Tonight could be an interesting meeting…

…here is an email the School Board recently received regarding it:

Good Morning Duluth School Board Members!

Thank You all very much for the time, energy and attention you provide our District!
The critical role you each play in our children’s future is extraordinary and challenging.
I’ve had the unique privilege of getting to know many of your teachers, support staff and school leaders in Western Duluth. Being on the hiring committee for principals, a PTA leader and consumed with volunteerism has enriched my knowledge of opportunities within our Western schools. It has also given me a significant sense of hope for those with much less opportunity and resources.
I’m taking my mistakes, learnings and successes into a collaborative multi-million dollar St. Louis River Corridor neighborhood parks initiative with our City of Duluth. It has been extremely rewarding and exhausting.

I wanted to make you all aware of an awesome leader who is proactively working with thought leaders from our Western Community and Schools. Mayor Emily Larson demonstrated authentic leadership during a collaborative meeting at Denfeld High School. At this meeting were Community Activists, Teachers, Elementary School Children, Middle School Students, High School Students and Community Resource Staff. Introduced as the most important people in attendance were the children. The kids selected to participate in this inaugural meeting weren’t the high performing, extreme popular or opportunistic kids. Some in attendance didn’t even know what a Mayor was. It was heartwarming and inspiring to hear them talk about their needs, what they love, who they admire and what’s missing for them to be successful! The post meeting follow up and follow through on the part of the mayors office was and continues to be phenomenal. We set results-based short and long term action steps and we are collaborating as cohesive partners for our Western Community.

We have attempted to collaborate similarly a number of times in the past four years with our Superintendent, to no avail. Think Kids was a brilliant “award winning” idea, but only as impactful as the tangible follow through on important initiatives brought forward through public input.

It has come to my attention that consideration will be given to a renewed contract for ISD#709 Superintendent William Gronseth. As an active leader for our Western Community who has worked with teachers, students, support staff, kids and our superintendent I’d ask you to delay any decision to extend or renew our Superintendent’s term until there is transparency of the specific evaluation tools and methods used.

Is there a standard evaluation process recommended by the Minnesota Dept of Education?
Are teachers and principals included from both ends of town at each level of schooling?
Will there be a public input session for students and community school stakeholders?

Tomorrow there will be public input where each person who’d like can speak for 3 minutes about inequity in the decision making process for our Western schools.
It will take quite a bit longer than 3 minutes to cover the concerns we have and continue to experience under current District leadership. I invite each of you School Board Members to sit down for a discussion on What Went Wrong through the Western Lens.

We have wonderful teachers, support staff and principals in our schools!
We have a school board with an opportunity to move in a different direction!
We have a significant group of community stakeholders and leaders who are rooting for our Superintendent to get one of the jobs he’s applied for outside our District!

Kindest Regards,

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