Solid success for Brave Center Academy
By Brian L. Gray
After its first full semester, the Brave Center Academy is growing faster than the school administration could have predicted.
When the Brave Center began this fall, it was designed to enroll 12 students at one time. By mid-October there were 20 students. Now, at the start of the second semester, there are currently 29 students taking advantage of the program – with five additional students on the waiting list.
After one full semester one student has already graduated, and three to four more plan to graduate at the end of the current semester, said Mandan High School Assistant Principal Perry Just.
Daily attendance is also indicating good signs for the enrolled students. The daily attendance percentage is 91 at the Brave Center, compared to MHS’s daily attendance, which is between 94 and 95 percent. The students are also retaining a “B” average. “So they’re coming to school and they’re doing good work while they’re here,” Just said.
Students who attend take their courses in the afternoons. Some of the students also attend classes at MHS during the day.
The Brave Academy began at the start of this academic year as a way to stop transferring struggling students to the South Central High School in Bismarck, and keep them tied to the Mandan school system.
Another advantage to keeping students from transferring is that South Central could only accept eight Mandan students at a time.
The success of the program, Just said, is measured by how many credits are completed by the students. After the first semester 63 credits have been completed, a significant increase from last year’s completed credit total at South Central of 44.
Just said that in the future the Brave Center will approach the school board to receive more funding in order to hire more staff. He says he expects more positive news to come from the Brave Center in the future.
“I don’t know if we could have expected this kind of success in the program,” Just said.
Other plans include bringing in some of the school district’s counseling staff to help out the students. “We’ve discussed bringing in a counseling component into the Brave Center, to assist the students in planning for their futures,” said Superintendent Mike Bitz.