Brainerd & Baxter School Districts

Brainerd, Baxter, Minnesota - School Districts

Brainerd Public Schools, Independent School District (ISD) 181 serves the public education needs not only the interconnected twin cities of Brainerd and Baxter, but also the vast majority of the other smaller communities in the Brainerd Lakes Area.

According to the ISD 181 website, about 6,800 Pre-K-12 students in the Brainerd Lakes Area attend Brainerd Public Schools.

The school district covers the communities of Baxter, Pine Center, Nisswa, Merrifield and Garrison, as well as every township in the area.

ISD 181 has an exceptional reputation for its technology programs, which is evident in the impressive online magazine it produces called “We Are 181.” This comprehensive and colorful periodical covers everything from adult education classes and afterschool programs available to feature-length articles on how to handle bullying and profiles of life in the world beyond school.

Public High Schools:

  • THE CENTRAL MINNESOTA LEARNING CENTER (Grades: 9-12)
  • THE ISD 181 LEARNING CENTER (Grades: 9-12)
  • THE MINNESOTA LEARNING CENTER (Grades: 5-12)
  • BRAINERD SENIOR HIGH (Grades: 9-12)

Public Elementary and Middle Schools:

  • GARFIELD ELEMENTARY (Grades: PK-5)
  • RIVERSIDE ELEMENTARY (Grades: PK-7)
  • LINCOLN ELEMENTARY (Grades: KG-4)
  • HARRISON ELEMENTARY (Grades: KG-4)
  • WHITTIER ELEMENTARY (Grades: PK-4)
  • LOWELL ELEMENTARY (Grades: KG-4)
  • BAXTER ELEMENTARY (Grades: KG-4)
  • FORESTVIEW MIDDLE (Grades: 5-8)

Private Schools:

  • ST FRANCIS CATHOLIC SCHOOL (Grades: PK-8)
  • MONTESSORI SCHOOL OF BRAINERD (Grades: PK-TK)
  • OAK STREET CHRISTIAN SCHOOL (Grades: 1-8)
  • LAKE REGION CHRISTIAN SCHOOL (Baxter)
  • FAMILY OF CHRIST LUTHERAN SCHOOL (Baxter)

Higher Education Options

In addition to the vast number of adult community education options offered through Brainerd Public Schools, there are several institutes of higher learning in the Brainerd Lakes Area.

In Brainerd itself, you have Central Lakes College, a community and technical college with an average full-time enrollment of 2,341. Students at Central Lakes College can earn an associate’s degree in a variety of programs like theatre performance, applied engineering technology, and communication art and design.  

Some of the four-year colleges and universities near Brainerd are:

Saint Cloud Technical College (about 54 miles away in Saint Cloud, MN, with a full-time enrollment of 2,740)

College of Saint Benedict (about 56 miles away in Saint Joseph, MN, with a full-time enrollment of 2,057)

Saint Cloud State University (about 56 miles away in Saint Cloud, MN, with a full-time enrollment of 12,908)

Bemidji State University (about 85 miles away in Bemidji, MN, with a full-time enrollment of 3,658)



If you are thinking about buying or selling a home, give us a call at (218) 831-4663 or send us an email to explore your options and to find out when is the best time for you to make a move.

Contact Information

Photo of The Chad Schwendeman Real Estate Group  Real Estate
The Chad Schwendeman Real Estate Group
EXIT Lakes Realty Premier
7153 Forthun Road, Suite 120
Baxter MN 56425
Direct: 218-831-4663
Office: 218-454-0914