District Points of Pride
- Our district shows a commitment to health and student safety supports by offering a student services team consisting of a school nurse, liaison officers, and certified school counselors at every level.
- BRHS, Brookside and Riverview Elementary have been recognized by the State of Michigan as a MI HEARTSafe School.
- Big Rapids High School was recognized as a “Top American High School” by Newsweek and a US News and World Report “Silver Medal School” placing BRHS in the top ten percent in the nation.
- Our elementary schools have a better than 12 to 1 student to instructional staff ratio.
- BRPS students excel in Advanced Placement courses. BRPS students also earned 425 college credits last year, alone.
- Our staff is actively involved in a District-wide Bullying Prevention Initiative.
- We have State honored and regionally acclaimed dramatic arts, industrial arts, instrumental music, visual arts, and vocal music programs.
- Our elementary and secondary schools have also earned the State awards of "A Michigan Blue Ribbon Exemplary School," "A Michigan Beating the Odds School," and "A Michigan Rewards School."
- Our middle school has comprehensive enrichment programs including Spanish, art, choir, technology, physical education, band, and jazz band.
- Our Child Learning Center (CLC) after school enrichment program offers great educational opportunities to our students until 5:15pm every school day.
- Big Rapids High School has the highest ACT and College Readiness scores in the area.
Recognition from the State of Michigan:
- 2017-2018 Brookside Students & Staff received an overall school performance ranking of 87.41% by the Michigan School Index System.
- 2016-2017 Awarded a “Beating the Odds and High Progress School”
- 2014-2015 Received a Beating the Odds recognition (Noting - in 2015-2016 they did not honor Reward schools)
- Our school continues to exceed academic expectations and is committed to empowering leaders!
- Recipient of the 2018 School Wellness Award-this recognition is a well-earned milestone celebrating a healthy school environment and academic performance.
Leader in Me
At Brookside Elementary, The Leader in Me continues to be embedded in everything we do. The Leader in Me provides our children with solid principles and skills to be successful beyond the school day and well into their future! Our students and staff are implementing the 7 Habits, life skills from Dr. Stephen Covey's book "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People". In the spring of 2015, our school received a five year grant from the I Am a Leader Foundation and a plan of implementation was created through collaboration with the Franklin Covey organization. Recently we received an additional award to advance our journey to Lighthouse Status in 2018-2019 (145 Leader in Me Schools in Michigan, 21 Lighthouse Schools currently).
This unique, 5 year initiative connects a community member with an appropriate classroom to become their mentor, supporter, and super-hero. This relationship develops during the school year with visits from their mentor, field trips to their place of business, and continuous support as suggested by the collaboration between the teacher and mentor. Building positive relationships between school, students, parents, teachers, and community is an integral part of teaching students the value of community.
Brookside continues to celebrate student success with many activities throughout the year. We thank our PTO as well as our Parent Lighthouse Team for their commitment to parental involvement activities. This year brought the following outstanding events and opportunities showcasing student leadership roles and achievement: Annual Leader in Me Leadership Day, Leadership Showcase, Community Service Projects, Science Share, Math & Family Literacy Nights, Walk-Caught Being a Cardinal Monthly Assemblies, Sharpen the Saw Days, Bagels & Books, Track & Field, Lunch on the Hill, Winter Carnival and many more.
Riverview prides itself on working hard academically, creating a positive school environment and engaging in community service.
- During the fall and winter, all kids at Riverview go through a battery of assessments to gather baseline data for school improvement and student academic growth. All staff members frequently attend professional development to help drive the academic success of Riverview. Technology has come to the forefront in education so Riverview instructional staff is utilizing an array of tech devices within the classroom for instruction. We are fortunate to have a Smartboard, Netbooks, Chromebooks, Document Camera’s and iPads in the classroom for an enhanced learning experience. Students in all grades work with each other as mentors, reading and bus buddies, as well as academic tutors.
- Our learning environment is also enhanced through a partnership with Ferris State University, which includes 40 and 80 hour education students, FSU Student Teachers, FSU “Reading Literacy” work study students, volunteers from FSU Athletic Department, FSU Social Work students, social organization volunteers and research students. Many community members volunteer their time at Riverview to work with our students academically and build relationships. Riverview prides itself in the Community/School relationship.
- Riverview Elementary has an extremely positive school environment which allows students to participate in many positive learning environment activities including spirit week, concerts, plays, book fairs, Title Nights, online programs, parades, field trips, concerts, health & fitness, and parent teacher conferences.
- Throughout the school year, Riverview students participate in community service projects, such as, holiday door tag hanging and card-making for our troops. They continually building relationships and partner with community organizations.
- The State of Michigan put out school ratings in the spring and Riverview Elementary was in the Top 5% percentile.
