By Jamie M. Dobbs
The Bryant School District has experienced growth to the degree of 356 students compared to last year. With class sizes limited to 25 to 30 students, that's between 12 and 14 additional classes to be accommodated.[more]
According to Jessica Bollen, Director of Communications for the Bryant School District, there is no single factor that has contributed to the increase.
“We constantly hear that the schools play a part. We have hard working, high achieving students and teachers here at Bryant and the word has gotten out,” Bollen said.
Bollen contributes some of the growth to the fact that the Bryant District offers multiple programs, both academic and extracurricular, that appeal to students and parents. Programs include concurrent credit courses with UALR, where students can earn college credit while earning high school credit as well. For students that want to continue in their education, this is a way to get a head start on completing a degree. They also offer introductory vocational training classes such as welding and construction, pre-engineering classes and several business classes that result in certifications that can be placed on the student’s future resume.
Bryant School District has been growing at a consistent rate since 2003 when it had only 6,134 students. This year with their numbers they show a 23 percent increase over the past eight years. The elementary numbers stayed even for the most part this school year with the middle schools and high schools showing the most growth. Official enrollment numbers are not presented to the state until Oct. 1 due to fluctuations but the Bryant School District is currently comparing this year’s school dates to last to see the increase. On Friday, Aug. 27, 2010 there were 7,876 students compared to Aug. 27, 2009, which was 7,539 students.
Bollen also believes that test scores for the district have played a part in the success of the schools.
“Although many areas already have 80 – 90 percent of students scoring either proficient or advanced, we still see growth, or at least maintenance. The scores are consistentlyhigher than state averages across the board.
“We have a growing, prosperous community here that has maintained its small town, caring and supportive atmosphere. Combine all of that with our growing commerce and proximity to Little Rock, and you have a prime recipe for growth.”