With a current enrollment of 93 students in grades 7-12, Brady High School is tied as the smallest school in Class D2 in the state. That is a statistic that has athletes, coaches, and members of the Brady School Board a little concerned - and has led to discussions on what to do moving forward.
During the Oct. 11 meeting of the Brady Board of Education, board members discussed the possibility of moving from Class D2 to 6-man football for the 2022-2023 season.
“I personally would rather stick with 8-man, but if the numbers don’t dictate it, they don’t dictate it,” said Athletic Director Andy Seamann. “Currently there are 16 boys that suit up for games. I know we are losing six of them and will gain, at the most, two eighth graders. Those numbers do not correlate very well.”
Superintendent James McGown told the board that football classifications for the 2022 and 2023 seasons must be determined by the end of November. “Our first goal is to avoid cancellation of contest play. That will be our first goal in determining whether to go to 6-man or stay at 8-man,” said McGown. “We do have a plan in place. Mr. Seamann will ask the kids for their input, but our number one goal is to avoid cancellation or forfeiting of contests.”
Another topic of discussion was raised by Keaton Fattig, student member of the Board of Education. She shared that she would very much like to see an FFA program implemented at BPS, and gave a compelling plea for the program. “I just think a lot of kids would do it, and I really want it,” said Fattig.
Turning to discussion of curriculum, the board heard a report outlining the results of fall MAPS testing and data accumulated from those tests. One area in particular proved somewhat alarming to the board - language arts. The data shows that 30% of Brady students are falling below the acceptable benchmark in reading, and the board made it clear they are not okay with that.
“Unless I’m totally looking at this wrong we are losing ground in language arts reading and language arts usage. Math we’re staying totally consistent in numbers, but in elementary language arts we are fairly decent and we are losing that once we go into high school,” shared board member Ryan Stearns.
The board was reminded that the instruction material was changed for language arts last year. Principal Janet Brown explained that because reading encompasses all of our content areas, reading will be the district’s primary focus.
Giving children a better start at their educational experience is another area the school faculty and administration is working toward. When asked what the district’s expectations are for students entering kindergarten, McGown stated they wanted to see basic letter recognition, recognition of sounds and being able to write their name.
Discussions are beginning in the district of possibly implementing a preschool at Brady Public Schools. McGown reminded the board that this is still just in the preliminary discussion stage at this point, but it does need to be an action item for the board by the March meeting in order to be implemented in 2022.
The next meeting of the Brady Board of Education will be Nov. 15 at 7 p.m. All meetings are open to the public.