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October 3, 2018

ISD 709 School News

October is National Principals Month

Principals set the academic tone for their schools and it is their vision, dedication, and determination that provide the mobilizing force for achieving student success. Thank you for your leadership and the important role you play in helping every student, every day.


National Custodial Workers Appreciation Day - October 2

This week is a great time to say thank you to the people who help keep our school facilities clean, safe and in good working order - all of which support student learning. Your efforts are appreciated by all!

Duluth Receives School Safety Grants

The Duluth Police Department and School District will receive $468,750 from the US Department of Justice 2018 COPS School Violence Prevention program. The funding is for school safety measures including coordination with law enforcement, training to prevent violence against others and self, and technology for expedited notification of law enforcement during an emergency, among others.

The Minnesota Department of Education announced that Duluth Public Schools are among 90 Minnesota public school districts or charter schools awarded safety grants to be used for security and violence prevention improvements.

For this grant, we applied for about $1.7 million between all of our schools. Considering our buildings are relatively new and updated, we're pleased the state awarded almost $71,000 in grant monies for additional work at Denfeld High School and at Rockridge Academy.

While we'd like to see additional funds for all our schools, we know MDE received over 1,100 complete applications requesting $255.5 million - more than 10 times the available amount of funding. This should send a strong message to legislators that more state dollars are needed to support school security.

Many thanks to Jeff Horton, Assistant Superintendent; Dave Spooner, Manager of Facilities; and Jason Barsness, Coordinator of Health, Safety, and Environmental Management for their work on these grants.

We'll continue to look for ways to keep our schools as safe as possible - thanks for your support in this regard.

October is Bullying Prevention Awareness Month

Efforts to create positive school climates, develop positive relationships, and intentionally create communities that recognize and appreciate difference are bullying prevention strategies.

Hurt and harm in any form needs to be addressed in our schools. Mistakes, misunderstandings, and conflicts are common. They may result in someone being hurt and can often be resolved by bringing students together, listening to each other and using problem solving strategies.

Bullying and harassment are different. They include an imbalance of power and require different investigation and remediation techniques. Separation and safety during the investigation is intended to reduce the impact of the power difference and allow for disclosure of information with fewer chances of reprisal or retaliation.

There are 6 roles people may play in situations that involve bullying. Talking about these roles and options for bystanders and defenders can reduce bullying behavior.

  • There is the "person being harmed"
  • And a "person doing harm"
  • "Assisters" encourage or join the harmful behavior
  • "Reinforcers" are not directly involved but provide an audience and less direct encouragement.
  • "Defenders" intervene to stop the behavior or help the person harmed.
  • "Bystanders" are neither reinforcing or defending the behavior.
Research demonstrates that all people, in any of these 6 roles, are harmed by bullying. Click here for more information on ways bullying impacts bystanders. (Center for Disease Control; Roles Kids Play).

More than 50% of the time, bullying stops within 10 seconds of a bystander stepping in to help and there are a range of options to use:

  • Don't support the bullying behavior
  • Choose not to repeat gossip
  • Support the person harmed in private
  • Alert a trusted adult
  • Talk to the person harming others in private
  • Support the person harmed in public
  • Confront the person doing harm in the moment
(Adapted from Bullies & Victims: Helping Your Children through the Schoolyard Battlefield)

Visit our Safe & Welcoming Schools Website for more information and links to report bullying behavior at your school.


2018 Duluth Education Levy

On November 6, voters are asked to consider renewing and increasing education funding in Duluth for class size and classroom technology updates.

Details online.

Informational Flyer to Share

Contact kathleen.kaufman@isd709.org for hard copies of the informational flyer.

Please Vote November 6, 2018

Congratulations, Gimaajii Youth Photographers

Check out these young photographers! Duluth students Katie and Kayla DeWitt, and Bradley Goodsky took part in a week long Gimaajii Youth photography session last month at AICHO and had their portraits taken. Their portraits were selected for the In Progress "Young America" exhibition in St. Paul. Katie and Kayla spoke at the reception - Katie stated in her remarks that she hopes that all people will work towards cultural equity.

Congratulations Nathasha Lancour, 20 Under 40 Award

Ms. Lancour works with students at Denfeld High School through a partnership with Men As Peacemakers. She is a Board member and fundraiser for Superior African Heritage Community, YWCA Girl Power! program coordinator, current commissioner for People of Color Voices of Racial Justice and active with several other community organizations. Thank you for your partnership and support!

Duluth News Tribune

Denfeld Students Inducted Into National Honor Society
Students from Denfeld and Duluth East high schools are being inducted into the National Honor Society this month - photo, Denfeld High School. Congratulations to all new NHS members!

Duluth East Students Inducted Into National Honor Society

Students from Duluth East and Denfeld high schools are being inducted into the National Honor Society this month – photo, Duluth East. Congratulations to all new NHS members!
Duluth East Seniors Receive College Book Awards
Awards are given each year to exceptional students who have excelled in their intelligence, determination, motivation, and are visible members of their schools and communities.
From left to right: Snow Li (Wellesley College), Karin Berdahl (George Washington University), Olivia Rawlyk (Harvard University), Nicholas VanLoh (Yale University), Jayson Hagen (Dartmouth College)
Congratulations, Members of Denfeld National Honor Society Juniors
Students who meet the scholarship requirements and demonstrate commitment to service, leadership, character, and citizenship.

Hunters Helping Hunters

Emma Haugen and Madelyn Rodberg, Denfeld HS, are part of the youth ‘LEO Club’ (a branch of the Lion’s Club). They worked the Duluth Air Show this summer and with their earnings purchased supplies for donation to the Denfeld Hunter Hut - kudos to Emma and Madelyn for helping out their fellow Hunters!

Denfeld Boys Soccer Team Members Inducted Into NHS

Several members of the Denfeld Boys Soccer Team were among those inducted

Into the National Honor Society this month – Congratulations Peter Foldesi, Julian Beckrich, Eric Gibson, Connor Feyen, Gabe Fossum, Zach DeCaro, Jacob Johnson, Jon Faynik.

Duluth East Daredevils Participate in Duluth Sister City Day of Peace

The celebration encourages understanding between nations by way of connecting communities together. The Daredevils demonstrated their robots and taught people how to drive them. They described helping students in Växjö, Sweden start the first FRC (FIRST Robotics Competition) team in that country, called The Vikings.

They sent the new team a starting kit with chassis components to begin building their robot. In March 2018, the Vikings traveled to Duluth to compete in the Northern Lights Regional. They won 3 of their matches and received the Rookie Inspiration Award!

KQDS-TV21

From the City of Duluth:

Fire Prevention Week Opportunities

October 7 - 13, 2018

Theme: Look. Listen. Learn. Be Aware. Fire can happen anywhere.

The City will have a fire prevention open house for the public on October 13 from 11am-2pm at Fire Station #4, 425 W College Street. They will have free hot dogs and kitchen trailer demonstrations, a fire hose activity for the kids and information on Fire Safety. Everyone is welcome.

The City will also have their Win a Ride to School on a Fire Truck event. Students K-5, who attend school in the city of Duluth have an opportunity to enter to win a ride to school on October 10th or 11th. They must fill out the form that will be handed out at school and returned to the Duluth Fire Department by October 8 at 4pm.