Buffalo Island Central West named in top 10 percent

Tuesday, November 17, 2015
Rep. Dan Sullivan presented BIC West with a $20,395 check for being in the top 10 percent of high performing schools.

Buffalo Island Central West has been named in the top 10 percent of high performing schools in Arkansas for the second consecutive year.

With the honors comes a monetary award in the amount of $20,395. Last year's award was also over $20,000.

All of the money has been spent to put technology in the classroom and into the hands of the students.

Dr. Kima Stewart, West principal, gives credit to the teachers, staff, students and parents.

"Through their combined efforts, we have had over $40,000 to use for technology," Dr. Stewart said.

The top performing schools are chosen based on the Benchmark test scores.

In addition to the West Elementary, the junior high school also was named in the high performing schools.

With the junior high receiving the award it affirms the students are taking the skills with them.

With the first year's award, classrooms were outfitted with projectors. With last year's award, Ipads for lower elementary and Chrome Books for upper elementary were purchased.

Dr. Stewart talked of the monumental changes in education since the beginning of her career 30 years ago.

"Students adapt to change much better than even teachers," she said. "Our goal at BIC is always what is best for our students."

This year a restructure of the elementary took place and has gone great according to principals at East and West.

The third and fourth grade students are on the West campus and the fifth and sixth grade students are on the East campus.

"We did not do this with cost in mind but it has proven to be cost effective," Dr. Stewart said. "Prior to this we had to field three sections in every subject on both campuses. With the combining we have not exceeded the enrollment max for the classroom. With the change, we have combined our sports program. In the past the players competed as separate schools. Building unity is one of our goals."

Enrollment on the West campus is 242. Enrollment on the East campus is 225.

"There are no overloads in any of our classrooms," Stewart said. "I have not personally heard any negatives concerning the restructure of the fourth through sixth grades. The kids have adapted well and seem to love it. We are able to block schedule giving students more time in math. Our students and teachers work hard. We represent a community where education is important. Parents want their children to learn, teachers teach from bell to bell. We stay current for our students."

The 2014-15 award was presented by Rep. Dan Sullivan at an assembly at the end of the year awards ceremony.

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