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  • Each day more than 5,500 students learn and thrive in Moorhead Area Public Schools. We are proud of your successes both inside and outside the classroom.
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  • From seeing how the district spends tax dollars to providing opportunities for lifelong learning, Moorhead Area Public Schools and the community are partners in education. We welcome your interest.
Lifelong Learning

Superintendent

Brandon Lunak, the interim superintendent, is appointed by the School Board and acts as its executive officer. The superintendent provides the School Board, the district staff, and the community with leadership to achieve the goals and objectives of the school district. Read Brandon Lunak's biography.

Superintendent Remarks

Superintendent’s Remarks: Thankful for accomplishments as we move forward together

November 19, 2018

Last year was a transition year for Moorhead Area Public Schools with new schools and changes for many staff and students.
 
We saw successes like the expansion of the 1-to-1 technology initiative to grades 5-8 and innovation emphasized at the Horizon Middle School Campus. 
 
Our district’s graduation rate increased from 74% (2016) to 80.6% (2017). The Moorhead High School graduation rate increased from 81% in 2016 to 88.3% in 2017, exceeding the state average of 82.7%. 
 
In March 2018, the Moorhead School Board accepted the Designing Moorhead High School’s 21st Century Academic/Instructional Program Task Force Report. Implementation of the 18-month action plan is underway, including formation in August 2018 of High School Facilities Task Force to research and recommend a plan for high school facilities moving forward.  
 
Over the summer, the projects in the 2015 bond referendum were completed with security renovations at Moorhead High School.  
 
As we move forward together through the 2018-19 school year, we are thankful for all that was accomplished last year, and we are thankful for the successes our district has already experienced this school year.  
 
We are proud of students like Zachary Van Raden who earned a perfect score on the ACT and the members of the boys cross country team, girls soccer team, girls swimming and diving team, and volleyball team for successes they have had this fall.
 
We are thankful for students who participate in penny wars, lead food drives at all our schools to collect food for Fill the Dome, and push themselves to learn and grow.  
 
We are grateful for our staff members who do their best for students every day, for the parents who partner with us on their students’ education, and for all our community members for their support.  
 
While we’re thankful for these and many other accomplishments across the district, our district’s guiding philosophy is continuous improvement. That means we must continue moving forward together and remember that we can if we will.  
 
Sincerely,
Brandon Lunak, Superintendent
Moorhead Area Public Schools 

Moving Forward Together: Moorhead Schools aims for students to feel accepted

September 4, 2018

As the 2018-19 school year begins, Moorhead Area Public Schools continues moving forward to ensure all of our students achieve their maximum potential. We want to welcome our students back to school to classrooms where they feel they are accepted and belong.

As our district experiences the changes that come with new schools, enrollment growth, and transition in leadership, our collaborative culture in working together will help us focus on our students and the future of our district. It is an honor to lead this school district.

When I spoke to district employees last week, I credited several of my former teachers for making a difference for me as a student. Their efforts in making me feel accepted made that difference. As we move forward together, our aim is to make our students feel like they belong and are accepted.

This year’s district theme, “Moving Forward Together,” encourages us to understand the value of change and the positive outcomes change can bring.

It is important to work together to move forward with our efforts to eliminate the opportunity gap for students, ensure students are career and college ready, and create a strong workforce for the state and region. We also are focused on providing our students with the 21st century skills of communication, collaboration, critical thinking and creativity they will need for their futures.

With the safety and security renovations at Moorhead High School this summer, the final project from the passage of the 2015 bond referendum will be completed. A High School Facilities Task Force will address facility needs for grades 9-12 as our district moves forward.

It is through the efforts of our employees, students, parents and community working together that will ensure our district’s continued excellence. Your support is essential to our work. Thank you for moving forward together with Moorhead Area Public Schools.

Sincerely,
Brandon Lunak, Superintendent
Moorhead Area Public Schools

Superintendent’s Message: Task force to discuss high school facility needs

August 2, 2018

The announcement of the Moorhead Area Public Schools High School Facilities Task Force last month was met with questions about whether Moorhead was considering two high schools. Although two high schools may be in Moorhead’s future, facilities planning since 2001 remains focused on one high school and an area learning center for our grades 9-12 students.

In 2001, in response to declining enrollment, a facilities task force made recommendations to the Moorhead School Board to enhance educational effectiveness, create economic efficiency and modernize the infrastructure of Moorhead Area Public Schools. Those efforts led to enrollment growth and the need in 2014 for a 10-year facilities master plan to address instructional and safety needs at the schools, including additional space.

The 2014-15 facilities master planning process reaffirmed the district’s commitment to maintaining efficiencies in operations. Similar to 2001, the plan recommended elementary schools for 750 students and proposed a grades 5-6 school addition on the Horizon Middle School campus similar in size to the original 1,300-student middle school.

At Moorhead High School, a ninth-grade center addition was recommended by the 2001 task force to help students transition into the 1,800-student high school. The 2014-15 task force developed a two-phase Facilities Master Plan. The second phase of the plan focuses on space for grades 9-12 students, allowing for consideration of a new facility or a new addition to the existing facility.

The High School Facilities Task Force being formed for the 2018-19 school year will review recommendations related to high school facilities from both the 2014-15 facilities master planning process and the Designing Moorhead High School’s 21st Century Academic/Instructional Program Task Force, which provided recommendations in March 2018.

Task force members will learn that it’s more than just deciding about one high school or two high schools. Many factors must be considered, including the collaborative process in 2014-15 that led to a recommendation for a single high school, operating costs for a high school, projections for enrollment, and consideration for city infrastructure. As part of its responsibilities, the facilities task force will be asked to make a recommendation related to when Moorhead Area Public Schools must consider a second high school.

