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The Duluth School Board voted against a measure Tuesday night that would have triggered a plan to alter the way the school district uses a kind of state funding meant to help low-performing students.
Billy's life in pictures was laid out on the floor between him and a couple of other students: Billy skydiving and blowing out candles on a birthday cake. Pictures of his newborn niece and his family at a Christmas celebration. "You see me, you prejudge; every person does," said Billy, an inmate at the Northeast Regional Corrections Center in Saginaw. "But you see these pictures. He has a family, he travels. Once you start looking at it from this perspective, you start saying there is a lot more we can do as a society."
There are only a few desks in Cindy Nelson's first-grade class at Hermantown Elementary School, and they're not lined up in rows. Kids pick from those, along with scoop rockers, wobbly stools, cushions for lap desks and kneeling tables, beanbags, yoga balls and mats and camp chairs. Those are their seats to read or do their work. Nelson started out small a couple of years ago with alternative seating in her class, and this year went all in.
Matthew Campbell could not tell his parents he was depressed. It was only a little over a year ago that the Duluth East High School senior began treatment for depression, after several years of feeling unhappy, which turned to self-loathing and ultimately, to thoughts of suicide. The breaking point came during a night when his parents discovered the varsity soccer goalie and student government leader was failing three classes. He broke down crying in front of them, but wasn't able to share his struggles. "I couldn't get the words out," he said.
The cost of the Duluth school district's $1 million playground mulch replacement project has been reduced by about $48,000.
Lincoln Park Middle School eighth grader Brooke Thompson loves the "clicking" sound potatoes make when they're pulled out of the ground. She finds the act of gardening therapeutic and the process satisfying, she said, as she tended her school's raised beds. "I think of the potatoes, and how they were made by one potato," Thompson said, marveling at the amount being harvested one sunny day in October.
Denfeld High School has a new antidote this year to address persistent issues with attendance and achievement, and some teachers already are seeing results. It's called BARR — Building Assets, Reducing Risks — and it was created by a St. Louis Park, Minn., school counselor in 1998. It's grown into a national model, and is now in more than 80 schools in 13 states. The federal government has invested in it with multiple grants.
The University of Wisconsin-Superior is dropping a hefty chunk of its academic offerings as it moves to streamline its programming, it announced Tuesday. More than two dozen academic programs, including major programs for sociology, theater and political science — will be suspended, meaning no new students will be admitted as the remaining students finish and the programs enter a sort of limbo. The news was a surprise to employees and students, many said.
Jennifer Storm remembers the night she and her young daughter drove over the Blatnik Bridge to Duluth together for the first time. The sun was setting and the city was bathed in a warm pink light. Storm's daughter, Sophia, was excited to enter Duluth, a place she had heard mentioned so many times. For Storm, it was a moment she had envisioned every night as she tried to sleep: What would be playing on the radio? What would the city's lights look like cresting over the bridge? What would it be like to feel safe?
Both of the candidates for the Duluth School Board District 1 race agree that changes to school boundaries are necessary and that voters should be asked to at least renew an expiring operating levy. When it comes to key issues, however, similarities end there. Kurt Kuehn and incumbent Rosie Loeffler-Kemp are the candidates running to represent large sections of eastern Duluth, the city of Rice Lake and four area townships.