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BEA planning back-to-school bash

Bucs Bash will feature information, food, fun, games, dunk tanks

By Fiona Edberg - Staff Writer | Aug 29, 2021

Blue Earth Area Schools is already shaking things up this year. Rather than welcoming students with a traditional open house, they will kick off September with a full-blown Back 2 School Bucs Bash on Wednesday, Sept. 1, from 4:30-7:30 p.m. The event will be held at Blue Earth Area High School.

“The inspiration and idea came about from one of our high school PLCs (Professional Learning Committees),” shares superintendent Mandy Fletcher. “One of our goals this year was to constantly find new ways to engage the community with the school.”

Fletcher continues, “The PLC pitched the idea of doing something that would be more carnival-like, with games, activities, and meals.”

The Back 2 School Bucs Bash will offer a smorgasbord of fun to students and their families.

“Each department will have a booth,” explains Fletcher. “They will do their own little games and prizes. Students can meet the teachers, and learn about their departments.”

Fletcher shares clubs and activities, as well as the food service department, will also have their own booths.

Additional activities planned for the night include a pep rally hosted by the cheerleaders, student athletes, and coaches at 5:30 p.m., as well as a dunk tank and a striker.

A free meal will also be offered to students and their families, which will include hot dogs and chips.

There is some more serious business that will be taken care of during the event, too, of course.

The evening is an important time to touch base with students’ families regarding necessary paperwork to start the school year, as well as distribute Chromebooks to students.

“Chromebooks will not be issued until all paperwork is signed and returned by the parent and the student,” reads the Back 2 School Bucs Bash news release.

Paperwork which will be collected includes the following documents: Student Demographics form, Health Census Form, Purchased Insurance or Insurance Waiver form, MSHSL (Minnesota State High School League) Eligibility form, Student/Parent 1:1 Tech Responsibility Agreement/Annual Insurance Plan, Ethnic and Racial Demographic Designation form, and Student Digital Equity Survey.

Families of students may also drop off lunch forms, lunch checks, athletic forms, and fees throughout the night.

The news release notes, “For your financial protection, the school will be offering an insurance plan for the Chromebook at the cost of $20. This payment can be made on the school’s web store found on the district’s website.”

The school also requests that students’ prescription medications be delivered, along with the accompanying signed forms, to the office prior to the first day of school, or during the Back 2 School Bash.

The event also offers an additional opportunity: a free COVID-19 vaccine clinic.

“The clinic is taking place in the Performing Arts Center at the high school,” shares Fletcher. “It will be completely private.”

Fletcher explains the clinic is being planned in conjuction with local Public Health.

Fletcher applauds the hard work of the United Hospital District (UHD) in Blue Earth. However, she notes, “UHD doesn’t have the equipment to offer the Pfizer vaccine. We know they don’t have the storage.”

Due to the limited capacity of UHD, Fletcher explains many families are having to travel outside of Blue Earth to gain access to the Pfizer vaccine, which is the only COVID-19 vaccination approved for children ages 12 and up.

“UHD also received an uptick in inquiries from families,” Fletcher says. “We want to keep things as streamlined as possible for families who are interested, so we thought we would offer the vaccine.”

The vaccine clinic will be open from 4:30-7 p.m. during the Back 2 School Bucs Bash. Anyone ages 12 and up is eligible for the vaccine, and welcome to attend the clinic.

School nurse Ann Crofton shares, “Individuals should not need to bring anything with them.” However, she adds, “Minors will need to be accompanied by an adult.”

Those who have additional questions about the vaccine clinic are encouraged to reach out to Crofton via email. Her email address can be found at beaschools.org.

Attendance for the Back 2 School Bucs Bash is not required, but “strongly encouraged,” as the news release states.

“We are trying to get people engaged,” explains Fletcher.

The first day of school is rapidly approaching; Blue Earth Area High School will open its doors to the 2021/2022 school year on Tuesday, Sept. 7, while K-7 students will start school on Thursday, Sept. 9.

What better way to welcome a new year of school than with games, prizes, and carnival fun?