Update on recent events at Brainerd Public Schools

Update on recent events at Brainerd Public Schools
Posted on 06/04/2020
This is the image for the news article titled Update on recent events at Brainerd Public SchoolsDear Brainerd Public Schools Community,

Recent events in our community, state, and country have us all on a rollercoaster ride, which I suspect no one wanted to take. First there was the disruption of a COVID-19 global pandemic and the requirement of distance learning for all. Then the tragic death of George Floyd set in motion a series of events in the Twin Cities and the world that will take a long time to process, including the troubling personal social media activity of a Brainerd Public School District employee. I am writing today to share what we at Brainerd Public Schools are doing to create a brighter, safer, and more just future for all. 

Last evening, Kara Hall, Forestview Middle School Art Teacher, submitted her resignation from teaching with Brainerd Public Schools, effective June 3, 2020. I am recommending the Board of Education accept this resignation at their regular meeting on Monday, June 8, 2020. 

The views she expressed on social media earlier this week are contrary to our District's mission to “ensure all students achieve their individual potential by providing the highest-quality programs and resources to prepare learners for an ever-changing global society.” It is my expectation that every one of the over 1,200 employees at Brainerd Public Schools has a daily goal to affirm and carry out the belief that every student has an invaluable place in our organization and community. 

Brainerd Public Schools has been working systemically to create equity in all we do, from changing curriculum and instruction to training staff through research-based professional learning. We understand that there is still work to do to close gaps in learning that occur in predictable - and thus preventable - patterns according to race and socioeconomic status. This equity work remains essential and we as a school district are more committed to it than ever. 

Thank you to community and staff members who reached out to share their concerns about the events of this week. It has been heartwarming to see such a deep commitment to making sure every single learner entrusted to us has caring teachers and staff who value them. The District is committed to taking matters seriously and acting on them in a fair and timely manner. Together, we pursue educational excellence while ensuring a safe environment for all learners. 

Respectfully,

Laine D. Larson, M.S., B.S.
Superintendent of Brainerd Public Schools - ISD 181
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