While it’s easy to get caught up in the challenges of everyday life, especially these past 15 months, I would like to take some time and focus on the positive - giving you at least five reasons why I consider this past year a success in Braham.

5. Braham still has Snow Days! The staff at Braham Area Schools truly believes in person instruction is preferable to distance learning which likely includes garden-variety learning packets, choice boards, or virtual meetings - especially when not all families have adequate Wifi or other technology devices. Because of this belief, Braham simply has built in snow days, e.g. Easter Monday replaces a January snow storm. In the past six years, Braham has given students the opportunity to attend an alternate day of in person instruction for every snow day taken.

4. Efficient use of Resources. Despite some unique challenges this past year, Braham Area School’s budget remains balanced and reserves (fund balance) continue to move in a positive direction. The board has done an outstanding job of monitoring spending and making sure resources are directed where needed. In fact, the district is actually adding positions for the ‘21-’22 school year which support the focus of making sure students enjoy tremendous opportunity in a small school, family oriented atmosphere. It’s also worth noting Braham continues to be the most efficiently operated school in the area (three years running) when compared to twelve surrounding districts.

3. Community. It’s often said the core of a community is it’s school district and Braham is no different. We are successful because we have caring people who are willing to support the district at the very highest level.

2. Valiant Leadership. If you have read my articles in the past you know I consider EVERYONE a leader, so the purpose of this statement is to highlight ALL of the employees at ISD #314. This was not an easy time to work in education but our staff stayed strong. And because of their leadership we can recognize the number one reason why it was a good year at Braham Area Schools.

1. In Person Learning. While it wasn’t perfect, our students spent more time in person than most in the state. Our PreK-7 grade students spent the entire school year in person while 8th - 12th grade students were fully in person for five months and hybrid (combination of in person and distance learning) for the other four. Students were also able to participate in a plethora (don’t you love that word?) of after school activities and while modified, the district was also able to offer traditional events such as prom and graduation.

Keep in mind Braham is BIG enough to offer opportunity, and SMALL enough to stand out!

Contact me at 320-396-5199, 320-288-6634, or kgagner@braham.k12.mn.us should you have questions. Follow the district on our website, Facebook, or Twitter at: @Braham_Schools or my own feed @Supt_Gagner.

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