From the Office of the Superintendent 2/7/20

Weekly Briefing for ISD 709 Faculty & Staff

Dear Colleagues,

February is Black History Month, honoring the contributions of African Americans to United States History. See below for websites and resources, including the Clayton Jackson McGhie Memorial, the Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights, Minnesota History Center, the National Archives and the National Museum of African American History & Culture.

This week we extend a thank you to our Duluth School Counselors, recognizing the work they do to support students and families. Many thanks to Duluth Mayor Emily Larson for proclaiming February 3, 2020 as Duluth School Counseling Day.

Thank you to our Duluth Coaches & Advisers as well. In our Duluth Public Schools, students soar to new heights in athletics, art, speech, theater, debate, knowledge bowl, robotics, clubs, boards and dozens of other opportunities in a variety of interests and areas. These activities help make our schools special.

Kind regards,


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

Thank You, Duluth School Counselors

School counselors are actively committed to helping
students explore their abilities, strengths, interests, and talents. They help families focus on ways to further the educational, personal and social growth of their children and work with teachers and other educators to help students explore their potential and set realistic goals for themselves.
Many thanks to our Duluth school counselors, inspiring and supporting students and families every day!

Duluth Mayor Emily Larson proclaimed Monday February 3, 2020 as Duluth School Counseling Day.
#Inspire709 #ThankACounselor

Celebrating Black History Month

Black History Month honors the contributions of African Americans to United States history. While African American history should be taught throughout the year as part of American History, this is a time to investigate more deeply the struggles, challenges and achievements of African Americans.

Websites and Resources Related to Black History:

Thank You, Duluth Coaches and Advisers

Extracurricular activities are an important part of student life. Studies show educational-based activities and programs can enhance student success across multiple areas, including higher grade point averages, better attendance at school, and character development. The impact of coaches and advisers is an asset to their professions, students, school districts, and local communities.

Governor Tim Walz proclaimed January 27 - February 2, 2020 as Thank A Coach/Adviser Week.

Please take a moment to thank the folks who work hard to provide students opportunities outside the classroom.

#Inspire709 #ThankACoach #ThankAnAdviser

From the MN Dept of Health: Flu Season Resources

Influenza (flu) season is in full swing in Minnesota and in Duluth. Flu season can last until April, so we potentially have several months of flu season left.

Symptoms of flu include fever, cough, body aches and extreme tiredness. It's not the same as “stomach flu,” which people often call unrelated gastrointestinal illnesses that have symptoms like diarrhea or vomiting.

To prevent the flu, we encourage everyone to:

  • Get your flu vaccine. It is not too late to get vaccinated for this season.
  • Cover your cough. Cough or sneeze into your elbow or a tissue.
  • Wash your hands. Use soap and water when possible, but alcohol-based hand sanitizer can also be used.
  • Stay home if you are sick. Help stop the spread of germs by avoiding contact with other people if you are sick.

School administrators, teachers and staff: for instructions on how to report an outbreak at your school and additional resources on flu, visit School Health Personnel Influenza Information.

Enroll Online Today for September 2020:

Do you know people getting ready to send their child to high school, middle school or kindergarten in September 2020?

High School Registration, February 1 - 23
Middle School Registration, January 22 - February 23
Kindergarten Roundup Events, March & April
Denfeld, Duluth East High School Registration, Feb 1 -23

>>Advanced placement, honors courses

>>College in the Schools: Earn College Credit in High School

>>Career & Technical Education: Engineering, Education, Graphic Arts/Digital Design, Medical Occupations, Business/Marketing/Finance, Construction Technology, Automotive Technology, Aerospace (Aviation), Culinary Arts/Hospitality Industry, Agriculture and Forestry

>>Art and music, including Band, Orchestra, Chorus

>>Dozens of extracurricular activities including award-winning robotics, speech, music listening, business, cheer teams

>>School Spirit – Greyhound and Hunter Pride!

