November 17, 2023
The school year is flying by
I simply cannot believe that we are heading into the second half of November! With all of the beginning of the year efforts, in addition to the huge referendum push, the weeks and months are simply flying by.
One important November acknowledgement that I want to mention is National American Indian Heritage Month, which has been recognised nationally since 1990.
According to the National Congress of American Indians, “Native American Heritage Month is a time to celebrate rich and diverse cultures, traditions and history, acknowledge important contributions, educate the general public about tribes, and raise awareness about the unique challenges Native Americans have faced historically and currently. By understanding Native American history and hardship, we take steps to break down the harmful systems that hamper Indigenous people everywhere.”
Duluth has a rich Indigenous history which remains an important part of our culture and lives today. For nearly 14,000 years, a number of tribes lived and continue to call Duluth home, including the Ojibwe, also known as the Anishinaabe, as well as the Dakota and Northern Cheyenne.
Personally, I have considered it one of the greatest honors of being superintendent of Duluth Public Schools to take part in tribal consultation with the Fond du Lac Tribe. These experiences have taught me a lot about tribal interactions and how to better meet the needs of our American Indian students.
Although I attended Heritage University for my teaching license and master’s degree, which is rooted in the homeland of the Yakama Nation and was an educator on the Central Washington reservation for nearly 10 years, I still have so much to learn about the first people of our community and hope that each of us embrace the opportunity to do so with an open heart and mind. I am deeply grateful for those who have shown patience and understanding to me as I entered our community.
As we head into the final weeks of this month, please take a moment to reflect upon the amazing contributions of our American Indian students, staff and community members and show deep gratitude for the lands upon which we work, learn and live.
Studies have shown that students who are involved in after-school activities feel more connected to their school and have better attendance. Encourage your child to join meaningful after-school activities, including sports and clubs.
If you don’t know what sports or clubs your students’ school offers, contact the front office, check out the school website or ask your student’s teacher.
When your child participates in after-school activities, clubs or sports they are more likely to have better attendance, as they would have something to look forward to everyday.
Another way of improving attendance is getting into the habit of daily routines. It helps to reduce stress, support learning and makes it easier to connect with friends and teachers.
We are working to make our school environment a place where everyone can be safe, healthy and learning. We will do our best to listen and partner with you so that your children have a successful year.
So let’s work together and help reduce chronic absenteeism.
Assistant Superintendent of Teaching, Learning and Equity
Free Tutoring for Duluth Public School Students
Dear Duluth Public Schools Families,
Free online tutoring for K-12 students is available through the CSS/ISD 709 Tutor Program. We have tutors in most grade levels and subjects. They have completed training and are ready to work with Duluth students!
Go to this web address: https://css709tutor.setmore.com/ to book tutoring appointments. Once there you will be able to choose the grade level needed, the content, the tutor and the time they are available. After you book a tutoring session you will receive an email with a Google Meets (video-conference) link. Use that link at the time of your appointment.
If you have any questions please feel free to email Beth LaVigne email@example.com
Parent Advisory Council on Special Education Upcoming Meetings
Join us and be a voice for our special education students! Parent Advisory Council on Special Education (PACSE) will facilitate opportunities for parents and schools to work collaboratively ensuring the success of all children and youth with disabilities from birth to age 22.
Meetings are held virtually via Google Meet and in person at the district service center, 709 Portia Johnson Drive, room 102A.
- Thursday, Dec. 14 at 4:15 p.m.
- Thursday, Feb. 15 at 4:15 p.m.
- Thursday, May 2 at 4:15 p.m.
Visit www.isd709.org/academics/special-education for more information.
Ordean East Knowledge Bowl Teams show off their skills
After four successful preliminary competition days, the OEMS Knowledge Bowl Teams competed on Wednesday, November 15, 2023 at the Northeast Service Cooperative (NESC) section championship with great success.
OEMS Team #3 took 1st place; OEMS Team #2 took 2nd place; OEMS Team #1 took 5th place.
The meet was well played by all of our students. Congratulations to the team members who represented Ordean East Middle School and ISD709. Also thank you to Terra Ranum for volunteering and reading at every meet. This ends a very successful season! Thank you to all the students, parents, and OEMS Administration (Sue Lehna) who participated and supported OEMS Knowledge Bowl.
NESC is the coordinating agency for academic teams such as Knowledge Bowl.
Lincoln Park celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month with math and art
Lincoln Park Middle School unveiled an Inka khipu art work display on Friday, Nov. 17.
Students have been working on a math lesson and community art project for Hispanic Heritage Month involving Inka khipu. A khipu is a series of knotted strings used by the Inka to communicate and keep numerical and organizational records (and even language in some cases).
Math interventionist Rachel Breckenridge, LPMS art teacher Chrissy Valento, and community education at LPMS Mackenzie Tucker, have been working with the students and on the design.
The work is inspired by Mexican American artist Gabriel Dawe. Students were able to learn and work on the art project before school and during lunch. Students were asked to pick a color for the string and a number less than 1,000 that was important to them. Math interventionist Rachel Breckenridge knotted a strict representing the number of students who participated and added it to the collection.
Students learned about the khipu and Gabriel Dawe's Plexus Series work. There are a total of 123 strings that the students worked to assemble in a pattern that would mimic a spectrum of light. From farther away the knots are not really visible and the strings resemble a smaller version of Gabriel Dawe's work, but on closer inspection, you can see the knots and most students now know how to read them and identify which is theirs.
Sources of Strength Peer Leader Training at East
50 East High School students were trained as a peer leader for Sources of Strength on Wednesday, Nov. 15. The mission of Sources of Strength is to provide the highest quality evidence-based prevention for suicide, violence, bullying and substance abuse by training, supporting, and empowering both peer leaders and caring adults to impact their world through the power of connection, hope, help and strength.
The training was student-led and highlights included : guided mindfulness, writing notes of gratitude to mentors, stretching and learning a dance together, creating personal polaroids of art that connect to ourselves, identifying who we have on our team to support us and more! We look forward to a great year!
You can learn more about Sources of Strength at : https://sourcesofstrength.org/
College Prep Classes start in January
Thinking about going to college? But, not sure you are ready yet?
FREE College Prep Classes at Lake Superior College to make sure you are ready BEFORE you pay tuition.
Classes start in January. Registration open now! dae.isd709.org