Minnesota Revenue offers two valuable tax benefits for parents who purchase school supplies for their K-12 students, the K-12 Education Credit and Subtraction. These benefits can reduce parents’ taxes to increase their refund, but is only available for those who keep their receipts. Purchases for most school supplies, field trips, and musical instruments for school band are eligible.

Most Minnesota parents qualify for the K-12 subtraction, which reduces their taxable income. Parents under certain income limits may also qualify for the K-12 credit, which can refund up to 75% of their costs – even for parents who don’t owe any taxes. Visit the Minnesota Revenue website for details.

  • When In Doubt ... Sit Them Out Concussions are an unfortunate part of high school athletics. Gone are the days of, “Get back in there!” or “He just got his bell rung; he’ll be fine!” All ...
    Posted Jan 15, 2019, 10:58 AM by Brenda Williams
  • Community Mental Health Event at Pequot Lakes Public Schools By the time this article hits the presses, we all will have wrapped up the holidays. As we start packing up the seasonal decor, drag the Christmas tree to the ...
    Posted Jan 2, 2019, 7:26 AM by Brenda Williams
  • Appreciate the Good; Reach Out to Others As we begin the annual tradition of gathering with coworkers, family, and friends to celebrate the holidays, I challenge you to appreciate the good. This time of year is a ...
    Posted Dec 14, 2018, 1:58 PM by Brenda Williams
  • 'Tis the Season "'Tis the Season" is proclaimed and posted everywhere this time of year. But what does it really mean? In general, “tis” is a contraction of "it is" and “season” can ...
    Posted Dec 6, 2018, 9:07 AM by Brenda Williams
  • It’s Never Been Easier to Learn It is crazy to fathom it will soon be 2019 … it is a wonder where time really goes. It seems the world gets faster and faster and time moves at ...
    Posted Nov 19, 2018, 6:44 PM by Brenda Williams
Showing posts 1 - 5 of 91. View more »

When In Doubt ... Sit Them Out

posted Jan 15, 2019, 10:58 AM by Brenda Williams   [ updated Jan 15, 2019, 10:58 AM ]

Concussions are an unfortunate part of high school athletics. Gone are the days of, “Get back in there!” or “He just got his bell rung; he’ll be fine!” All levels of sports are taking a serious approach to head injuries and the Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) is no exception.

The MSHSL has put a lot of time and energy into developing concussion guidelines for athletes. While the entire policy is too much to cover in this article, I would like to share a few highlights.

*All coaches and officials are required to complete concussion education training. Parents and athletes are encouraged to complete the Heads Up: Concussion in High School Sports course. The course can be accessed at: www.cdc.gov/headsup

*Any athlete who exhibits signs, symptoms or behaviors consistent with a concussion shall be immediately removed from the contest and shall not return to play until cleared by an appropriate health care professional (AHCP).

*If an AHCP determines that an athlete has been concussed, that decision is final and the athlete is removed from competition for the remainder of the day. If an athlete is removed from a game, only an AHCP can authorize a return to play (RTP) following these guidelines:

1) The clearance must be in writing.

2) The clearance may not be on the same day on which the athlete was removed from play.

3) The form must be kept on file in the A.D.’s office

4) A parent cannot authorize the return to play for his/her child, even if the parent is an AHCP.

*Once an AHCP authorizes a medical clearance, RTP should follow a step-by-step process. The RTP protocol is complex. Once the athlete is symptom-free, he/she can enter the RTP protocol. Each step requires a minimum of 24 hours. In the event the athlete has any signs or symptoms that recur, the athlete must go back to the previous step.

1) Light aerobic activity

2) Sport-specific exercise

3) Non-contact training drills

4) Full contact training

5) Game play

Pequot Lakes High School also offers IMPACT testing to all athletes in grades 7-12. The IMPACT test is an online test which establishes a baseline for the athlete. In the event the athlete suffers a concussion, he/she can re-take the test and the results provide a valuable tool for an AHCP to make determinations regarding RTP.

Here’s hoping that we do not see many concussions in 2019 but if we do, know that we have specific guidelines in place to deal with it and the safety our athletes is our main concern.

See you at the games!

