From the Office of the Superintendent 12/12/19
Weekly Briefing for ISD 709 Faculty & Staff
Our music teachers, students, administrative, facilities and support staff spend many hours preparing for holiday programs and concerts. One of the best parts of the school year is attending those performances.
Denfeld and Duluth East groups make it a point to go out into the community, too, reaching out to nursing homes and assisted living facilities and scheduling visits. And recent news stories highlighted our choirs singing in the Duluth Skywalk (see below).
In relation to the Skywalk performances posted on the ISD 709 Facebook page, the following exchange occurred, an example of responsiveness and kindness. Thank you, Paul Christenson.
- Connie Ware: They should visit some assisted living homes. The residents and staff would love it.
- Connie Ware: Keystone bluffs
- Paul Christenson: Hi there Connie! I’m the Denfeld Choirs director. I contacted around 20 assisted living homes this year; we are visiting over ten! Our students love to share the holiday spirit all over town! If you have a specific place in mind, please put in a request for them to contact me. We are quite booked, but could squeeze in a few more visits. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org
- Connie Ware: Paul Christenson thank you so much!
Just a few examples of why I'm proud of our people and proud to be part of the Duluth Public Schools. Thanks for all you do.
If you have questions or thoughts about what's going on in our school district, email: Superintendents@ISD709.org. Twitter: @billgronseth
(This is not a comprehensive list)
>>Committee of the Whole School Board Meeting - Superintendent Search
Monday December 16 5:00PM HOCHS Board Room
>>Regular School Board Meeting
Tuesday December 17, 6:30PM HOCHS Board Room
Meetings are also streamed live and available on YouTube.
December School Board Agenda Items - Detailed Information Online
(This is not a comprehensive list of Board agenda items)
>>Facilities Management & Capital Projects Status Report
>>Assistant Superintendent and Director of Curriculum Reports
>>Annual Independent Audit Report
>>Truth in Taxation Hearing
2020 Greg Irons Teacher/Staff Award - Submit Applications by January 15, 2020
Know a great colleague who deserves a pat on the back or some special recognition? Consider nominating them for the Greg Irons Teacher/Staff Award.
Named after a former ISD 709 teacher, the Greg Irons Award recognizes teachers/school staff who ‘demonstrate their belief that all students have worth and the desire to succeed and that responsibility, sincerity, honesty and hard work are the foundation of a person's life.’
Past winners have received a cash award of $500.
Nominations may be made by students, teachers, other school staff, parents or community members and are due to the Community Foundation by January 15, 2020.
Forms are available at www.dsacommunityfoundation.com/forms-and-applications and can be submitted electronically.
For more information, contact the Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation at
email@example.com or 218-726-0232.
DSACF Scholarship Applications - Due January 15, 2020
Now is the time to apply for the huge bounty of scholarships available to graduating high school seniors. Duluth is truly blessed with a huge number of awards. Some are based on academics, but others like the Duluth Lions Club Scholarship recognize community volunteerism. Other scholarships limit their eligibility pool by financial need, prospective major, school attending or religious affiliation and, with over 70 scholarships, there’s something for everyone!
Applications are due by January 15, 2020 but the application will take some time, so start early. More information can be found on the website of the Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation or by phone to 218-726-0232.
ISD 709 News
For the eighth year in a row, the Hunters sponsored two families and the team did some Christmas shopping for them. The team raises funds for the program throughout the year. For the older players, this event is a big part of the Denfeld tradition and it doesn’t take much convincing to get the younger players to help out too.
Carolers from local high schools, including Denfeld & Duluth East, were singing and strolling their way through portions of the Duluth Skywalk, spreading holiday cheer. Great job, students, teachers!
Duluth East Skywalk:
Lester Park Robotics Teams Advance
Lester Park Elementary’s LEGO Robotics teams did well at the Regional competition in Hermantown. Quantum Mechanics placed 1st for their robot performance and Electro Dragonz placed 7th out of 32 teams. Both teams are invited to advance to the Sectional meet in St. Paul in mid-January.
The teams are part of FIRST LEGO League, engaging children in research, problem solving, coding and engineering. The foundation of the program is FIRST Core Values which emphasize teamwork, discovery and innovation.
Many thanks to the Lester Park Foundation, families and volunteers for their support and to all those cheering on our Lester Park FLL Teams.
Denfeld High School: Teamwork Makes the Dream WorkStudents in Mr. Simon's pre-engineering class used a broken piano bench to practice some hands-on skills. The bench was brought into their classroom, students examined it and talked through possible ideas. Within minutes they were taking it apart and putting it back together. It'll be back on stage and in good order for a busy schedule in the historic Denfeld Auditorium.
Photo: Students Brady Johnson and Nicholas Miller
Thank you, JP Rennquist, for the photo and information.
Outstanding effort by Denfeld and Duluth East students at the MDTA JV/Novice Championship in Eagen! Congratulations:
>>Maria Freese and Vivian Shaffer, making LD Double Octos.
>>Clara Brock and Alison Rimolde, making Double Octos.
>>Libby Gdula, making it to the outrounds in LD Novice.
>>Sam Gilbert, finishing 9th place in JV Congress Finals.
>>Milo Amundsen, advancing to the Final round in JV Congress.
>>Rex Troche, advancing to Novice Congress semifinals.
Piedmont Students Explore STARBASE
Many thanks to STARBASE (148th Fighter Wing), hosting Piedmont Elementary 5th graders for an engaging week of exploration, ingenuity, and fun. Students experienced STEM programming in a state-of-art, student friendly learning environment. A shout out to Piedmont's 5th grade team for supporting this incredible opportunity.
STARBASE is finding the next generation of leaders in science, technology, engineering and math fields. By providing area youth with innovative, hands-on, free education opportunities in STEM subjects, we help students envision a future in STEM. (STARBASE, 2019)
Sharing Traditions at Denfeld
Ms. Walker and her students made lefse, a traditional Norwegian holiday treat. It’s a soft flatbread made with potatoes mixed with flour, butter and milk or cream.
A great use for leftover mashed potatoes and a great example of learning by doing.#Inspire709 #GoodEats
Student Essays Chosen for Tree of Lights
Students from Homecroft and Piedmont Elementaries wrote essays that were chosen to be part of Essentia Health's Tree of Lights event, congratulations!
Homecroft: Sylvie Leino, Callie Douville, Paige Worcester
Piedmont: Ella Stark, Addison LaFave, Alissa Willey, Lyric Hockman, Norah Ronning
Photo: Homecroft students with teacher Ken McNulty.
Thank you, Coleen Nordwall, for the photo and information.
Thank You, Contributors
Denfeld student Kay Kay captured this photo of her friend and classmate Taliyah Sumpter.
Denfeld Black Student Association leaders pose for a photo.
Hunters junior forward Kade Shea.
Could Language Immersion Benefit Your Child?
All Families Welcome!
Ojibwe & Spanish Language Immersion Open House
Thursday January 9, 2020
5:30PM – 7:00PM
Lowell Elementary, 2000 Rice Lake Road, Duluth
Research suggests language immersion may contribute to academic achievement, and that students exhibit greater problem-solving abilities, flexible thinking and advanced language literacy and proficiency.
Learn more about the benefits, the specific Ojibwe and Spanish language program models offered, and steps in the application process. Registration for September 2020 begins January 9 - space is limited.
For detailed information:
Edye Washington, Office of American Indian Education:
firstname.lastname@example.org or 218.336.8700, ext.1152
Crystal Goldman, Spanish Immersion Coordinator:
email@example.com or 218.336.8700, ext.1166
More at www.ISD709.org