Duluth School Board holds final meeting at Historic Old Central High School

The Duluth School Board has been meeting in the historic Old Town since the 1970s. Ahead of the meeting on Tuesday evening, board members, seated at socially distant tables, took a photo together to mark the occasion.

The boardroom, officially the auditorium, has seen many memorable meetings, including calls for the dismissal of former Superintendent Bill Gronseth, protests against the closure of school buildings during the long-term facilities plan commonly known as ” red plan, ”shows support for teachers in securing the ratification of their contracts and the hiring of current Superintendent John Magas.

More than 20 people attend the last Duluth School Board meeting at Historic Old Central High School on Tuesday, September 21, 2021. Adelle Whitefoot / Duluth News Tribune

Board chair Jill Lofald said the thrill of leaving Historic Old Central didn’t really hit her, but that she planned to stay after the meeting and reflect on the time she spent in the boardroom as a teacher, speech coach and now a school board. member.

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“It’s a beautiful space and it has served us well,” said Lofald. “I can’t wait to see what this building will become for the city and the community in the future.

The last reunion in the historic building, an end of era, began with the recognition of a social worker from Ordean East Middle School for her excellent work. He continued with public comments, which have at times been contentious in the past.

The public comment was given by many people who wanted to bring an issue in the district to the attention of the board. On Tuesday evening, that problem was not having a fourth and fifth grade class for the Misaabekong Ojibwe language immersion program at Lowell Elementary School, which the district told parents due to lack of interest. . Those who spoke called on the district to reverse its decision on the Misaabekong program and offer a divided class into fourth and fifth grades.

The meeting proceeded normally. Magasin gave a presentation on district operations, staff shortages and bus driver shortage issues. The Board of Directors approved resolutions to set the 2022 preliminary levy at the maximum and award bids for the construction of a new transportation hub, administrative buildings and facilities in the rear third of the property of the central high school on the hill.

Future regular school board meetings held on the third Tuesday of each month will be held at the Denfeld High School Media Center. The locations of the committee’s meetings are yet to be determined, although Lofald said they plan to hold these meetings at the UnitedHealthCare group building along Rice Lake Road, where the administration will be located for the next two years.

Lofald also announced Tuesday evening that future meetings will not be broadcast live at this time, but will be recorded and then uploaded to the district’s YouTube channel for viewing the next day.

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