-- Marc Helmrichs, Activities Director

Community Mental Health Event at Pequot Lakes Public Schools

posted Jan 2, 2019, 7:26 AM by Brenda Williams

By the time this article hits the presses, we all will have wrapped up the holidays. As we start packing up the seasonal decor, drag the Christmas tree to the curb, and polish off the leftovers, we should be cognizant of the fact that the post-holiday season can be very difficult for our loved ones. What many might write off as “Winter Blues” or “Cabin Fever” could, in fact, be a true indication of something far more than simply feeling down.

As adults, it is natural to swing with the highs and lows of the season. Children experience a similar swing in emotions, however, often with more intensity. The post-holiday time traditionally brings an increase in the flow of traffic through the counseling and Family Collaborative offices. As we prep for this phase of the school year we would like to inform the readers about a mental health awareness event we are hosting in the Pequot Lakes Public Schools.

On February 11, the Pequot Lakes Public Schools will be bringing an engaging and informational opportunity to the Brainerd Lakes Area. Joe Beckman (a motivational speaker with Twin Cities roots) will be delivering an empowering presentation to our student body. Over the course of the last 15 years, Joe has impacted the lives of students in more than 150 schools delivering a message of hope, love of self, and resiliency. One of Joe’s central messages, “3 Phrases” can be viewed through a simple search on YouTube. This is a message that adds value to our existing homeroom curriculums related to character, health and wellness efforts in Health/PE classes, Youth Frontiers events and other efforts centered on whole child development.

Research tells us that 1 in 5 adults battle with some form of mental health. To frame it differently, it is as about as common as being left-handed! The Pequot Lakes Public Schools recognize the role that we play within our attendance area and beyond. This is a joint effort between the Pequot Lakes and Brainerd public schools with a focus on empowering our children and dissolving the stigma associated with mental health and mental illness in the Lakes Area. In addition to the events for our students, we will be broadening the impact of this message by inviting the entire community in to listen to Joe as a part of our Winter Conference Night for our 5-12 campus. The event will start at 6:30 p.m. and is open to our households of ISD 186 and the general public as well.

It is important to point out that we are thankful for a regional faith community, our financial supporters and the resources found within Region 5 who have rallied around the planning and preparation for this event. We give thanks to Pequot Lakes Rotary, Crow Wing Energized, Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce, Lutheran Social Services, Pequot Lakes PTA, The Christopher Benz Foundation, The Lighthouse Project, and Pequot Lakes Community Education for rallying around this effort, including planning, promotion, and financial support. Event details will be shared through various media formats as the date approaches, but please make it a priority. A reminder that this is a community event, open to all ages and backgrounds.

In the mindset of “It Takes a Village,” know that we all share a role in the development of our kids and becoming better informed about their development. Hope to see you there!

-- Mike O'Neil, Middle School Principal

Appreciate the Good; Reach Out to Others

posted Dec 14, 2018, 1:58 PM by Brenda Williams

As we begin the annual tradition of gathering with coworkers, family, and friends to celebrate the holidays, I challenge you to appreciate the good. This time of year is a great time to relax, reenergize and refocus as we spend some time away from work or just the routine of everyday life. We are afforded opportunities to connect with people that we may not have seen in a while or visit Grandma’s house for the only time during the year. The times are filled with great memories, stories, meals and just genuine fellowship. In today’s world, the headlines are always filled with negative or tragic news. It could be crime-related, natural disaster-related or negative political stories. I challenge you to spend this time of year appreciating the good in your life.

There are parts of the United States that have been recently devastated by natural disasters. I’m sure there are many folks in places like North Carolina and California whose holidays will be nothing like they typically are. They will be forced to change their traditions and routines as the house they normally celebrate in is no longer there. They may be forced to celebrate without loved ones they’ve lost in these disasters. It is safe to say that for many, their lives are forever changed.

As we celebrate this time of year, my second challenge for you is to reach out to others in need. Many of us are blessed to lead a life that includes many good things, but we may have friends, neighbors, and or know of families who are dealing with struggle. The holidays are usually the worst time of year for those struggles. If you know of folks who are struggling with physical or mental illness, loss of a loved one, financial hardship or just struggling with the stresses of everyday life, I challenge you to reach out to them. It can be as simple as making a point to chat with them briefly at church or in the store. It could mean going out of your way to provide a meal, send a card or just lending them your ear. A great community takes care of its own and while it is never intentional when we don’t, the hustle and bustle of life sometimes gets in the way of us doing just that.

As you celebrate this holiday season, take time to appreciate all the good in your life. If we don’t reflect on all the good, we will never fully appreciate how fortunate we are. Along with this, take note of the folks in your life who need a hand. I know for many this time of year, there are countless gifts under the tree. I would challenge you to find a gift under that tree that is a greater gift than doing what you can to help those in need.

