got to pick the colors, and the bridge will be lit on the night of what should have been their graduation ceremonies.

"I can't help that celebration continue. We can't host graduations in a safe capacity right now," Mayor Emily Larson said. "But I do want to help honor the hard work of our students, the support that's offered from these campuses and just share and show a pride by this community in you and your achievement."

  • May 9 - UMD maroon and gold
  • May 10 - CSS blue and gold
  • May 18 - LSC teal blue
  • June 2 - Area Learning Center royal blue
  • June 3 - Duluth East red
  • June 4 - Denfeld maroon and gold
  • June 5 - Lakeview Christian Academy blue
  • June 6 - Harbor City blue and white
  • June 7 - Marshall gold

Recent upgrades to LED lights on the bridge allow the city to change the color more easily.


Duluth News Tribune

Honoring the Class of 2020

Teachers and staff from Duluth East High School delivered celebratory signs to the Class of 2020. The deliveries were covered by the Duluth News Tribune. Similar activities are taking place at Denfeld High School this week, with WDSE TV following to record video for the school's Virtual Graduation Ceremony.

Duluth News Tribune



Hunter Pride, Community Yard Signs for Sale
While members of Denfeld's Class of 2020 are receiving free signs this week, Denfeld is also offering "Hunter Pride Community Wide" signs for sale for $10 to the general public starting Friday May 8 and running daily from 10:00AM to 1:00PM at the Denfeld High School main entrance while supplies last. Exact change preferred. Thanks for helping to spread the Hunter spirit!
Ordean East Students Earn Honors at State
Students took part in the 2020 Minnesota State History Day Virtual Competition. They researched and created their entries beginning in October and were given the additional challenge of developing technology skills required to enter their projects.
Congratulations Abigail Linsten, Hannah Mason, Molly McNamee, Garin Hackbarth, Samuel Phillips, Tavin Roth and Aleta Anderson, earning Honorable Mentions!
Congratulations Esme Kershaw, August Capps, Kenna Huot, Jacqueline Brock, Macey Kelley, Kora Webster, Maddie Singer & Ceili Otis, earning a spot in state competition.
State History Day 2020 is a virtual contest through first and final rounds of competition. All judging is done remotely.
Thank you, Glenn Tracey, for the photos and info.
Stowe Students Spread Kindness

Students have been spreading kindness in our Stowe community and around Duluth through art. One student painted Little Rocks, leaving them at hospitals, post-offices, schools, nature trails and lake walks to brighten the day of people who find them.

Thank you, Aimee Radetzke, for the photos and information.



Myers-Wilkins Staff Support Students, Families

"During this time apart where students and teachers are not able to have one on one time in the classroom, teachers paraded and held signs to support the kids with words of encouragement."




Surprise for Lowell Principal

Teachers and staff provided a parade for school leader Jen Larva. Happy School Principals Day, many thanks to our Duluth principals - and what a nice surprise for Ms. Larva!




Bike To School Day

Lincoln Park Middle School Principal Brian Kazmierczak and Assistant Principal Barry Fischer took part in Bike to School Day this week. They rode 24.3 miles in 1 hour and 37 minutes!

#Inspire709 #wtg #yourock #sleepwelltonight


Students Share Thanks

Some Duluth East Greyhounds remembered and left messages for teachers and staff this week. (School officials have been assured they kept social distance and the photos were shared with staff since they weren’t at school to see it in person.)


Prepping Packets

Denfeld paraprofessionals, busy building curriculum packets for distribution. They play an important role in distance learning for Duluth students, many thanks for all they do.



Register Now for September 2020 Kindergarten!

Families are encouraged to register now for September 2020 Kindergarten. Enroll online any time or download paper forms and bring to school.

ISD 709 Elementary Schools

How to Enroll/Begin Online Registration

Kindergarten Informational Flyer

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