ISD 709 News 8/13/20

From John Magas, Superintendent

Dear Duluth Families,

The back to school season is here and it’s a new and challenging experience for all of us as we strive to provide a high quality education for students in the middle of a pandemic.

In Duluth, we're currently planning for a hybrid model, based in part on local COVID numbers and trends and in part recognizing how valuable face to face interaction with a teacher and classmates can be to a child's education. Distance learning will be improved upon from last spring, with new, engaging learning platforms and more investment in technology for families. Planning focuses on health and safety - it is our top priority.

We all carry some measure of anxiousness. About sending children to school, about not having children in school full-time. About our own health and that of our families. These are complex issues. For those in our schools who teach, make meals, maintain our facilities, work our school and district offices, provide transportation, childcare, student and classroom support - that balance of concern, courage and duty is there, every day.

Having information can help all of us feel more confident. Below are links to local and state planning resources. This includes a Duluth Questions & Answers page, and we'll provide regular updates along the way.

Thank you for your patience, flexibility and understanding. Thank you for the time and effort you will devote to learning more about how to operate in a hybrid model, in distance learning and, eventually, in person learning.

With sincerity and gratitude,

John Magas

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

2020 Return to Learn Planning Update

Firming Up the Details

District and school administrators are meeting regularly to review student registration and firm up details around the hybrid model and distance learning. Teacher leadership, ISD 709 bargaining unit representatives and the Board are being updated and consulted on an ongoing basis. Teamwork is key to success.

Student Registration!

We're asking all Duluth Public Schools families to complete the 2020 Return to Learn Student Registration Form for each student as soon as possible.

The information is critical to local planning. It will help staff prepare for everyone's safety, health and educational support. This data will help staff buildings, distribute technology, plan transportation, classroom schedules and much more.

This form is for students grades K - 12+:

Click Here To Begin

Hard copy K - 12+ forms are available at Summer Meal school sites.

Thank you for submitting the form(s) as soon as possible, we appreciate your patience and support as we plan for the new school year.

Preparing Our Schools, Classrooms

Many thanks for the work our facilities & maintenance staff do each day, cleaning and sanitizing buildings and schools throughout the pandemic.

As we prepare for the start of school and a hybrid model, they're following MN Department of Health guidelines to clean classrooms and building spaces from top to bottom.

"Operations staff are working very hard, cleaning every classroom and school to state specifications so we're ready for the school year," says Heather Ashbaugh, Supervisor of Building Operations. "We are removing everything from classrooms, cleaning walls and light fixtures, desks, tables, floors. We want to make sure we have safe spaces for all our students and staff."

Learn More About School Cleaning & Prep: MN Dept of Health Planning Guide for Schools

MN Dept of Health Cleaning and Disinfecting Guidance for Schools and Childcare



ISD 709 News

From the MN Department of Health

Health Screening, Check Your Symptoms Every Day

If you have any of these symptoms, stay home, stay away from other people, and contact your health care provider.

  • Fever or Feeling Feverish
  • Chills
  • A New Cough
  • Shortness of Breath
  • A New Sore Throat
  • New Muscle Aches
  • New Headache
  • New Loss of Smell or Taste

More at MN COVID-19 Response

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.

Growing Hope

Tending the Ordean East school garden...the beauty of growth provides hope!

Thank you Anna, Jennifer, Renee & Mrs. Pavlisich. Many thanks to all student, staff and community volunteers who help support ISD 709 school gardens over the summer.
#Inspire709 #CommunitySupport #GreenThumbs

Duluth KEY Zone Summer Fun!

Hiking and biking trips, exploring the nature space at Laura MacArthur Elementary, making jellyfish suncatchers and more. Duluth KEY Zone (Knowledge, Enrichment, and Youth Development) is a collaborative program of the Duluth Y and ISD 709 Community Education. KEY Zone provides services for grades K-5 year round including summer and school breaks.

Learn more about Duluth KEY Zone School Age Care & Enrichment

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