Laura MacArthur Eagle Update

Family Newsletter - September 7, 2020

A message from Mr. Erickson

Hello Laura MacArthur Families

I hope you are doing well and enjoying the Labor Day weekend. While I am eager, overjoyed, and elated about returning to school, I realize there are many with mixed feelings and a lot of questions. We are still planning daily, related to reopening. The past few months have created a lot of uncertainty. Yet, please know we are sincerely looking forward to reconnecting, forging ahead, and making sure Laura MacArthur is a safe and welcoming place for all to learn and grow.

On Thursday, Sept. 4, our teachers sent emails to you for those families that we had emails for. In that email contained your child's teacher placement information. In addition, you found out what day in our hybrid schedule your child will attend in-person. This information was loaded into Infinite Campus and at this time, the parent portal is open for you to see. Student packets were mailed to each family to be completed and returned. These were sent out on Friday.

Teachers will be calling you on Tuesday, September 8th as we begin our return to learn. Teachers will be setting up Meet & Greet times for you to return forms, pick up technology devices if needed, and most important, to meet your child's teacher. See below more about the Meet & Greets.

Distance Learning ONLY Teachers have been established for students and will also reach out to families on Tuesday.

The Distance Learning Only (DLO) teachers:

  • Grades K is Mrs. Weidt,
  • Grade 1 - Mrs. Shevich
  • Grade 2 - Mrs. Harala
  • Grade 3 - Mrs. Pulkrabeck (from Lowell Elementary)
  • Grade 4 - Mrs. Cameron (from Lowell Elementary)
  • Grade 5- Mrs. Meyer

If you have teacher questions, please feel free to contact the school office, 336-8900.

Changes to in-person hybrid day assignments are currently not being made. We may be able to adjust at later time, but please understand that health requirements, transportation routes, room capacity, placing siblings together, and a variety of other requirements are impacted by any decision or adjustment we make to student schedules. Thank you for your understanding.

Jim Erickson



We would like to welcome the following teachers/staff to LAURA MACARTHUR:

Grade KG: Annalise Peck is new to this grade level, and returning - Kim Eaton & Sally Weidt.

Grade 1: Stacy Roberts new to this grade level, and returning - Amy Auran & Andrea Shevich.

Grade 2: Amanda Plaster new to this grade level, and returning - Mary Ann Harala & Julia Morris

Grade 3: Emily Glomski, Tanya Hallgren, Tammi Meyer

Grade 4: Melissa Olson & Linda Pelto

Grade 5: Adam Metzer & Kalina Pavlisich

Special Education K-5 will remain the same with Becky Hill, Aurora Zestcott, Riley Leone, Kate Pahl, Stephanie Larsen, and Cindy Gordon..

Math Intervention: Stephanie Kiero is new to our building

Art: we still have an opening in this position art teacher.

Media: Tara Gushulak is new to this position

Music: Laura Kimmes is new to our building.

KeyZone coordinator is Leslie Bucar.

Meet and Greet - Return to Learn Conferences!

We will not be hosting an Open House this year due to COVID guidance, however, we are excited to provide individual Meet & Greet conferences with families beginning Sept 9-11. We will be assisted in this scheduling process by using an electronic app called Signup Genius. A link will be sent to you soon.

In the Sign-up Genius App, You will find your child's teacher name and date to select to schedule your child's conference. When you log into Signup Genius to sign up for a time slot, be sure to enter your child's name under the correct teacher in the comment line and indicate if you want an in-person or virtual conference.

We are working on a process for our Distance Learning teachers and time slots as well. Masks will be required for in person conferences.

Instructions for Signup Genius

  1. Please review and find your child's teacher in grade level order
  2. Select from the available slots below to sign up.
  3. Place your child's first name in the comment section
  4. You will have the option to do a virtual conference if you prefer.

