From the Office of the Superintendent 2/27/20
Weekly Briefing for ISD 709 Faculty & Staff
This week we celebrate Minnesota School Bus Driver Appreciation Day with a well-deserved shout out to our Duluth school bus drivers. They give it their all each day, ensuring a safe ride to and from school and also providing a supportive presence to our students. Thanks for all you do.
It's also Public Schools Week, recognizing the importance of public education in a democratic society and highlighting the great things going on in our public schools.
The US Census count is happening this spring. It's important that every family and child be counted. Responding to the census helps our Duluth community and our Duluth schools get our fair share of funding, so please help spread the word and encourage participation.
We're hearing a lot nationally about Coronavirus Disease, COVID-19. The Minnesota Department of Health and the US Centers for Disease Control have web pages with good information and they're updating them regularly. Right now there's no impact on schools but we'll keep an eye on the situation as it unfolds. See below for links.
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 Bus Drivers!
This week we celebrated February 26 as Minnesota School Bus Driver Appreciation Day, honoring those who take on the important job of getting students to and from school safely each day (in Duluth, that's thousands of kids!).
From Governor Tim Walz's proclamation: "In darkness and daylight, on dirt roads and multi-lane highways, from the rainy late spring to the frigid winter, Minnesota school bus drivers safely transport more than 760,000 students to and from school each day...bus drivers bookend a student's school day, serving as a mentor and having a positive influence on a student's educational experience."
Public Schools Week is a national celebration to highlight the great things happening in our nation’s public schools. Nine out of 10 students in America attend public schools. That’s why it’s more important than ever before that every student have access to an amazing, wonderful public education. This initiative shows the strength and potential of public schools in a democratic society.
From the MN Department of Health:
Information for Schools, Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
The situation surrounding the outbreak is rapidly evolving and the information or recommendations are changing as new information becomes available.
- At this time, the risk of becoming sick with COVID-19 is low, including for people in Minnesota schools.
- As always, we recommend that people stay home when sick, cover their cough, and practice good hand hygiene. These recommendations are especially important during cold and flu season.
Duluth School Board Decides No Boundary Changes for September 2020 School Year
During the regular meeting held February 24, the Duluth School Board discussed the Boundary Project. They approved a motion that, for the September 2020 school year, all boundaries will remain the same. This includes elementary, middle and high school. The Board said it would not make any boundary changes in the next school year and there would be no changes planned for Immersion and English programs at Lowell in the next school year. Work on the Boundary Study will continue through the end of this school year and into the 2020-2021 school year with further research, discussion and community input.February 24, 2020 School Board Meeting
The Duluth School Board values your ideas regarding public education in Duluth and what kind of leadership will best take us into the future. A timeline with public input opportunities is being provided and shared with the community as the Board works to identify the next Superintendent for ISD 709.
Current Search Timeline (Subject to updates)
· March 3 – 7, 2020: Consultants screen and interview and develop an initial slate of candidates.
· March 10, 2020 12Noon - 3:00PM, School Board public meeting to review and select candidates for initial interviews. Location: 2nd Floor Board Room, Historic Old Central High School, 215 N. 1st Avenue East, Duluth.
· March 19, 2020 4:00PM - 9:00PM & March 20, 2020 8:00AM - 1:30PM, School Board interviews 6-8 candidates in public meetings, narrows the field to two or three candidates. Location: 2nd Floor Board Room, Historic Old Central High School, 215 N. 1st Avenue East, Duluth.
· March 23, 24, 25, 2020: All day interview process for finalists, schedule TBD. Includes open forums available to staff, students, community members and a final School Board interview in a public meeting. School Board makes final selection.
· March 30 - April 3, 2020: Act on the new superintendent’s contract in public meeting. Announcement of new ISD 709 Superintendent.
· July 1, 2020: New superintendent takes office
Respond to the 2020 Census This Spring
Responding to the census helps your community get its fair share of funding. Census data guides how more than $675 billion in federal funding is distributed to states and communities each year for schools, health care facilities, roads, transportation, recreation centers, social services, and more.
Learn more about the Census at 2020CENSUS.GOV.
Communication is important, especially during a school emergency.
On Tuesday March 10, Duluth Public Schools and the Duluth Police Department will conduct a test of emergency technologies such as alert systems, two-way radios and school building communications.
The test will include Infinite Campus Parent Portal notifications.
- On March 10, you may receive a test phone call, text or email from your school or from the district.
- The message will clearly state “This is a test of Duluth Public Schools notification systems."
- No response is necessary on your part.
We appreciate your patience as we test our emergency notification systems on March 10.
Interested in a Career as a Paraprofessional?
In Minnesota, paraprofessionals may work in a variety of positions in a school district, including, but not limited to, instructional assistants, pupil support assistants, special education paraprofessionals, lunch room and playground assistants, hall monitors, media center assistants and family liaisons.
FREE preparation is available at the Adult Learning Center
to prepare you to take the ETS ParaPro Certification Assessment for a Career as an Educational ParaProfessional.
Preparation Classes: Monday – Thursday April 13 – 30, 2020
1:00PM – 3:30PM
For Registration Information:
Call the Adult Learning Center at (218) 336-8790
ISD 709 News
Two Duluth Public School teachers are among 36 semifinalists for this year's Minnesota Teacher of the Year Award, congratulations!
- Nicole Jensen, Lincoln Park Middle School
- Brian Jungman, Denfeld High School
The Minnesota Teacher of the Year program, now in its 56th year, is the oldest and most prestigious recognition program in Minnesota to honor excellence in education. The program chooses one teacher to represent Minnesota's thousands of excellent educators.
#Inspire709 #ExcellenceInEducation #DuluthTeachersRock
Author, ALC Student Nominated for NE MN Book Award
Sharon Shuck is a Native American elder, an enrolled member of the Fond du Lac Band and a student in Duluth Adult Learning Center. Last spring she was featured in the Duluth News Tribune and the Woman Today Magazine. The articles described her life, her development as a writer and publication of her book, Grandfather's Blood Memories and Unbroken Spirit.
These stories, based on real life, offer vivid pictures of the trauma and challenges faced by Native Americans living through the late 1800s and early 1900s in the American Midwest.
Ms. Shuck has been nominated for the Northeastern Minnesota Book Awards in the nonfiction category. She has been invited to attend the NEMBA ceremony at UMD's Kathryn A. Martin Library on Thursday, May 21, 2020. Ms. Shuck has also had a public reading of her book with other local writers, Tom Peacock and Linda LeGarde.
On Thursday February 27 at 8:30PM, Ms. Shuck will be featured on Native Report on WDSE-TV8, Duluth's PBS station.
Ms. Shuck, congratulations on the success of your book! And thank you for inspiring us all to be lifelong learners.
Denfeld, Duluth East Students Explore Career Opportunities
Construct Tomorrow provides demonstration stations where students get a feel for the work building & trades people do and the skills they must develop. Good paying jobs available, apprenticeships enable students to learn a trade and earn wages at the same time.
Many thanks to all who provide this opportunity to our students!
Denfeld Robotics Team Speaks to New Regional Practice FieldGood job, Denfeld DNA Robotics Team Business Captain Emma Natale, speaking to WDIO about the new practice field! Thank you, Arrowhead Robotics Coalition and F.I. Salter, for this amazing resource.
Summer K.E.Y. Zone Program Registration Opens March 2
Sites: Lester Park, Ordean East, Lowell, Laura MacArthur
Dates: June 15 - August 28 (no program on July 3)
Hours: 6:30 am - 6:00 pm
Cost: $39/day/child (20-day minimum)
Registration Fee: $35 (does not apply to current families)
Come join in the summer fun!