ISD 709 News 5/20/21

From Superintendent John Magas

Dear Families,

It’s surprising to look at the calendar and realize that next week is already the last school week in May! This is an amazing time of year when there are so many end-of-year celebrations, including the excitement surrounding the preparations for graduation.

Last night, there was a great example of a wonderful closing celebration. I had the honor and privilege of attending the American Indian Education Senior Banquet. Over 40 American Indian graduating seniors were invited to enjoy food, festivities and traditional song and receive a heart berry graduation sash. Miigwech to Binesiikwe and her American Indian Education program staff, as well as to all the parents, guardians and families for the support that they have given these students in reaching this milestone.

I have also been able to participate recently in end-of-year elementary Fit and Fun Runs, student leadership meetings and reading with students in classrooms. Each of these events, especially those focused on recognizing and celebrating the great work that our students have completed this year, is special. I cannot wait to attend our upcoming high school graduations.

I am proud to be part of a district and community that cherishes students and lifts them in celebration, especially as we come to the end of this pandemic school year.

With deep respect and appreciation,

John Magas

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


Congratulations, Many Thanks and Best Wishes

The Duluth School Board recognized and congratulated our newly tenured teachers and staff during the regular May Board meeting. Following three years of rigorous evaluations, observations, in-servicing and mentoring, teachers and administrators who meet district standards and expectations are granted tenure.

The Board also recognized and thanked those retiring from our school district this year. We honor their devoted service to Duluth Public Schools and significant contribution to public school education.

Recognition starts at approximately 11:30 minutes into the video.


Assistant Principal of the Year

Congratulations to Kyle Rock, Duluth East, who receives this award from the Northeast Division of the Minnesota Association of Secondary School Principals. Kyle will be recognized at the summer conference for MASSP in June.

According to the nomination materials, "Kyle Rock has worked to evaluate areas of need at East and find creative ways to meet those needs. He created intervention courses for students in a program that continues to grow. Our Saturday School model, called Prescription for Success, pairs students with NHS tutors focused on their greatest areas of need. He implemented a training and support system for our student teachers designed to introduce them to our school community feeling connected and prepared right away."



Duluthian Magazine Feature: Duluth Public Schools

The May/June issue of Duluthian Magazine includes an 8-page feature on Duluth Public Schools response to the pandemic and plans for the future. From the article:

Ask Superintendent John Magas what he's most proud of after being at the helm of Duluth Public Schools for almost a year and he doesn't hesitate to answer. "I am most proud of the way our students, teachers, staff, parents and community have come together during the pandemic...one of the greatest things I've seen is a massive amount of flexibility, creativity, hard work and dedication during this challenging time."

Duluthian Magazine Feature

LISC Presentation Highlights School District Partnership

LISC Duluth’s 2021 Celebration highlights the many dedicated people and organizations working together to strengthen Duluth’s neighborhoods and overall quality of life - including Duluth Public Schools. Cathy Erickson, CFO/Business Services Director, was interviewed for the presentation.

View the Video

COVID Vaccines: 12 to 17 Year Olds

The Minnesota Department of Health has created a resource with information about COVID-19 vaccines for 12 to 17 year-olds.

At this time, the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is the only COVID-19 vaccine that has been studied and authorized for use by people ages 12-17 years old. Data from Pfizer vaccine studies show the vaccine is safe and effective for this age group.

There are several ways to schedule a vaccination for 12 to 17 year olds:
  • Use the Vaccines.gov to find a local vaccine. Under “vaccine” make sure to check the box for Pfizer.
  • Schedule an appointment through Minnesota’s Community Vaccination Program. If all appointments are booked, sign up for the Vaccine Connector. The Vaccine Connector will indicate when appointments become available.
  • Reach out to the child’s health care provider to inquire about an appointment for vaccination.
  • Look for information from your middle or high school about local opportunities.

Emergency Broadband Benefit Program

From the MN School Board Association

The Emergency Broadband Benefit Program is a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) program that provides a temporary discount on monthly broadband bills for qualifying low-income households.

Eligible households can receive:

  • Up to a $50/month discount on your broadband service and associated equipment rentals.
  • Up to a $75/month discount if your household is on qualifying Tribal lands.
  • A one-time discount of up to $100 for a laptop, tablet, or desktop computer (with a co-payment of more than $10 but less than $50).

Only one monthly service discount and one device discount is allowed per household.

Visit https://www.getemergencybroadband.org for details.

2021 Kindergarten Registration

Are You Getting Ready to Send Your Child to September 2021 Kindergarten?

Enroll Online Today!

ISD 709 Elementary Schools provide a rich learning experience for students grades K-5.

  • Highly skilled, caring teachers
  • Fun, engaging, creative learning activities
  • Music, Art, Physical Education, Media
  • Reading, Math, Social Studies, Science
  • Emphasis on Family Partnership
  • Community partnerships for learning

#Inspire709 #BrightFuture

In The News

Duluth News Tribune: The Young Scholars program at Myers-Wilkins Elementary identifies gifted, talented students of all ethnicities. It's in a pilot phase this year due to the pandemic.



Duluth Teacher Wins Gold Medal Educator Contest.

To recognize and celebrate teachers, Carlson Orthodontics held a “Gold Medal Educator” contest, asking their patients to choose a favorite teacher to honor. The practice received over 1,000 entries and chose Lisa Bergman, Congdon Park Elementary, as this year's recipient, congratulations! Says one student, in her heartfelt entry, "She’s funny, loves Minions from Despicable Me! She was my brother’s teacher too. She has helped me understand reading and math. She makes me feel proud of myself.”



Ordean East Student Receives National Award

Great article in the Duluth News Tribune - Molly McNamee, Ordean East Middle School, took first place at state for the Minnesota PTA Reflections Program in her age group in literature and second place at the national level, where she was the only Minnesota student to receive an award in any category. Congratulations!

Duluth News Tribune



Duluth East Student Receives $2,500 BBB Scholarship

Duluth East High School senior Crystal Kaczmarczyk was awarded the BBB’s $2,500 Student of Integrity Scholarship, celebrating high school seniors who personify all of the best aspects of high character in their personal choices and actions. Congratulations, Crystal!



Denfeld Theater Presents:

Shakespeare's Macbeth

Adapted by Simon Van-Vector Lee

May 20 - 22, 7:00PM - 8:30PM

Outdoor Performance: Denfeld Courtyard

In case of rain, held in Denfeld Auditorium

Suggested donation: $5 (pay what you can)

Streaming on YouTube May 24

Thank you, Duluth Grill, Barcodes Plus and WUSSOWS Concert Cafe for your support!


From Gordy Sheer, Dir of Marketing & Sponsorship, USA Luge

USA Luge Slider Search Event

The USA Luge Slider Search is the primary means for identifying talented youngsters to become members of the National Luge Team structure. Using wheeled sleds, kids will be taught how to safely steer and stop the sleds. Duluth is one of nine stops on the 2021 tour.

‣ Free t-shirt for each attendee

‣ COVID safety protocols in place

‣ Olympian Larry Dolan will be your coach

When: May 22-23, 2021

Where: Junction Ave. from E. Niagara to W. College (University of MN)

Time: 9-11 AM, 12-2 PM 3-5 PM each day

To register: www.teamusa.org/usa-luge/slidersearch or call 1-800-USA Luge

Denfeld, Duluth East Spring Sports

A few candid photos as students take part in spring athletics. Go Hunters, Go Hounds!




Laura MacArthur Fit & Fun Run!

Big picture

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