District Information

Points of Pride

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.

  • BRPS students excel in Advanced Placement courses.  BRPS students also continue to earn hundreds of college credits each year.  

  • 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 third consecutive year that Big Rapids has been honored with this award.  

  • Our elementary and secondary schools have also earned the State awards of "Michigan Blue Ribbon Exemplary School," "Michigan Beating the Odds School,"  "Michigan Rewards School", and a "Lighthouse Leader in Me" school award.

  • Our middle school has comprehensive enrichment programs including Spanish, art, choir, technology, physical education, band, and jazz band. 


  • Academics & Technology - We are very proud to continue receiving high academic ratings from the Michigan Department of Education. 1-1 technology supports the delivery of individualized instruction and enhances our daily curriculum. Teaching with a focus on supporting and nurturing all areas of students' development and learning is a priority. 

  • Leader in Me - Brookside Elementary School received the distinguished recognition of being awarded a National Leader in Me Lighthouse School for the second consecutive time. This outstanding title is awarded by Franklin Covey to honor the attainment of a well-rounded leadership school (in all 3 areas: Academics, Leadership, and Culture). Our team has been dedicated to this transformational process and model for the last 9 years. It is a terrific accomplishment to sustain and advance in meeting all the criteria set forth by The Franklin Covey Organization.  Leader in Me has been endorsed by CASEL, Collaborative for Academic, Social Emotional Learning (https://casel.org/about-us/.) This designation is given to effective social-emotional learning programs that meet the organization’s high-quality, evidence-based standards. Social Emotional Learning strengthens the development of vital skills, including responsibility, self-management, social awareness, responsible decision-making, resilience, focus, empathy, communication, collaboration, and motivation.

  • School Wellness - 2019 & 2020 Michigan School Wellness Gold Award recipient. “The Michigan schools recognized with School Wellness Awards have gone above and beyond to create healthy environments that support lifelong healthy habits.” Robert Gordon, MDHHS Director. This program aims to engage schools statewide in creating healthy school environments and sustaining policy and environmental changes. Schools that have achieved all of these elements are recognized with the top-level Gold Award. Brookside was recognized as one of 16 1st place Gold award winners in the state.

  • Community Mentors - This unique initiative connects a community member with a classroom to become their mentor and super-hero. This relationship develops during the school year with visits, field trips to their place of business, and continuous collaboration throughout the year. Building positive relationships between school, students, parents, teachers, and the community is an integral part of educating students at Brookside. 

  • Community Activities - Brookside continues to celebrate student success with many activities throughout the year. We thank our PTO, Families, and Community for their commitment. Each year brings the following outstanding events and opportunities showcasing student leadership roles and achievement: PTO Move-A-Thon & Holiday Shop, Community Service Projects, Family Literacy Night, Caught Being a Cardinal Monthly Assemblies, Sharpen the Saw Days, Bagels-Books & Leadership Binders, Leader in Me Leadership Day, Track & Field, Lunch on the Hill and 4th Grade Celebration to name a few.

Riverview prides itself on working hard academically, creating a positive school environment, and building relationships.  

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 student's time at school the best it can be!

  • The Michigan Department of Education nominated Riverview Elementary for recognition as a National Blue Ribbon School.  Riverview met several criteria based on the performance of students with the state assessment in reading (or English language arts) and mathematics. Riverview was awarded as a National Blue Ribbon School for Exemplary High Performance in 2020 making them one of the top 15% of schools in the country.

  • Riverview was recognized by the State of Michigan this winter as a “Reward” school using the A-F grading system as a measure of school performance. Riverview received an “A” on the state report card.

  • The State of Michigan rated Riverview Elementary as a Top 5% percentile twice.  Riverview was nominated for the 2019 National ESEA Distinguished Schools Award by the State of Michigan and received a School Wellness Award for 2019-20. 

  • Our learning environment is enhanced through a partnership with Ferris State University, which includes FSU education students, student teachers, “Reading Literacy” work-study students, volunteers from FSU Athletic Department, social work students, 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.

  • The staff at Riverview look for the best 21st Century learning opportunities for students, and actively engage them by using the latest academic content and interactive online programs.

  • Riverview Elementary has an extremely positive school environment that 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, celebrating Nurse’s Week, and card-making for our troops.  They continually build relationships and partnerships with community organizations.

Big Rapids Middle School has been focusing on our PBIS (Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports) as a way to recognize students' successes inside and outside of the classroom. Our mantra has been "Do your part." As part of our Catching CARDS program, the staff gives special recognition to students that demonstrate Compassion, Attitude, Responsibility, Determination, and Success.

  • Activities and Clubs:  The middle school recently competed at Ferris State University in their annual Woodbridge N. Ferris MathCounts competition. Fifth through eighth-grade students competed in individual and team competitions against schools from around northern Michigan. After concluding the speed round of competition, students were treated to lunch at the Quad Cafe’. Students had a great experience and represented BRMS well!

