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 Michigan 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.
- Together, Brookside and Riverview Elementary Schools averaged a 91.68 School Performance Index! They earned the top two scores in the entire MOISD when measured on student growth, proficiency, success, school quality, and participation.
- BRPS students excel in Advanced Placement courses. BRPS students also earned 450 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.
- Big Rapids Public Schools has been honored with the Best Communities for Music Education designation from The NAMM Foundation for its outstanding commitment to music education. This is the second consecutive year that Big Rapids has been honored with this award. Only 623 districts were recognized nationwide for this honor!
- 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 5:15 pm every school day.
Recognition from the State of Michigan:
- 2018-2019 Overall School Performance Ranking of 93.07% by the Michigan School Index System
- 2017-2018 Overall School Performance Ranking of 87.41% by the Michigan School Index System
- 2016-2017 Awarded a “Beating the Odds and High Progress School”
Our school continues to exceed academic expectations and is committed to empowering leaders!
Leader in Me - Recognized as a Lighthouse School 2018-2019! Schools that achieve “Lighthouse” certification shine as an example of the Leader in Me process, taking to its deepest and most impactful level of implementation. This outstanding title is awarded by Franklin Covey, to honor the attainment of a well-rounded leadership model. The Leader in Me provides our children with solid principles and skills to be successful beyond the school day and well into their future! For the last 5 years, we have been dedicated and committed to implementing and instilling the 7 Habits, “life-ready” skills from Dr. Stephen Covey. We join the elite 25 schools out of 165 in Michigan that have received Lighthouse status. Thank you to our student leaders and parents for their continued support for this initiative.
School Wellness - Recipient of the 2018-19 School Wellness Gold Award by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. Our continued efforts to promote and enhance the health and wellness of students through policy and environmental improvements (these last 5 years) has led to this achievement. Only 14 schools in Michigan reached gold status and of those only 6 were elementary. Brookside received Bronze in 2016-17 and Silver in 2017-18. Over the last 5 years, participation in several programs and many grants have improved physical activity, healthy eating habits, and overall student wellness. The Fuel Up To Play 60 program continues to provide support in this area with over $15,000 in grant funds to create many opportunities for students to eat healthily and be physically active in school. Additions at Brookside include new playground accessories, activity sets, classroom brain break supplies, outdoor seating for small groups, enhancements to encourage healthy eating choices and equipment to support our new universal breakfast program. A highlight of this year is the implementation of the Universal Breakfast Program. This all-school breakfast is offered to every student daily at no cost to families. Students eating a balanced breakfast provides them with the nutrition needed for a great start to the school day.
Community Mentors - This unique, 6-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.
Family Involvement - 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, Family Literacy Night, Walk-A-Thon, Caught Being a Cardinal Monthly Assemblies, Sharpen the Saw Days, March is Reading Month, Bagels & Books, Track & Field, Lunch on the Hill, PTO Carnival, 4th Grade Celebration 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, FSU Psychology interns, 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 on 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 build relationships and partnerships with community organizations.
- The State of Michigan put out school ratings in the spring and Riverview Elementary was in the Top 5% percentile twice in the last 5 years.
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
MAG Fundraiser - 6th Graders participated in a fundraiser to help eliminate UXOs (unexploded ordnance) “bombies” in the country of Laos. Over two million tons of cluster bombs were dropped between 1964 and 1973 and nearly 30% of these went unexploded, causing a history of serious threat to inhabitants of Laos to this day. Our BRMS 6th grade students led fundraising efforts that raised more than $3000 to go to this cause and make the land safe for their Laotian peers on the other side of the globe.
BRMS Performing Arts - Big Rapids was once again 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.
The Amazing Race - Over 150 kids on 48 teams participated in the 2019 Amazing Race! We appreciated the partnership with several local businesses to make this event a great one once again!
MS Drama: The Wizard of Oz, Jr. and The Grimm Brothers Spectaculathon - Under the direction of Miss Devann Hattis, our students produced two remarkable theatre performances this year. In the winter, over 50 students, grades 5-8, performed in the cast of The Wizard of Oz, Jr. For the first time, BRMS also presented a spring one-act play, The Grimm Brothers Spectaculathon!
Community Service - We believe an important part of the BRMS experiences takes place outside of our walls. This year, over 300 of our students participate in community service projects that supported 14 local organizations.
Talent Show - The annual BRMS Talent Show featured 30 acts and over 40 students who courageously performed a number of acts for our student body and parents. From dancing to singing, from comedy to rapping, our students put their greatest talents on display.
BRMS Book Club - This year, BRMS partnered with the local Big Rapids Community Library to hold monthly “book club” sessions. Kids were able to spend time with literary specialist, Tirzah Price, and discuss the latest and greatest in the world of adolescent literature!
