September 9th, 2022
Good times ahead!
What an amazing start to the 2022-23 school year! After last week’s Unity in Our Community event, our all staff welcome, and open houses, it was hard to imagine that this week would be even better, but it was!
Seeing the smiling faces of our learners enter our doors is ALWAYS the best part of the year. A huge amount of effort goes into launching the school year as we prepare to meet the needs of each and every student. I could fill all the pages of this newsletter with thanks and praise for the countless teachers, administrators and
support staff members that make our kick-off possible.
What I find most heartwarming about this time of year is the immense sense of positivity and promise for what the year holds in store for us all!
As I visited our schools throughout the week, I saw so many great examples of this welcoming spirit, from jazz bands to cheering student leaders, but I think of this chalk drawing from one of our elementary schools - “Good Times Ahead” indeed!
I am so proud and humbled to serve as your superintendent as we boldly step forward into an amazing year!
With deep appreciation,
The staff shout out section of the newsletter is new this year. This section will be filled with shout outs to staff members or departments who have helped in some way, won an award, has done something above and beyond or just deserves a virtual high five for being awesome. You can share a shout out yourself by filling out the Staff Shout Out form.
"Officer Hanna makes sure everyone feels safe inside and outside of the school walls. He takes the time to say hello and gets to know everyone. Its the simple things he does to make your day a little better. Example, Will walk you to where you need to go instead of telling you how to get there, He will engage in conversation and builds relationships with staff and students, During recess he will play Football with the students. Not many people recognize the extra things he does to be apart of school and community."
"I really appreciate the chill vibes and selflessness of Jacob Laurent! He is always willing to help and step in. Being present for students and staff whenever possible. I just think he's the greatest guy!"
"Joe Schingen has helped me a lot with Canvas."
Unity In Our Community
Thank you to all you volunteered and attended the Unity In Our Community event at Bayfront on Aug. 29! We really appreciated all the help from our volunteers and everyone who joined us to have fun at a great event. It will definitely be an annual event!
Braids and haircut galore!
Dancing to the music!
Fun for all!
First Day of School
It was great to see all the smiling faces, hugs for staff and chalk welcoming students back on the first day of school.
Congratulations to Ashlynne Guenther on her commitment to Bemidji State University!!! Ashlynne has accumulated 1,567 points and 918 rebounds entering her Senior Year for the Duluth East Greyhounds Girls Basketball Team. She is a hard working player who is a captain because of her leadership qualities. She is the leader of our team. Way to go Ashlynne!
- Coach Rich Windt
Duluth Adult Education offers free childcare
Duluth Adult Education classes with free childcare begin Sept. 13th. Through a partnership with the YMCA, we are now able to offer classes and childcare from 4:30-6:30 at the YMCA. GED Math Prep Class: Tues. and Thur. 4:30 - 6:30 English Conversation and Language: Tues. 4:30-6:30 YMCA: 302 W. 1st St. Duluth, MN 55802 To sign up, complete online registration at isd709.org/dae
Strategic Plan Desired Daily Experience Survey
The Desired Daily Experience will ask staff, when they engage with the school or when they come to school, what is the Desired Daily Experience? What does that look like? What does it sound like? What does it feel like? This information will be used to build our operational plans moving forward.
If you are a staff member, please fill out our Desired Daily Experience survey here: https://bit.ly/Duluth-Staff-Survey
Draft Staff Desired Daily Experiences:
- I enjoy my job and find it fulfilling.
- I have dedicated time during my work day to collaborate, prepare, and grow professionally.
- I am part of a diverse workforce, with an inclusive climate that values team building and respectful relationships.
- I receive clear and timely communication.
- I have systems and resources to support students’ academic, social-emotional, and socio-economical needs.
- I have access to and the ability to use current, relevant, educational resources including technology.
- I have quality professional development opportunities for continued learning to support my students and me.
- Resources are provided to support safety at school and within departments for all students and staff.
- We have class sizes that allow us to reach the individual, social/emotional and academic needs of students through differentiation and building relationships.
- I have a voice and opportunity to participate in the decision making process with my colleagues and administration.
A message from Business Services
Business services met this morning and the managers just reminded us that we are very short staffed.
Facilities staff are down nearly 30%, they are working very hard to fill open positions, Food Service is almost the same. Technology has received over 650 help desk tickets.
Transportation is working on bus routes and to best serve our students and families.
Please keep in mind that the immediate priority for these departments in the next couple of weeks are essential services.
Non- essential services will be addressed as soon as possible.
We appreciate your patience.
New Absence Request Process/Teachers On Call
Starting this week, the District will be using Teachers On Call to hire and deploy substitutes for all teachers and paraprofessional positions. This does not change your ability to request a substitute, assign a specific substitute, or have preferred substitutes. If you are a paraprofessional or teacher, your access and process for requesting a substitute will not change.
However, due to this transition, the District will no longer be using Frontline as the main absence/time-off request system.
Effective this week, the District has moved to using Skyward for all employee time off requests. Skyward is the main system the District uses for human resources management, payroll and financial management. Skyward is the system where you also can review your pay, your assignments, check your time off balances, review your W-2, request address changes, etc.
Attached are instructions on how to access your Skyward account and request time off. This system does not replace Frontline for requesting a substitute. If you are a paraprofessional or teacher who will need a substitute, you will still need to enter that in Frontline. All Frontline absences should be for either 4 or 8 hours. The attached instructions also include a way to access Frontline from Skyward.
If you have any questions or difficulty requesting time off in Skyward or the transition to Teachers On Call, please feel free to contact me.
Thank you for your support during this transition.
Human Resources Director