From the Office of the Superintendent 1/10/20

Weekly Briefing for ISD 709 Faculty & Staff

Dear Colleagues,

Next week Duluth School Board members and several of your colleagues are heading to the Annual Minnesota School Boards Association (MSBA) Leadership Conference in Minneapolis. There are over 300 public school districts in Minnesota and nearly all of them will be represented at this event.

We host informational sessions at the conference each year - other districts look for our sessions because Duluth is often on the leading edge of new ideas and strategies. This year Duluth Public School presentations include anti-vaping initiatives, school safety, language & cultural immersion, mental health partnerships and career & tech ed engineering, among others. We appreciate the work of staff, students, and community partners who are presenting.

Professional sharing of knowledge and skills is an important part of continuous growth. Thanks for all that you do to continue to learn and grow professionally!

Kind regards,


If you have questions or thoughts about what's going on in our school district, email: Superintendents@ISD709.org. Twitter: @billgronseth

Help Develop The Superintendent Leadership Profile

The profile will describe district strengths, challenges and goals along with the characteristics, abilities and experiences a superintendent will need to be successful in Duluth.

The Board’s search firm, BWP & Associates, will collect information through online surveys, focus groups with community groups and organizations, and a walk-in focus group for the public.

“Duluth’s schools belong to the community, we encourage everyone to take part,” said Superintendent Search Co-Chair Alanna Oswald. “We appreciate advice and support as the Board works to identify the candidate best suited to take our schools into the future and help every student be successful.”

  • Walk-in Focus Group: Monday January 27, 2020, 5:30PM - 6:30PM at Denfeld High School, 401 N. 44th Ave West. Hosted by BWP & Associates.

View the Superintendent Search Timeline and other Search information.

Duluth News Tribune



KDAL Radio

ISD 709 Boundary Project - January 2020

As 2020 begins, citizens will be asked to review information related to current school attendance areas and discuss potential changes.

Week of January 13, 2020: Detailed information regarding draft scenarios, maps, impact analysis to be available online, in preparation for community meetings. Feedback immediately available through online survey.

Community Meetings January 22-23

Facilitated by Cooperative Strategies, a firm with expertise in helping school districts gather data, analyze and draft boundaries for public consideration.

January 22, 2020 6:00PM - 8:00PM: Duluth East High School, 301 N. 40th Ave East

January 23, 2020: 6:00PM - 8:00PM: Denfeld High School, 401 N. 44th Ave West

>Presentation of scenarios and impact.

>Opportunity to provide feedback and ask questions.

>Online materials and survey continue to be available.

ISD 709 Boundary Project Web Page

Duluth School Board Elects Officers for 2020

During an organizational meeting held January 6, 2020 in Historic Old Central High School in Duluth, MN, the School Board of Independent School District 709 elected the following officers:

>>Jill Lofald, Chairperson

>>Kelly Durick Eder, Vice Chairperson

>>Alanna Oswald, Clerk

>>Sally Trnka, Treasurer

Officers will serve in their positions for one year. Serving as a school board member is an important responsibility, helping to establish educational standards that will affect the future of Duluth’s students, community and society.

Newly elected School Board member Paul Sandholm, along with newly re-elected members David Kirby and Alanna Oswald were seated during the meeting. They join Kelly Durick Eder, Rosie Loeffler-Kemp, Jill Lofald and Sally Trnka on the Duluth School Board.

School board meeting schedules, agendas, minutes, video and detailed information packets are available online at www.ISD709.org/district/School-Board.

Duluth News Tribune

Open: Companies to Classrooms, Free Supplies for Teachers

Many new items donated to C2C over the holidays! Areas of the store are rearranged to make shopping easier and more fun. Great selection of office chairs on wheels, bulletin boards, white boards, card stock, colored construction paper, glue sticks, pencil boxes, pencils, crayons, Scotch tape and dispensers, masking tape, large drawing paper, carpet samples, plus tons more!


•215 North 1st Ave East (Historic Old Central High School) Enter on Third Street between Lake Avenue & First Avenue East

•3-6PM - Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday

Our next Saturday opening will be Jan. 25 from 9AM-Noon.

