May 26, 2023
Advancing equity in our schools
Summer is in the air and the end of the year is peeking around the corner. Again, there have been a lot of exciting end-of-year events, such as the Duluth Federation of Teachers Retirement Dinner, Denfeld Honors Night, Check and Connect Celebration, and school visits. Beyond these events, much of our time this week was focused on equity related efforts, including a two-day Tribal / State Relations training on the Fond du Lac Reservation.
For the past two weeks, I have been sharing a bit about our new strategic roadmap and operational plan. Last week, I discussed the first of our three strategic directions, “Supporting Every Student.” This week focuses on the second of the three, advancing equity.
Equity and ensuring a sense of belonging and accomplishment were strongly voiced focus areas from students, staff and families. We will be working hard to strengthen relationships and build trust with all communities, especially those which have historically underserved. A few of the ways we will be doing this will be to:
Align our systems to the Minnesota 10 Commitments of Equity to provide equitable resources to sustainably support students’ academic, social-emotional behavioral, and socio-economical needs.
Engage in implicit bias training for staff and equity-based instructional leadership training for administration.
Diversify staff at all levels of our organization, which values relationships, teamwork and inclusivity.
Partner through frequent tribal consultation with the Fond du Lac Ojibwe Tribe.
I know that sometimes even the word “equity” can be polarizing. Given the significantly different student outcomes that our current system produces regarding graduation rates, suspensions and other measures, however, it is imperative that we all do better in ensuring the success of each and every student.
Next week, I will share more related to our third and final strategic direction, Improving Systems.
As we head into a long Memorial Day weekend and some warm and sunny weather, I hope that each of you gets some time for some rest, relaxation and fun before we head into a strong finish to the school year! And as a reminder, June is Pride Month. So let's celebrate and show our support for the LGBTQAI+ community!
Unity In Our Community returns for 2023
For the first time ever last year, Duluth Public Schools held the Unity In Our Community back-to-school event. The feedback from our community was extremely positive and we are proud to announce this will be a reoccurring event!
So mark your calendars for the 2023 Unity In Our Community at Bayfront Festival from 4-7 p.m. on Aug. 21 and join us to celebrate our students, staff, parents, and district.
Our vision for this event is to have booths, speakers, school and community groups performing on stage, fun activities for kids, and so much more. We would also like to continue our free backpack giveaway for families who need it.
To make this event successful we will need your help and participation in this event. If you are interested in having a booth or having your youth/student group perform on stage please fill out this form: https://forms.gle/3S9ogEHqptsTPNd46
If you would like to be a volunteer please fill out this form: https://forms.gle/T9ZfMPaJifYZWZEw5
You can find our fundraiser for this event on GoFundMe: https://gofund.me/539f4c34
With your support, we are confident that this event will be successful and help bring us all together as one city and one district.
Blended Learning form for 2023-24 school year now available
The Blended Learning Agreement for the 23-24 school year is now available. Get ahead of the game and complete the form so your student starts the year with full access to Duluth Public Schools Digital Resources. Students who are in summer programming will need to have this signed before they start, as the "new" school year begins June 12!
You can also find the form linked on the Duluth Public Schools Website under "Digital Innovations"
Duluth Public Library summer reading program is for all ages
The All-Ages Summer Reading Program 2023 begins next Thursday, June 1st and will run through August 15th! Stop by any library location to pick up your reading tracker and learn how to join Beanstack to log your reading time.
Reading can look differently for everyone – whether you’re reading aloud, being read to, listening to an audiobook, or reading on a device, it all counts towards your minutes! Keep track of your reading to be eligible for the new WEEKLY PRIZE DRAWINGS and the end-of-summer GRAND PRIZE DRAWINGS for each age category!
Get started here: https://bit.ly/beanstack2023
Starting on June 1st, participants ages birth to 18 can pick up a Summer Reading Kick-Off Packet at any library location with one FREE ticket to a Duluth Huskies game, while supplies last! Join us also for the Summer Reading Kick-Off with the Huskies next Saturday, June 3rd, from 10:00-11:30 a.m. at Wade Stadium!
Participants ages birth to 18 who complete 20 hours of reading this summer also earn a FREE book!
This year’s Summer Reading theme is ‘Find Your Voice.’ Be on the lookout for themed activities at the DPL throughout this summer – we have events planned for everybody!
All ‘Find Your Voice’ event details and registration can be found on our event calendar here:
Happy Summer Reading!
