Ordean East Middle School News

Vol. 3 Issue 11 - December 10, 2021

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OEMS Staff Learn from STEM/Computer Science Specialist at Minnesota Department of Education

Approximately 11 OEMS staff participated in "Computer Science for Duluth- CS4DLH" at the College of St. Scholastica this past Tuesday evening. They started with a welcome by Mayor Emily Larson where she emphasized the importance of computer science in our community. The National Center for Computer Science Education and MN Department of Education facilitated an evening on ways of integrating computer science in K-8 classrooms. Participants had hands-on opportunities to code using "Scratch" and program a robot using "Sphero". Computer Science is present in many aspects of our lives and we may not even realize it. There are many ways elementary and middle school teachers can include computer science in their classrooms and after school - coding using scratch or code.org, using Sphero robots for learning the basics of computer programming, and even simple paper and pencil exercises that focus on logical thinking - using tangrams to build shapes or solving number puzzles. Some OEMS teachers have been imbedding computer science experiences into their daily lesson all along and other found ways of integrating new computer science skills this week. OEMS Intermediate Algebra teacher Ms. Marquardt said, " I am so glad I decided to attend this event. It was informative and so much fun! We were able to spend some time “playing” at different stations- from coding with Scratch to using Sphero to program a robot to even learning some ways we can integrate computer science with students being “unplugged”. I’m interested in learning more!" The pictures below show examples of students using code.org to code on their Chromebooks. We are grateful for the support of CSS, Infosys, and ISD709 in making this opportunity possible for our staff.

Have you heard the buzz? OEMS Spelling Bee Results Are In

Students whose names are bolded will be going on to represent Ordean East at the district spelling bee on December 14, at Lincoln Park Middle School. Congrats to all who participated!

7th/8th grade division:

Champion: Maddie Singer (8th grade)

Runner up: Parker Tandberg (7th grade)

Third: Ash Hibbs (8th grade)

Sam Breeuer (8th grade) & Max Harbson (8th grade)

6th grade division:

Champion: Faith Dollopac

Runner up: Bjorn Sherman-Strand

Third: Callum Richardson

Thank you to everyone who helped make the school spelling bee a success - Ally Austin, Ryan Feldbrugge, Cathy Klaber-Hartl, Ginger Backus, Mary Gavitt, Peter Froehlingsdorf, Dave Gerth, Sarah Erickson, Julie Guddek, Katie Oliver, Joan Lancour, ELA teachers & The Ordean East Times!

"The Ordean Times" student-run newspaper

The Ordean Times is a student-run newspaper. We meet everyday during WIN. We write about everything from things happening here at school to all around the world. Click here to see our articles, learn more about our staff, or contact us.


The Duluth Public Library will be open during Winter Break and February Break.

The Duluth Public Library’s Winter Reading Program runs from December 1st through February 28th. Through our Winter Reading Program, every student who reads 10 hours wins a free book of their choice! Students can sign up at duluthlibrary.org or by visiting the library.

ISD709 students can still sign up for PORT CARDS. With a PORT CARD, ISD709 students can borrow books and materials from the public library by typing their student ID number into a pad at checkout. PORT CARDS are easy to use and impossible to lose! Sign up here: Port Cards - Duluth Public Library (duluthlibrary.org)

OEMS Swim Team Is Reinstated for the 21-22 School Year More info coming soon

Duluth/OEMS school social wkr fierce advocate for youth

The Duluth News Tribune published a great article about the MN School Social Worker of the Year- Tracy Litman. Unfortunately, you need to subscribe to the DNT to see it. We are blessed to work with and learn beside this extraordinary woman.

2021-22 Winter Break Extended

During a special meeting held in the Denfeld Media Center, the Duluth School Board approved a resolution extending the 2021-22 Winter Break by two days (view the resolution).

The two districtwide closure days added are Wednesday December 22 and Monday January 3. There will be no school for students, and school and district offices will be closed.

The extension will address staff and student safety, including the impact of staffing shortages on district operations.

The Duluth school district is working with community partners to provide food and mental health support, as well as child care associated with the extension. The district is also partnering with Essentia Health to offer staff and student booster clinics prior to break as well as COVID testing for staff and students on January 3, 2022.

OEMS Daily Video Announcements

Click on our school webpage. Scroll to the bottom right. A link to daily announcements, either written or video will be available. You will find up-to-date information about after school activities, lunch menu, & more.

If A School Bus Route Is Cancelled

School bus driver shortages and rising COVID rates make it possible this school year that there may be days where a school bus route must be cancelled at the last minute.

Cancelling a school bus route at the last minute is not a preferred strategy and we hope we never have to take this step. However, Duluth school district schools and staff are preparing for this possibility and to ensure families are prepared as well.

  • The need to cancel a school bus route for a day may be announced the night before or early in the morning (between 5AM to 6:15AM) much like a snow day.

  • The bus route will be referred to by School Name/AM or PM Service/a Route Number. In Infinite Campus Parent Portal you can check your child’s morning and afternoon route numbers.

  • Families impacted by the bus route cancellation will be notified:

    • Automated phone call from the school district

    • Email from the school district

    • Text from the school district (if the family is set up to receive texts through IC Messenger)

  • Families impacted by the school bus route cancellation can either:

    • Provide transportation for their child in place of that route (On days when a bus is cancelled, OEMS will ensure there is supervision in the cafeteria by 7:30AM for children that are dropped off early by their guardian)

    • Keep their child home and, as long as they report the absence to the school, it will be considered excused.

  • Families, especially those with elementary age students, should have a contingency plan for their children in the event of a school bus route cancellation.

Please know that we are all doing our best to work through challenges specific to school bus transportation and greatly appreciate your patience and understanding as we do so. We apologize for any inconvenience changes may cause.

The Duluth school district continues to actively recruit new bus drivers and there are currently new drivers in training. We encourage anyone interested in becoming a school bus driver to apply at www.ISD709.org/Jobs.

Unfortunately, OEMS won't be offering 7th/8th Grade Basketball this year. We have struggled to recruit coaches. If you know someone that may be interested in coaching next winter ('22-'23), let us know. Our recruitment efforts have already begun.

Ordean East Middle School

Main Office: Anna Fridsma

Attendance: Dawn Warner

Principal: Gina Kleive

Assistant Principals: Rachel Jackson & Michael Emerson

School Counselors: Ashley Kedrowski & Sarah Seglem

School Social Worker: Tracy Litman