-- Rich Spiczka, Community Education Director

'Tis the Season

posted Dec 6, 2018, 9:07 AM by Brenda Williams

"'Tis the Season" is proclaimed and posted everywhere this time of year. But what does it really mean? In general, “tis” is a contraction of "it is" and “season” can mean an indefinite period of time; for example, ‘Tis the Season for intentional acts of kindness. Let there be a season of kindness, let it start with me.

1. Hold the door open for someone.
2. Return someone’s cart at the store.
3. Leave a letter in a library book.
4. Feed the birds.
5. Leave happy notes around town.
6. Recycle.
7. Call your grandparents.
8. Pick up litter.
9. Let someone go ahead of you in line.
10. Compliment a friend.
11. Write a thank you note to someone.
12. Bake dessert for a neighbor
13. Walk dogs at the animal shelter.
14. Check in on an elderly neighbor.
15. Bury treasure at the playground.
16. Set the table for dinner.
17. Tell someone why they are special to you.
18. Donate outgrown clothes.
19. Buy a coffee for a stranger.
20. Pass out stickers to kids waiting in line.
21. Talk to someone new at school.
22. Write chalk messages on the sidewalk.
23. Donate food to the food pantry..
24. Tell a manager how good your service was.
25. Call a friend you haven’t seen in a while to say hello.
26. Read a book to someone.
27. Leave heads-up pennies on the sidewalk.
28. Tell someone how much you love them.
29. Say hello to everyone you see.
30. Wave at kids on school buses.
31. Sing songs at a nursing home.
32. Invite someone to play on the playground.
33. Donate a toy to Toys for Tots.
34. Turn off the water while brushing your teeth.
35. Say thank you when you see service members.
36. Fill a jar with candy to share.
37. Help make dinner.
38. Make a get well card for someone.
39. Bring your neighbors’ garbage cans up for them.
40. Take care of someone’s pet while they’re away.
41. Tape a video message for faraway family and friends.
42. Leave kindness stones at the park.
43. Give spare change to the food pantry.
44. Teach someone something new.
45. Reuse paper when you are drawing.
46. Give someone a hug.
47. Volunteer at a soup kitchen.
48. Write a note for someone’s lunch.
49. Collect money or items for your favorite charity.
50. Write a poem for a friend.
51. Help someone unload groceries at the store.
52. Make a homemade gift for someone.
53. Give high fives to a passerby.
54. Smile at everybody, it’s contagious.
55. Don’t let this season end.

-- Heidi Hagen, Business Manager

It’s Never Been Easier to Learn

posted Nov 19, 2018, 6:43 PM by Brenda Williams   [ updated Nov 19, 2018, 6:44 PM ]

It is crazy to fathom it will soon be 2019 … it is a wonder where time really goes. It seems the world gets faster and faster and time moves at breakneck speed. I can still remember the first time a wise, elder person told me that time never slows down and just goes faster as you age. I remember not believing that at all. As I’ve aged, I can’t help but think about how right they were. Our world moves faster and faster all the time. We’ve never had more conveniences, more things at our fingertips, more luxuries and more opportunities than we do right now. The element of technology has given us access to so many things we wouldn’t have had.

In community education, we promote lifelong learning. This learning takes place many ways through classes, performances, workshops and the like. There has been a shift in our world in regard to how we learn. The element of technology has literally put information on any topic we would ever want to know about, right at your fingertips. For example, have you ever been in a conversation where you and another can’t agree on some historical fact or something like it? Those conversations used to end with an eventual majority being reached and accepting that as correct. What happens now, somebody just says, “Google it!”

As recent as 20 years ago, it would have been unheard of for an elementary classroom to connect with a famous author from another state or even another country during a lesson. However, now a teacher can set up a meet and greet over the internet with the students all in the classroom and the author can be anywhere in the world! The power of technology and adapting our learning has led to countless ways we can enhance our lives.

As we approach the new year and find ourselves busy with everything that the onset of winter and the holidays throw at us, I challenge you to explore and embrace technology to learn something new. Watch a YouTube video on how to fix something in your house. Find an article that talks about something you are interested in. Seek out information about a new hobby that might be fun for you and your family. Learning should be lifelong, and it has never been easier to make it that way than right now.

