ISD 709 News 12/17/21
From Superintendent John Magas
As we head into the final school week of the 2021 calendar year, I want to express to each of you how much we appreciate all that you have done. We all know too well that our students, staff and families have weathered challenging times. I am so proud and so grateful for these efforts in ways that words cannot fully convey.
I am also deeply humbled by the overwhelmingly positive community spirit in support of students, families and educators. This collective spirit of working together for our students and families has never been stronger or more important. Whether from community partners providing childcare, nutritional and mental health supports; the medical community providing testing, booster clinics and health safety guidance; or the City providing partnership and recognition, Duluth cares about education!
No better example of this would be yesterday’s proclamation by Mayor Emily Larson and the City of Duluth proclaiming December 16, 2021 as Duluth Public Schools Community Recognition Day. As part of this recognition, Enger Tower was lit in gold last night in support of ISD 709 Staff, Students and Families, in recognition of their courage, creativity and resiliency in the face of great challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Many thanks to Mayor Larson and the City of Duluth for their ongoing encouragement, partnership and support!
As we complete these last days, please know that we recognize that although the year was not easy, it represents the best of each of us.
I hope that each of you enjoys a wonderful winter break and has an opportunity to rest, recharge and spend time with loved ones.
If you have questions or thoughts about what's going on in our school district, email:
In Support of Our Duluth Public Schools Community
The City of Duluth lights Enger Tower gold in support of ISD 709 Staff, Students and Families, in recognition of their courage, creativity and resiliency in the face of great challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
And, Emily Larson, Duluth Mayor proclaimed December 16, 2021 as Duluth Public Schools Community Recognition Day.
From Mayor Larson's Facebook Page: "Our school staff and educators are everything right now. For kids, for families, and for our community. We light Enger Tower tonight in your honor, and thank you for your work and impact!"
From the City of Duluth's Facebook Page: "School-aged kids, families, teachers and staff have been through a lot in the last 20 months. To recognize their courage, tenacity, and resilience Emily Larson, Duluth Mayor proclaimed today, December 16, 2021 as Duluth Public Schools ISD 709 Community Recognition Day. Enger Tower was lit in gold as a reminder of the very important role that each of you play in our community and the education system. Thank you for being creative, giving grace, and showing up. We can get through this!"
Many thanks to Mayor Larson and the City of Duluth for their ongoing encouragement, partnership and support.
Truth In Taxation Hearing December 21
The annual Truth in Taxation Hearing for Duluth Public Schools will be held Tuesday, December 21, 2021. The presentation will take place at 6:30PM in the Denfeld Media Center, 401 N. 44th Avenue West in Duluth. Questions regarding the public hearing can be directed to Jackie Dolentz, at (218) 336-8704 or email@example.com.
Free COVID Testing January 3
Duluth Public Schools and Essentia Health are providing COVID testing for ISD 709 staff and students at two community sites after the upcoming Winter Break. Essentia will provide a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test. This is not a rapid test, and it can take up to two days to get test results.
COVID testing is scheduled for Monday January 3, 2021 from 12Noon to 6:00PM.
East Side: Lutheran Church of Good Shepherd 1325 45th Ave. E, Duluth, MN
West Side: Asbury United Methodist Church - 6822 Grand Ave, Duluth, MN
To safe time, download and complete the following forms and bring them with you to the testing site:
Winter Break Community Resources Lists
Duluth Public School buildings will be closed Wed 12/22 thru Mon 1/3 for Winter Break.
Our community is here to offer connection and support during this time. A list of resources including Crisis Lines, Youth Programs, Food Support and additional resources is available for those who need it.
Many thanks to Rachel Thapa and our community partners for compiling these resources.
COVID Vax For Ages 5 and Older
Free COVID Vaccinations Available for Ages 5 years and Older:
- Contact your pediatrician, health care provider, local pharmacy or family medicine clinic about appointments.
- Visit mn.gov/vaxforkids for COVID vaccines for children and teens.
- Use Minnesota’s Vaccine Locator Map to find a vaccine provider near you.
- Check for vaccine appointments using the CDC’s Vaccine Finder. You can search for appointments by vaccine type (e.g., Pfizer) and find pharmacies offering pediatric vaccinations.
- Minnesota Department of Health COVID-19 Public Hotline: 1-833-431-2053
- St. Louis County Vaccine Opportunities: stlouiscountymn.gov/vaccineregistration
The MN Dept of Health’s About COVID-19 Vaccine web page includes information on the vaccine and what to expect before, during and after vaccination.
The What You Should Know About COVID-19 Vaccines document provides answers to many questions families may have.
State Energy Assistance Program
The Energy Assistance Program helps pay for home heating and water costs and furnace repairs for income-qualified households. Find more information on the Energy Assistance Program website.
Students in Bridge Program Bring Holiday Cheer
Students in the Bridge Program are working with the Salvation Army to help make the holidays brighter for others.
December activities include:
- Stocking, cleaning, and organizing at the Salvation Army Thrift Store
- Bell Ringing at the Miller Hill Mall Food Court
- Gift Wrapping at the Miller Hill Mall
- Helping with Food and Toy Distribution
The Bridge Program is a transition program for students 18 to 21 years of age with continuing special education and support needs. The students have community-based instruction in the transition areas of Post-Secondary Education, Employment, and Independent Living.
Thank you, Christine "Lisa" Post, for the photos and information.