From the Office of the Superintendent 10/17/19
Weekly Briefing for ISD 709 Faculty & Staff
I sometimes receive messages from students I’ve worked with over the years. They come via email, or as invitations to graduations or weddings. Or, former students come up to me in random places like a community event or the grocery store or a restaurant.
“Hi, do you remember me?” It's a familiar greeting for people working in schools. I study their face, sifting through a thousand school memories. First grade? Second? Was I their teacher? Assistant Principal? Principal? Some days require a little prompting - which school, what grade? And then, "Ah, yes!" and on a good day, their name follows as I recount a memory of our shared experiences. They often share their thoughts, too, something they remember from our time together in the classroom.
Sometimes, though, I wasn’t their teacher or principal. I was just another adult that worked in their school. They recall how I greeted them each day at the door or in the hallway, or had time to answer questions and listen during recess. Some remember a day when, sensing something was wrong, I asked if they were okay. The bottom line is that they felt a positive connection--enough that they stop me now in the grocery store or in a school to talk about it.
We don’t always know how what we say or do will affect students or their path in life. Our words of encouragement can build them up. A smile and greeting in the hall can carry them for longer than we know - just as sarcasm, indifference, or sharp words can tear them down for longer than we know.
Sometimes the students who need us the most push us away the hardest. Those are the former students most likely to stop me in the store or in the hall or at some event and thank me for not giving up on them, encouraging them, and for caring when things were difficult.
Thank you for all you do to encourage and support all of our students. The work you do every day, no matter your role in the district or in a student’s life, is more powerful than you can imagine.
If you have questions or thoughts about what's going on in our school district, email: Superintendents@ISD709.org. Twitter: @billgronseth
Please Save The Date!
2019 Annual Report for the Community & Newly Tenured Teacher Celebration
Tuesday November 19, 2019
Historic Old Central High School
215 N. 1st Avenue East, 2nd Floor Board Room Duluth, MN
4:45PM – 5:15PM: Refreshments by Denfeld Clock Tower Café Students; Music by Duluth East Sterling Strings; Tables and Displays
5:15PM – 6:00PM: Newly Tenured Teacher Celebration
6:00PM – 6:30PM: Annual Report for the Community
Free and Open to the Public
October School Board Agenda Items - Detailed Information Online
(This is not a comprehensive list of Board agenda items)
>>Facilities Management & Capital Projects Status Report
>>Assistant Superintendent and Director of Curriculum Reports
>>North Star Data: At the Education Committee meeting the Board received detailed information regarding Minnesota's North Star accountability system data and district strategies.
>>Superintendent Search: At the HR Committee meeting the Board discussed proposals received from outside consultants interested in assisting with the superintendent search. Three proposals were received, the Board opted to extend their deadline to see if two more firms would submit proposals.
ISD 709 News
Spotlight: Round Dance
ACT college entrance exam results for the graduating class of 2019 show that, overall, our district out-performed both the state and the nation.
>>ACT Composite scores increased at the district level
>>ACT Composite scores increased for Denfeld and Duluth East
>>Scores for most individual student groups also increased
Circle of Friends provides an opportunity for partnership and friendship between students with disabilities and students without disabilities. Students, teachers and faculty advisors received recognition for their work at the October meeting of the Duluth School Board.
Circle of Friends participates in activities that promote collaboration and cooperation, work to reduce incidents of bullying, and promote disability awareness among students and staff.
The group participated in Duluth East for Peace week, the Peace Walk, student activity fairs, Cookie Club and Night to Shine. They’re assisting with the creation of a new physical education course for next year, modeled after Special Olympics Unified Physical Education.
Duluth Hosts Zenith City Debate Tournament
Duluth Debate hosted a tournament at Denfeld High School this month. Eighteen schools from across the state took part, the debate team was proud to show off their skills, their schools and family support.
The Duluth Debate team includes students from both Duluth high schools including Vivian Shaffer of Denfeld and Maria Freese of Duluth East.
"Debate has given me confidence in what I say, brought me out of my shell," said Shaffer, a sophomore.
"Instead of viewing the world from an 'I'm right, you're wrong' perspective, debate helps me to say, 'Oh, you see this differently. I'm curious, why do you feel this way?'" said Freese, also a sophomore.
Outdoor Education Day for KEY Zone Students
Students from Congdon KEY Zone program participated in the Duluth Parks and Rec Outdoor Education Day at Enger Tower. UMD students provided experiences in:
- Tree identification
- The proper way to set up a campsite
- How to use a compass for navigation
The experience was a great opportunity for the students to learn new skills and to enjoy some of the outdoor activities that Duluth has to offer.
Athena Hartley shares her experience as a Minnesota Reading Corps tutor at Myers-Wilkins Elementary. Those interested in tutoring are encouraged to visit the Minnesota Reading Corps website: minnesotareadingcorps.org
Thank you, Athena, and MN Reading Corps, for supporting education in Duluth.
Art students from Denfeld High School participated in National Portfolio Review Day at MN College of Art & Design. They took a campus tour and attended a Q&A session with current MCAD students and faculty. Best of all, they had the opportunity to have their artwork/ portfolios reviewed by colleges across the country! These Hunters were awesome and represented Denfeld exceptionally.
Spotlight: ISD 709 Boundary Project
- The results of the work sessions will be thoroughly analyzed and reviewed for impact.
- In November, focus groups representing diverse stakeholders will review draft scenarios, discuss benefits, challenges and additional data required.
- The Duluth School Board will meet in November to review information as well.
- Further analysis will take place and refinements made.
October 23, 2019
Bayfront Festival Park
350 Harbor Drive, Duluth MN
6:30PM: Bentleyville ceremonial lighting of their Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge display for Lights on Afterschool.
More after school programs are needed to serve the millions of children nationwide who are unsupervised and at risk each weekday afternoon. The gathering in Duluth is one of more than 8,000 such events across the nation emphasizing the importance of keeping the lights on and the doors open after school.
Duluth KEY Zone sites will also hold activities in the buildings that day.
Duluth East High School Theatre Presents the Musical:
ONE WEEKEND ONLY!
Show Dates: October 24-26 7:00 PM, October 27 1:00 PM
Duluth East High School
301 N. 40th Avenue East, Duluth MN
Ticket Prices: $15 Adults, $10 Students
Tickets sold at the door only. Sales begin 1 hour before curtain, doors open 30 minutes before curtain! Show runs 1 hour and 45 minutes with a 15 minute intermission.
**Some minor adult language and content**
In roaring twenties Chicago, Roxie Hart murders faithless lover Fred Casely and convinces her hapless husband, Amos, to take the rap...until Amos finds out he's been duped and turns on Roxie!
Convicted and sentenced to death row, Roxie and another "Merry Murderess" Velma Kelly vie for the spotlight and the headlines, ultimately joining forces in search of the American Dream: fame, fortune, and acquittal. This sharp-edged satire features a dazzling score that sparked the original staging and choreography by Bob Fosse.
Duluth Area Learning Center Blood Drive
(You're invited & all your family and friends, seriously, invite everyone!)
Wednesday, October 23rd from 7:30AM to 2:30PM
Bus parked in 3rd St. & Lake Ave. parking lot
HUGE BONUS: For every unit collected, $10 goes towards a scholarship for an ALC student (minimum of 50 units required between our 3 blood drives).
Last year's two blood drives (one canceled due to weather) resulted in 63 units collected and $630 in scholarship money!
SAVE THE DATES for future blood drives (same time and location):