  • BRMS Theatre:  On February 24th and 25th the BRMS Theatre group performed Peter Pan Jr. at the Big Rapids High School auditorium. Students took us on an adventure with Peter and his mischievous fairy sidekick, Tinkerbell, as they visited the nursery of the Darling children and journeyed across the stars. Cast members included: Abby Lundwall as Peter Pan, Karli Bowman as Tinkerbell, Leanna Clark as Captian Hook, Finley Robinson as Wendy Darling, Eli Buist as Mr. Darling and a Pirate, and Brysen Easler as Tootles. The students did an amazing job under the direction of: Director - Devann Hattis; Vocal Director - Katie McInnis; Choreographer - Amy Scroeder; Production Assistant - Leah Lipar; Set Designer and Auditorium Director- Katie Mishler.

  • Field Trips:  Middle school sixth-grade students had a unique experience in attending Legends Ranch in Bitely for a field trip in February. While at Legends, our students had an opportunity to learn how to snowshoe, take a nature hike around the grounds, enjoy lunch around the bonfire, and experience a tour of the Wildlife Center. While touring the Wildlife Center, students learned about animals and their habitats from all around the world.

  • Big Rapids High School has been ranked by US News and World Report as one of 2022's Best High Schools in America.  BRHS has earned the distinction as one of America's best high schools several times over the past decade.  Rankings are calculated including criteria such as college readiness, State assessment proficiency, and graduation rates amongst other criteria.  BRHS ranked in the top 18% of all high schools in the US.

  • Choir:  The BRHS choirs had a very successful holiday concert featuring group and solo performances, including two special guests: alumna and current BRPS teacher Kristin Malloy and former BRHS choir director Ginny Kerwin. The choirs then started 2023 on a strong note participating in District Solo & Ensemble. All eight events scored a Division 1 rating and qualified for State Solo & Ensemble. Senior Alek Lipar got a perfect score!

  • Band:  Congratulations to Hope Johnson on her appearance at the All-State Band performance as part of the prestigious Michigan Music Conference on January 21st! Congratulations also to Emily Balch on becoming the first-ever Middle School band student to make it into the All-State Middle School Band! Both girls were selected among the best in the entire state on their instruments (clarinet and bassoon respectively) and did a fantastic job. The All-State bands and orchestras tend to be dominated by A and AA schools (particularly on the east side of the state) and we are so proud to have representation from our community and our music program.

  • Art:  Congratulations to the following students on having their artwork chosen to promote the 2023 Art Attack Art Show; Charley Poteracke, Morgan Horvath, Haylee Pierson, Ariana Glentz, Jenna Williams, Hanna Smith, Nhu (Luna) Nguyen, Lily LaCross, and Madelyn Koepke.

    Congratulations to BRHS 2023 Scholastic Art Recipient, Ella Clark. Ella earned Honorable Mention for her acrylic painting titled "Beauty Standards".

  • National Honor Society:  The National Honor Society recently hosted its second blood drive of the year and it was a huge success! Throughout the school day, we were able to collect 44 units of blood that are being sent to local hospitals. Each blood donation can be used to save three lives, so our efforts can potentially impact 132 people! Our students showed leadership and hospitality to their peers and community members throughout the day as they recruited and welcomed donors and manned the post-donation snack table. We are looking forward to even greater success at our next blood drive on May 2nd.

  • Advanced Placement Literature Trip:  Ms. Harper's AP Literature and Composition class traveled to the Van Gogh Moving Art Exhibit in Grand Rapids. It was a great way to kick off the study of Transcendentalist Literature and explore the concepts of symbolism, theme, and imagery. Students then chose a Van Gogh exhibit piece over which to write a poem; in other words, they let the images create words and the words create images!

  • Key Club:  Key Club is a student-led community service club. Its 54 members are led by Senior Addison Mossel and the 2022-2023 school year has been a successful one for the club. Over the holidays Key Club students participated in a number of activities. They rang the bell for the Salvation Army and sponsored a Toys for Tots toy collection. Members also had several fundraisers to earn money that has been donated to local charities. More than $800 has been donated to Our Brothers Keeper and ARC, a local animal shelter. In addition, club members volunteered dozens of hours to assist and facilitate the Brookside Elementary Holiday Fair and a Field Day at Riverview Elementary. Key Club members are excited about volunteer and fundraising opportunities this spring. Key Club is thankful for the support of our building administration, our sponsoring Cadillac Kiwanis Club, and parents and community members who have supported club efforts.

  • Mecosta County Youth Advisory Council:  Mecosta County Youth Advisory Council (MCYAC) is a service group dedicated to raising funds to support youth in Mecosta County. All funds raised are allocated to the Youth Attention Center, a non-profit agency that offers outreach case management, crisis intervention, temporary shelter, and life skills for at-risk youth in Mecosta County. In the 2021-2022 school year, MCYAC students earned the honor of displaying the district-wide Bulldog at BRHS after raising the most funds during the school year. Students also attend monthly district meetings where they award scholarships and grants to youth organizations that support youth in our community.

