FAQs about the school district consolidation plan
Q: What will happen to sports and other extra-curriculars? A: Sports will be consolidated from three teams to two next year, one competing at Central and one at East; other extra- curricular activities, such as speech and debate, also will be con...
Q: What will happen to sports and other extra-curriculars?
A: Sports will be consolidated from three teams to two next year, one competing at Central and one at East; other extra-
curricular activities, such as speech and debate, also will be consolidated. The district is working with activities directors and students to determine what to call the new teams and how to unify them.
Q: How will students be split between Central and East high schools?
A: Denfeld students will attend Central and Central students will be split between East and Central, depending on grade. Next year's ninth-graders, for example, will be split between Central and East based on the boundary line outlined under the long-range facilities plan. Students in higher grades will be given a choice between the two schools depending on capacity; seniors will get first choice, then juniors and finally sophomores.
Q: How many positions will be eliminated during the transition?
A: About 17 full-time positions will be lost; that includes one high school principal, one assistant principal, one activities director, 4½ clerical positions and 10 maintenance positions. The consolidations also will eliminate about 75 coaching and co-curricular advising positions.
Q: How will teachers and staff be affected by the transition?
A: Teachers in the district's middle and high schools will be displaced next year and reassigned to Central, East, Woodland and Morgan Park based on seniority in the district. A similar model might be used for the district's clerical, non-certified, maintenance and paraprofessional staff, but that is still being determined.
Coaches and activity directors also will be displaced, but they must re-interview for positions at the two schools. The consolidation means the district will employ only two activity directors next year.
Three high school principals will vie for two open spots next year. Duluth Superintendent Keith Dixon is meeting with principals across the district to determine who the best candidates are for the openings; a decision is expected to be made in early January. A decision is expected to be made about activity directors by the end of the month.
Q: Can students still graduate from Denfeld even though the building will be closed?
A: Yes. The district is willing to hold three separate graduation ceremonies for Denfeld, East and Central students; this means Denfeld students could still attend their graduation ceremony in the Denfeld auditorium and receive a Denfeld diploma. This detail is subject to change if students and parents decide they'd prefer a different solution.
Q: Will this affect students' class rank and scholarship opportunities?
A: The district is willing to handle class rank and scholarships the same way it does now, meaning Central students would compete only against other Central students for class rank and certain scholarship opportunities; the same would be true for Denfeld and East students. This detail is subject to change depending on feedback from parents and students.