Archived Story

BRHS named CLAS banner school

Published 7:42pm Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Benjamin Russell High School has been recognized as an outstanding educational model in Alabama, according to the Council for Leaders in Alabama Schools.

BRHS was named one of 14 CLAS Banner schools out of 130 nominees.

“The program recognizes schools that showcase outstanding programs and services to students,” BRHS principal Jose Reyes said.

Alexander City Superintendent Lou Ann Wagoner nominated the school for the award. Reyes was then required to submit no more than three pages chronicling things done at the school to better serve students.

Reyes said he highlighted the school’s use of and accessibility to technology. In addition he mentioned the school’s credit recovery program, which began about a year and a half ago.

“It allows students who have failed courses to regain lost credits,” Reyes said. “It gives students a chance to regain hope and continue to look toward the high school diploma.”

The program is open to any student who has failed a class, with a grade no lower than 40. It’s a computer course with modules and students can make up the credits at their own pace, Reyes said.

“We have had up to 62 credits recovered in one semester,” Reyes said. “That’s our high point.”

BRHS has gradually been decreasing its dropout rate since having 93 dropouts in 2002-2003, Reyes said. The school had only 19 students drop out in the 2009-2010 school year, which was a decade low.

The school also recently received an A+ College Ready AP Grant, which provided BRHS with resources to better train teachers and provide monetary incentives for students for advanced placement classes. Reyes said participation has increased AP enrollment.