spelling bee

From right, eight-grader Eva Johnson won the 2021 Spelling Bee contest Jan. 12. On her left is sixth grader Olivia Kiesz, who won second place, and fifth-grader Gabriel Flora, third place. All are standing by Superintendent Ken Gagner. Submitted photo

All students of Braham Area Schools will return to full in-person learning beginning Feb. 8.

The decision comes after school administrators determined there hasn’t been an increase in new COIVD-19 confirmed cases among the student population of the district.

While students in pre-K-7 have been in person for the full year, the district is excited to get their 8-12 grade students off their hybrid schedules.

“We’re very excited for the potential of all of our students coming back … on a consistent basis, and every day, so we’re gearing up and getting ready for that,” said Shawn Kuhnke, Braham High School principal and activities director, during the school board meeting on Jan. 25.

In a Jan. 6 document, Superintendent Ken Gagner advised that the changes are dependent on COVID-19 case rates remaining low. He requested everyone in the district and the community to do their part in wearing a mask, socially distancing, washing their hands frequently and avoiding contact with other groups.

“Our COVID-19, as far as active cases, we’re at zero students and zero staff ... that’s very good news,” Gagner said during the board meeting. “We’re continuing with our testing. ... So anyone who wants to test, every other Thursday it’s free. Screening is critical because ... half of all carriers are asymptomatic. So we want our employees to test.”

Winners of 2021 Spelling Bee

Kuhnke applauded eighth-grader Eva Johnson for winning this years’ Spelling Bee contest that happened on Jan. 12 in the West Gym.

“I just want to mention … Johnson, our Spelling Bee winner for this year, a three-time champion,” Kuhnke said. “It’s phenomenal, congratulations to her.”

Sixth-grader Olivia Kiesz took second-place, and fifth-grader Gabriel Flora took third.

In other news

Kuhnke said that he’s helping to prepare students for next year’s plans and scheduling process to ensure they’re on track in their learning progress.

“We’re going to be working with the kids very closely during their advisory period so that they can get registered,” Kuhnke said. “We’re looking for a timeframe of toward that end of February, early March time to get their classes set for the next school year as well.”

As for sports, Kuhnke explained that home competitions will be streamed live on the WCMP website. The website can be accessed via shorturl.at/hnJM9.

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