For in-person conferences, please follow these directions to provide safety for all:

  • Please one adult only with each student.
  • Grades 1-5, enter the building from the main entrance
  • KG should enter classrooms using the emergency exits for those rooms. A staff member will be there to guide you.
  • Please use social distancing
  • Face coverings will be required
  • Follow the building directions on the floors and wall signs.

Location for Conferences:

  • 1st & 2nd- Gym
  • 3rd - Media Center
  • 4th, & 5th - Cafeteria

Please contact your child's teacher if you are not able find a time that works, or call the school offices at 336-8900 for assistance. Thank you!

Jim Erickson, Principal

Laura MacArthur Elementary

Thank you


Dear ISD 709 Families,

You should have received a Student Account Login Information email this afternoon containing your student's account information to access email and our new online digital platforms, SeeSaw (for birth to grade 5) or Canvas (for grades 6 - 12).

The Student Email Address and Student Password were inadvertently transposed, as you may have noted . Our apologies for any confusion this may have caused.

Detailed login directions for each online digital platform (SeeSaw Orientation for Families) can be found on our new digital learning page at under the Helpful Resources section.

Again, our apologies for any confusion. Best wishes to you and your family.

Anthony Bonds, Assistant Superintendent
Duluth Public Schools

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Read Aloud - School in the time of Coronavirus. CLICK

A book for children about the return to school in the time of Coronavirus.

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Yearbooks arrived and will be given to all returning students when we see you in person. For all students doing Distance Learning only, or you are not returning to Laura MacArthur, these yearbooks will be mailed to you, including our graduated 5th graders now at middle school.

If you are a middle school student and have a sibling at Laura MacArthur, we will be giving the yearbook to a sibling to bring home.

Thank you for your patience with this delayed yearbook delivery,

Digital Engagement September 8 - 18

Digital Engagement September 8 - 18: Students are are at home and will take part in welcoming activities with their teacher, relationship building, student and family training in classroom digital tools, internet safety, and setting expectations for learning and COVID safety protocols. Students will also engage with learning content as well. In-person and virtual meetings may take place with teachers. Check the Digital Learning Web Page for information and access to online learning platforms SeeSaw and Canvas.

Will there be packets this year? Do we have to use the internet? How much screen-time?

No, packets will not be provided across the district. Last year, during our emergency distance learning plan, packets were used. We realize some families liked them, some did not.

This year, during Distance Learning 2.0, we plan to implement SeeSaw. This learning platform is much easier to navigate for families and students at the elementary level.

It's also going to be much easier for students to connect with their friends, classmates, and teachers. Parents and students will learn more about this platform during the distance learning

Students will not be in front of screens all day. That is not developmentally appropriate and/or necessary. Projects, mini lessons, and traditional teaching practices are still going to be used.

If a family does not have the internet in their home, they will need to connect with the teacher about distance learning options for work completion. We are hoping for a more individualized and differentiated learning model this year related to digital/distance learning content.

Will there be recess? How will lunch look? Will you have specialists?

We will send more detailed information about each of these, but here is the short answer:

We will have recess, it will look different, but we will be outside!

Lunch information will be sent once schedules are finalized. Social distancing and cleaning protocols will be adhered to.

Students will have specialists. These include Music, Technology/Media/Library, Physical Education, and Art.

Stay tuned, further specifics will be coming out.


On August 6th, outlines were shared with the school board and community regarding the Return to Learn plan and efforts the District is taking to prepare for the start of school on September 8. For the greatest detail, visit the document linked above and review these items.

  • Face Coverings: Will be required by all students and staff in Duluth school buildings.

  • Hand washing: Required at regularly scheduled intervals; sanitizing available everywhere.

  • Social distancing: Students and staff will practice 6' distancing where possible and utilize masks when it is not possible.

  • Cleaning: Cleaning and sanitizing will take place; materials and supplies are in schools and arriving daily.

  • Cohorts: Students will be grouped in cohorts during in-person learning.

  • Recess: Students will remain in grouped cohorts during in-person learning recess periods..