 -- Rich Spiczka, Community Education Director

The Power of Yet

posted Nov 7, 2018, 6:26 AM by Brenda Williams

As I ventured through classrooms this past week, I had more than one student come up and share how they used the power of yet. Their pride in sharing this was evident, but what was the true lesson is the honoring that we all learn at different times and in different ways. For this month’s Patriot Perspective, YET will guide the journey through the start of the 2018-19 school year at EV.

Your mindset affects how you approach difficult or challenging tasks. At EV this year, the staff and students are not just learning about growth mindset, but are putting it into action. Growth mindset is the belief that intelligence is something we can grow, and to embrace risk-taking and failures as an opportunity to learn. October’s focus was growth mindset. This year the classroom read I shared was Making a Splash by Carol E. Reiley. The focus is on swimming, mindset, and learning through challenges. It had a message on each page about mindset to add to the story. Students connected the message to challenges at school and adding the power of yet when things are tough. The book shares the message that when we struggle in learning, our brains get stronger - embrace the struggle. We even talked about teaching adults at home, so if you have said, “I can’t do this,” your student may have added the word “yet”

EV continues toward becoming a high reliability school as another area of growth. The first level that must exist in such a school is a safe and collaborative culture. The heart and soul of this rests in our PRIDE expectations and procedures along with staff collaborating in weekly professional learning communities (PLCs). It is with reflection and honesty (growth mindset), that we turn a lens on EVerything we do to see where improvement is needed. We have asked for feedback from staff and parents and in upcoming weeks we will be asking students their thoughts. We celebrate the hardworking staff and all the wonderful aspects of EV. Our goal is not just to be good, but to be great.

To highlight a few additional growth mindset areas at EV, we are implementing Benchmark Advance to provide a rich, rigorous ELA experience for our students. In addition, every classroom has a new interactive board for enriching the learning experience. In kindergarten and first grade, we have implemented a push-in reading intervention that is providing intentional double dip in reading foundational skills to support students. An additional element is the ENVoY training that many of our teachers and paras have had that focus on non-verbals and visuals in all areas of EV. Two of our teachers, Mrs. Nelson and Mrs. Mellin, have already achieved certification in ENVoY this year.

Carol Dweck states, “In a growth mindset, challenges are exciting rather than threatening. So, rather than thinking I’m going to reveal my weakness, you say, wow, here’s a chance to grow.” At EV we celebrate chances to grow; the yet moments because we know it impacts all we do for EVery child, EVery day!

-- Melissa Hesch, Eagle View Elementary Principal

It Takes A Village

posted Oct 26, 2018, 3:04 PM by Brenda Williams

The success of any organization is the precise workings of its many parts. Many parts, one purpose. As our school works to ensure every student belongs at PLHS, and as the district focuses on a Safe and Collaborative Culture in our High-Reliability Schools efforts, we know that this is only achieved with disciplined and purposeful work on behalf of our students. Many programs in place to ensure this success are not well known by parents and the community. Here’s to shedding a little light on the subject.

Not everyone comes to school excited to be here. For some students, the challenges they face in a school make it a place of great difficulty. Whether the need is academic, social, or emotional, Pequot Lakes High School has the supports in place to make success achievable. School skills are those strategies beyond academic learning that students need to be successful; skills such as organization, study skills, time management, test-taking strategies, and workload management. Some students face barriers to success that are a result of non-academic factors. Home life and school life collide in complicated ways for some kids in a way that makes learning algebra a low priority in the mind of a 15-year-old. For these students, strategies for managing emotions, dealing with grief, seeking safe relationships, finding a friendship group, or identifying a trusted adult to confide in. These social-emotional skills are essential for success beyond high school.

To address this variety of needs, Pequot Lakes High School has created system-level programs and individual-level programs to help students learn, grow, and survive. For more consistent needs we have our Focus program. This structured setting helps students to gain skills while assisting with day-to-day tasks of school that can easily overwhelm a struggling student. Students are screened into this intensive intervention program based on need and are taught both school skills and social-emotional skills to help them improve their success in school and beyond. Students are tracked based on their individual growth and eventually move beyond the need for this resource as they gain confidence in their abilities.

For students that experience a traumatic event and find themselves lost in a cycle of emotional confusion, Pequot Lakes Schools is fortunate to have several resources on site to provide assistance. Our school counselors serve as point people for students. The counselor is able to isolate need and refer students to the appropriate resource. Our collaborative workers provide students with skills and resources in cases of financial, emotional, and social needs that limit a student from a successful experience in school. Mental health services are also available to students who experience greater needs. Available within the building, this service addresses the needs that present the greatest barrier to student learning.