Applications from community members interested in serving on this task force may be submitted through Aug. 3 at https://goo.gl/forms/F6OFAjBGlRPw6GS93 , or contact the Superintendent’s Office at 218-284-3330 for a paper copy of the application.

As we move forward together, I hope our collaborative community process will help identify how our current 50-year-old high school facility should be addressed to meet the instructional and educational needs of today and into the future.

Sincerely,
Brandon Lunak, Superintendent
Moorhead Area Public Schools

Superintendent Remarks: District works to educate all students in supportive schools

February 10, 2017

Public education is at the heart of our communities. Our students, teachers and community members have been reflecting on the value of an education from Moorhead Area Public Schools. Over the last few weeks, community members have discussed the skills, attributes and knowledge we want for graduates of Moorhead High School. As I listen, I hear our community members talk about students who are caring, collaborative and critical thinkers. We want those skills for all students.

As we continue to collect data from our focus groups, we will be able to define the educational program for Moorhead Schools. Our students have talked about great teachers and opportunities currently at Moorhead High School. Our community members have identified strengths like school pride, diversity of students, and caring, supportive staff. They also reflected on our positive community atmosphere and acceptance of others. More input will be gathered through a survey for parents and community members next month. Please look for an announcement and website information in March.

Our engagement process reminds us that our schools are a reflection of our society. This community includes people of all nationalities, all races and all religions. We welcome all learners who come through our doors. Our calling is to educate each and every student to fulfill our mission of developing the maximum potential of every learner to thrive in a changing world.

We prioritize a safe, welcoming and respectful community. We will continue to emphasize community building in our schools and support for students and their families. We will help all students achieve so they become productive and successful citizens.

We will continue to strive for a safe learning environment that is free of bullying, harassment and bias in all forms. Policies are in place to protect staff and students. We expect all staff and students to follow these policies. Our schools and community must continue to work together to ensure this safe environment.

The strength in our school district comes from our diversity. We welcome and share ideas in thoughtful and respectful dialogue. All are welcome and celebrated every day. Again we need to remember that we are all part of this community and all should feel safe and respected. We have a strong school district — one that honors all students.

Sincerely,
Dr. Lynne A. Kovash
Superintendent
Moorhead Area Public Schools

Superintendent Remarks: With Thanks

November 22, 2016

We have so much to be thankful for in Moorhead Area Public Schools.

As I write this column, it is important that we thank our community for its support of our schools. We have strong, growing schools, which creates a strong community. We have school buildings where students are supported and taught about reading and writing, mathematics, social studies, science, arts, world language, physical education and wellness, and more. We are thankful we are able to provide these opportunities for all our students.

Our schools are taking shape and will open the fall of 2017. We will be able to welcome students to safe and secure schools. We will have enough room for all students and places where they can eat, play, learn and be active. We are so thankful for our community support. Through the hard work of all our teachers, administrators and staff, we have worked together to make our schools the best places for our students. We are thankful for the creativity, innovation and critical thinking of our staff as we designed new and remodeled learning spaces for all learners.

We are thankful for all our staff members who work hard every day to make sure our students have their needs met. We have staff members who go beyond their work time to support students. We are thankful for staff who continually work to improve their teaching to reach every students.

We are thankful for the staff who work hard every day to make sure our students get to school and are fed. We are thankful for staff who makes sure our students have their health needs met and clean and supportive environments in which to learn.

We are thankful for parents and community members who volunteer their time to serve on task forces and other committees to help provide direction and input into our school district. We are thankful we have community members and families who volunteer to read with students and help our teachers. We are thankful for our PTAC members who work hard to support our students and staff.

We are thankful for our community. We appreciate the opportunity to collaborate with our higher education institutions, our community leaders and our business leaders. They also help guide our work to develop the maximum potential of every learner to thrive in a changing world.

It does take our community together to educate our students.

We have so much to be thankful for in this district.

Sincerely,
Dr. Lynne Kovash, Superintendent
Moorhead Area Public Schools

Strategic Planning

As a result of Minnesota's World's Best Workforce legislation, the School Board must establish goals and align strategic plans and budgets to achieve world-class student achievement by 2027. World's Best Workforce (WBWF) focuses on the goals of having all students meet school readiness goals, having all third-grade students achieve grade-level literacy, closing the academic achievement gap between all subgroups (ethnic, special education, poverty), having all students graduate from high school, and having all students attain college and career preparedness.

Moorhead Area Public Schools' strategic priorities were developed from the 2012-13 community engagement initiative. Under each priority area, goals and strategies were identified for 2013-14 and again for 2014-15. Plans are examined regularly and priority areas and timelines may change according to the needs of the district. Progress toward strategic priorities focused on World's Best Workforce are highlighted in the district's annual report.

Community Engagement Initiative 2012-13

Approximately 1,000 district stakeholders provided input during Moorhead Area Public Schools' 2012-13 Community Engagement Initiative. The steering committee and core planning team members held community conversations with several hundred stakeholders, about 900 residents and employees responded to surveys, and several employee focus groups were conducted all to provide input into the engagement process.

Responses to questions from the community survey are provided in the Community Engagement Initiative Survey Presentation from April 2013 and in the 2012-13 Annual Report. Approximately 80 percent of the 538 respondents had students attending a school in the district. 73 percent of respondents were female, and 27 percent male. Most respondents were 31-50 years old. More than 300 employees responded to an employee version of the survey.

The five major themes developed and discussed through the community conversations and surveys were what should a 21st century school look like, how best should school and community interact, what should district facilities look like, what does equitable educational opportunities mean, and what should the district be doing about any mental health/character development needs. The core planning teams recommendations in these five areas were presented to the School Board in June 2013. These recommendations led to the development of the 2013 Strategic Priorities.