Of all the awards a school can earn, the National Blue Ribbon School award stands as the greatest possible federal recognition. In Brainerd Public Schools, we have earned three National Blue Ribbon School awards since the program began in 1982. Each and every time a school gets nominated for National Blue Ribbon status, the United States government is recognizing a school whose excellence sets it apart from other schools.
As part of an ongoing effort to recognize those Brainerd Public Schools employees who inspire others and consistently go above and beyond what is expected so students can be successful, Brainerd Public Schools once again awarded three employees with the Above and Beyond Award. These employees are inspirations not only to the Brainerd Public Schools but to the broader Brainerd community because they are positive role models who strive to have a positive impact each and every day.
Last Wednesday, after work, my wife and I sat on our deck with our 17-year old daughter. She had just come home from the Brainerd High School Open House and she wanted to visit. ‘Visiting’ can be a happenstance event for many of us raising teenagers, and therefore there are times when it absolutely pays to sit up, open your ears and your heart, and soak up (or survive) the moment.
As they build their Lego buildings, children learn the sturdier the foundation, the more successful they will be at building their structures bigger, taller, and stronger. This simple concept learned at an early age also applies as we build our community’s children into successful students.
Families walk into Tornstrom Auditorium each spring for the final concert of the school year. We pay admission or make a donation, pick up a program, and work our way toward open seats. We look around saying hello to others we know, and it takes a minute or two to get adjusted to the lighting and the big field of view.
Minnesota’s commissioner of education came to Brainerd last week as part of her outreach and her search for input regarding early childhood education. The Dispatch captured a shot of Dr. Brenda Cassellius as she read to Mrs. Becker’s kindergarten class at Lowell Elementary School. The visit provided a great photo opportunity, and the accompanying story spoke to some, but not all of the conversations held in the district that afternoon.
As we draw close to the conclusion of the school year, Brainerd Public Schools has started to plan for the next school year. Like many school districts across Minnesota, our slightly declining trend in student enrollment plays a critical role in our planning process. As the majority of our funding is directly tied to the number of students we serve, a decline in enrollment means a decline in funding.
Ebenezer Scrooge throws open his streetside shutters and shouts down to a boy in the street “What day is this?” Upon learning that the day is, in fact, Christmas day, the miser begins to live what readers know will be a changed life. Old Scrooge becomes a giver in the end, and no matter how many times we hear the story we’re glad to hear the story of a mending heart.
W hen reflecting on our school years, we often have fond memories of teachers, friends, and the schools we attended. Everyone will agree that excellent teachers and positive role models are critical in meeting our core mission of providing a high-quality education for our community’s children. We also remember the places where our learning occurred; Brainerd Public Schools physical spaces play an important role in student learning.
By STEVE RAZIDLO The weather just before Thanksgiving was warm and mild, but we know that sooner or later winter in the Brainerd lakes area will require us to make decisions to cancel, run a delayed start, or set up an early release due to inclement weather.