It has been a busy and productive summer at ISD No. 314. While students and many staff may be ‘off’ for the summer, in reality a lot of work continues to get done. Many students are involved in summer programming (sports, academic enrichment, activities) and staff are actively planning for the new year ahead.

A few examples:

• The district recently received results of state accountability results (MCA’s/ACT’s) which are a great way to check the progress ISD No. 314 is making toward ensuring students are well prepared for their next step in life. The district uses the data to make educational decisions for the year ahead and results will be shared publicly in late August.

• Leadership and several other employees are engaged in professional development related to learning more effective strategies to build connections with students. When students act out (the same goes for adults) it’s often tied to unmet needs, and really, a feeling that no one cares. We know we can do a better job in this area! Progress will be measured through tracking of in and out of school suspensions.

Summer is also the time we catch up with building projects. The district has installed a new water line and hot water heater in our high school kitchen, made improvements to six of our multi-user restrooms, performed some needed repairs on the heating and ventilation system, and of course the easy to see roofing project occurring at the 4-12 building. Starting soon will be some concrete work near the career and technical education classrooms and ongoing throughout summer is the annual deep cleaning of all interior spaces.

One other significant change you will see this next school year is the movement of our fourth grade classrooms to what is typically called the high school building (actually housing grades 4-12). This relocation is undeniably the most efficient and economical choice to ensure all of our students will have adequate learning spaces in the years to come.

Before I share a list of upcoming events I want to again thank the school district community for their support of the district. With the operating levy passing this last fall I’m excited to share, for the first time in my four year tenure, that I don’t have to report further reductions to either staff or programs. I can also share that ISD No. 314’s last audit shows our district being the most efficiently run in the area when compared to 11 of our neighbors. This means we use taxpayer dollars wisely, providing an outstanding education for students in the most efficient way feasible. This outstanding education allows older students, if they so choose, to graduate with a two year college degree. It allows for students to participate in a variety of activities - from trap shooting to theater, to have access to unique career and technical education classes including woodworking, agricultural programs, and even building super efficient street legal automobiles. Our elementary is recognized as a school of excellence, we have a four of four star rated preschool program, before and after school aged child care and free after school academic support programs. And yes - every student in grades 4-12 has access to their own electronic device while the younger students share mobile carts. All this in a district where students exceed the state average on standardized reading and math assessments.

Finally, through the generosity of the Frandsen Family Foundation, every 2020 graduating senior may receive two years of college at Pine Technical College absolutely free. Wow!

Other news of note:

1. The entire Braham community is invited to attend the annual open house from 5-7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 28. In addition to students and families meeting teachers and visiting classrooms, all guests are encouraged to tour the facilities and join us for a free light supper of hot dogs, chips, and water directly in front of the 4-12 building.

2. If you have children in the district or our considering enrolling:

a. Those of you new to the district or considering our free, all day kindergarten program should check our website or call 320-396-5199 for more information. Early enrollment ensures all your needs will be met prior to the first day of school in September.

b. Practice for varsity football, volleyball, and 7-12 cross country starts on Monday, Aug. 12. Junior high football and volleyball begins Monday, Aug. 26. Please contact the school for more information.

c. Families with enrolled students should expect to see back-to-school letters arriving around Aug. 16 from Principals Eklund and/or Kuhnke. These informative letters will also be posted on the school website.

d. The community is invited to attend the football team’s annual hog roast on Thursday, Aug. 22, starting at 6 p.m. at the high school. A scrimmage will take place immediately following.

e. The home opener for volleyball will be Tuesday, Aug. 27, starting at 6 p.m. vs Rolyalton and the home opener for football will be Friday, Sept. 6, starting at 7 p.m. vs Chisholm. The Braham Area Education Association will be serving grilled hamburgers prior to the football game (starting at 6 p.m.). Come early and enjoy some tailgating!

Contact me at 320-396-5199 or kgagner@braham.k12.mn.us should you have questions.

District offices are open all summer, M-F, from 7 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Follow the district on our website, Facebook, or Twitter at: @Braham_Schools or my own feed @Supt_Gagner.

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