Mandan News

Brave Center Academy to double in growth

By Brian L. Gray

 

Due to the academic success following its first full year, the school district has planned to expand the Brave Center Academy to twice its current size in the next school year.

The Mandan School Board approved the reorganization and expansion of the Brave Center Academy during its meeting on May 6.

The expansion will be called the Alternative Day Program, which will be exclusively for at-risk high school students under the 16 years of age.

Mandan High School Assistant Principal Perry Just said the middle school portion of this program is going to move on site at the Mandan Middle School. The goal of this change, he said, is creating a place to help at-risk students to transition back to the high school or eventually move to the Brave Center Academy.

The program now assists 19 students who struggle academically. It will assist 38 students beginning in the fall semester of the 2013-14 school year.

The current schedule at the academy begins at 5:30 p.m. and runs until 8 p.m. The expanded program will begin earlier in the day, from 2:30 to 5 p.m. This expansion will allow students to attend as a full-time student, from 2 to 8:30 p.m., or attend in either the afternoon or the evening, based on individual student needs.

The expansion will mean an growth of staff hours as well. Its two employees, who work part-time, will have its hours extended to full-time positions.

Assistant Superintendent Jeffrey Lind said that there are enough students on the waiting list to justify this level of growth. “It is enlightening that there are enough students in waiting to fill all of the openings,” he said. “We started slow, and the number of students has expanded once we’ve seen what the capabilities are.”

“For the better part of the year, there has been a waiting list for students to enter the BCA,” Just said. “These students are attending school at MHS and struggling to be successful in the regular setting or are not currently in school but have expressed interest in attending school at an alternative setting.”

Following its first year, 37 students have been enrolled in the Brave Center Academy program. Of those students, three have graduated so far and a total of 126 classes have been completed, with an average “B” grade. Attendance has averaged 86 percent.