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Tiger Talk: Pine River-Backus High School update

So what’s going on at Pine River-Backus High School? The answer: A lot!

Students are hard at work in their academic subjects and busy with a flurry of winter activities. Student council is infusing some extra fun into the school through the annual Snodaze celebration.

In addition to providing top-notch instruction for our students, teachers are busy piloting Minnesota’s new teacher evaluation system for the Minnesota Department of Education and participating in twice-monthly Professional Learning Communities. The excitement of section tournament play has begun for our winter teams; and, before we know it, spring will be upon us! Where does the time go?

At Pine River-Backus High School, time goes fast because we are busy working hard to provide students with the highest quality education we possibly can. Our emphasis on giving students opportunities to explore their futures through core curriculum supplemented with a variety of high-quality elective offerings, all while being exposed to a bevy of career exploration opportunities, is at the foundation of what we do. When we say “well-rounded education,” we mean it.

Academic learning: In November, our effort to align our school-wide assessments with new state legislation and Minnesota’s effort to graduate the world’s best work force led to PR-B Assessment Morning. All eighth-graders took the Explore test, while all sophomores took the PLAN test; both are ACT predictors that assess students in English, math, reading and science.

Teachers use scores to guide instruction and share them with students as an early measure of college readiness.

All PR-B juniors took the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB), which was administered by the Minnesota National Guard. Though the ASVAB can be used by the military as a placement assessment, it offers all students valuable and reliable insight into their math, science, reading, writing, mechanical and auto aptitudes.

This spring our students will continue to take the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCA) in reading (7/8/10th grades), math (7,8/11th grades) and science (8/10th). All of the MCA tests will be given online at PR-B High School.

PR-B Career Day: On Friday, March 21, PR-B High School will again host a wide-ranging career day featuring more than 40 speakers presenting to students, grouped in panels with similar career areas. Speakers will share their expertise, career and education paths and engage in question-and-answer sessions with students who have registered to hear them.

Because We Care: On April 17, PR-B High School will partner with the Working Together Coalition to host a half-day prevention program for 9-12th grade students. Using Search Institute Developmental Asset survey data to hone in on certain topics, students will rotate through short breakout sessions on topics such as underage alcohol use, prescription medication abuse, driving and texting, healthy communication, positive relationships, volunteerism and digital citizenship.

PR-B Day of Service: On Friday, May 9, PR-B High School students will give back to the community in a day of community service. Community sites are being sought out and organized so our students can donate a half day of their time, working together with fellow students and staff to better understand the value of community volunteering and helping make the Pine River and Backus communities an even better place.

If you have a public service idea, please feel free to contact me at 218-587-8010 or

As you can see, PR-B High School is a busy and energized place. We have great students and a talented, caring staff. Check us out on the web at or call 218-587-4425 to set up an appointment to come in and visit about our school!