Moving into a new area when you have children to enroll into school can be a stressful time.  Our area may be smaller but we do have school choices that can be made.  Each school offers tours of the facilities and are available throughout the summer for visits.  One great resource for looking into these schools for their demographics, student to teacher ratio, graduation trends, etc is to visit Minnesota Report Card (rc.education.state.mn.us) and enter in the school district you’re interested in.

The largest area is ISD 181 (www.ISD181.org) that encompasses 6 elementary schools, one middle school, and one high school.  The elementary schools in this district are broken out into areas of where you live for enrollment.  These schools are Baxter, Garfield, Harrison, Lowell, Nisswa and Riverside.  The middle school includes the grades of 5-8 at Forestview Middle School.  When entering 9th grade, they will become part of the high school but in a separate building called South Campus.  10th – 12th are houses and the Brainerd High School.

You can choose to send your children to some outlying areas.  Pillager School District is ISD 116  (www.isd116.org) and this building teaches grades PreK-12.  The building is broken up into 4 learning centers with Early Childhood Center, Elementary School, Middle School, and High School with a total enrollment of the school being 950.  They are able to keep class sizes smaller this way and they offer open enrollment.

ISD 186, Pequot Lakes Public School (www.isd186.org) also offers open enrollment in the communities of Pequot Lakes, Breezy Point, Crosslake, Jenkins and Nisswa up to their capacity of 1600 students in grades PreK-12.   With 4 separate buildings and 110 licenses teachers, they are able to keep the teaching ratio at 17:1.

Discovery Woods Montessori School is a tuition-free public charter school and assigned district number 4198 (www.discoverywoods.com).  They offer education for K-6 with a tuition-based preschool for ages 3-5.  This is a school that features multi-age classrooms and a more individualized learning.

If you’re looking for a private school, we have options.  St Francis of the Lakes Catholic School (www.stfrancisattholicshool.org), Oak Street Christian School (www.angi35.adventistschoolconnect.org), and Lake Region Christian School (www.lakeregionchristianschool.com).  Both St Francis and Oak Street teach K-8 with preschool registration available.  Lake Region offers preschool, K-12.  All of these school being faith-based learning and have limited class sizes.

If what you’re looking for is something non-traditional for you child(ren) due to a variety of reason like missing credits, low grades, disability, struggling socially, etc, maybe Alternative Education Center, AEC (www,blc.isd181.org/area-education-center).  Not only is there early childhood education available at this facility but specialized schooling for children in grades 5-12.  Even if homeschooling is your choice, they have the resource for you.

No matter what your education needs are for your child, you will find it in the Brainerd Lakes Area.  These do not cover all of the choices you could find if you’re looking at schools further outside the area like Crosslake or Crosby/Ironton.

(These do not cover all of the choices you could find if you’re looking at schools further outside the area like Crosslake or Crosby/Ironton.)