Big Rapids High School
BRHS has had an excellent 2018-19 school year with many highlights.
- We are very proud to be included in the rankings for the U.S. News and World Report 2019 America’s Best High Schools! In addition, Big Rapids Public Schools is the recipient of the 2019 Best Communities for Music Education Award.
- The National Honor Society graduated 30 members and inducted 33 new members this year. The group volunteered over 2,000 hours throughout the community and collected approximately 100 pints of blood for the American Red Cross. They look forward to continuing their partnership with the Red Cross as well as their efforts in tutoring at the high school and reading with BRPS kindergartners.
- The band program had a very successful year - 5-time Class B champions at the Red Flannel Marching Band Invitational, straight I's at Marching, District and State Band Festivals, 7 MYAF small ensemble nominations and 4 MYAF Honors Band selections.
- Our Industrial Arts Program competed well again at the annual MITES (Michigan Industrial Technology Education Society) competition. BRHS had two first-place finishers in Ben Carrol and Leah Saunders; two 3rd place projects submitted by Shamus Collins; and two 4th place finishers in Morgan Hughs and Jake Mullins.
- Key Club had another good year. They graduated 16 Seniors! Key Club members supported a wide variety of service-oriented opportunities including holiday gift wrapping at Brookside Elementary; Salvation Army Bell Ringing; Salvation Army Angel Tree; Trick or Treat for UNICEF; Our Brother's Keeper Item Drive and Fund Raiser; and Project Starburst Item Drive and Fund Raiser.
- Sara Daniels, class of 2019, had her poem "To My Mother" chosen for publication in Central Michigan University's first issue of The Great Lakes Platform. According to the producers, the publication is "a series of academic and creative works from high school students throughout the Great Lakes region" and is compiled by the Central Michigan University Honors Program. Only 21 pieces were selected for the volume.
- Nate Welch, a junior AP art student, received second place in the Congressional Art Competition this year. His art will hang in representative John Moolenar's office in Midland for the next year and he also received a family membership to the Center for the Arts in Midland.
- BRHS partners with Ferris State University, Mid Michigan College, and Lake Superior State University to offer students college courses on our campus. 87 students earned over 450 college credits!
- Sara Daniels and Kamryn Cushway are two of only twenty high school students awarded the Centralis Scholarship. Recipients will enter the Honors Program at CMU and have their full tuition and room/board covered. The scholarship’s four-year value is nearly $100,000. In addition, Emma Devries earned the Centralis Gold Award. Recipients of this award enter the Honors Program at CMU and have their tuition covered. Its four-year value is approximately $58,000.
Big Rapids Virtual School
This year BRVS had thirteen graduates! Three of our graduates were recognized for outstanding academic achievement with cumulative GPAs of at least 3.25, at least 3.5, & 3.75.
Trimester Incentive Program - Each trimester BRVS students that met school and individual goals for their classwork were rewarded with a field trip with their peers and staff. Activities include: attending a holiday film and lunch at FSU's The Quad; Bowling at the Gate & lunch at FSU's The Rock; and Lunch at Mr. Pib's & Mini Golf at Rose Lake Park. The Incentive Program was sponsored by Scott's Body
Cooking Class for Teens - BRVS once again partnered with our local MSU Extension office. Students learned to identify and prepare healthy meals and snacks. As part of our students' final project, their knowledge and skills were put to a cook-off. Students needed to plan, shop & prepare a family-style healthy meal that was judged by members of the school administration.
Thank you to our community! - BRVS has received new siding, windows, and technology upgrades as a result of the BRPS 2018 Bond that was passed. BRVS is looking forward to new doors, shutters and a new staff paved parking lot in the near future!
Big Rapids Athletics
Team Highlights 2018-19
- Football finished the season 5-4 and earned a trip to the playoffs.
- Girls’ golf claimed the CSAA title, was second at the regional competition, and seventh at the State Finals.
- Boys’ cross country qualified for the State Finals as a team.
- Hockey claimed their third straight Regional Championship before falling in the quarterfinal game.
- Boys’ track won the CSAA league championship as a team.
- Boys’ golf claimed a CSAA title, Regional Title, and finished runner-up in the State Finals for the third consecutive year.
- Numerous teams were selected as Academic All-State!
Cardinal Cave - Did you know the Athletic Leadership Team re-opened the Cardinal Cave? The group spent a lot of time getting the store ready prior to the Grand Opening in December. The store includes men, women, and youth sizes! We also have hats, backpacks, golf towels/ditty bags, and much more! The store is open during varsity events at the high school and you can also stop by the athletic office during the school day to check it out. As a reminder, if you can’t find what you’re looking for at the Cardinal Cave, you can order all of your Big Rapids gear online at https://sideline.bsnsports.com/schools/michigan/bigrapids/big-rapids-high-school
The online store allows you to customize your gear and ships directly to your home!
