The Brainerd School District's committee of the whole has finished its research for the school's long-range comprehensive plan.
The plan focuses on what will work best for students' educational needs. Last fall, the school board began gathering information, and this fall it will ask the public for input.
On Wednesday, committee members discussed advantages and disadvantages of the last four schools they toured to determine needs and priorities.
Members first discussed Brainerd High School. They said the school has diverse programs and is run with strong leadership. They also said the building itself is in good shape. The school offers many beneficial programs, including the advancement placement program.
The high school needs interior renovations, said Janet Moran, school board chair. The committee said space is an issue and more room is needed for the physical education and art programs.
"I think the staff is overworked," said Lew Hudson, school board member. "They soon will get burned out."
Student attitude at the Area Education Center is a strength, said Bernie Roberts, noting parking there is also a plus.
"They have creative programs to meet a variety of students," said Gary Phillips, assistant superintendent. "There is also an opportunity for home school."
However, the building lacks space. Location (St. Andrew's Church) is also a weakness because of transportation, said Hudson.
The Brainerd High School Farm on Highway 25 has excellent instructors and is in a good location, the board found. There is also room for expansion. The only weakness the committee detected was time the students lose being transported and changing into appropriate clothing.
The Minnesota Learning Center was also evaluated. Space, rental costs and recreational opportunities are a plus there.
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