Figures on increased enrollment announced at School Board meeting

By Jamie Miller

Enrollment for the Bryant School District is currently at 8,249 students, an increase of[more] 303 from this same time last year, according to Bryant Superintendent Randy Rutherford. The largest growth has been seen in the middle schools but the elementary schools have increased as well.

The gavel changed hands at the regular-scheduled October meeting of the School Board as David Moore was voted in as President of the board. Scott Hart was voted vice president and Joe Wishard, Secretary.

“Thank you for recognizing me as your president,” Moore said.

He went on to say that the current school board is dedicated to the kids of Bryant and, “we care.”

Four Bryant High School students were recognized as being named National Merit semi-finalists. Michael Curry, Emily Martin, Chris Oldfield, and Darcy Smith were chosen out of 1.5 million entrants nationwide, as four of the highest scoring students in the State of Arkansas on the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. In February, the NMSC will announce 15,000 students as finalists. According to Jessica Bollen, Communications Director, this is the highest number of semi-finalists in any single year from BHS to date.

It was announced that BHS English teacher Tara Seale was recently selected by the Arkansas Council of Teachers of English and Language Arts as Arkansas’ Outstanding High School Language Arts Teacher for 2011. She will be formally recognized by the ACTELA at their annual awards luncheon on Thursday, Nov. 3, in conjunction with the Arkansas Curriculum Conference at the Peabody Hotel in Little Rock.

The state of Arkansas recently passed some new regulations regarding school attendance. Act 1223 of 2011 went into effect for the 2011-2012 school year. According to the Act, a local school district’s attendance policy must do the following:

1. Define the specific number of absences permitted per semester.

2. Allow a student or the student’s parent or guardian to petition the school or district administration for additional absences. The petition must be made before the student accumulates the maximum number of absences allowed under the policy; and

3. Allow expectations as necessary to satisfy Individualized Education Program (IEP) or 504 plans.

As a result, the Bryant District changed all attendance policies, elementary through high school, to a maximum of six absences per semester. The changes to the attendance portions of each school’s handbooks will be sent out to parents in the near future explaining all changes that were made.

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