7 Things 4 You 2 Know

December 2020


Ryan Olson

Some teachers like to have fun for their school photo! Madison's physical education teacher, Ryan Olson, happens to be one of them! #742BetheDifference
2. 2021-22 ENROLLMENT


  • Clearview: Feb. 2
  • Discovery: Jan. 26
  • Kennedy: Feb. 4
  • Madison: Feb. 1
  • Oak Hill: Jan. 27
  • Talahi: Feb. 3
  • Westwood: Jan. 28
ONLINE ENROLLMENT and PACKET PICK-UP at the Welcome Center (1201 2nd St S, Waite Park) begin Jan. 25. Please call the Welcome Center to schedule an appointment for assistance.

320-370-8116 (English) 
320-370-8117 (Spanish) 
320-370-8118 (Somali)
For more information, go to



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Academic/Homework Support


Learning support is available for any student who needs special attention such as English learners, special education students or those students who need a little extra help with academics. For more information, select Academic/Homework Support under the Support tab from your school's webpage.

Calming Rooms

A virtual calming room is now available for students and can be found on the Distance Learning 2.0 page under Social/Emotional Learning. Check it out!


Early Learning Opportunities

The Early Childhood Education Winter/Spring Catalog is now available online! Families can now register for upcoming classes and opportunities. 

Check out the online catalog!


Educational Support Staff Honored With Awards

The Nov. 18, 2020 Educational Support Staff Awards (ESS) opened with a welcome address from Mark Schmitz, Executive Director at Resource Training & Solutions. Ken Anderson, chair of the Resource Training & Solutions' Board of Directors, also extended his congratulations to the honorees. Schools and districts across Resource's Central Minnesota region nominate award recipients based on suggested criteria that includes knowledge of work responsibilities, demonstration of safety, cultivation of respect, acting as a positive role model, displaying genuine concern for others, and making a difference in the lives of students, staff, and the community. Congratulations to the following staff:

  • Alicia Spartz - Apollo High School
  • Ann Gray - Clearview Elementary School
  • Donna Steinbach - Clearview Elementary School
  • Traci Haugen - Kennedy Community School
  • Theresa Kotsmith - Kennedy Community School
  • Jessica Guggenberger - Lincoln Elementary School
  • Mary Brown - McKinley Area Learning Center
  • Joan Haus - McKinley Area Learning Center
  • April Kipka - McKinley Area Learning Center
  • Emmy Stommes - McKinley Area Learning Center 
  • Seth Steinson - North Junior High School
  • Tamara Jett - Oak Hill Community School
  • Ruth LaFerriere - Oak Hill Community School
  • Deeq Mohamud - South Junior High School
  • Tamara Muzik - South Junior High School
  • Hung Vu - South Junior High School
  • Connie Curtis - Talahi Community School
  • Kelly Eltgroth - Tech High School
  • Amina Mumin - Tech High School
  • Mary Theis-Spoden - Tech High School

Watch the Awards Video.


Students "Hang Out" on Social Meets

Distance learning can create challenges in education not only academically, but socially. However, St. Cloud Area School District‘s middle schools, North Junior High SchoolSouth Junior High School and Kennedy Community School along with the Distance Learning Academy (DLA), have figured out a creative way for students to connect. It’s called Social Meets, a slotted time on a Google Meet where students can chat with other students. The idea is to “hang out” with other students virtually with no expectation other than to connect with one another.

The idea started at South earlier in the fall when Principal Joel Heitkamp and his administrative team began creating ideas for engaging students socially because the move to distance learning was looming on the horizon. Lindsey Nagorski, academic coach at South, was part of the team that scheduled social meets during South’s lunch hours.

“We decided that the students could use a space outside of their class to socialize or get help if needed,” shares Nagorski. “We created daily lunch and support Google Meets that are staffed by our deans and other student support personnel.” Continue reading


Aksel Krafnick

Breathe Easy*

Well I’m heading back to school, cause I’m nobody’s fool,

I’ve got education on my mind.

One thing Mama told me, to be nice and friendly, making new friends is fine.

I know it’s cheesy, but just breathe easy,

don’t let the mask upon your face drive you crazy.

Be kind, that’s what it’s all about,

and when you spend your time here at South,

make sure to cover up your mouth, and breathe easy!

*Sung to the tune of the Eagles’ Take it Easy

Behavior support specialist Aksel Krafnick loves to work with kids. His role at South Junior High School is a special one that has encouraged him to further his education career. However, the best thing about his current job is his ability to incorporate his other passion–music–into education.

Last year, then assistant principal, Joel Heitkamp approached Krafnick about creating a positive musical outlet for kids. When the district transitioned to a distance learning model due to COVID-19, however, the idea was put on the back burner. This year, Krafnick picked up the charge again. Every Monday and Tuesday, he finds a popular song, writes a parody of it and plays it for students later in the week.

“The words are very school-appropriate … like wearing your mask,” explains Krafnick. “It is about showing up to class, showing your teachers you’re smart. We touch on a lot of topics.”

Recently, Krafnick received praise after one of his songs was played at a school board meeting. And his popularity doesn’t end there.

Several years ago, Krafnick welcomed then Senator Al Franken to the district. And this fall, he played for Governor Tim Walz during his visit to South. Continue reading

Events & Important Dates

Dec. 23 - Jan. 1
NO SCHOOL- Winter Break

More News & Celebrations

2020-21 Optimist Essay Contest

Special Education Parent Town Hall Meeting Video Recording

LEAF Receives Morgan Family Foundation PAKCAT Grant

Apollo Presents "War of the Worlds"

Student Athletes Named to All-Metro Teams for Extended Fall Season
Copyright © 2020 St. Cloud Area School District 742, All rights reserved.

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