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By many accounts, Kong James Xiong is one of the most well-known and well-liked students at Denfeld High School. Just this year, he was involved in more than a dozen extracurricular activities ranging from Key Club to varsity tennis, he tutored other kids after school and was named homecoming king. Despite that, Kong, who graduates Thursday with Denfeld's Class of 2017 and will attend Carleton College on a full scholarship next fall, is humble and approachable, said Denfeld English teacher Michele Helbacka.
About 100 Ordean East Middle School students were told they violated a Duluth school district dress code policy Friday. A Snapchat sent by a student Thursday night encouraged Ordean East students to violate the code, said Rachel Jackson, assistant principal of the school. "The dress code topic comes up every spring when it gets nice out," Jackson said, noting that most of the violators were girls with shorts and skirts that didn't follow district dress code policy. She said many were prepared, and brought other clothes to change into.
The Duluth School Board has agreed to borrow money that will allow renovations to the former Rockridge Elementary and replacement of rubber playground mulch.
Parents have started a petition in reaction to the news that Laura MacArthur Elementary School principal Nathan Glockle has been reassigned to Stowe Elementary in the westernmost part of the Duluth school district. Glockle has built strong relationships with families at Laura MacArthur, and moving him disrupts the work he has done in recent years, said Len Johnson, who has three children at the school. "We picked the school because of the leader," he said. "I just don't see how there won't be an impact if you remove the leader."
The Proctor school district violated federal special education law when 43 middle and high school students were deprived of speech and language services for six weeks in 2015.
Several Duluth school district elementary schools will have new leaders next fall. The resignation of newcomer Cynthia Maldonado at Stowe has led to a shifting of principals, with Laura MacArthur leader Nathan Glockle moving to Stowe. Amy Worden, who began with the district at Homecroft this year, will replace Glockle. Darren Sheldon, who began with the district in 2015 as principal at Lakewood, will move to Homecroft. His position as part-time principal at Lakewood — part-time because of a small enrollment — will be posted.
A parental rights lawsuit filed against the St. Louis County school district and others has been dismissed. A St. Louis County mother asked for her parental rights to be restored as her 17-year-old child underwent a transition from male to female. She claimed that various agencies violated her rights when they treated her child as emancipated without a court order.
Amy Starzecki spent a morning this spring visiting with the principal of Piedmont Elementary. The Duluth schools assistant superintendent looked out the window, noticing kids getting dropped off 20 minutes after the day had begun. She was surprised, she said, but the principal told her it was typical. Starzecki later noticed the same thing happening at other elementary schools. "Kids need to be in school all day, every day," she said. "Missing even an hour in the morning can have a huge impact."
“‘I can’t read.’” That admission — by a Denfeld High School student who wasn’t going to class because he didn’t have the reading skills to do the work — is one reason why he ended up in a county truancy program this year. The student was going to school but not entering the classroom, said Amy Lukasavitz, an assistant St. Louis County attorney who is part of the county’s Student Attendance Review Board.
A threatening email received by the Duluth school district this morning has led to an increased police presence at Denfeld High School. District spokeswoman Katie Kaufman said the email contained several threatening comments toward Denfeld. The Duluth Police Department has determined the threats were not credible. However, families were notified that there would be more police present at the school as a precautionary measure. Police are working to identify the source of the email, Kaufman said.