A community effort

Principal Randy Pauly
Braham Elementary School

As we enter the final quarter of the 2011-12 school year it is a great time to sit back and reflect on all the happenings in our school. I continue to be humbled by the professional dedication of our staff as we continue to meet the needs of our students. We are doing great things in our school, and our students can thank our outstanding staff and the strong community support we receive for providing them with an exceptional learning environment.

As a staff we continue to look for ways to improve our instruction allowing students to meet their learning goals. A large part of this is our current efforts in moving toward creating true 21st century learning environments. This was never more evident than when I sat in a 3rd grade classroom observing the second of a two day math lesson using iPads.

The teacher quickly reviewed the previous day’s lesson and shared with her students that they had worked on over 1,000 problems the previous day. Not only had the students worked through those problems, the iPads allowed them to get immediate feedback on how they were doing. Furthermore, that night, in reviewing her students work on-line, the teacher was able to identify trends and areas of weakness that she could then address.

As I left the classroom that day students were still working through problems on their iPads. You could have heard a pin drop as 25 students tuned in and worked independently.

This opportunity, this window into 21st century learning, would not have been possible without the community’s support for our school. That support is demonstrated each and every day, as in the case of the seven SmartBoards, which will be installed in the next two weeks that were a donation by a local family. Our community is providing these resources that our staff is putting to great use in teaching our students.

Finally, our students are giving back to their school and community in a variety of ways. Nick Hohn, one of our 4th grade teachers, has led the “Pennies for Patients” effort the last several years. This past month students once again came together to raise more that $3000 to support the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

On March 30, our 3rd and 4th graders, with the leadership of Phy-Ed teachers Sue Pearson and Cassie Tomczak, participated in the “Jump Rope for Heart” event to support the American Heart Association.

In partnership with the Braham Police Department and the Isanti ‘Towards Zero Deaths” campaign, our students are currently participating in a Stay Safe – Buckle Up campaign to raise the awareness of the importance of wearing seatbelts whenever riding in motor vehicles.

As a small town school our students benefit every day from the support of our community and a dedicated, professional staff. We are proud, here at Braham Area Elementary, of both our success and of our commitment to giving back to our community.