Weekly Update

Duluth Public Schools News April 1, 2022

From Superintendent John Magas

Dear families:


Welcome to April! Spring always represents a time of rebirth and renewal as the snow melts, the grass turns green and the trees eventually bud. This is also a time in which we call upon the students, staff, families and community to join us as we engage in re-imagining our schools as we plan for the future while also further supporting the many great things that are already a part of our district.


Duluth Public Schools will be launching a comprehensive strategic planning process later this month. The overall process and strategic plan will be created with significant input from district stakeholders focused on future system-wide enhancements to improve outcomes for all students. In doing so, we will explicitly seek the voices of all perspectives, including those that are often underrepresented.


Throughout the strategic planning process, we will be partnering with TeamWorks International. TeamWorks is one of the leading organizations for strategic planning throughout Minnesota and has worked with districts across the country.


Most strategic plans start with what the board and administration envision, then implement that plan throughout their schools and individual classrooms. TeamWorks takes a much more student-centered approach, using their innovative "classroom to boardroom” process. With this method, students, families and parents first provide significant input to determine the types of desired daily experiences that we seek to create. It is then the district’s responsibility to enact the planning and strategies that will deliver those desired outcomes.

We have launched a webpage to allow each of you to keep up to date on our efforts, as well as news and announcements related to this work.


We will need you — your input, your voice, your perspectives — in creating this plan and vision for the future. We will be sharing invitations to listening sessions and other events with students, staff, and families in the coming weeks as we embark on this critical journey. I personally encourage you to take advantage of these opportunities as we boldly imagine a bright future that builds upon the many strengths of our district and the Duluth community!


With gratitude and appreciation!

John Magas


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

Info@ISD709.org

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Denfeld students show support for Ukraine with fundraiser, blue and yellow colors

Denfeld High School students showed their support for Ukraine by wearing yellow and blue, handing out yellow and blue ribbons, and a coin and hygiene drive to support UNICEF and Second Harvest last week, Friday, March 25.


So proud of these amazing students!


KBJR Story

Denfeld students hear from alumni

Social Studies teacher Mr. Florestano and his students have hosted a pair of alumni recently to enhance learning in class. Sole proprietor Derek Medved, Class of ‘13, spoke to the Economics class. Chief Tusken, Class of ‘87, spoke to CITS Government.

Battling back from injury, Hanna Hovland returns home to Hunters softball

The day after Christmas 2021, Hanna Hovland broke her femur in a skiing accident. For the past 14 weeks, she has been working to get back to the softball field this spring.


"I first started off with obviously learning how to walk with my crutches, and then learning how to walk, and then after that, I started going to PT [physical therapy] at Viverant," Hovland told WDIO. "I started doing exercises there, and from there just been strengthening up and getting ready to go."


Good luck with your senior year of softball Hanna! And Go Huntes!


WDIO Story

Every Child Ready Duluth Family Fest

The Duluth Public Library is hosting a FREE event Saturday, April 2.


Families with children ages 0-5 are invited to the public library’s Every Child Ready Duluth Family Fest on April 2nd from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at The Depot.

  • FREE entertainment for children!
  • Resources to ensure children are ready for
  • kindergarten!
  • Prizes! (…including Super One Foods gift cards for the first 300 attendees.)


Every Child Ready Duluth is a collaborative led by the Duluth Public Library aimed at ensuring that every Duluth child is ready for kindergarten.


For more information visit https://fb.me/e/3fJHPqGhS.

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Safe Learning Plan Update

The Safe Learning Plan was updated on Monday to reflect new guidance for:


  • Isolation following a positive COVID-19 test,
  • Close contact exposure to COVID-19,
  • Those with COVID-19 like symptoms, and
  • Testing.


Isolation following positive test


  • Isolate for 5 days, returning on day 6, if the positive individual wears a well fitting mask, the individual is fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication and other symptoms have improved.

  • If the positive individual cannot wear a well fitting mask or continues to have a fever or other symptoms that have not improved after 5 days of isolation, the individual will isolate for 10 days, returning on day 11.

  • For counting purposes, day 0 is the day the positive COVID-19 test was administered.

