Congdon Park Weekly News 5/3/2023

Powerful Learning in a Peaceful Environment

One last chance to order a yearbook.

The company we are working with to produce the yearbook has agreed to open the online puchasing site again through May 15th. Cost is now $20. Personalized pages are no longer available as production has begun. Yearbooks ordered online through May 15th will be delivered the last week of school to your child's classroom. However, there are a limited number of books for sale, so order immediately to claim one!

(Online sales will re-open for home delivery after these sell out, however, you will have to pay for shipping/handling to your home address)

Go here:


New Family Orientation at Ordean East Middle School! Wednesday, May 3, 2023 from 3:45 - 5:00 pm Visit the school, take a tour and meet some teachers. There will be a New Student Day Late August. More information will be mailed out this summer.

Drawing Contest

Representative Natalie Zeleznikar presented a drawing contest to all students in District 3B. The contest was to draw a Norway Pine - Minnesota's state tree. Our own Alex Olson in 4th grade was the winner for Congdon Park School. Congrats to Alex! Here is the picture she drew.

Medication use in school

Any medication that your student needs to take at school, including over the counter medications, needs to be authorized by a doctor using the form below. This form must also be signed and dated by the parent.

Food Drive

Congdon Park's Student Council is organizing a food drive for the week of May 8th-12th. We are collecting non-perishable food items to be donated to Chum. Students can bring canned or dry goods into school and place them in the collection box in their classrooms. A collection box will also be available during the Spring Concert if any families would like to bring items then. Thank you!

Most needed items


Instant Oatmeal

Canned Chili

Canned Beef Stew

Canned Pork and Beans

Canned Pasta

Canned Fruit

Canned Vegetables

Rice-A-Roni / Rice


Canned Soups (No Cream Soups)

Canned Tuna

Canned Salmon


Peanut Butter

Macaroni and Cheese

Dry Pasta

Wolf Ridge Planning Meeting for incoming 5th grade families

Dear parents of soon-to-be 5th graders at Congdon Elementary,

As this year comes to a close, we are starting to plan the annual Wolf Ridge 2 night/3 day field trip for the soon-to-be 5th graders. Wolf Ridge is an "experiential outdoor environmental school" that offers kids a chance to be outside and learn about the natural world through direct observation and exploration. The day is broken up into morning, afternoon and evening activities. Most are run by Wolf Ridge’s naturalists, but some of the evening activities will be led by parent chaperones.

Currently, we are scheduled for October 6-8th, 2023. We will leave directly after school ends on Friday afternoon by school buses (usually paid for by the PTA) and arrive back Sunday afternoon.

A lot of planning needs to go into this trip, which is led by parent volunteers every year. Please let us know if you are able to assist with planning the trip (especially if you have daytime flexibility) or by being a chaperone on the trip. Principal Kusch Marshall does attend too.

The cost of the trip this year is roughly $190/person (chaperones too). This includes the 2 overnights in a dorm and food for 2 days. The PTA has paid for the buses in years past and likely will do so again. To off-set the cost, Congdon participates in a Wolf Ridge calendar fundraiser. More details on this will follow. No child who wishes to attend has ever been excluded due to financial assistance. Please get in touch with Principal Kathi if your child will need a scholarship.

For more information on the Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center, please go to:

Please email if you would like to become involved in the planning committee. There will be a planning meeting later this summer. It is helpful if you are computer savvy (know your way around a QR code), are able to make copies of sheets, and have daytime availability given need to do activities at Congdon during the day. We will need a parent to volunteer as the medic for the trip too (nurse, physician, PA/NP who is comfortable with basic first aid/administering medications).

Thank you!

Wonderful write up on our own Mr. Garland

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Our spring concert will be on May 12th. The format will follow years past. Concerts at 8:30 and 12:30 and prelude music provided by students starting 30 minutes before the program.

  • Two identical performances in our gym...8:30 am & 12:30 pm on Friday, May 12.
  • Please attend only ONE performance. We want to have seating for everyone, and there will be A LOT of parents, siblings, grandparents, etc, coming to hear our students sing.
  • Doors will open at 7:45am and 11:45am. Anyone who arrives earlier will need to wait outside of the school.
  • Please be respectful of our neighbors and do not block their driveways or the Congdon Park driveways. Remember there is alternate side parking in effect - do not park on both sides of the street.

Cell phones/smart watches - please do not text or call your child during school hours.

Cell phones, smart watches, and electronic devices disrupt and distract from the instructional environment and should not be brought out in school, at recess, or in the cafeteria. Smart watches may be worn, but should not be used to communicate during school hours. These items may be confiscated if used during the school day. The school is not responsible for missing or stolen devices students bring to school. Ideally students should leave these items at home. Please discuss the following with your child:

  • Students should not be making phone calls during the school day
  • Students should not be receiving phone calls during the school day
  • Phones/watches/etc should be put on airplane mode during school hours.
  • Phones/watches/etc should not be used to access the internet during school hours.

The School District has a policy regarding electronic devices. It can be found HERE. The School District sends out their Family & Student Handbook with district policies every August. You can see a digital version HERE.

