The Eagle's Eye: Distance Learning

January 19, 2022

Duluth Public Schools Academy is dedicated to the achievement of

academic and personal excellence for every student.

A note from Ms. Hoole, Academy Director

Hello, North Star Junior Academy Community!

Our teachers and staff are working hard to prepare for a few weeks of distance learning, starting tomorrow, Thursday, January 20 and going through the February break. Our plan is to return to school the week of February 28. We have seen so much progress in our students over the last semester, and we are dedicated to keeping that sense of connection and community moving forward so that we can jump back in right where we left off when we return to in-person learning after break.

To keep that sense of community, we are emphasizing the importance of students joining the face to face live lessons for each of their classes. Each day will start with an all-school morning meeting at 9:00 am that will go over announcements and find ways to connect. After that morning meeting, on Monday-Thursday, we will be running a modified version of the students' regular schedules with live zoom lessons for each class and independent work to complete on Schoology. On Fridays, we will have a homebase lesson on zoom and independent work in Schoology in the mornings, with the afternoons as catch-up time. Student attendance at live lessons is required, and students should contact their teachers if they are unable to attend.

Students and families can access Semester 2 schedules on Infinite Campus, and if they are not able to access it, they should email their Homebase teacher for a pdf version before Thursday at 9:30 so that they don't miss their first class. I will post a full schedule for each grade with the links included, and each student's class should also have a page in Schoology with the links and times for the lessons. Here is the general schedule:

Monday-Thursday Schedule

(we will follow the A/B day schedule for specialists)

8:45-9:00: homebase meetings 2 of those days (Homebase teachers will invite students on google calendar)

9:00-9:10: all school meeting with Ms. Hoole

9:30-10:10: zoom lesson and Schoology work time for student's Block 1 class (half block switch for specialists at 9:50)

10:10-10:50: zoom lesson and Schoology work time for student's Block 2 class (half block switch for specialists at 10:30)

11:00-1:00: student work time for blocks 1-2, help time on Go Guardian, interventions, student support services, lunch, outside break, off-screen time

1:00-1:40: zoom lesson and Schoology work time for student's Block 3 class (half block switch for specialists at 1:20)

2:00-2:40: zoom lesson and Schoology work time for student's Block 4 class

2:40-3:45: student work time for blocks 3-4, help time on Go Guardian

Friday Schedule

9:00-9:10: all school meeting with Ms. Hoole

9:30-10:00: zoom lesson for homebase

10:00-11:00: student work time for blocks 1-4 Schoology work, help time on Go Guardian

If families would like to login to Schoology and receive notifications and announcements, here are the directions for that:

We're hopeful that we can keep students connected and engaged during this time, so it's really important for students to make it to their zoom lessons and reach out for help when they are confused. Both Mr. Wickstrom, the Dean of Students, and I will be available throughout the day to help students find what they need or connect students with resources, so please feel free to contact us if you have any questions through this process.

Elissa Hoole

cell: 218-728-9556 ext 3305


Student attendance throughout the distance learning school day is required. Students will be expected to participate in Live ZOOM classes, Homebase meetings and complete assignments on Schoology. Attendance will be taken for each class period.

Please read the attached handout from Attendance Works about the importance of student and family participation in distance learning.

If you have any questions or concerns please email Mrs. Hoole or Mr. Wickstrom.

From Mr.Wickstrom, Dean of Students


First off, keep in mind that school issued technology and accounts are to be used for educational purposes in order to complete your school work above all other activities. Please be mindful of this when prioritizing your activities on the device/account in an effort to stay focused and not fall behind.

As most of you are aware, the school utilizes an online monitoring system, GoGuardian, that has many useful tools, such as live communication among students and staff, screen monitoring, as well as the ability to track account data related to online activity including any searches conducted, videos watched, and websites visited. Please keep in mind that the online monitoring of GoGuardian is running 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, no matter where you are connected to the internet. The system will alert us if account activity is tracked that does not follow our school-wide expectations. If this should occur, I will be contacting you/your family, you may earn a referral, and your account will be in jeopardy of being placed in the penalty box through GoGuardian. This means you will have limited online access and will only be mainly able to navigate to approved websites through the system.

