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Eight Minnesota schools, including six from Brainerd, get national 'Blue Ribbon' rating

Eight Minnesota schools have been named "Blue Ribbon Award" winners by the U.S. Department of Education. And six of them are from the Brainerd Public School District.

The Minnesota schools are among 337 selected nationally this year. Four of the Minnesota schools were honored for for academic excellence and four for closing the achievement gap, officials said.

The Minnesota Blue Ribbon schools:

Exemplary High Performing Schools

  • Battle Lake Secondary (Battle Lake School District)
  • Baxter Elementary (Brainerd Public School District)
  • Lowell Elementary (Brainerd Public School District)
  • Nisswa Elementary (Brainerd Public School District)

 Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing Schools

  • Garfield Elementary (Brainerd Public School District)
  • Harrison Elementary (Brainerd Public School District)
  • Riverside Elementary (Brainerd Public School District)
  • A.C.G.C. Elementary (A.C.G.C. Public School District)

Minnesota Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius took note of the Brainerd district's success:

"We’re seeing something unique in this year’s winners—multiple winning schools from a single district in a single year, or in recent years. That tells us these schools have figured out something special and important: how to move the needle not for just the kids in one school, but for kids in schools across the district."

The Brainerd schools got a shout-out from Gov. Mark Dayton, too:

"What a phenomenal accomplishment, for which the Brainerd School Board, administrators, teachers, parents, and students should be very proud. I recently visited one of Brainerd's award-winning schools, where I saw the dedication, enthusiasm, and teamwork which made them so successful. I offer them all my warmest congratulations."

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