  • We would like to give a shout-out to Scott’s Body Shop.  Every year Scott’s Body Shop sponsors our Commendable Cardinal Awards Program.  The program is designed to nominate and honor students who have demonstrated positive behavior, character, habits, and attitudes each trimester.  Students are nominated by BRHS staff and enjoy an invite to a special breakfast and earn one of eight chances to win a $15 gift card and pay it forward by selecting a school program of their choice to send $15.  Thanks Scott’s!

BRVS expanded to offer flexible learning opportunities for ALL students, grades K-12!  Typical active enrollment ranges between 90-100 students.  The 2021-22 school year saw numbers increase to the 170-180 student range, with over 50 K-8 students participating in BRVS!

  • 10 Years of BRVS:  BRVS is in its 10th year of operation! This year is on a path to be a record-setting one: BRVS has its largest student enrollment of all time. The per-student rate of progress is currently its highest of all time. Students are on pace to set an annual record for courses completed.
  • MCAN Innovative Schools Aspire Grant:  BRVS was 1 of 10 schools in Michigan to receive a $25,000 innovative schools grant to develop systems that will better prepare students to participate in postsecondary learning opportunities.

  • HS Classes Passed: BRVS high school students have completed over 275 courses so far this year and are on track for another year of 400+ courses. 

  • Community Library:  BRVS is developing a new partnership with our local community library. A local librarian comes onsite to BRVS monthly to meet with students to explore emerging authors and styles and share the great range of resources provided by our local library. BRVS and BRCL are working to design a 'novels course' for school credit for upperclassmen students as one more non-virtual learning option for students

  • MSU Extensions:  BRVS continues its partnership with Michigan State University to bring a cooking class onsite to BRVS for students interested in culinary arts. The course is designed to help students develop healthy cooking and eating skills. Students may continue studying this field in an advanced MSU Extensions course or by enrolling in the MOCC Culinary Arts program.

  • Artworks!:  BRVS launched a partnership with the local Artworks! studio to provide an exploratory art course. Students travel to Artworks! to not only study artistic themes and styles but they work under the tutelage of Artworks! staff to create their own art. Several students' pieces will be on display this year at the Big Rapids Art Attack exhibit!

2022-23 Recap - Winter Sports (as of 2/28/2023)


  • Boys' basketball claimed their third consecutive CSAA Title!

  • Girls’ basketball claimed the CSAA Championship and is ranked #2 in their upcoming district tournament.

  • Bowling finished 6th in the regional and girls finished 9th.

  • Hockey finished the season above .500 while carrying the most freshman on the roster in school history.

  • Wrestling sent Brett Root and Brody Sleeper to the State Finals! Brett was also crowned a regional champion!

  • Cheer finished 7th out of 13 teams in their district and posted their highest score in school history.

2022 Recap - Fall Sports


  • Boys’ soccer won the CSAA championship! Owen Gammons was the 2022 Pioneer Player of the Year! Earning Academic All-State honors were seniors Brock Smith, Isaac Hughes, and Jackson Heethuis.
  • Boys’ tennis finished 4th at the State Finals and hung a banner in the gym! Elijah Haynes and Ari Ziska were the State Champions for #4 doubles! Owen Westerkamp, Carson Coles, and Austin Hinkley earned First Team All-State Honors! Noah Sweppenheiser and Isaac Zocco were honorable-mention.
  • Cross Country sent Owen Westerkamp and Ben Knuth to the State Finals! Ben was named Academic All-State.
  • Football won the CSAA Conference and finished 7-2 in the regular season! They also made another trip to the playoffs! Zander Prince was named an All-Region honoree.
  • Girls’ golf claimed the CSAA Conference title and finished 5th at regionals.
  • Volleyball finished 7-3 in league play after only one win a year ago.

2022 Recap - Spring Sports


  • Baseball finished second in the conference and Jacob McLeod was selected 1st Team Academic All-State.
  • Softball claimed a CSAA Title, another District Championship, and set numerous school records! Rylie Haist and Marissa Warren were named All-State honorable mention.
  • Girls’ soccer won back-to-back CSAA championships and District Titles! Kyra Couch was second-team All-State and Julia Waltz was third-team All-State.
  • Boys’ golf claimed their 20th straight CSAA title and a regional championship! The team finished 10th in the state and Luke Welch was named 1st Team All-State.
  • Girls' tennis finished second in the conference tournament!
  • Track sent Owen Westerkamp and Makenna Rautio to the State Finals! Owen was also a regional champion in the 800 meter run.

Big Rapids Food Service served approximately 118,077 breakfasts and 244,581 lunches during the regular 2021-22 school year.  This is an average of 775 breakfast and 1600 lunches per day.

The Food Service Department takes pride in keeping our students healthy, happy, and active!  On top of our regular training, four of our Food Service Employees hold certificates to accommodate students’ allergies.


  • 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!

  • Our transportation staff includes thirteen regular route drivers, two sub drivers and eighteen buses in fleet.   

  • According to our Student Count Day numbers, our drivers safely provided 1,084 rides each day, covering approximately 942 miles. 

  • We safely transported students a total of more than 169,560 miles over the year.

  • Over the course of the school year, we have provided 195,120 safe rides for students.

  • 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.


  • 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.