5 schools recognized for high test scores

Five Bryant schools that rated among the top schools in the state for their students' test scores were recognized for their achievements during a check presentation Tuesday.

Bethel Middle School and Paron Elementary were honored as among the top 10 schools through the Arkansas School Recognition and Reward Program.

Schools that ranked in this category received $90.70 per students, so Bethel Middle School received $80,700.62 and Paron Elementary received $6,063.47.

Bryant Middle School, Salem Elementary and Springhill Elementary were honored as top 20 percent schools. These schools received $45.35 per students.

Bryant Middle School received $51,775.37, Salem Elementary received $28,457.71 and Springhill Elementary received $27,124.50.

Dr. Fred Dawson, interim superintendent, state Rep. Ann Clemmer, members of the Bryant Area Chamber of Commerce and Gary Newton with the Arkansas Learns organization were present for the presentation.
"I'm so proud to be from Saline County — a county with such good schools," Clemmer said. She said she actually moved to Saline County for the school system and her children attended Salem Elementary and Bryant Middle School, she said.

"The funds will allow schools to provide additional resources and tools to help students become ready for college and careers," said Dr. Tom Kimbrell, Arkansas Department of Education Commissioner.
Kimbrell was recently selected as the next superintendent in Bryant. He will begin his duties July 1.
Each school actually received the money in January and already spent the money.

Bethel Middle School used the money to to buy chrome books for students and to give a one-time bonus to faculty and staff, except administration, said Todd Sellers, principal.
Paron Elementary used the money to buy materials for science curriculum and technology, said Karen Metcalf, principal.

Bryant Middle School, Salem Elementary and Springhill Elementary used the money to buy technology for students, they said.

Administrators of these schools also gave faculty, staff and the assistant principal a one-time bonus, said Russ Sherrill, principal. Sherrill did not receive a bonus, he said.