May 15, 2019

ISD 709 School News

Jon Flaa, Duluth East High School, Named 2019 Assistant Principal of the Year

Jon was selected as 2019 Assistant Principal of the Year by the Minnesota Association of Secondary School Principals (MASSP), NE Division. The award honors and celebrates the work secondary principals do in service to students and communities. Congratulations!

Act Out Loud: Denfeld HS Student Performance Thursday May 16

Through Act Out Loud, youth develop skills to tell their own stories, performing pieces they wrote based on personal experiences - singing, acting, dancing and more. Students from Denfeld High School have been working on their projects throughout the school year.

Denfeld High School students will present their work:
Thursday May 16, 7:00PM
Denfeld High School Auditorium
401 N. 44th Avenue West
Tickets: $2 at the door
Check out the video on Facebook

You're Invited: All Duluth Public School employees, families, students and friends are invited to a special event to announce the recipient of the $5,000 Award and help celebrate our inspirational teachers:

Wednesday May 15, 2019 7:00PM

Lincoln Park Middle School Auditorium

3215 West 3rd Street, Duluth

The evening includes an Ice Cream Social, it's free and open to the public.

Congratulations, 2019 Gold Star Teacher Award Nominees

  • Philip Warmanen, Lowell Elementary
  • Lynn Thompson, Piedmont Elementary
  • Kristin Paschen, Lester Park Elementary
  • Erin Krizaj, Homecroft Elementary
  • Nancy Broman, Myers-Wilkins Elementary
  • Adam Metzer, Laura MacArthur Elementary
  • Lisa Heehn, Stowe Elementary
  • Kim Evavold-Bolf, Lakewood Elementary
  • Kathleen Lofstuen, Congdon Park Elementary

May School Board Agenda Items - Detailed Information Online

(This is not a comprehensive list of Board agenda items)

>>FY 2019-20 Budget Planning Update

>>Facilities Management & Capital Projects Status Report

>>Assistant Superintendent and Director of Curriculum Reports

>>Policy Updates

View School Board Meetings on YouTube

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Make It OK is a campaign created to encourage individuals to talk more openly about mental illnesses. By breaking the silence, we can help friends, neighbors, loved ones and colleagues feel understood and supported.

Stop the silence surrounding mental illnesses

Mental illnesses are as common as silver cars, as people with brown eyes and more common than being left-handed. Despite being so common, there is still a stigma attached to mental illnesses and many people struggle with talking about them.

Mental health is just as important as our physical health, which is why we are part of a local effort to stop the silence and the stigma. The effort is part of a campaign called “Make It OK,” and is designed to encourage people to talk more openly about mental illnesses and ask for help.

It’s OK to have a mental illness- many of us do

One in four Americans from every walk of life experience a mental illness. Most people live with the symptoms of a mental illness for ten years before seeking treatment, largely due to the stigma. The sooner people get treatment, the greater their chances of recovery.

It’s OK because it is a medical condition – not a character flaw

Mental illnesses are biological conditions that can be treated, just like cancer and diabetes. They cannot be overcome through “will power” and are not related to a person’s character or intelligence.

It’s OK because it’s treatable – life can get better

The treatments for serious mental illnesses today are highly effective. In fact, between 70 – 90 percent of people’s symptoms are reduced and feel better when following individualized treatment plans.

How can you help? By speaking up

When we start talking, we realize that mental illnesses are more common and relatable than we think. And more importantly, people experiencing mental illnesses will be treated with respect, acceptance and be more apt to get the care they need.

Many of us don’t know how to respond to people when they bring up their mental illness. But the answer is that it can be very similar to what you would say to those who have cancer or heart disease. For example:

  • "Thanks for opening up to me."

  • "Is there anything I can do to help?"

  • "How can I help?"

  • "Thanks for sharing."

  • "I'm sorry to hear that. It must be tough."

  • "I'm here for you when you need me."

  • "I can't imagine what you're going through."

  • "People do get better."

  • "Oh man, that sucks."

  • "Can I drive you to an appointment?"

  • "How are you feeling today?"