•218-336-8700, ext. 1180 or email c2cduluth@gmail.com

Check us out on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/freesuppliesforteachers/

2020 Twin Ports MLK Tribute Events

January 19 & 20

This year’s theme is centered around Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s "Give Us the Ballot and We Will Transform the South." In his speech, Dr. King speaks to the importance of political power and the right to vote. He states that the right to vote is a sacred right. A right that should be defended and aggressively upheld.

Download the full speech here.

Details: Duluth NAACP Website

Interfaith Worship Service

January 19, 4:00PM: Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, 219 N. 6th Ave. E., Duluth

Community Breakfast

January 20, 7:00AM: Holy Family Catholic Church, 2430 W. 3rd St., Duluth

MLK March

January 20, 10:00AM: Washington Center, 310 N 1st Ave W, Duluth

March begins at 11:00AM

MLK Rally

January 20, 12:00PM: DECC, 350 Harbor Dr, Duluth

Duluth Trafficking Awareness Month Events

WDIO-TV10, CBS3, Duluth News Tribune

>>Gichi Manidoo Giizis Pow Wow: January 18, 2020 at 9 AM – 11:30 PM

The Official Black Bear Casino Resort, 1785 Highway 210, Carlton, Minnesota

Details on Facebook

>>Red for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Info Session, Red Dress-Red Skirt Making: Sunday, January 19, 2020 at 1 PM – 6 PM

Building for Women, 32 E 1st St, Duluth, Minnesota

Details on Facebook

>>Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women: An Overview/Introductory Research Project: Saturday, January 25, 2020 at 5 PM

Gimaajii Mino-Bimaadiziyaan, 202 W Second Street, Duluth, Minnesota

Details on Facebook

>>Brave Art Youth Resource Fair: Thursday, February 6, 2020 at 5 PM – 7 PM

American Indian Community Housing Organization, 202 W 2nd St, Duluth, Minnesota

Details on Facebook

>>Human Trafficking in MN, Safe Harbor Systems Moving Forward Conference: Thursday, February 6, 2020 at 5 PM – 7 PM

American Indian Community Housing Organization, 202 W 2nd St, Duluth, Minnesota


>>5th Annual Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women's Memorial March to Honor Lost Loves Ones: Friday, February 14, 2020 at 2 PM – 6 PM

American Indian Community Housing Organization

Details on Facebook

From the MN Dept of Health: Flu Season Resources

Influenza (flu) season is in full swing in Minnesota. Flu season can last until April, so we potentially have several months of flu season left.

Symptoms of flu include fever, cough, body aches and extreme tiredness. It's not the same as “stomach flu,” which people often call unrelated gastrointestinal illnesses that have symptoms like diarrhea or vomiting.

To prevent the flu, we encourage everyone to:

  • Get your flu vaccine. It is not too late to get vaccinated for this season.
  • Cover your cough. Cough or sneeze into your elbow or a tissue.
  • Wash your hands. Use soap and water when possible, but alcohol-based hand sanitizer can also be used.
  • Stay home if you are sick. Help stop the spread of germs by avoiding contact with other people if you are sick.

School administrators, teachers and staff: for instructions on how to report an outbreak at your school and additional resources on flu, visit School Health Personnel Influenza Information.

ISD 709 News

We know there are a lot of great things going on in our schools - let's make sure we're letting everyone else know, too! Share your school, student, staff accomplishments, projects and events with Kathleen.Kaufman@ISD709.org, they'll be used in email newsletters, social media, websites and other communication venues.

Follow Us For ISD 709 School News:





FIRST Robotics Competition Season Kicks Off

Wishing Duluth East Daredevils and Denfeld DNA a great season!
#Inspire709 #GraciousProfessionalism



Magician Shares Bullying Prevention Message at Piedmont

Kelvin Saline has been doing this anti-bullying show for the last five years in elementary schools all over Minnesota and Wisconsin.

#Inspire709 #LearningIsMagical


Duluth News Tribune



Thank You, Duluth Police Officers!