The staff at Riverview radiates high energy and embraces positivity, teamwork and the love of learning. They continue to “Rock” the students learning and work hard at making our students experience at school the best it can be!
Big Rapids Middle School
BRMS Performing Arts
Big Rapids was named on a list of “Best Communities for Music Education” by the NAMM foundation. This prestigious honor considers school and community commitment to music education, which was on display yet again this year at a high level. Big Rapids Middle School bands and choirs, once again, received the highest marks at their competitions. BRMS students also produced the play “Annie, Jr.” and choir and band students continued to receive top marks at regional and state levels.
Bully Buster Month
Our annual Bully Buster Month took on a “Community Service” theme this year. Each grade level took a day to go into our community and pay it forward by helping many of the local businesses and service organizations in our BR community.
BRMS had TWO robotics teams this year, a 5th/6th grade team and also a 7th/8th grade team. Local fundraising is integral to hosting a robotics team and we appreciate the continued support from local businesses and individuals.
MathCOUNTS Wins 5th Consecutive Regional Championship
For the FIFTH consecutive year, BRMS brought home first place at the Regional MathCOUNTS competition and qualified for the Michigan State Championship competition!
Science at BRMS: IQWST Science & Cereal City Science BRMS will adopt new Science curriculums for Grade 5 (Cereal City Science) and Grades 6-8 (IQWST). Each of these science curriculums depend strongly on hands-on learning through an inquiry-based approach to learning.
Ferris State University TEA/STEM
The Ferris State University Colleges of Engineering and Health Services hosted 7th grade students once again to promote STEM programs and introduce young learners to careers in the STEM industries.
National Geographic Bee
Students from BRMS, once again, participated in the National Geographic Bee competition and were represented at the State Championship competition!
Nearly 100 BRMS students participated in this annual event, which is designed to be a celebration of healthy activity! The event challenges kids to work with teammates to complete a series of riddles and physical activities while also enjoying the company of their peers, teachers and families.
Red Nose Day Fundraising
BRMS teamed up with staff from our local Walgreen’s to participate in the annual Red Nose Day fundraising event to help fight the situational poverty that many children in our nation face. During the week-long fundraiser BRMS students raised $591, beating the goal of $548 ($1 for every student), and getting Mr. Cumings covered with the world’s largest (self-proclaimed) pie!
Big Rapids High School
BRHS has had an excellent 2017-2018 school year with many highlights.
- We are very proud to be included in the 2017 rankings again for the U.S. News and World Reports "Nations Best High Schools" as a silver medal recipient. The ranking places BRHS in the top 8% of all high schools in the Nation as well as at the top 5% of high schools in Michigan!
- Our Theatre Department, led by Ms. Lori Hathaway, put on several productions this year including The Secret Garden and Charlotte's Web. Taking the show on the road, BRHS students earned superior ratings at State Theatre Festival and the Michigan Youth Arts Festival. They earned over $100,000 in college scholarship offers between academic scholarships and theatrical scholarships, with four continuing on in College Theatrical Arts Programs. Finally, congratulations to Ms. Lori Hathaway for being inducted into the National Educational Theatre Association Hall of Fame.
- The BRHS Choir participated, with great success, at State S & E and State Choral Festival. Arya Rao was selected to perform in the All-State Choir at the Michigan Youth Arts Festival. Alexandra Weller and Hope Hoffman composed a moving tribute to the students of Parkland, Florida. This tribute was performed by all choir students at the spring concert and at a school assembly.
- Our local chapter of the National Honor Society collected over 100 units of blood this year (each unit can save up to 3 lives). In addition, NHS was active on other fronts as each kindergarten class had reading buddies for at least 5 hours spread throughout the year. And, collectively, members volunteered over 825 hours this school year!
- The Varsity A quiz bowl team qualified and competed at the national level for the first time ever and did very well against the best teams from around the country going 5 and 5.
- Both BRHS Bands received Division I ratings at State Festival. Percussion Ensemble performed at the Michigan Youth Arts Festival in Kalamazoo on May 9th.
- BRHS has teamed up with both Ferris State University and Mid-Michigan Community College to offer an enhanced dual enrollment program. BRHS students were able to enroll in 8 different college level classes this year without ever leaving the high school. 93 high school students, mostly juniors and seniors, successfully earned 712 college credits!
- Every year our students compete in the MITES (Michigan Industrial Technology Education Society) Competition and typically do very well. This year was no exception. 8 students qualified for the State level competition and Connor Lee earned a 1st place with a bowl. Connor McAdams earned a 3rd place with a bowl as well as Dawson Robetoy with a carving.
- The BRHS Robotics team included 15 students this year. They finished the season in April at Forrest Hills Central High School with a 2 matches to 1 loss in the semi-finals. Overall, at that event, they went 8-9 and were selected as a member of the #3 Alliance. The performance was an improvement over the first competition at GVSU two weeks prior where the team was 5-7 and was not selected for playoffs. Even though they improved their performance, it wasn't quite enough to put them into position to qualify for the State Championships this year.