    • Day 0- test date

    • Day 1-5- isolation dates

    • Day 6-10- return to school/work as long as the positive individual wears a well fitting mask, the individual is fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication and other symptoms have improved.

  • “Improved symptoms” means that the individual no longer feels ill; they can do their daily routine just as they did before they were ill, and any remaining symptoms, such as a cough or runny nose, are very mild, or infrequent.

  • Day 11- return to school/work if unable to wear a mask or if criteria to return on day 6 was not met.


Close Contact Exposure to COVID-19


  • No quarantine unless COVID-19 like symptoms develop regardless of vaccination status.

    • If COVID-19 like symptoms develop, the symptomatic individual should quarantine and test for COVID-19.

      • If negative, the symptomatic individual can return to school or work once symptoms have improved and are fever-free for 24 hours (without the use of fever-reducing medication).

        • “Improved symptoms” means that the individual no longer feels ill; they can do their daily routine just as they did before they were ill, and any remaining symptoms, such as a cough or runny nose, are very mild, or infrequent.

      • If positive, the symptomatic individual will follow the procedure for a positive COVID-19 result.

      • If no COVID-19 test is obtained, the individual should follow the procedure for a positive COVID-19 result.


Staff and students with COVID-19 like Symptoms


  • COVID-19 Like Symptoms

    • Fever or chills

    • Cough

    • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

    • Fatigue

    • Muscle or body aches

    • Headache

    • New loss of taste or smell

    • Sore throat

    • Congestion or runny nose

    • Nausea or vomiting

    • Diarrhea

*This list does not include all possible symptoms.

  • Staff and students experiencing COVID-19 like symptoms who do not have an alternative diagnosis should stay home and be tested for COVID-19.

    • If positive, the individual will follow the isolation following positive COVID-19 results procedure.

    • If negative, stay home until symptoms improve and are fever-free for 24 hours (without the use of fever-reducing medication).

      • “Improved symptoms” means that the individual no longer feels ill; they can do their daily routine just as they did before they were ill, and any remaining symptoms, such as a cough or runny nose, are very mild, or infrequent.

    • If no COVID-19 test is obtained, the individual should follow the procedure for a positive COVID-19 result.


Testing


  • COVID-19 testing is strongly encouraged, especially if the individual is at high risk for severe disease, if symptoms continue or worsen, if the individual develops additional symptoms, if the individual has been exposed to someone with COVID-19, or if COVID-19 transmission is elevated in the community.

At-home COVID-19 test kits available for staff and students

Duluth Public Schools Health Offices have a limited supply of BinaxNow OTC and BD Veritor home COVID-19 test kits available for students and staff. These test kits should be kept at home and used to test for COVID-19 only when COVID-19 symptoms are present.


Students:

If you would like one of these test kits, please reach out to your student’s school health office to have one sent home with your student. Because there is a limited supply, receiving a test kit, if one is requested, is not guaranteed.


As a reminder, please keep your students home if they are not feeling well. If they are experiencing COVID-19 like symptoms, please test your student for COVID-19 prior to having them return to school and activities.


Staff:

If you would like one of these test kits, please reach out to your school health office to pick one up. Because there is a limited supply, receiving a test kit, if one is requested, is not guaranteed.


As a reminder, please stay home if you are not feeling well. If you are experiencing COVID-19 like symptoms, please test for COVID-19 prior to returning to work.

District COVID-19 numbers

These numbers reflect positive COVID-19 cases by site. The total includes all self-reported positive cases based on the date the case was reported to the school district. Not every person who reported a positive case was in a district building while contagious. These numbers include at-home COVID-19 test kits.


The CDC and Minnesota Department of Health only report positive cases where the person was inside a school building while infectious. The department’s numbers do not include positive cases determined by an at-home COVID-19 test kit.


They do this because there is not a medical professional present to:

  • Confirm who is taking the test,

  • That the home test has not expired,

  • That a proper sample is taken and more.


The CDC and Minnesota Department of Health is also reporting numbers that are at least a week old. If you have questions regarding these numbers, feel free to send your questions to covidquestions@isd709.org.


Detailed updates are available from the Minnesota Department of Health and St. Louis County Department of Health.

Minnesota Weekly COVID Report

Minnesota Situation Update

St. Louis County MN COVID-19 Dashboard

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