In honor of National Law Enforcement Day Kindergarten and Grade 1 students from Lakewood Elementary made cards and a poster thanking the Duluth Police Department for all their services. Students were from Ms. Stresow's and Mrs. Bergman's classes. Mrs. Bergman personally delivered the cards and poster!

Thank you, Sandra Coyle, for the photo and info.

#Inspire709 #Community


Spotlight: ALC Students Volunteer

Students from Duluth’s Area Learning Center are doing their part to pitch in and help our community.
  • ALC Junior Rotarians Autumn Wallace, Julia Severance, Alexandria Whitley & Eriven Pegues joined members of Harbortown Rotary as volunteers at Bentleyville.
  • Students also volunteered in the kitchen at Union Gospel Mission, helping set up, serve lunches, greet people and clean up afterwards.
These activities are part of on-going service projects incorporated into educational experiences at the Area Learning Center by the Wilderness Elite Group, Jr. Rotarians and Office of Education Equity. Thanks to all providing exceptional learning for students!
Thank you, Jamie Bennett, for the photos and info.
#Inspire709 #DuluthALCCares

Duluth East High School Presents:

Evening of the Arts

Thursday January 23, 2020 7:00PM

Duluth East High School

301 N. 40th Avenue East Duluth, MN

Duluth East HS will feature an evening dedicated to the arts, culminating with a public showing of this year's Minnesota State HS League One Act submission Blue Stockings.

A donation will be taken at the door to help defray the cost of the competition.

BLUE STOCKINGS is a moving, comical and eye-opening story of four young women fighting for education and self-determination against the backdrop of women's suffrage.
The setting is Cambridge 1896 and Girton College, home to the country's first female students, is an object of annoyance and derision to the rest of the university. The year's intake of new women face economic difficulty, the distractions of men and radical politics, and the jaw-dropping prejudice that blights every aspect of academic life. Meanwhile, there looms the prospect of a controversial vote to decide: should these ‘blue stockings’ be allowed to graduate?

ALC Blood Drive January 30

You're Invited: (& all your family and friends, seriously, invite everyone!)

What/When? Duluth Public Schools & Area Learning Center (ALC) Blood Drive

Thursday, January 30 from 7:30AM to 2:30PM

Where? Bus parked in 3rd St. & Lake Ave. parking lot

Click HERE to schedule online or contact Jackie Dolentz at (218) 336-8704, ext. 1008 or jacqueline.dolentz@isd709.org

HUGE BONUS: For every unit we collect, $10 goes towards a scholarship for an ALC student (minimum of 50 units required between our 3 blood drives).

We collected 18 units at our 10/23/19 drive!!

SAVE THE DATES for our future blood drives (same time and location):

  • (Thursday)

NEW! 2020 Winter Duluth Community Education Course Catalog
Explore a new hobby, learn a new skill, meet new people. The gift of lifelong learning, something for everyone!
>>Arts, Crafts, Hobbies: Cedar Plank Sign, Amateur Radio, Ceramics, Fused Glass Jewelry, Zentagle Pattern Drawing, More...
>>Cooking: Scones & Tea, Taste of Thailand, Taste of India, More...
>>Dance: Swing, Ballroom, Rhythm, Ecstatic Dance, More...
>>General Interest: Adventures in the Himalayas, Bridge, Chemical Free Household, Grafting Apple Trees, Growing Small Fruit, Vegetable Gardening, More...
>>Health & Wellness: CPR/AED Training, Meditation, Tai Chi, More...
>>Language: French, Spanish, Sign Language, More...
>>Music: Banjo, Ukulele, Community Band & Orchestra, More...
>>Swimming Pool Activities: Swimming Lessons, Aqua Aerobics, Scuba Diving, Lifeguarding, Free Family Swim, More...

>>Sports & Exercise: Cardio Walk-Fit, Cross Country Ski Lessons, Zumba, Yogalates, More...

>>Yoga: Chair Yoga, Soma Yoga, Vinyasa Yoga, More...

Do you have a passion for cooking or gardening, a talent for art or music, and the enthusiasm to share your interest with others?

Consider Teaching a Community Education Class!

Contact us for details - CommunityEducation@isd709.org - or speak to a Community Ed Coordinator at 218-336-8760.