Big Rapids Virtual School
Trimester Incentive Program
This Program was implemented to rewarded students who completed their classwork during the trimester. Activities included bowling, mini-golf, and lunch. Rewards were sponsored by Scott’s Body Shop.
Cooking for Teens
Cooking for Teens is a class provided by MSU Extension. Students learned to shop and prepare healthy meals and snacks. The last class was judged cook-off, where students displayed their newly acquired skills.
For the first time, BRVS awarded the Durst Family Scholarship to a VS graduate who will be attending Ferris State University in the fall.
BRVS attracted students from all schools in the district as well as the surrounding counties.
In addition to earning their diplomas, ALL the members of the Class of 2018 were employed, proving their time management skills as well as their dedication to their education.
Big Rapids Athletics
What an exciting year for BRHS Athletics! Proud to be a Cardinal!
This fall, boys’ soccer started off our year by claiming a CSAA Championship and District Title. They compiled a school record nineteen wins as they won a regional game for the first time in their history. Girls’ golf also claimed a CSAA Championship and finished runner-up at regionals with a 12th place finish at the State Finals. Boys’ and girls’ cross country sent individual runners to the State Finals with Meghan Langworthy leading the way by placing 10th and receiving All-State Honors. Boys’ soccer, girls’ golf, and boys’ tennis all were named Academic All-State as a team!
Winter approached quickly and the winning ways continued! Boys’ basketball won their fourth straight CSAA Championship while girls’ basketball claimed a district championship on their way to a 22-3 overall record. Hockey won their second consecutive Regional Title and earned a trip to the quarterfinals. Girls’ bowling qualified as a team for the State Finals and look to bring back a young team to compete again next year.
It was a crazy spring with multiple cancellations and rescheduling, but that did not deter our teams! Baseball, boys’ golf, and girls’ soccer all claimed CSAA Championships. On top of that our baseball and soccer teams won district titles and golf won a regional title and finished as State Runner-Up for a second year in a row! Pierce Morrissey led the way by winning the overall title for division three and Owen Seay placed seventh to earn all-state honors. Track also sent five athletes to the State Finals and was led by Logan Williams’ seventh place finish. Tennis had three regional champions in Eden Short, Katherine Langell, and Olivia Sanders. Finally, softball and girls’ tennis rounded out the spring season by being selected as Academic All-State teams.
Congratulations to all of our student-athletes for their dedication throughout the year as each of you played a vital role in our overall success. We hope all student-athletes have enjoyed the experience and we wish our seniors the best of luck as they move on.
We are BR!
Big Rapids Food Service
This summer marks the 11th year for the Summer Fun Lunch Program! It is hosted at Big Rapids Middle School on weekdays between June 11th and August 17th from 11:00am to 1:00pm. The program is available to all children (18 years of age and younger) to enjoy. It is a free program that includes a healthy meal, various crafts, activities, and a Summer Reading Program. The program wraps up on August 17th with an Amazing Carnival; with lots of games, prizes, and giveaways.
Big Rapids Food Service served over 195,000 lunches, 63,000 breakfasts, and 7,000 after school snacks during the 2017-2018 school year and 5,700 lunches during the Summer Fun Lunch Program in the summer of 2017.
The Food Service department was able to upgrade school lunches at the High School and Middle School by adding salad bar favorites: cheese, hardboiled egg, and go back to regular salad dressing!
In an effort to accommodate all students’ needs four Food Service Employees are certified in Allergens Training. The Food Service Department takes pride in keeping our students healthy, happy, and active!
Big Rapids Facilities & Grounds Department
The BRPS Facilities and Grounds Department currently has 9 Custodians, 1 Maintenance, 1 Clerical staff members and 1 Auditorium Manager. Promoting BR Pride, every day!
Our customers consist over 2000 students and 200 staff members.
With our district responsibility of over 6,474,785 sq. ft., and buildings containing over 400,000 sq. ft. our department cleans and maintains approximately 72 million sq. ft. and addresses over 1100 work orders each school year. Using our best practices every day provided no lost days to sickness or equipment failure.
We schedule over 1000 events that take place every year many of which require set-up and take down of equipment or furniture.
Big Rapids Transportation Department
Our transportation staff includes 10 four-hour drivers, 3 six-hour drivers, 5 substitute drivers, a lead driver/secretary, a mechanic and supervisor.
According to our Student Count Day numbers, our drivers transported 1,025 students in the morning run, covering approximately 443 miles.
We safely transported students a total of more than 180,000 miles over the year.
Our drivers also traveled 4,988 miles and spent 483 hours transporting Big Rapids Early Childhood program students to and from Eastwood Learning Center.