In addition, if you are given reminders from staff to stay on task and you continue to struggle meeting the expectations, staff will write a referral regarding this behavior and I will be contacting you and/or your family. This will also put your account in jeopardy of entering the penalty box.

Extracurricular Activities

Good News! Even though the Junior Academy is moving to distance learning we are able to continue with games/meets, but will not be able to hold practices at this time. Keep in mind that we are unable to organize regular transportation to school for the events and we are asking families to transport participants to North Star. Coaches have sent out messages regarding further extracurricular specific details to parents/guardians. If any family is struggling with transportation, please reach out to me regarding this through email,

Marc Wickstrom

A Note From Ms. Rappana, Student Support Manager

Community Resources:

  • Dial 211 from any cellular phone or landline for free and confidential resource information from the United Way. Available 24/7.

  • Dial 218-336-HELP (336-4357) Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. to connect to St. Louis County’s Resource Helpline.

  • Link for online St. Louis County Community Resources Directory

Mental Health Support

  • Minnesota Warmline: Toll Free 855-WARMLINE or 877.404.3190 or text “Support” to 85511. Anonymous, confidential, free mental health support. Open Monday-Saturday, 12pm to 10pm.

  • St. Louis County Mental Health Case Management 218-355-1530

  • Center for American Indian Resources (218) 279-4104

Crisis Intervention:

  • Birch Tree Mobile Crisis Unit: 218-623-1800. Available 24/7

  • Let's Talk: 844-772-4724. Connect to mental health and crisis resources available in northeastern Minnesota.

  • Crisis Text Line: Text MN to 741741. Minnesota’s suicide prevention and mental health crisis texting services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255 (TALK)

  • Safe Haven Shelter & Resource Center: 24/7 Crisis Line: 218-728-6481

DECS JA School Social Worker Contacts:

Meal Service and Backpack program

If you would like to pick up school meals for your JA student while they are in distance learning please complete this form.

We are offering breakfast and/or lunch on all student contact days. (There will be no meals available for Friday, Jan. 28 due to the scheduled teacher inservice day) Meal boxes will contain meals for five days.

Meals will be available for pick up at North Star on Wednesdays, beginning Wednesday, Jan. 26. Times for pick up will be between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm, and again between 4:30 and 6:00 pm. Please drive up to the cafeteria doors, and a staff member will come to your vehicle and ask your name and who you are picking up meals for.

We are also going to be providing back pack kits for Junior Academy students while they are in distance learning for those who request them. This bag will contain non-perishable foods that are intended to be used over the weekend when school meals aren't available. If you would like to receive this additional bag please note that on the form.

If you would like to discontinue the meal boxes or the back pack kits at any time, please email Sue Lewis, Food Service Manager at

JA Meal Pick up

Please click on the link to sign up for meals

Eagle's Nest

This morning I spoke with the Eagle's Nest program to see if they would be interested in providing childcare for those families who need it. The purpose of this childcare would be to support families who cannot find another means of care for their children during this quarantine time.

They cannot guarantee childcare will be provided but want to see the number of families who are interested and if they have staff available to work.

Breakfast and lunch would be provided for students.

There would be a $40 per day charge for this.

Please fill this out by noon on Friday so they can make the decision as to whether they will offer the program or not.

Eagle's Nest Childcare Survey

Please click on the link if you would like to access school age care

From the TECH Department

We understand distance learning is dependent upon reliable technology and internet.


If you don't have reliable internet access, we have hotspots available for students to borrow. These hotspots will only work with school issued Chromebooks. Please email for more information.


If you are in need of a chromebook repair, chargers, or have any technology questions or concerns please email

They will respond to you as quickly as possible.