SEL Talk - Social Emotional Learning

Our school district is asking students in grades 3-12 to participate in the Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) School Climate Survey. The elementary version consists of 11 items about students’ perceptions of school climate and will be used to inform school and district plans to make improvements in this area. We will be administering the survey during the week of May 22nd.

This survey is anonymous and voluntary. Students do not provide their names or student identification numbers and have the option to select “Prefer not to answer” on all items including demographic information. Students may also decline to take any part of the survey or the whole survey.

If you do not want your student to take the survey, or would like to review the survey in advance please contact Abby Norton no later than May 19th.

Abby Norton SEB MTSS Coordinator

218-336-8825 ext 3258


Join us for a FREE bike rodeo at Congdon Park Elementary on Tuesday, May 16 from 5 to 7 p.m. Kids and their parents (from any school!) are invited to bring their bikes, scooters and helmets to this free family event.

The bike rodeo will feature a bicycle obstacle course, bike maintenance clinics, bike safety information, a Duluth DEVO Mountain Biking demo course, a raffle, free helmets, food trucks, and more! A bike fleet will be available for those who do not have their own bicycle. Bring a food donation and receive an extra ticket for the raffle to win a free bike!

Great community building and fun for the whole family. If you have any questions about the bike rodeo, please contact Katie Benziger at
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Bike Rodeo

We need your help! The Congdon Park PTA is seeking volunteers for the Bike Rodeo which will take place on Tuesday, May 16 from 5 to 7 p.m. Volunteers can help with set up, take down, registration, or staffing an activity station. Activities include helmet fitting, a bike mechanic station, bike agility course, crafts, a raffle, and more! Sign up to volunteer to ensure the event is a success at:

Math Rocks

The math club was organized by one adult coach, Yufei Ren, and two young adult coaches, Alexander Ren and William Shanks. The two young adult coaches are both alumni of Congdon and participated in Math club several years ago. The club met once a week from 2:25 - 3:45 pm between Feb. 17th and April 7th. 25 4th and 5th graders participated in the club activities. The math club activates are combined with lectures, games, in-class practices, teamwork and weekly take home practice.

On April 21st , three teams of Condon students participated in the Math Masters competition that was held at First United Methodist Church, Duluth. There were 39 teams and about 200 students participated the competition. The following is the list of students: Congdon Blue: Theo, Kellan, Eilev, Ariana, Hattie; Congdon White: Dinara, Penelope, Graham, Annabelle, Lucy; Congdon Silver: Finely, Nora, Sully, Henry, Charles. All the fifth graders that participated in the math club joined the competition and several fourth graders also joined a fifth grade team

Several parent volunteers also attended the competition.

The following are the results of the competition.

A. In the fifth grade team math masters competition, Congdon Silver won the First place, and Congdon Blue won the Fourth place out of 27 fifth grade teams.

B. In the fifth grade individual math masters competition, Charles Xiu (4th grader) won 1st place, Kellan Hout won 6th place, Henry Gates won 15th place, Annabelle Wu won 16th place and Eilev Osthus won 17th place out of 131 individual competitors.

C. In the fifth grade fact drill competition, Henry Gates won 9th place and Charles Xiu (4th grade) won 16th place out of 131 individual competitors

D. All 15 students received certificates for participating in the competition. The individuals and teams mentioned above received awards accordingly.

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PTA Corner

Thank you to everyone who attended the Family Fun Night last week! It was so much fun to see everyone!

Our next PTA meeting will be on Monday, April 24 at noon. We will have some special guests at this meeting! The superintendent and some of our school board members plan to attend. As a result, we are going to make this meeting more of a question and answer format to make sure we can communicate our questions and important topics to district leadership. Please submit any topics for conversation or questions here:

Agendas, minutes, and zoom recordings for PTA meetings can all be found at

For volunteering opportunities, please visit

Teacher wishes are being updated all the time. Check it out at


4-H Summer CAmp

Join us at Northeast 4-H Camp @ Long Lake Conservation Center as we explore nature through hands-on activities, outdoor recreation, and camp games!

When: June 28-30, 2023

Where: Long Lake Conservation Center, 28952 438th Lane, Palisade, MN

Who: 3rd-6th graders (must have completed 3rd grade)

Registration: Open now through Closes June 2nd.

Cost: $140 by check, $144.20 by credit card. Fee covers meals and lodging, program supplies, and a camp t-shirt.

4-H is committed to ensuring all youth can experience camp. Request a camp scholarship by visiting

For more information, visit or email Kate Preiner at

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Summer/fall soccer sign up:

Kids who are interested in playing recreational soccer this summer should register for AYSA Congdon Park Soccer soon! Teams are filling up fast. Season goes late July-mid-September. If spots are filled for your child's age group, please consider reaching out to Neil Wilmot to volunteer to coach so more spots can be opened.

Also, Gitchi Gummi has two 6-week summer development training sessions for youth age 4-11. Great way for kids to improve those soccer skills in a fun, noncompetitive environment. Registration is here:

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