Guest Opinion: Brainerd Public Schools are Unprecedented

May is a busy and inspiring time to be at the Brainerd Public Schools. With over 6,500 students, it is a busy beehive of activity. The final weeks are filled with amazing BHS seniors building their futures and making astonishing things happen, lo...

May is a busy and inspiring time to be at the Brainerd Public Schools. With over 6,500 students, it is a busy beehive of activity. The final weeks are filled with amazing BHS seniors building their futures and making astonishing things happen, loads of school field trips at all levels and myriad achievements and activities for all students and families.

Within this happy tapestry of commotion, our community will enjoy a new and exciting event for children. The Blue Ribbon Carnival celebrates the National Blue Ribbon Schools awarded to our elementary schools.

Next Friday night, May 29 from 5-8 p.m., a free, fun and carnival celebration is planned for all kindergarten-fourth grade children and their families. The Blue Ribbon Carnival is scheduled at Forestview Middle School on the grounds south of the Forestview building. This event will take place rain or shine and will be moved into the gym if the weather is inclement.

Highlights include live music by SOLO (student musicians), dozens of bounce houses, DJ music provided by Dynamite Reflections with children's activities, a magician, face painting, photo booth, minnow races, petting zoo, giant twister game, and an explorative display with a race car, helicopter, fire engine, ambulance, and police cars. Volunteers will be on hand and wearing bright green bandanas so attendees can identify them.

Concessions will be available for sale all night with all proceeds benefiting our six elementary schools. Free water will be provided by Culligan Water.


A large crowd is expected and Forestview parking is limited. To help, shuttles will run every 10-15 minutes from BHS Lower Parking Lot to Forestview Middle School between 5-8 p.m. to alleviate parking and congestion at the carnival. We strongly encourage parents and guardians to park in the BHS Parking Lots and take the quick and convenient shuttle with their families to and from Forestview Middle School.

To organize this large scale event, a unique and collaborative partnership was struck among all the parent groups at each of the elementary schools and Brainerd Public Schools. The six elementary PTO/PTA groups are contributing exciting child activities, enthusiastic volunteers, and collective imagination to create a magical event for all elementary aged children and their families.

All six of the Brainerd Public Schools elementary schools were honored last fall as 2014 National Blue Ribbon Schools. Our remarkable six Brainerd Public Schools elementary schools are Baxter Elementary, Garfield Elementary, Harrison Elementary, Lowell Elementary, Nisswa Elementary and Riverside Elementary.

These six awards are an amazing community triumph and source of pride. It further serves as an affirmation of all the daily work completed by loving educators, supportive families and everyone in our greater community!

Of eight schools awarded in Minnesota, six were all the Brainerd Public Schools elementary schools. U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan recognized 2014 National Blue Ribbon Schools based on their overall academic excellence or their progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups.

Congratulations to the Brainerd Public Schools and the community on this amazing achievement.

The Blue Ribbon Carnival is intended for kindergarten-fourth grade children and their families and children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Community groups and individuals are encouraged to volunteer for and/or contribute to the Blue Ribbon Carnival. If you would like more information about the Blue Ribbon Carnival, or would like to volunteer or contribute, please contact Community Education at 218-454-6924.


Also, to volunteer or see more information, go to under District for the Blue Ribbon Carnival page. The web page has posters, Forestview Middle School map/layout, and a parent/guardian information letter.

Jill Neumann, Communications Manager, Brainerd Public Schools, on behalf of the Blue Ribbon Planning Committee.

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