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 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.
- 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.
- Big Rapids High School has the highest ACT and College Readiness scores in the area.
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 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 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
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 "The Wizard of Oz" and choir and band students continued to receive top marks at regional and state levels.
Respect & Dignity At All Times
This group initiative, led by our district counselors and social workers, has embarked on a journey to promote Respect & Dignity At All Times for all members of our school community. The work of this team and our staff is seeking to promote healthy social behaviors and a culture that all students can thrive in.
BRMS students continue to advance our Robotics program. This year we had TWO robotics teams, 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 who make this awesome program a possibility for our kids.
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 depends strongly on hands-on learning through an inquiry-based approach to learning.
Full STEAM Ahead
Beginning this year, BRMS began implementing a STEM course for 7th-grade students as an enrichment learning opportunity. During this course, students are exposed to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) activities that challenge them to use the skills they learn in the classroom and apply in real-world, project-based situations.
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.
The Color Run fundraiser organized by the BRMS PTO raised over $20,000 to support students and learning at BRMS! This money is already being used for kids in and beyond the classroom. Our Parent Teacher Organization coordinated the event, which culminated in a color fun run on October 5.
8th-grade students participated in a local Manufacturing Day, a community event that partnered with several local manufacturers and the MOISD Career Center to help expose our kids to the local businesses responsible for many of the great products made right here in our community and also to link classroom to real-world future opportunities.
Community Service Project
Big Rapids Middle School students participate in community service projects, spending time helping local organizations who serve our community in various ways. The community service programs continue to strengthen the relationships between the school and community and help develop a sense of citizenship for the future leaders of Big Rapids - our kids!
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
This year BRVS had thirteen graduates! Three of our graduates were recognized for outstanding academic achievement cumulative GPS's 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 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 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.