Some needs do not require as intensive support and are the more common issues addressed at the classroom level. Teachers implement study sessions, structured reteaching, guided assistance and reassessment in their classrooms outside of class time as a way of helping students struggling with the content. Our tenth-grade teachers have implemented a more intensive intervention for students who demonstrate greater academic needs with a program they call “Lunch Bunch”. This program assigns students to a lunchtime eat and learn session with the student to help get them back on track and ensure success by reteaching content or assisting with learning deficits.

The process of helping a child be successful in school starts at home with a structured and supportive environment and continues in school through the careful integration of many resources. Rarely does one individual take sole responsibility for every need a student may have on the road to success. It truly does take a village to raise a child.

-- Aaron Nelson, High School Principal

Application for Educational Benefits

posted Oct 11, 2018, 7:50 AM by Brenda Williams

It’s never too late to fill out the Application for Educational Benefits form. What’s that, you ask?

Any child attending Pequot Lakes Schools may purchase a meal through the National School Breakfast and Lunch Program. Schools that participate in the School Nutrition Programs accept Applications for Educational Benefits for free and reduced-price meal benefits. These application forms, along with an informational letter, are sent to each household at the beginning of August and may be submitted at any time during the school year.

Approval to receive these benefits is based on a comparison of the household’s income to current U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) household income guidelines. Children from families with income between 130% and 185% of the poverty level are eligible for free or reduced priced meals. All that’s required is that you submit an application with your income listed as well as list all the people living in the household. If anyone in your household receives Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP) or Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR), you are automatically eligible for free meals. Just send in an application with your case number.

Who can apply? Any household can apply at any time if you think your income is within the USDA guidelines. Even if you are not sure, please fill out an application and send it in to your school’s food service department to check. Your application will be reviewed confidentially and you will receive a letter with the outcome.

If your household does qualify, it can help both you and the school district in several ways. For example, the insurance on student chromebooks is less expensive and athletic fees can be reduced for these households. The school can apply for additional educational funds and discounts if the free and reduced percentage is at a certain level. The free and reduced percentage determines the number of hours allocated for Minnesota Reading Corps tutors. The higher the percentage, the more tutors we are provided. Various grants are also awarded based these percentages. The food service department receives funding from both the state and federal governments for each meal served. We receive more funding per meal if the student is considered free or reduced than if this student purchases his/her meals at full price. This helps the food service program continue to offer free breakfast for all students and allows us to continue to purchase locally-sourced products, such as fruits, vegetables, and ground turkey.

All this is in addition to the nutritional and educational benefits each child receives through healthy meals while at school. It takes a lot of energy to fuel a young child’s body and even more as they grow older. So, please, if you have not yet done so, fill out an Application for Educational Benefits and submit it in person or mail to the food service department, as follows.

Pequot Lakes School District
Attn: Patty Buell / Food Service Department
30805 Olson Road
Pequot Lakes, MN 56472

Forms are available in each school office and online at www.isd186.org Click on Parents, then Menus and then 2018-19 Application for Educational Benefits under the Links section.

-- Patty Buell, Food Services Director

Lots to Celebrate in Pequot Lakes Schools

posted Sep 28, 2018, 2:26 PM by Brenda Williams

There has been much to celebrate in our Pequot Lakes Schools community over the last months. Our enrollment K-12 continues to climb at impressive rates. Pequot Lakes High School was recognized as one of the top schools in the region by the readers of the Brainerd Dispatch. Here at the Middle School, there’s a little-known recognition that was brought to our attention when the MN Department of Education released the 2017-18 MN Comprehensive Assessments results to the general public.

Pequot Lakes Middle School received a “2018 School of Excellence” award in the category of “Reading Growth Overall.” To speak simply, this means that students in grades 5-8 made very notable gains over their previous year’s achievement and performed in the top 5% of schools statewide. With approximately 2,400 schools in the state, that puts us in pretty elite company.

As we celebrate our school’s progress, I also know that as a principal, I often field questions from parents about the importance or relevance of standardized testing of our children. Outside of the obvious measurement tools rating individual student achievement in proficiency scales (exceeding, meeting, partially meeting, and does not meet standard), student performance acts as an indicator of student learning as a part of our 5-8 system. Your child’s performance, factored as a point of data into their graduating class, is perhaps the most well-vetted indicator of student learning that will occur over the course of a school year.

