ISD 709 News 11/12/21

From Superintendent John Magas

Dear Families:

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”

-John F. Kennedy

Yesterday, our country observed Veterans Day. As Superintendent of Duluth Public Schools, I would like to express our deepest appreciation and gratitude for the members of our staff, families and community who have served our nation. We are indebted to you for the freedoms that we enjoy, not the least of which are the ideals of our American democracy and education for all.

Kennedy’s words ring especially true for us in times of continued challenge. This week, the state reported some of the highest COVID rates of the pandemic. It continues to be our deep responsibility “not to utter words, but to live by them."

Our schools and community live by their words through action. That’s one thing that holds very true here in Duluth.

I continue to be impressed with and grateful for the efforts of students, staff and families related to safe in-person learning. One of the most impressive examples of this community wide effort is that of our school-based vaccine clinics. By the end of the day today, we will have offered a voluntary vaccine clinic for 5 to 11 year olds in each of our 11 schools (that have students in that age range) for families who are choosing this option.

This effort was a result of the combined efforts of staff, state and county health officials, our families, as well as our students who attended. Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Education, Dr. Heather Mueller, came to visit earlier this week to express her appreciation for this community wide effort.

As we head into the next few weeks, it will be a comfort to know that hundreds of our youngest learners will be fully vaccinated, not only creating a safer environment within the classrooms, but for the community as well.

Thank you,

John Magas

If you have questions or thoughts about what's going on in our school district, email:


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Thank You, Duluth Community Education Staff & Instructors

This week we recognize National Community Education Day, celebrating 52 years providing life-long learning opportunities for every member of the family. Many thanks to our Duluth Community Education staff and instructors for all they do to support:

  • Adult Education
  • Youth & Adult Enrichment
  • Aquatics
  • Early Childhood & Preschool
  • School Age Care - KEY Zone
  • Facility Use
  • Community Partnerships And So Much More!


Learn More

MN Education Commissioner Visits Lester Park

Minnesota Education Commissioner Dr. Heather Mueller visited the voluntary COVID vaccination clinic at Lester Park Elementary on Wednesday. The Commissioner and Superintendent John Magas provided information about the voluntary vaccination clinics for an article in the Duluth News Tribune. According to the article, 950 vaccines had already been administered to children ages 5-11 in Duluth before Wednesday's clinics.

Duluth News Tribune Article

Phone: Duluth News Tribune

Invitation to Join EEAC

The Education Equity Advisory Committee (EEAC) is a Citizens Advisory Committee that provides recommendations and advice on matters of Education Equity to the Duluth Public School Board and district administrative personnel.

  • Such advice may regard planning, implementation, and/or evaluation of various district initiatives and plans such as the Achievement and Integration plan to ensure compliance with MN Statutes and Rules.
  • Participants may be students, families, staff, and community members (individuals, organizations, committees) willing to participate in an advisory capacity. It is a goal of the Office of Education Equity (OEE) and EEAC that participants of the committee will be representative of the diversity of our school district.
  • The first EEAC meeting will be from 5:00PM-8:00PM on Wednesday, December 15, 2021 at Lincoln Park Middle School.

If you're interested, please reach out to the OEE with questions, comments and to RSVP so an accurate estimate for food, childcare, and transportation support needs can be created.

Phone: 218-336-8714 or email nathan.smith@isd709.org

Help High School Students Learn a Career!

The ISD 709 Construction Technology class seeks potential building projects in the line of sheds, garages or other possibilities for Second Semester 2022.

Especially interested in jobs that are within 10 minutes of either the Denfeld or Duluth East High School areas. Please contact the instructor Anthony.Leone@ISD709.org or leave a phone message at 336-8845 ext 4082.

#Inspire709 #LearnACareer




Update: Blended Learning Initiative

Duluth Public Schools students are leveraging technology to facilitate their education in a blended learning environment. Blended learning enhances in-person learning by providing each student educational access to digital and online resources. In our school district, that access is provided through use of a district Chromebook, approved software and online services.

View the Family Enablement Year One Plan


Cold, Snowy Weather Strategies

As winter weather becomes a possibility, please take a moment to review school district procedures during periods of snow and cold. This information is shared with all staff and families at the beginning of the school year and is available on our website.

We're Recruiting - Join Our Team

Members of the ISD 709 Human Resources Department recently attended community events, staffing an informational table and encouraging people to apply for jobs with our school district.

Kate Elling, Non-Certified HR Manager and Shana Vesel, Benefits Coordinator talked with people at a Lake Superior Zoo event and the GO Show at the DECC. Thanks for spreading the word!

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

Duluth Public Schools is an equal opportunity employer

Denfeld HS Theater Presents:

Dancing at Lughnasa

November 11 - 13, 2021 7:00PM

Denfeld High School Auditorium

401 N. 44th Avenue West, Duluth

Tickets: Pay what you can, suggested donation $10

Set in the fictional Irish village of Ballybeg, Ireland, Dancing at Lughnasa is a memory play, told from the perspective of an adult, Michael. He recalls one summer he spent at his aunts' home when he was seven years old. Brian Friel's multi award-winning play is a masterpiece, portraying the strength and bravery of five sisters who dance wildly in a final celebration of their lives, before they change forever.


Denfeld Automotive Studies Latest Technologies

Through a visit from NorthStar Ford trainer and recruiter Andy Saari, students in the Denfeld Automotive Program took a hands-on look at a new Ford F150 with twin turbo Ecoboost.

Students from both Denfeld and Duluth East were excited to learn about the technology. Mr. Sarri, a master technician as well as a recruiter and trainer, also helped students with their current project, a pre-winter automotive maintenance and inspection clinic. Automotive students will have the chance to visit and job shadow at several dealerships this year. Many students from the Denfeld Automotive Program have participated in paid internships and moved on to career opportunities with Ford and other dealership partners after graduation.

Thank you, Laurelei Moore, for the photos and info.

#Inspire709 #LearnACareer




Honoring Those Who Served

Denfeld High School celebrates those who have served our country with their annual Veterans Day Concert in the school's beautiful and historic auditorium. Thank you, veterans, for your service!



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