ISD 709 News 10/8/21

From Superintendent John Magas

Dear Families:

We are fully into October as our leaves are at peak, East High School is celebrating homecoming, and thoughts of a possible snow in the next few weeks is not out of the question for Duluth.

October is also National Principals Month, which recognizes the extremely important role that our principals play in making schools the best they can be!

As stated by the National Associations of Secondary School Principals and Elementary School Principals, these school leaders “are among the hardest working, yet often least recognized individuals in education. Principals set the academic tone for their schools, and it is their vision, dedication, and determination that provide the mobilizing force for achieving student success.”

The recent Wallace Foundation’s groundbreaking synthesis of research on school principals finds that effective principals have positive impacts on student achievement and attendance, as well as teacher satisfaction and retention. Teachers and other staff members do so much to support our students and families, and principals lead those individuals and help them become even better.

Our principals also bear the responsibility of ensuring that the cultures of their schools are positive learning environments and workplaces for our students, staff and families.

The past 20 months of serving as principals during the pandemic has been even more challenging than normal for these leaders, so please, when you see a principal sometime this month, take a moment to let them know that you appreciate them.

Principals, our hats are off with gratitude for all that you do!

With appreciation,

John Magas

If you have questions or thoughts about what's going on in our school district, email: ReturnToLearn@ISD709.org

Free COVID Tests

COVID-19 testing remains a key part of keeping our students, workers, and families safe. With the at-home program and 11 community testing sites offering free testing across the state, the state has made it easy for Minnesotans to find a test.

How Minnesotans can get a COVID-19 test:

  • Walk in or schedule an appointment for a free test at one of the state’s 11 community testing sites across Minnesota: COVID-19 Community Testing Sites.
  • Order a free test through the state’s at-home testing program: COVID-19 Test at Home.
  • Find other testing options near them through the state’s Find Testing Locations map, including through local providers, pharmacies and clinics: Find Testing Locations.

Who Should Get Tested

  • Even if you are vaccinated, Minnesotans should get tested:
    • if you have symptoms of the virus;
    • if you have had close contact with someone who has COVID-19;
    • if you are returning from international travel;
    • or if you have attended a large gathering or event where people are not wearing masks and are not able to stay 6 feet apart.
  • People who are unvaccinated should test before travel (domestic or international).
  • Unvaccinated teachers, staff and students in K-12 should test weekly at a minimum or more frequently per CDC guidance.


As the COVID pandemic continues, our schools continue to review and update response to ensure health and safety. The Safe Learning Plan reflects current local planning and is subject to change based on local, state and national guidance.

Details at www.ISD709.org/SafeLearningPlan

State and County Data:

Minnesota Weekly COVID Report

Access St. Louis County MN COVID-19 Dashboard

CDC COVID Vaccine Booster Information

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that certain populations receive a COVID booster shot. The recommendation is for those who completed their Pfizer vaccine series at least 6 months ago.

Detailed information is available on the CDC website and please contact your health care provider if you have questions.

Symptoms? Please Keep Children Home

If your child is showing signs and symptoms of COVID-19, we are asking that you please keep them home and get tested - or consult your healthcare provider for an alternative diagnosis as we are still seeing strep, influenza, and RSV circulating around the state and our area.

It is imperative that children remain home when symptomatic to help us protect the integrity of in-person learning. We thank you for your help in keeping our school community safe.

COVID19 Signs & Symptoms:

  • Fever of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher
  • New cough or a cough that gets worse
  • Difficulty/hard time breathing
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Nasal congestion/stuffy or runny nose
  • Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
  • Muscle pain
  • Extreme fatigue/feeling very tired
  • Severe/very bad headache
  • Chills

Duluth School Bus Drivers Make A Difference - Apply Today!

Make a positive difference by becoming a Duluth school bus driver, our schools need you. Apply today if you’re a school bus driver looking for work OR hold a CDL license or a valid drivers license with a good driving record (we’ll pay to train you!) OR a retired school bus driver willing to work this school year.

NEW Starting Wage: $19.54/Hr, Minimum 25 Hrs/Week

Paid Training

Excellent Benefits, Single & Family:

  • Medical/Prescription Drug

  • Health Reimbursement Account

  • Dental

  • Life Insurance

  • Long Term Disability

  • Flexible Spending Accounts

  • Dependent Care Accounts

  • Retirement

  • Tax-Shelter Annuity Options

  • Time Off

Duluth Public Schools is an equal opportunity employer


Duluth Public Schools provide rewarding regular and substitute jobs in a variety of roles. Plus a robust benefit package to full-time employees and part-time employees who meet eligibility requirements. Please share this information with people you know - encourage them to join our team!

Current Job Openings

Questions? Email: noncerthr@isd709.org or call (218) 336-8722

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Duluth East Students Receive College Book Awards

College Book Awards are given each year to exceptional students who have excelled in their intelligence, determination, motivation, and are visible and integral members of their schools and communities.

Congratulations, Duluth East Book Award Winners, from left to right: Natalie Miller (Yale University), Madaline Domagall (Wellesley College), Sophia Revoir (Harvard University), Eric Zhou (Dartmouth College).



Congratulations, Duluth East Alum Gaelynn Lea

From The Current

The producers of a new Macbeth on Broadway tapped the best and brightest stars to fill their stage — and to fill the Lyceum Theatre with music. Duluth East alum Gaelynn Lea will compose original music for the production, which will star Daniel Craig and Ruth Negga in the title roles.

Thank you, Duluth East Greyhounds Activities, for the info!



Walk to School Day

Several Duluth schools celebrated Walk to School Day this week, including Stowe Elementary.

Stowe students walked from Birchwood Park and learned about traffic safety along the way. Thanks to all who helped to make this a success!

#Inspire709 #WalkToSchoolDay


STEM At Myers-Wilkins

Myers-Wilkins Elementary staff recently spent time exploring coding kits after school. Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM) education is an emerging element of the learning environment which inspires and empowers communicators, designers, builders and makers each day at Myers-Wilkins.



Stowe Recess Clubs

This year Stowe Elementary is able to partner with the Americorps True North program to support recess clubs. These are optional activities taking place during recess in which students can participate. There are themes each week - this week students can build a fort, play soccer, or create leaf art!

#Inspire 709


Love Our Child Nutrition Staff

Lincoln Park Middle School Cafeteria Staff are the first recipients this year of the school's Wildcat Cup, congratulations! We appreciate their hard work and dedication in keeping students fed.

#Inspire709 #WildcatStrong #HealthyFood


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