School board honors Farmer, updated on Common Core, construction

By Jamie Miller

Coach Tom Farmer was recognized at the Bryant School Board meeting Monday night for his[more] 21 years of service to the Bryant district as Athletic Director. He has recently stepped down from that position and is now strictly the Transportation Director. “We appreciate his service,” Superintendant Randy Rutherford said.

Over this past school year, the entire Bryant district began implementing Common Core, the new national curriculum that will be implemented in kindergarten through second grade fully next year. Third through eighth grade will be implementing the early stages of literacy and math. According to Dr. Debbie Bruick, Assistant Superintendent, “Bryant serves as a leader in the Common Core implementation within the state because the teachers and specialists have taken a progressive stance in learning about the Core and preparing for the implementation.”

Construction on the new high school building is coming right along with the project being approximately 23 percent completed. According to JBK Architects, much of the structural steel work is complete including some interior stairs, electrical is around 14 percent complete and plumbing 35 percent.

Work is still continuing on the planning stages of the new elementary building. The schematic design work is complete and structural systems have been analyzed.

After a few months of meetings and debate, the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and Bryant School District has come to an agreement on the concurrent credit admission process. In order for a student to be admitted into the concurrent program, they must meet the following stipulations: grade point average of 3.0 or higher and a minimum composite score of 21 on the ACT or a combined reading, English, and appropriate math score on the COMPASS of 242.

Registration criteria for the classes include the following: 19 or above sub-score on the Reading and English components of the ACT or comparable sub-scores on the Reading and English components of the COMPASS tests. For math courses, a student must also demonstrate the required ACT sub-score in math or comparable COMPASS sub-score.

Dr. Bruick then informed the board about the findings from a netbook pilot program that was put into place on Feb. 3. Out of the 54 netbooks that were sent home with the students, only four were lost and there was excellent Internet coverage in almost every area that the netbooks were taken in the county. A task force will be started in August of this year to examine the netbook pilot program more closely.

Other items on the agenda included:

* The board approving Viridian to provide LEED Consulting, Systems Commissioning and Energy Modeling Services for the new elementary school project.

* A new water line will also be put in on the high school campus with Herman Reeves, Dirtworks, Inc. coming in as the low bidder and getting the job.

* The eighth grade building at Bryant Middle School will be getting a paint job this summer and NSC, Inc. will be doing the job.

* A lease agreement was also approved for four additional portable classrooms that will be needed to accommodate student enrollment growth for the 2011-2012 school year. The classrooms will be located at Collegeville Elementary, Hurricane Creek Elementary, Salem Elementary and Springhill Elementary.

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