As we gear up for our first professional development day in 2018-19, we will be diving deeply into our MCA results (in Reading and Math and Science as well) to look where we can continue to improve our instructional practices. We use long-term trends in student performance on these assessments to provide valuable feedback to our educators about the scope and sequence of their instruction, and ultimately reflect upon the effectiveness of their pedagogy. The test itself is broken down into segments, providing our educators with the ability to look explicitly at student achievement on specific state content standards. We are excited about this day, and how we can use our student performance from last year to inform our instructional practices in the present.

As I pen this article I am reminded that there is a fine line between “tooting our own horn” and being proud of the achievements of our students and our staff. We entered the school year with a modo of “Effective and Reflective Teaching.” This year’s focus encourages our staff to live in constant reflection upon the effectiveness of their craft, frequently asking questions like, “What student evidence shows me that my students truly understand the material?” or “Clearly some of my students have already demonstrated mastery of content. What kind of enrichment can I provide these learners?.” This is what top-performing educators do, and it is the expectation of every educator at PLMS.

Being recognized in the top 5% of schools in the state in reading growth is something we are proud of. It undoubtedly sets a high bar of expectations for our school and the other core departments. These stellar results help us to recognize that we should feel fortunate to work with phenomenal families who make learning a top priority, that we are grateful for our hard-working teachers, and ultimately that our middle school staff are thankful for our students that show up and give their best version of themselves every day.

-- Mike O'Neil, Middle School Principal

On the Path to Greatness

posted Sep 20, 2018, 2:18 PM by Brenda Williams

Before school could officially kick off this year, both Pequot Lakes High School and Pequot Lakes Middle School were presented with separate awards demonstrating that purposeful and strategic hard work pays off when we stick to it with dedication, focus and resilience. The Brainerd Dispatch announced in late August that Pequot Lakes High School was voted the #1 Best School in the Brainerd Lakes Area in their annual Best of the Brainerd Lakes survey! While the award was a surprise, the news was not. The team at PLHS has been working methodically and diligently in recent years to expand and streamline course and activity offerings, to develop digital curriculum resources, and to implement a personal learning plan system that results in a personalized learning pathway for each Patriot. The community investment in updated facilities, increases in technology access for students, and time for teachers to work collaboratively to build a repository of resources is the foundation upon which the PLHS staff has developed the high school of choice in central MN. The staff at PLHS should be extremely proud of their hard work and the community should be very proud to see their investments paying off and showing excellent results.

One week after the announcement from the Brainerd Dispatch, the MN Department of Education released statewide results from state accountability tests last spring, and Pequot Lakes Middle School earned accolades for being in the top 5% of schools in MN for overall reading achievement! Once again, the award was a surprise but the news was not. The teachers and school leadership teams at Pequot Lakes Middle School and Eagle View Elementary have worked very hard in recent years to build a robust system of interventions and enrichments to ensure all students are learning at high levels, and the needle is starting to move. All of our schools are now implementing the leadership practices of a High Reliability School, establishing metrics on practices critical for success, and monitoring progress methodically over time. They are working towards being certified in the five levels of a High Reliability School: Safe and Collaborative Culture, Effective Teaching in Every Classroom, Guaranteed and Viable Curriculum, Standards-Referenced Reporting, and Competency-Based Education. The ultimate long-term result of this hard and deliberate work is students learning more and achieving at higher levels.

The school board of Pequot Lakes Schools adopted and implemented a strategic plan in 2013-14 calling for a rigorous, relevant, and personalized learning experience for each student. At that time, our schools didn’t have structured and empowered leadership teams in place or a cohesive system for developing and evaluating instructional staff. As a result of bold and strategic decisions by the school board and strong principal leadership, Pequot Lakes Schools now has three highly effective leadership teams in place that are leading methodical, focused, and research-based approaches to improving results on many fronts. And the results are starting to come in…

As we kick off the 2018-19 school year, the Pequot Lakes Schools community can be more proud than ever that our schools continue to improve and outperform most school districts. Our high school was voted the #1 Best School in the Brainerd Lakes Area and our middle school is in the top 5% in the state in overall reading achievement. There is no question - it is a great day to be a Patriot!!!

-- Chris Lindholm, Superintendent of Schools

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