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Albany County School District No. 1 Board of Education spent countless hours during 2017 finding ways to update school district policies, ensuring student success and planning ahead for future school board needs.

The first in recent history

The ACSD No. 1 Board of Education completed the first school district strategic plan in recent history, outlining the school district’s goals for the next five years. In the plan, the board outlined ways to improve the school district’s community engagement, its operational efficiency and supporting learning, such as getting more input from teachers and families for ways to improve the learning experience.

Putting the plan together took several months for the board to accomplish while looking to other school districts’ plans for assistance.

Scoring higher

ACSD No. 1 students who took the Proficiency Assessment for Wyoming Schools, or PAWS, showed higher proficiency in math, reading and science than the state proficiency average. When compared with other Wyoming 4A schools, ACSD No. 1 has the second highest proficiency behind Sheridan County School District No. 2 by less than 10 percent in reading and science.

The test results were sent to the Wyoming Board of Education, which uses this information to determine if schools are meeting the state’s expectations. Schools that consistently do not meet the state’s standards are provided tools and assistance for getting them to the point where they do meet expectations.

Changing requirements

The Board also considered changing its graduation requirements to prepare for a change in the Wyoming board of Education’s graduation requirements. Under the new graduation policy, the board proposed students could take specific classes to graduate rather than taking a certain subject for a set number of years and potentially taking a capstone course.

The board is also looking into the early graduation process to find a way to make the process uniform for each student that tries to graduate early.

Changing up policies

Since the board of education restructured its policies, it has made an effort to go through each of the policies to bring them up to date and remove policies that are no longer relevant. In 2017, the board spent hours going through policies and updating some that haven’t been updated in decades.

One of the policies the board updated in 2017 was the districts attendance policy. The policy took the board a while to update because of differences in opinions among the board members about what was fair for the students. In the end the board approved a policy where district attendance monitors could investigate unexcused absences and requires students to make up work they missed while absent.

Making room for a new school

Despite multiple complications, due to asbestos, the demolition of the old Laramie High School was completed in 2017. The school’s auxiliary gymnasium wasn’t demolished, and the school district is working with the city of Laramie to allow the community to use the facility.

The school board is planning to construct a new Slade Elementary School on the site once the school district has the funding to start the project.

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