(Riverton, Wyo.) – Fremont County School District #25 Superintendent Terry Snyder wrote a State of the District memo this week to district employees to illuminate what has been occurring since the start of school this past fall.
Here’s his report:
I thought this would be a good time to get you an update on events that have occurred this year. First of all, how can it be the end of January?! In football they say the game slows down for players after the first couple years, I’m waiting for that to happen for me as your superintendent.
Things are busy but they are a good busy. There are a lot of positive things happening in Fremont County School District #25. I think the most important thing we are doing is working on understanding the Common Core State Standards and the instructional changes we can implement to improve student learning. Dr. Flanagan and all the staff members in the district are working hard and doing a great job with this initiative. We are doing this as a K-12 process in all academic areas. It is important to work in this articulated manner because it is how the kids experience our work as they go from grade level to grade level. We still have a lot to do but you have made a lot of progress.
The recent events at the state level make it even more critical for us to do this work at the local level. We cannot wait for the state to provide leadership for student learning. We have to be the leaders! Then, once the state gets things settled down, I believe we will be either right on target or so close it won’t affect us.
This fall we tried to bring in Todd Whitaker as our guest presenter but because of canceled travel arrangements, he was not able to make it. We are planning to have him share his experiences with us next year during our October staff development day. Todd is the author of a number of books such as What Great Principals Do Differently and What Great Teachers Do Differently. He will work with both the administrators and total staff.
Providing quality instruction is the most important thing we can provide to our students but the physical structures are also important. This fall I formed a collaborative community committee to discuss our facility needs. The committee included parents, students, staff, school board, business, and legislative representatives. That committee split into two sub-committees. One committee is going to help with our new elementary building initiative. The other committee will be discussing and developing a strategy for a high school auditorium and a multipurpose space for wrestling and activities.
The first task at hand is the new elementary. On January 2nd we purchased 16 acres on the west end of West Monroe Avenue. It is across the street north of Rein Park. We selected this location to help us distribute our buildings across the city. We have a number of buildings that are very close together. This creates traffic and security problems. We have worked with the School Facilities Department (SFD) and the city to plan for the location and to get the necessary funds. Presently, we have funding for the land and the design planning. The funding for the building itself will be considered in this year’s legislative session. We have worked to provide as much projected cost needs to them up front as possible. Our estimate for the total project is 13.7 million dollars.
We need additional classrooms as soon as possible, we needed them last year. We are working with the SFD to evaluate recently built elementary schools as proto-type buildings. We believe that if we can find a design that we like, even with some District 25 modifications, it could save us six to nine months in the development stage. The present schedule calls for a January 2017 move-in date. We would like to be ready to move in for the beginning of the 2016-17 school year. We have reviewed proposals from architects and have narrowed the list down to three. In addition to reviewing a project such as this on paper, I believed it would be important to visit buildings that were a close match to what the architects are proposing. The community committee and staff members have visited Rawlins Elementary and Gannet Peak Elementary in Lander. We will visit Pinedale Elementary on Monday. A selection committee will interview the finalists and make a final decision next week. This is just the beginning but we are off to a good start.
“Excellence is the Expectation” for everything we do in District 25 whether it is in the classroom, on the field, on a stage, or in our individual behaviors. I see this across the district! I am so proud to be part of this great school district!
Thank you for everything you do for kids because, Kids are the reason why…
Go Big Red!!!