Scholar-Athletes - We are excited to announce that we had two student-athletes selected as MHSAA/Farm Bureau Scholar-Athlete Award recipients. Pierce Morrissey and Kamryn Cushway were selected as two of the 120 finalists out of over 1,600 applicants! Of the 120 finalists, thirty-two were selected to receive a $1,000 scholarship and will be honored at the boys’ basketball state finals in March. Congratulations to Pierce as he was selected as one of the thirty-two winners.
Big Rapids Food Service
- This summer marks the 12th year for the Summer Fun Lunch Program! It is hosted at Big Rapids Middle School on weekdays between June 24th and August 16th from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm. 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 16th.
- Big Rapids Food Service served over 197,000 lunches, 86,000 breakfasts, and 7,000 after school snacks during the 2018-2019 school year. In addition, we served over 6,200 lunches during the 2018 Summer Fun Lunch Program.
- In January of 2019 Food Service implemented Universal Free Breakfast at Brookside Elementary as a pilot program. The breakfast program is offered, at no charge, to all students every morning throughout the school year. It was a huge success with students, staff, and parents. We will continue this program at Brookside Elementary for the 2019-2020 school year. Our plan is to introduce the Universal Free Breakfast program at both Riverview Elementary and the Middle School during the 2019-2020 school year.
- 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 works daily on safety. We have certified BLS (Basic Life Support) trainers on staff, staff certified in lead paint safety, certified locksmith, asbestos contractor supervisor, certified asbestos inspector and Auditorium Manager. All Facilities Staff are CPR, AED and asbestos awareness trained.
- Some maintenance items include 12 District AED’s; First Aid Kits; sharps disposal and Safety Data Sheets.
- Schedule and maintain all annual State of Michigan required and other inspections for: 2 elevators; 2 multi-section bleacher systems; 6 fire panel reporting systems; 176 smoke sensors; 14 heat sensors; 45 duct detectors; 114 pull stations; 274 audiovisual notification devices; 2 kitchen fire suppression systems; 116 fire sprinklers; 181 fire extinguishers; 10 backflow cross contamination devices; 373 tests on potable water devices and 16 boilers; 1 chiller; 26 air conditioning units.
- Maintain air quality by regular preventative maintenance on air movement equipment in each room/space/hallway, filters, and filter media.
Promoting BR Pride, every day!
Big Rapids Transportation Department
- Our transportation staff includes 12 four-hour drivers, 2 six-hour drivers, 4 substitute drivers, a lead driver/secretary, a mechanic, and a supervisor.
- According to our Student Count Day numbers, our drivers transported 1,049 students in the morning run, covering approximately 473 miles.
- We safely transported students a total of more than 180,000 miles over the year.
- Our drivers also traveled over 5,000 miles transporting Big Rapids Early Childhood program students to and from Eastwood Learning Center.
- This year our special needs van transported students to Riverview and Big Rapids Middle School ISD rooms daily.
- Drivers enjoyed transporting all the student classes from Riverview, Brookside, and the Big Rapids Middle School to their year-end outing events, a total of more than 2,800 miles.
- Bond funding has allowed us to update our bus fleet and replace some older, high mileage buses. We are so thankful for the support and safety for staff and students.
Technology Resource Center
- The number of Chrome Devices in the district has grown from 935 in 2016-17 to 1650 in 2018-19.
- The Technology Resource Center improved internet connectivity for the district by adding more bandwidth, an additional internet connection, and a new district firewall. BRPS users download about 19 Terabytes of data, and provides outside users about 1.5 Terabytes of internet data each week.
- The Technology Resource Center improved security and safety of users’ internet experience by adding a new content filtering product. The new content filter provides robust tools to configure content filtering, improved reporting, and the ability for our classroom teachers to monitor student use of their devices. Teachers can remotely oversee student screens, keep students on task, share their screen, and block and allow specific sites within their classroom.
- The Technology Resource Center received over $38,000 in Erate grant funding to pay for Internet and WAN connecting the High School, the Middle School, Brookside, and Riverview Elementary Schools.
- The Technology Resource Center received Erate funding to help pay for over $34,000 to maintain and upgrade to District network infrastructure.
- The TRC deployed its first 1 to 1 technology initiative to students in 5th grade at Big Rapids Middle School. Each student was provided a chromebook to "own" the entire school year at school. As a result, students took ownership of the devices, decreased repair requests, and were able to use devices not only in their classroom, but also in band, art, physical education, and other 'specials' courses in which they were enrolled.