By Kathleen Kaufman
The Duluth School Board voted tonight to authorize district administration to negotiate and execute a lease agreement with A&L Properties for space to be used by ISD 709’s Area Learning Center.
Upon execution of the lease, the ALC program will be located in the Duluth Technology Center, located at 11 E. Superior Street in downtown Duluth, for at least the next three years.
The action came after the board voted to rescind a previous board action directing school administration to execute a lease agreement for the Radio Central Building on Central Entrance in Duluth.
The district had initially planned to have the ALC program distance learn for 9 to 12 months this school year, while the Radio Central Building was remodeled to suit the needs of the district. With the State of Minnesota now requiring in-person learning, it made that timeline untenable.
The Duluth Technology Village space will be complete and ready for students next week, allowing the ALC program to meet in person immediately.
ISD 709’s alternative education mission is to provide viable educational options for students experiencing difficulty in the traditional education system. Programs are characterized by smaller class sizes and a hands-on/experiential approach to learning.
Instruction is designed to meet individual student learning styles as well as social and emotional needs. Teachers build connections with students and focus on vocational and career skills, including independent study options.
District officials had looked for other spaces that would accommodate the ALC program, but ultimately it was decided that the Duluth Technology Village was the setting best suited for the program and was available for use at the beginning of this school year.
The relocation of the ALC program is part of the district’s plan to vacate Historic Old Central High School in downtown Duluth after the school board moved forward with the sale of the iconic building. The district will vacate the building by October 27, 2021.