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Education

August 15, 2013

First day numbers up at Bray-Doyle

BRAY — When Bray-Doyle School District opened its doors Wednesday for the first day of a new school year, the principals found themselves busy enrolling students.

The school district had an enrollment increase of more than 50 students to start the 2013-14 school year. At least 33 additional students enrolled for Bray-Doyle Elementary and more than 20 enrolled at Bray-Doyle High School.

B-D High School Principal Brandon Voss said this year’s sophomore class was the largest class at the high school last year with 28 students. At the beginning of Wednesday, he already had 38 students enrolled in that class and had several more enrolled as sophomores during the day.

“We needed the numbers,” Voss said. “It’s a good thing. For a school needing more money, this makes up happy.”

School funding is based on school enrollment. The higher the enrollment, the more money a school gets from the Oklahoma State Department of Education. The State Department bases its enrollment count on the numbers provided by school districts Oct. 1.

He said a big part of the increase came from families with parents working in the energy sector. He said a positive growth in the energy sector has meant a positive growth for Bray-Doyle.

Guy Heldermon, Bray-Doyle Elementary principal, said the increase in enrollment means there are more new faces this school year. Heldermon said there have been a few changes made to the elementary side of the campus, including making more of a separation between elementary and middle school students.

He said this separation will aid with student development.

Heldermon said that having an increase of more than 50 students is similar to growing two class sizes for the rural school. Many of the class sizes have been between 20 to 30 students.

The growth at the elementary doesn’t just mean more students in each classroom, Heldermon said.

It means the need for additional help.

“The numbers increased enough that we’re advertising for a new teacher,” Heldermon said.

Voss and Heldermon said they’re excited about the beginning of the new school year and are happy to see the increase in enrollment.

“We’re fortunate they want to come to Bray,” Voss said.

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