(The Fremont County School District 1 Board of Education. File photo)
(Lander, Wyo.) – Three of Lander’s schools made Adequate Yearly Progress for 2012-13, while the rest fell short in a couple areas.
Lander Valley High, Pathfinder High and Jeffrey City Elementary schools all made AYP this year. The school district as whole also made AYP. Superintendent Mike Bowman said Pathfinder failed to make AYP the previous three years.
“We are very pleased that PHS made AYP,” Bowman said in an email.
Bowman and Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum John Metcalfe presented data from AYP to the Fremont County School District 1 Board of Education on Tuesday. AYP is an assessment required by the federal No Child Left Behind Act. AYP is determined from student’s PAWS assessments.
Lander Middle, Baldwin Creek Elementary and Gannett Peak Elementary all did not make AYP this year. LMS failed in both math and language arts areas. Baldwin Creek and Gannett Peak both had problems in language arts as well.
“This is the last year that Wyoming school districts will be under NCLB, assuming that the U.S. Department of Education accepts the state’s request for waiver and substitution of the Wyoming Accountability in Education Act model,” Bowman said. He reportedly explained to the Board that the PAWS assessment, which is what is used to determine proficiencies for the purpose of AYP, was changed last spring to incorporate some of the new state standards, and most districts in the state, including Fremont 1, had not yet started teaching to those standards yet; as a result, PAWS scores across the state and in our district were, for the most part, lower.
Metcalfe explained that next spring PAWS will have more questions designed to assess new standards. A new assessment called Smarter Balanced is expected to be used in spring 2015.
Bowman said trustees expressed frustration at the constant changing of the assessments because it becomes impossible to compare achievement from year-to-year when different assessments are used. When asked about schools not making AYP, Dr. Bowman said, “Our teachers and students are working just as hard, if not harder, as when they made AYP. We will review the areas where we did not make AYP and determine what we need to improve student learning in those areas.”
Other items from the Board meeting included (provided by Bowman):
- Recognized Ken Nielsen, FCSD#1 Student Services Director, because he was recently named by the Wyoming Association of Special Education Administrators as the Special Education Director of the Year.
- Introduced to the Board Travis Sweeney, who is the district’s new Business Manager.
- Approved a policy change that will require home-school students who wish to take a few classes in a District school to follow the same admittance requirements that all other District students must follow. This includes submission of a copy of the birth certificate and verification that the students have met the state’s immunization requirements.
- Approved a policy change that will allow parents of students on activity trips to complete a form at the event and give to the sponsor so that the parent may transport the student home.
- Approved the District Improvement Plan, which is required for accreditation. It was developed by a group of district stakeholders, including Board members. The Plan is based on the district’s Strategic Plan.
- Approved school district employees receiving the Retention Incentive Payment authorized for state government employees during the last legislative session. This incentive pays between 0.4% and 1.0% of an employee’s current salary. In order to qualify, employees must meet the following criteria:
- The employee must have been “actively working” as of July 1;
- The employee must have received at least a “competent” rating (or equivalent) on the most recent employee evaluation; and
- The employee must not have submitted a letter of retirement or resignation.