From the Office of the Superintendent 8/20/19

Summer Briefing for ISD 709 Faculty & Staff

Dear Colleagues,

The first day of school is September 3, about two weeks away! Kindergarten students start on September 5.

This is the last week for our summer meal program, funded by the USDA. We've been able to provide over 38,000 meals to students and families across the district. Thank you to everyone who worked with this program over the summer and to all the families that took part.

Facilities and maintenance staff have been busy doing a lot of cleaning and repairing, our buildings look great. Principals and clerical staff are responding to families, preparing back to school info and making sure everything is ready for the new year. Teachers, paraprofessionals and others will be back next week for training and to prepare for their first days with students.

We have job openings in the district in several areas -- we're looking for teachers, nurses, paraprofessionals, food service helpers, playground and cafeteria monitors, substitute bus drivers and others. Visit our website for more information, encourage those you know to apply - it's a great opportunity to join our team.

We have new students enrolling everyday. People new to our community or to our schools are encouraged to enroll students as soon as possible. Families can register their children online any time. They're also welcome to stop by their school and enroll in person. Enrolling students now will allow us to prepare for all students ahead of the first days of school.

With school starting soon, we're also reminding drivers to use extra caution around school bus stops and buses. Please stop for the buses when the stop arm is extended or the lights are flashing. We all want students to be safe -- saving a minute or two by driving around a stopped school bus isn’t worth jeopardizing the safety of children.

Kind Regards,


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

Duluth Public Schools District Staff Development Day

Tuesday, August 27, 2019 8:00AM - 3:45PM

While we will be in many locations this year, there are several common learning outcomes. This year’s focus is Safe and Welcoming. We start with a welcome video from Superintendent Gronseth and center our learning around safety with further ALICE training. Professional development will focus on cultural responsiveness, a continuation of previous learning around cultural sharing. This self-reflection training is intended to deepen our understanding of personal identity and our role in student learning.

We're sharing details of the day through a letter to staff.

We look forward to seeing you for the District Staff Development Day. Thank you for choosing a career in education and thank you for choosing Duluth Public Schools.

Board Will Seek Assistance With Superintendent Search

The Duluth School Board participated in a MN School Board Association workshop in July to learn more about what goes into conducting a thorough Superintendent search. The workshop was an opportunity to hear about best practices, what to take into consideration and what other school districts across the state are doing before the Board develops a process for Duluth. A superintendent search generally involves community input at different steps along the way.

After hearing from MSBA, the Board will seek out requests for proposals to find an outside organization to assist them and our HR Department with the process. The topic was discussed at the August HR/Business Committee meeting (about 33:40 into the video). The Board will continue to work on developing a process for the search, look for opportunities this school year to take part.

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.

Need Help with Backpacks, School Supplies?

City of Duluth Parks & Recreation
Back to School Fair & Annual Backpack Distribution
August 22, 2019 12:00PM - 4:00PM
Three Locations:

Central Hillside Community Center - 12 East 4th Street
Morgan Park Community Center - 1242 88th Avenue West
Portman Community Center - 4601 McCulloch Street
Open to all Duluth children K-12. Please be prepared to show student ID by one of the following:
School ID, Social Security card, Medical card, Birth certificate

Many thanks to CHUM for their support, check their website for more information.

Haven't Yet Registered Your Child for School? Now's the Time!

Online Registration & Enrollment Information
Back to School information
Families who have not yet registered their child are encouraged to do so as soon as possible rather than wait for the first day of school.
Registering now helps ensure teachers have a place and materials ready for each student and makes for an organized and welcoming first day.
Register online any time! If people have questions, school office staffs are back in the buildings right now and available to help.
Note: ISD 709 Schools & School Offices will be closed Tuesday August 27 for staff training (athletic practices and events will take place as scheduled). Thanks for your patience!

Families Encouraged to Apply for FREE/Reduced Price School Meals

We appreciate families taking time to apply for FREE/Reduced price school meals - thank you!

All children use the school lunchroom keypad to input their student number when receiving meals. There's no difference between students who receive free/reduced price lunch and those who don't.

  • Qualifying for free or reduced price lunch may also qualify families to pay a lower fee or no fee for school activities.
  • Students who qualify take the ACT Test at school for free.
  • Families who qualify are helping Duluth schools receive additional education funds and discounts.

Applying for free or reduced-price lunch is easy and confidential, choose which works best:

Apply online at www.paypams.com/onlineapp, click the link and follow the instructions. Safe, secure, convenient and available 24/7.

OR fill out a hard copy form and submit by mail or drop off at the school office. Hard copy forms are available from the school office, from the Child Nutrition Office or download an Application for free and reduced meals.

Call our Child Nutrition Department at 218-336-8707 if you have questions.

Denfeld Student Selected for Minnesota Youth Council
Helen Clanaugh, Denfeld HS, will serve on the MYC representing Congressional District 8, congratulations! The MYC is a collaboration of youth and adults working together to empower and mobilize young people across the state to exercise their voices, opinions and ideas and take action on issues affecting youth. Helen says she’d like to major in Political Science with minors in Environmental Studies and Women and Gender Studies. She has been involved in advocacy and organizing for a little under 2 years.
In 2013, the MN Legislature formally recognized the work of the MYC, passing into law the Minnesota Youth Council Committee Bill, which establishes the MYC as an official legislative committee, creating a system for youth to provide advice and recommendations to the legislature and the governor.
Outdoor Fun
Duluth KEY Zone students on summer visit to Jay Cooke State Park and other beautiful outdoor spaces. The little faces on the trees are made with natural and biodegradable materials.
#graywacke #Inspire709
Duluth KEY Zone

Denfeld, Duluth East Football Season