Dear Friends of the Elk Rapids Schools,

If you are looking for a school where “Excellence is a Tradition!” and where students, their families and staff come together to form an unbeatable school family, then you have found the school district you are looking for! The Elk Rapids Schools is known for educational excellence and award winning students, staff and programs. Yet, it is something else we are known for that I would like to comment on before you finalize your decision as to whether or not you commit to the Elk Rapids Schools.

We believe in the old time values of honesty, respect, responsibility, caring, integrity and hard work. We are not shy to let our students know we think they are the greatest and that we love each and every one of them. It is essential that our students know that we care deeply about them by the fact that we know them and are committed to their success.

What allows such success to be achieved?  Great teachers, outstanding students, caring, committed families, a supportive community and a Board of Education that puts children first in all they do.  It is what the Elk Rapids Schools are all about.  We are excited about the 2014-2015 school year and the many activities and learning experiences our students and staff will engage in!  We continue to provide the best in Early Childhood learning at both Lakeland and Mill Creek Elementary and also offer before and after school childcare for our families.  Our robust K-12 curriculum will continue to be offered and are proud to have foreign language opportunities at all buildings.  Both elementary buildings are International Baccalaureate (IB) Candidate Schools with ALL Pre-K-5th grade teachers being IB trained for this school year.  We are proud to be the only International Baccalaureate World School in Northern Michigan as Cherryland Middle School earned that status in 2013.  Elk Rapids High School was ranked #1 in the region in terms of ACT achievement.  We have expanded our high school Honors Academy, Advanced Placement and online courses and we continue to offer many opportunities for students in extra-curricular activities.  Sunrise Academy offers another path to success for students with its diverse and alternative education program for students in grades 9-12.  Elk Rapids Schools will continue to succeed and “invest in our future”.

That’s it. That is what we are known for: Excellence, Innovation, Caring, and Old Fashioned Values that ennoble the mind and develop character. That is what makes Elk Rapids such a special place to educate and raise a child. I sincerely hope that you will become a part of our “Elk Family.” I promise you it will be a memorable and rewarding experience for both your child and yourself. Please feel free to call my office or any of our building offices. We will be pleased to answer any questions you may have.

With E.R. Pride,

Stephen R. Prissel, Superintendent


How do I enroll my child(ren) through school of choice?

Simple. You may pick a form up at one of our schools upon enrolling your student. We will process the form for you from there.

Do I have to pay anything to be a part of the Elk Rapids Schools through schools of choice?

No. By State law, the foundation grant your present school district receives for your child being enrolled in their school follows your child to Elk Rapids.

Is there a certain time I have to apply for schools of choice by?

We have a large number of families who apply each year to have their children attend the Elk Rapids Schools. We accept applications through the third week in September. Unfortunately, we have some families who are not able to get their children into the grade levels they need for their children because the Board of Education has closed that grade level to any further schools of choice students because of class size limits we have set to allow optimal teaching and learning conditions. I encourage you to apply as soon as you can to assure a spot for your child in our schools.

Once my children are enrolled at Elk Rapids through schools of choice, do I have to worry about them being able to come back in future years because of an increase in enrollments?

Once your child is a part of the Elk Rapids Schools, they are a part of our “Elk Family” until they graduate—and beyond! You have automatic acceptance granted to your child each successive year you send in your Open Enrollment Student Release Form.

We have been called the “Regional School of Choice” for many years. We have worked to keep that title through daily efforts of working in harmony with our parents to see that each child receives the very best instruction and the very best in a caring and respectful environment. We hope we will have the privilege to work hand in hand with you in the education of your child.

Stephen R. Prissel, Superintendent