  • Health screening and medical safe rooms: We will implement passive screening, meaning families will need to check student temperatures and symptoms and staff will check their own temperatures and look for symptoms before coming to school.

    • From the MN Department of Health: Health Screening, Check Your Symptoms Every Day

      • If you have any of these symptoms, go home, stay away from other people, and contact your health care provider. Employees are asked to contact their supervisor, families are asked to contact their school.

        • Fever or Feeling Feverish

        • Chills

        • A New Cough

        • Shortness of Breath

        • A New Sore Throat

        • New Muscle Aches

        • New Headache

        • New Loss of Smell or Taste

    • Medical Safe room - If staff observe a student experiencing symptoms, the student will be moved to an isolation area for assessment and if needed parents will be notified to pick up their child.

  • Quarantining and school closures: Decisions will be made in collaboration with St. Louis County Public Health and on a case-by-case basis.

Breakfast & Lunch Available!

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.

Distribution at the following school sites:

School Locations 11:30AM – 1:00PM

Congdon Elementary, 3116 E. Superior Street

Homecroft Elementary, 4784 Howard Gnesen Road

Lakewood Elementary, 5207 N. Tischer Road

Laura MacArthur Elementary, 720 N. Central Avenue

Lester Park Elementary, 5300 Glenwood Street

Lowell Elementary, 2000 Rice Lake Road

Myers-Wilkins Elementary, 1027 N. 8th Avenue East

Piedmont Elementary, 2827 Chambersburg Avenue

Stowe Elementary, 715-101st Avenue W.

Lincoln Park Middle School, 3215 W. 3rd Street

Ordean East Middle School, 2900 E. 4th Street

Denfeld High School, 401 N. 44th Avenue W.

Duluth East High School, 301 N. 40th Avenue E.

Questions? 218-336-8707. This institution is an equal opportunity provider

Free & Reduced Lunch Enrollment (Please Complete)

Apply Online to Receive FREE or Reduced Price School Meals: We appreciate families who take time to apply for free or reduced price lunch! Apply anywhere, anytime - the process is secure, confidential, convenient and available 24/7. Families qualifying for free/reduced school meals may also qualify for reduced school activity fees.

This process directly supports Title 1 funding for our school, and so we appreciate every family that completes this process. Thank you

Enrolling New Students!

New families just now arriving, who have not yet registered their child, are encouraged to do so as soon as possible.

Families can register online or use hard copy forms, learn more.

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  • 2020-2021 School Year - This events calendar will be updated as we confirm safety practices
  • 9/9-18: Meet & Greets with families
  • 9/10: 1st day of Distance Learning school for Kindergarten students
  • 10/15 & 16: MEA-NO SCHOOL
  • 10/19: Picture Day - Group A
  • 10/23: Picture Day - Group B
  • 10/23: Staff Development Day - NO SCHOOL OF STUDENTS
  • 11/26 & 27: NO SCHOOL
  • 12/1: Picture Re-Take Day-Group A
  • 12/3: Picture Re-Take Day-Group B
  • 12/24 - 1/1: Winter recess-NO SCHOOL
  • 1/4: School Resumes
  • 1/18: MLK - NO SCHOOL
  • 1/22: End of Semester-NO SCHOOL
  • 2/15-19: Winter Recess-NO SCHOOL
  • 4/19-23: Spring Recess-NO SCHOOL
  • 5/31: Memorial Day-NO SCHOOL
  • 6/11: Last Day of School

Join the Movement and Like Laura MacArthur Elementary School on Facebook

Want to see what is happening at Laura MacArthur? Like the Laura MacArthur Elementary Facebook page to get updates, see photos and videos from around our school, and get connected with our PTA.

Join the movement and see what happens at Laura MacArthur on Twitter

Want to see what is happening at Laura MacArthur? Go to JamesWErickson on Twitter to get updates, see photos and videos from around our school, and get connected with our PTA