Visit MakeItOk.org to learn more about the campaign to learn what you can do.

Thanks so much for all you do and please join us for exciting community events this month.


Denfeld Scholars Recognized
Nine students from Denfeld High School are recipients of support from the Robert B. and Sophia Whiteside Scholarship Fund. The Fund awards scholarships to graduating seniors of Duluth high schools who give evidence of academic excellence, high character, demonstrated leadership, and promise of contributing to the betterment of society.
During a reception held in Duluth, students spoke eloquently about social justice, giving to the world & love for others. They also recognized Principal Tonya Sconiers for her leadership and support.

We Love Our School Lunch Heroes

Students at Piedmont Elementary shared their appreciation for school cafeteria staff with cards, posters and flowers. Many thanks to all who work in our school kitchens and lunchrooms! You help keep students cared for in their nutritional needs and make our cafeterias great places to be during breakfast and lunch.
Duluth East Promotes Mental Health Awareness Month
Members of Sterling Strings provided music as students wrote positive messages in chalk around the school entrance. Students were welcomed inside with positive messages on sticky notes lining the lockers.
Lowell Receives $5,000 Healthy Challenge Award
Lowell Elementary is one of several regional schools recognized in a Healthy Schools Challenge, offered through Essentia Health.
Lowell received a $2,500 award from Essentia, a matching grant was awarded by the St. Louis Family Services Collaborative. Lowell received the award for their "Healthy Body Health Mind - Nature Playscape."
Congratulations, and thank you to Essentia and St. Louis County for their support!
Schools in Virginia, Coleraine, Maple, Chisholm and Spooner also received awards.

Homecroft "I Love to Read" Night

Homecroft Elementary students & families turned out for a fun I Love To Read Night which included games, books and bingo. Thanks to all who made this night possible!
Lincoln Park MS Student Earns State Honor
Congratulations to 6th Grader Reagan K. for performing in the American Choral Directors Association of Minnesota 4-5-6 Honor Choir! She was one of 150 singers in Minnesota chosen for this choir, and she was the only singer selected from Northern Minnesota!
ALC/HOCHS Blood Drive Success

A total of 33 units were collected at the Area Learning Center/HOCHS blood drive in May. This is in addition to 30 units collected in November 2018.

As a result of the drive, ALC students will receive a $630 scholarship towards the school of their choice. Many heartfelt thank those for donating and for supporting our students!

Thank you, Jackie Dolentz, for the information and for coordinating the event.

Denfeld Annual Red Carpet Night
Packed house for a fantastic night of music, featuring Denfeld High School's Solid Gold, Symphony Orchestra, High Voice, Low Voice, Jazz Band, Maroon 16, Advanced Band, Combined Orchestras, & the combined finale.
These Hunters continue a strong tradition of music!
Thank you to Paul Christenson, Clare Chopp, and Josh Lehigh for all their work.
Lowell Bark & Bake Project

Students at Lowell Elementary made dog and cat treats for donation to our local animal shelter. A fun way to practice reading and math skills and help make a difference!

Lincoln Park MS Talent Show
A great evening at Lincoln Park Middle School, showcasing student talent, spirit and enthusiasm - thanks to all who helped make this event possible!
Denfeld Students Serve Up Excellence
Students from the Denfeld Clock Tower Cafe culinary arts program applied their banquet skills by prepping, cooking and serving 250 plated meals to the Gary New Duluth Rec Annual Luncheon. Thank you, Clyde Iron Works staff, for providing support, mentorship, and an amazing learning opportunity!
Laura MacArthur, Stowe Students Fit 'n Fun
KEY Zone students from Stowe and Laura MacArthur Elementaries participated in the recent Fitgers 5K Run & Walk – proud of their hard work!

Denfeld Student Athlete Voted Top Performer
Jayden Erie was voted Top Performer this week on MN Lacrosse Hub, congratulations! Jayden is a member of the Duluth Wolfpack, he scored five or more points in four straight games, including in a 13-6 victory over Forest Lake on May 1. He tallied three goals and two assists in the Wolfpack's next outing, a 14-2 win at Tartan on May 3.