(Riverton, Wyo.) – Fremont County School District #25 in Riverton is one of 19 school districts in the state to receive a waiver from the legislatively mandated student teacher ratio of 16:1 in the primary kindergarten through third grades. FCSD#1 in Lander and FCSD#6 in Pavillion were also granted waivers.
District 25 Superintendent Terry Snyder informed his school board Tuesday night of the state’s action, which occurred on April 14th.
Snyder said Riverton’s waiver was granted on the basis of the district’s capacity needs.
“We’ve been able to move from a 25:1 ratio several years ago down to where we are today, about 18.1,” he said. “As you know we’re out of space but we’re working on that. We’re just a little over seven teachers short of what we’ll need when our new school opens, which means a significant budget impact issue, but it’s still ahead of us.”
Design of Riverton’s new elementary school on West Monroe is well underway and the new K-3 building is expected to be open in two years, barring any unforeseen complications. The district is also adding modular classrooms at Rendezvous School this coming fall.
“School districts across the state are seeing a lot of growth in their communities, and they are making an earnest effort to support that growth by hiring new teachers, restructuring existing spaces, adding modular buildings and constructing new schools,” said WDE Director of Standards and Accountability Julie Magee.
Joining Riverton in requesting, and receiving, waivers was Fremont #6-Wind River and Fremont #1-Lander. Wind River has 16.59 students per teacher and is hiring a new teacher for the 2014-15 year to meet the mandated ratio. Lander’s student to teacher number is 16.51 to one. The WDE said Lander’s ratio is also due to a capacity issue. “School Facilities Department funded construction of Gannett Peak Elementary School at 19:1, but 16:1 requirement passed before construction began;” the WDE said in a news release. “FCSD#1 “asked SFD to fund four additional classrooms in order to meet the 16:1 ratio, but the request was denied; request was made the following year (2012) and again denied; district has hired two interventionists in an attempt to meet 16:1 requirement.”
The Wyoming Indian, Fort Washakie and Arapahoe Districts are all under the required ratio.The Dubois district, FCSD#2, was not mentioned in the WDE release.
Other district’s receiving the waiver are:
Big Horn #1
Big Horn #2
Big Horn #3