ISD 709 School News 9/10/20

From John Magas, Superintendent

Dear Families,

This is an exciting week as we open our doors physically and virtually for students.

On Tuesday morning, I watched children entering Tier 1 child care at Lincoln Park Middle School. Some dashed in, smiling and excited to rejoin friends and start the school year. Others hung back as family members worked to ease their anxieties. This combination of excitement and anxiety mirrors the feelings all of us have experienced over the past several weeks.

As educators, we do what we do because supporting children in their learning is our calling. This year, the unknowns about what returning to school means to each of us, personally and professionally, can be unsettling. I've heard this mentioned by people and I've felt this way as well. As your superintendent and as a district we'll continue to put safety at the forefront of our efforts, along with quality teaching and learning.

The smiles we get from students, the work they do that demonstrates something important is learned, the meals served to hungry children, and the clean, well-prepared hallways and classrooms all give us strength to continue doing this important work.

In my mind, no other job is so vital to the success of our community.

This week we recognize the strength and resilience of Duluth families and students and extend our appreciation to the Duluth community for their support of education.

With utmost respect,


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

Photo Essay: Denfeld's 'Flipped' Freshman Orientation

Teachers and staff from Denfeld High School delivered welcome packages to incoming 9th grade students. Many thanks to Duluth News Tribune photographer Clint Austin for this inspiring piece. KQDS-TV21 and WDIO-TV10 also covered the event.

Duluth News Tribune



First Day Photos

Music from Denfeld Band Director Josh LeHigh. Child nutrition workers in school before sunrise, preparing hundreds of bag lunches for children. Denfeld staff passing out materials. Lowell staff prepping Chromebooks for distribution. Hotspot distribution at Ordean East. Child care staff and students exercising body and mind.

Thank you, students, families and staff as we start the new year.

Thank you, JP Rennquist, Sofia Woyno and Anthony Bonds for the photos and info.

#Inspire709 #FirstDay #happynewyear


Free Breakfast & Lunch for Children

FREE Breakfast & Lunch Available to Children During Digital Learning

Due to a state/federal change, free bagged meals are available weekdays when school is in session to children 18 years of age and younger.

  • Parents/Guardians can pick up the bagged meal without students present.
  • Even though meals are free, we encourage families to fill out the Application for Free/Reduced Price Meals.
    • Qualifying for free or reduced price lunch may also qualify your family to pay a lower fee or no fee for school activities.
    • Students who qualify take the ACT Test at school for free.
    • Families who qualify are helping Duluth schools receive additional education funds and discounts.
    • Click here to apply for Free/Reduced Price Lunch.

Distribution Sites 11:30AM – 1:00PM

Congdon Elementary, 3116 E. Superior Street

Homecroft Elementary, 4784 Howard Gnesen Road

Lakewood Elementary, 5207 N. Tischer Road

Laura MacArthur Elementary, 720 N. Central Avenue

Lester Park Elementary, 5300 Glenwood Street

Lowell Elementary, 2000 Rice Lake Road

Myers-Wilkins Elementary, 1027 N. 8th Avenue East

Piedmont Elementary, 2827 Chambersburg Avenue

Stowe Elementary, 715-101st Avenue W.

Lincoln Park Middle School, 3215 W. 3rd Street

Ordean East Middle School, 2900 E. 4th Street

Denfeld High School, 401 N. 44th Avenue W.

Duluth East High School, 301 N. 40th Avenue E.

Questions? 218-336-8707. This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

Duluth East Soccer On a Roll

The Duluth East boy’s soccer team won its first three matches, while out-scoring opponents 12-0. The Greyhounds posted 1-0 victories against Grand Rapids and Denfeld, and bested Two Harbors 10-0.

Junior midfielder Kai Hoffman has four goals and two assists, and junior goalkeeper Eli Kramer is 3-0 with a 1.000 saves percentage on only nine shots.

"We're off to a strong start, with the most talented team we've had in my first three seasons," said Greyhounds head coach Corey Bachand. "We don't have the pure goal-scorer like we had with Will Francis, but Kai Hoffman is a beast in the middle. He's big, strong, has great vision to distribute and can finish. He's also not afraid to put the team on his back.

"I'm also proud of the way the guys have handled COVID-19, by following the routines of daily temperature checks and filling out questionnaires. We haven't had any cases so far, with just a couple players with colds who also tested negative for COVID-19 and stayed home. Everyone is excited to be back playing, and we're hopeful that there will be playoffs."

#Inspire709 #GoHounds


From the MN Association for Children's Mental Health:

World Suicide Prevention Day - September 10

In recognition of World Suicide Prevention Day, we've compiled resources designed to spark important conversations around suicide and mental health.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, which is free, confidential and available to everyone:



Nacional de Prevención del Suicidio

Chat options for those who are deaf or hard of hearing

Free fact sheets cover information on the most common mental health disorders experienced by youth, including anxiety, bipolar disorder ADHD, schizophrenia, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and autism.

News & Resources

+ Avatar-Based Suicide Prevention Program Available for Minnesota Educators

+ MN Crisis Text Line - Free 24/7 Support

+ A Guide for Recovery After a Suicide Attempt

+ Trans Lifeline - Peer-Support Crisis Hotline

+ Resources for Suicide Loss Survivors

+ Suicide Prevention Month: Ideas for Action

Digital Learning Resources for Families

ISD 709 Digital Learning Center

Helpful information and login links for digital learning platforms SeeSaw and Canvas can be found at www.ISD709.org/Digital-Learning. Information includes an introductory video to SeeSaw for families, login instructions and tips.

August Flashback Photo

Myers-Wilkins team, handing out backpacks and supplies at the annual distribution event at CHUM. Thank you to our community for the continued support!



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