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Lifelong Learning


Superintendent Brandon Lunak 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

The New Year Brings Opportunities for Moorhead Schools

January 7, 2020

The New Year brings excitement and anticipation for the year ahead.

The Power of Community Support

November 13, 2019

Grateful. That has been my overwhelming emotion since the special election held on November 5 to build a replacement high school and career academy. Robert A. Emmons, from University of California, Davis, one of the world’s leading scientific experts on gratitude, writes that there are two parts to gratitude. The first is that we recognize there are good things in the world, gifts and benefits we have received. The second part is recognizing the sources of the goodness that we are experiencing.

When I think about the bond referendum and what it means for our students, I am grateful on behalf of those students that the voters supported the proposed projects. Our grades 9-12 learners will have the space to learn. They will benefit from state of the art educational facilities that are completely accessible, designed for 21st century learning and fashioned to encourage specific career exploration in a hands-on, minds-on way.

The “source” to whom we must express deep appreciation, is the Moorhead community: members who served on the task forces since 2015, members who worked to get out the facts on this bond and members who took time to vote. I am incredibly grateful to be a part of this community and to lead this school system. The Moorhead Area community’s yes vote gave permission to build a better tomorrow for our children and showed the region it knows how to invest in community building.

Continuing in our outstanding tradition of providing a premier education, our job now is to reimagine our future and go build some schools for the Spuds of today and tomorrow.

– Brandon Lunak, Superintendent
Moorhead Area Public Schools

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.  
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.

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 , 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.

Brandon Lunak, 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.