>>Dozens of Unique College/Post-Secondary Scholarships

Web Page

ISD 709 News

We know there are a lot of great things going on in our schools - let's make sure we're letting everyone else know, too! Share your school, student, staff accomplishments, projects and events with Kathleen.Kaufman@ISD709.org, they'll be used in email newsletters, social media, websites and other communication venues.

Denfeld Students Host MN Supreme Court Justice Visit

Students & staff welcomed Minnesota Supreme Court Associate Justice Anne McKeig to Denfeld last week.
Justice McKeig met with student leaders from the Denfeld Executive Board, toured the school and addressed the student body during an assembly. Student leaders from Denfeld’s American Indian Leadership Circle, Denfeld’s Jazz Band and members of the Denfeld Choirs and Orchestra also took part. Following the assembly the school hosted a reception for Justice McKeig, catered by Denfeld Clock Tower Café students. Justice McKeig and student representatives spoke with the local news media about the experience.
A descendant of the White Earth Nation, Justice McKeig is the first American Indian to serve on Minnesota’s Supreme Court. She was appointed to the Court by Governor Mark Dayton on September 1, 2016 and elected in 2018. Justice McKeig holds a J.D. from Hamline University School of Law and a B.A. from the College of St. Catherine.

Great job, Denfeld students and staff, shout out to Jeremy Rupp for helping make this happen!

Duluth News Tribune




Lester Park Staff Channel Their Flannel
In honor of our amazing paraprofessionals, Lester Park Elementary staff and students wore flannel during Paraprofessional Recognition Week.
Paraprofessionals play a vital role in student achievement. As part of our educational teams, they're committed to ensuring every child has the support they need to be successful.
Many thanks to our Duluth Public School paraprofessionals for the support they provide in our schools and for making a positive difference for every child, every day.

1st Place for Duluth Boys Swim
The team is a co-op between Denfeld and Duluth East, they took 1st Place at the Hibbing Invitational, congratulations! More great news, the MN State High School Swim Coaches Association released its new class AA Boys Swim Team ranking and the Duluth team came in at #7. This is the highest ranking to date for the team.
#Inspire709 #Teamwork

Lincoln Park MS Wildcats Get Vertical

"Event at Quarry Park exposed Lincoln Park Middle School students to ice climbing — a thrilling sport with otherwise steep barriers."

Read the Duluth News Tribune Article


Free Books for Stowe Elementary Students

Many thanks to Fran Morris, Gary New Duluth Rec Center and volunteers who provide a wonderful opportunity for students at Stowe Elementary each year. Through their I Love To Read event nearly 1,000 new and gently used books are provided to children at Stowe. They bring each class to the REC, provide a snack, read a story and then students can pick out two brand new books and two gently used books. This year students also got a chance to check out a police squad used by the Duluth Police Department.

Readers this year included Duluth Police Chief Mike Tusken, several Duluth police officers and Assistant Superintendent Jeff Horton. Thanks to all for their support of students and schools.

#Inspire709 #LoveToRead #CommunitySupport




Gary New Duluth Rec Center Facebook

Lincoln Park Students Take College Tour

Lincoln Park Middle School 8th grade CSS Talent Search students visited UW Superior this week. They toured the campus, dorms and the Automotive Department. They had a great time and learned about the campus!

#Inspire709 #CollegeLife #HereBeforeYouKnowIt


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From Caitlyn Hakes, PACER:

ABCs of the IEP: Making the Individualized Education Program Work for Your Child

Friday February 25, 2020 6:30PM - 8:30PM

LaQuinta Inn & Suites 1805 Maple Grove Rd Duluth, MN 55811

Free workshop will help parents understand how to use the Individualized Education Program (IEP) to benefit their child. To participate in the workshop, parents will need to bring a copy of each of the following:

• Their child’s most recent special education evaluation report

• Their child’s current IEP

If an ASL interpreter is needed, contact PACERWorkshops@PACER.org or call (952) 838-9000 with 48 hrs. notice. This workshop is funded in part by a grant from the Minnesota Department of Education.

To register: PACER.org/workshops or (952) 838-9000