Braham Board hears update on Professional Learning Communities

Delwayne Hahn
Contributing Writer

As main items of business, the Braham School Board heard a report on a new collaboration of the high school’s social studies and English departments, reviewed the initial plan for a Washington, D.C., trip in 2018 for seventh- and eighth-graders (this year’s fifth-and sixth-graders), acknowledged the receipt of $5,095 in gifts and gifts in kind for several programs and purposes, and recognized 35 persons as recipients of Braham Honors at its Jan. 23 monthly meeting.

Dean of Students and social studies teacher Tammi Johnson presented the Professional Learning Communities report to the board on a new collaboration of the social studies and English departments. Essentially the group is reviewing curriculum to make sure standards are being met across the board, making sure students are meeting criteria for testing scores in both areas and “looking at various ways in which we measure mastery in our curriculum,” according to Johnson.

“Recently we are looking at ways we can best prepare students for their careers when it comes to career investigation, resume building, cover letter writing, job applications — everything (involved in the process) all the way up to job shadowing,” she added.

Johnson spoke later in the meeting in her role as dean of students, sharing the initial planning for a field trip by this year’s fifth- and sixth-graders following their seventh- and eighth-grade school year in June 2018. This will be a four-day venture to Washington, D.C., under the auspices of Rural Classrooms, an Aberdeen, South Dakota, firm that puts together such trips.

The request is coming at this early date, she said, to allow interested families to adequately plan for funding their student’s participation. She indicated there will be no school-sponsored fundraising and the expense of the trip will be borne by the individual families. The board approved the plan in principle.

The board also held a first reading to update the district’s policy on background checks for employees and others who may be offered opportunities within the district that bring them into contact with students. It also set the date and time for two special meetings: the superintendent’s annual evaluation and a working meeting to prepare the budget. These will be held Feb. 22; the budget meeting will follow the evaluation session.

The next regular meeting of the board will be Feb. 27.

Braham honors recipients recognized
Braham honors recipients recognized at the Jan. 23 Braham School Board meeting included Butch Erickson, Dixie Erickson, Lana Regal, Janelle Walker, Marie Meyer, Ellen Cunningham, Marion Larson, Edie Kaunonen, Merrie Ann Hesselroth and Harriet Lidke for hosting the annual holiday open house for all staff and retirees; Cody Anderson for hours spent working with students in the music department while on holiday break from college; Harriet Lidke and Marion Larson for greeting family and friends who attended the Elementary Holiday concerts; Lizzie Allendorf and Alec Downing, who were selected as Triple “A” Award winners from the Minnesota State High School League (given to high school seniors who have a ”B” average or higher and who participate in League-sponsored athletic and fine arts activities; and Amelia Fiedler, Amelia Laman, Chelsey Swanson, Montana Wagner, Liz Bombard, Nicole Brewer, Ashley Erbstoesser, Cody Carlson, Emma Downing, Josh Klingensmith, Zach Anderson, Emily Lindquist, Hunter Giffrow, Alex Kurvers, Isabelle Dorsey, Destiny Roeschlein, Kaylie Patl, Halie Jones, Lauren Kreyer, Jasper Taylor, Alec Downing and Tyler Lancrain, who were selected as All-Conference band or choir members for the 2016-2017 school year.