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The Duluth school district plans to dip into its contingency fund for next year to balance its budget. The district must make up a $3.3 million shortfall to its roughly $100 million general fund budget — the first time in several years it must make sizable reductions. Up until Monday, $200,000 still hadn't been allocated. About $100,000 of that was because a proposed cut to staffing for a voluntary early morning high school class period — zero hour — was taken off the table per School Board request.
Principal Stephanie Heilig is Myers-Wilkins Elementary School's resident celebrity. Far from an authority figure who rules from an office chair, Heilig is in hallways, the lunchroom and classrooms, often surrounded by students wanting to share a story or bask in her warmth. As a principal she handles discipline, but she's also holding book club meetings with kids, snagging students to help her feed the school's reptiles and is a giver and receiver of many, many hugs throughout a day.
A Superior man was arrested Friday on counts of first-degree sexual assault of a child, repeated sexual assault of a child, child sexual exploitation and possession of child pornography, according to the Superior Police Department. Todd Charles Gronseth, 32, has appeared in Douglas County Circuit Court and is being held on a $100,000 cash bond.
A "champion of the Iron Range," folklorist, storyteller and musician John Berquist had a deep connection to its various cultures and ethnicities, a connection he was compelled to share. Berquist, 69, of Fayal Township near Eveleth, died May 12 from pancreatic cancer.
The Duluth school district's zero hour has been saved, for now. Superintendent Bill Gronseth said Tuesday the budget item that would lead to fewer zero hour options available to students would be removed from a list of cuts and other savings meant to help shore up a $3.3 million deficit. The gathering of reduction possibilities has included input not from only administration, but from staff and students, Gronseth said. "After all of this discussion, and the meeting last night, we just feel we are not quite ready to move away from the zero hour model," he said.
Denfeld High School junior Julia Ketola does something unique to ensure she learns everything she wants to in a school district with just six periods: she's auditing a choir class during the time allotted for an online Spanish course in the library, and does the Spanish work from home.
An annual report by Native American parents says the Duluth school district isn't doing enough to educate Native American students, but those parents say they are seeing some progress. The state-mandated parent advisory committee presented its findings to the School Board last week with a resolution of "non-concurrence," which the district has a history of receiving from the committee. It's an "archaic" term from state statute, but the designation isn't seen as punitive, said Dennis Olson, director of Indian Education for the Minnesota Department of Education.
The Duluth school district and its Head Start program are expected to serve 550 homeless youth by the end of the school year, a number that has increased by more than 20 percent since 2012. The number jumped after that year because the district began working more closely with St. Louis County to identify students placed in emergency foster care, according to Deb Wagner, the Families in Transition advocate for the district. She presented an update on the program to the Duluth School Board Tuesday.
Duluth school district health insurance costs will jump substantially next year, following years of decreases or smaller increases after a 2010 switch to a statewide managed-care plan. Costs will rise...
The Duluth School Board on Monday will reconsider its decision on whether to negotiate a sale of the former Central High School property for use as a new Duluth Edison...