ISD 709 School News 9/3/20

From John Magas, Superintendent

Dear ISD 709 Families,

As someone new to the Duluth school district, I am grateful for the incredibly hard work staff are doing to prepare for the school year. In addition to all the normal things that go into starting school, we are gearing up to teach in new and different ways. All of our other functions are impacted by the pandemic as well. The services we offer our students and families have all had to change in such a short period of time.

I also want you to know that I feel a great deal of compassion for the challenges, fears and obstacles that we still face as an educational community. I know that this is not an easy time for anyone and I am deeply committed to ensuring safety for students and staff. I also assure you that we are committed to seeking answers to questions that remain as we strive for clarity in a time of uncertainty.

This is one of the most exciting times of the year, despite these challenges. It is a time in which we as educators are able to practice our calling to care for our students and to support their learning.

Thank you for your partnership, and best wishes as we begin a new school year.

With sincerity and gratitude,

John Magas

If you have questions or thoughts about what's going on in our school district, email: ReturnToLearn@isd709.org

Digital Learning Web Page, SeeSaw & Canvas

Helpful information and login links for the new digital learning platforms SeeSaw and Canvas can be found at www.ISD709.org/Digital-Learning. Information includes an introductory video to SeeSaw for families.

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If You Are the Parent/Guardian of a Child Under 13 Years of Age:

As soon as possible: If you haven’t already done so, please print, sign and return the Children’s Online Privacy Protection ACT (COPPA) form to your school. Click here to download. As a parent or guardian of a child under 13 years of age, we must notify you and receive consent for your child to use district approved online resources for instructional purposes. As soon as we receive your authorization, your child’s email and SeeSaw learning management system account will be activated. We cannot communicate with your child via email or SeeSaw until the COPPA form is completed. Thanks for completing the form!

Information For Elementary Families

We appreciate your patience and support as we address the challenges of the pandemic. Please know how much we value the opportunity to work in partnership with you on your child’s education.

  • Elementary schools will email and/or call to inform families and students when schedules are open for viewing in Infinite Campus.

  • Families of students under the age of 13, who have not yet completed the COPPA permission form, are asked to do so as soon as possible - we can't communicate with your student via email or SeeSaw without the form. Download the form.

  • Families who do not have a device for online learning and need a Chromebook should phone or email their school as soon as possible.

  • A SeeSaw introductory video for families is available on the new Digital Learning page at www.ISD709.org/Digital-Learning.

Tuesday September 8 - Friday September 11:

  • Elementary grades 1 - 5 students begin in distance learning Sept 8, Kindergarten students begin Sept 10.

  • Whether your child is able to get online September 8 or not, there will be learning activities they will be asked to participate in by their teacher.

  • Teachers will reach out to contact elementary students and families and conduct meet and greets.

  • Teachers will contact Kindergarten families to schedule Kindergarten Connection meetings. They can be scheduled either virtually or in-person.

  • Families who have submitted their COPPA forms and received their Google account information will login to SeeSaw and content will be available.

  • During the week, schools will work toward helping families have at least one device, internet access and tools and information related to digital learning and can begin training on the new platforms.

  • Schools will call and/or email to share information about Chromebook pick up and other details.

  • School breakfast/lunch pickup at each school will begin September 8. Meals are distributed between 11:30AM & 1:00PM. Parents/guardians may pick up meals without children present and must provide at least the student name and school.

  • Teachers will be learning about safety precautions for COVID 19 in preparation for elementary in-person hybrid learning and building content for the second week of school.

Families who signed up for hybrid learning will begin following their assigned in-person schedule (Monday/Tuesday or Thursday/Friday) the week of September 21. Expect more information from your school.

Breakfast & Lunch Available to ISD 709 Students During Digital Learning

During digital learning, bagged meals are available weekdays to students enrolled in ISD 709.

  • Parents/Guardians can pick up the bagged meal without students present.
  • They will be asked to supply the student's name, school and student ID number if they have it.
  • Families who do not qualify for free/reduced price lunch will be charged on their child's school lunch account.
  • Click here to apply for Free/Reduced Price Lunch.

Check here for more information.

Preparing Our Schools, Classrooms

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

As we prepare for the start of school and a hybrid model, they're following MN Department of Health guidelines to clean classrooms and building spaces from top to bottom. They're also posting COVID prevention signage, creating traffic directions in hallways, setting up classrooms for social distance and indicating six foot spaces in school areas.

"Operations staff are working very hard," says Heather Ashbaugh, Supervisor of Building Operations. "We want to make sure we have safe spaces for all our students and staff."

Learn More About School Cleaning & Prep: MN Dept of Health Planning Guide for Schools

MN Dept of Health Cleaning and Disinfecting Guidance for Schools and Childcare



September is I Stand With Kids Month

First Witness Child Advocacy Center spends each day partnering with members of our community in efforts to make it a safe place for our children to grow and thrive. In September, as school begins, we narrow our focus on engaging the community even further for prevention and awareness. In solidarity, we all come together to show that ‘We All Stand with Kids’!”

Safe, stable, nurturing relationships are among the most powerful, protective, and healing forces in a child’s life. These relationships—fostered at home, school, and in the community—are the building blocks of a child’s physical and emotional growth. Children deserve opportunities for these types of relationships so they can thrive and grow into healthy adults. Our community stands up and steps forward for kids.

Check This Link for More Information

Denfeld, Duluth East Cross Country Season

Best wishes, Hounds and Hunters! May all Northland student athletes have a safe, healthy season!

Duluth News Tribune


Hunters, Hounds Chalk Up Wins

Duluth East and Denfeld hosted Lake Superior Conference opponents in high school boy's soccer Wednesday night.

The Greyhounds defeated Two Harbors10-0 at Ordean Stadium and the Hunters defeated Duluth Marshall 6-3 at historic Public Schools Stadium.

Duluth East (2-0) will play host to Denfeld (1-0) at 1 p.m. Friday at Ordean Stadium.

#Inspire709 #GoHounds #HunterPride





Hounds Tennis Success

Duluth East defeated Cloquet-Esko-Carlton 5-2 in a high school varsity girls tennis match Monday afternoon.

Greyhounds winners included Cursta Dimberio, Natalie Goetzman and CiCi Stender in singles and Aili Hietala-Annabelle Humphreys and Gweneth Moe and Erin Holliday in doubles.

#Inspire709 #GoHounds


Win for Hunters

Striker Kamryn Hill scored a pair of goals and goalkeeper Mary Johnson posted a shutout to power Denfeld past Proctor 3-0 in a Lake Superior Conference high girls soccer opener for both teams Friday afternoon at historic Public Schools Stadium.

Cora Samuelson also scored for the Hunters (1-0), who are scheduled to next play host to Duluth East on Sept. 11 at PSS..

"We went hunting and played well," Denfeld coach Brandon Sternwedel said after the game. "We were really strong defensively -- give credit to our defenders who really worked their tails off sometimes with only four players back at some points during the match. Our strong team and individual defensive play allowed our attackers to enjoy more free play in their games, and to have fun."

#Inspire709 #HunterPride


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