Goldfine Gold Star Teacher Award winner announced
Lakewood Elementary School teacher Jody Peck was named this year’s Goldfine Gold Star Teacher during a ceremony Monday, May 22 at Lincoln Park Middle School. Peck was selected from a pool of nine elementary teachers.
Duluth East students attend First Responders Career Fair
Duluth East student had an opportunity Thursday, May 25 to learn more about what it's really like to work as a state trooper, EMT, firefighter, police officer and more. Students were able to try out a speed gun, try on firefighter's gear and learn more about tactical equipment.
Duluth Children's Museum summer camps are back
Summer camps are back at the DCM! Enjoy daily themed camps, museum exhibits, and active play all week long at the Duluth Children's Museum. During our camps, campers will engage in daily themed activities, play in museum exhibits, and participate in games that will help grow their socio-emotional skills.
Choose from our three awesome camps this summer- or join in for all three!
June 26-30 | 9am-1pm (ages 5-11)
Explore a range of topics like things that go, fun with plants, engineering for kids, know your noggin, and animal action during our kick-off summer camp!
July 17-20 | 9am-1pm (ages 5-11)
Experiment with different chemical reactions and learn to be a mad scientist! Create slime, watch elephant toothpaste explode, and so much more in this hands-on camp!
mad science camp
August 14-17 | 9am-1pm (ages 5-11)
What are the Forces of Flight and what do they do? How do animals and insects fly and how do they use these forces? Learn this and more in this fun, creative workshop!
Sign up at: https://www.duluthchildrensmuseum.org/camps/
Stowe students catch some nice fish
DPD kicked off this year's “Get Hooked on Fishing Program” and took students from Stowe Elementary School out on the boat at Mont du Lac Resort.
A few of our fabulous Stowe 5th graders had a chance to go fishing on a beautiful day with officers from the Duluth Police Department. At Stowe Elementary School we love making connections between the outdoors and learning.
This program builds relationships between youth and officers with the Duluth Police Department
Denfeld student makes All-State Robotics Team
Congratulations to Ava Anderson for earning selection to the All-State Robotics Team!
Ava has been a member of the Denfeld (DNA) robotics team for the past four years, leading the team as a captain for the past two years.
She has made a tremendous impact on the robotics team at Denfeld, with her dedication and leadership a driving force behind the team’s success. She leads with enthusiasm, and works cooperatively with other students, providing the guidance they need.
Ava is an inspiration to her teammates, who look up to her and are motivated by the example she sets with her positive attitude and prodigious work ethic.
Ava was recognized with an All-State Robotics award along with 17 other students from across the state at the Minnesota State Robotics Championship earlier this month.
2nd Annual Unified Track and Field day at East
Scrubs Camp for students
At Scrubs Camps, students get to interact directly with many working professionals in the field and experience what it would be like to work in a particular field. Students will work in the simulation lab and participate in hands-on experiences in multiple healthcare fields.
This is a one-day camp that is a hands-on way for students to learn about lots of different health professions for all kids going into 7, 8, and 9th grade.
When: Thursday June 15, 2023 - from 9:00 am - 3:00 PM
Who: Students entering grades 7, 8, and 9 fall 2023.
Where: College of St. Scholastica: Science Building room 3207. 1200 Kenwood
Avenue, Duluth, MN 55811
Space is limited.
Duluth East students attend state FAA convention
On April 23rd, six students from East High School and their teacher, Ms. Hakanson, went to the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities Mariucci Arena for the 94th Annual MN FFA State Convention.
They attended the convention for a special reason, the New Chapter Charter Ceremony. FFA “is an intracurricular student organization for those interested in agriculture and leadership. It is one of the three components of agricultural education” which Ms. Hakanson teaches.
Ms. Hakanson of East and Ms. Wood of Denfeld are the two advisors for FFA, and have spent the majority of the school year working on creating an official chapter in Duluth. The chapter became official in March of this year.
Ms. Hakanson and Ms. Wood are looking forward to growing the chapter in coming years and getting more students involved in the great opportunities that The FFA has to offer.
Three students receive the College Book Awards
College Book Awards are given each year to exceptional students demonstrated through their determination, intelligence, motivation, and involvement in their school and community. Book Award Winners from left to right: Sarah Rectenwald (Dartmouth College), Olaeze Okoro (Harvard University), Matthew Ring (Yale University)