District reshuffle brings more options

Mike Moore photo
Students depart the Grant Elementary School library as the end of the school day nears Sept. 10.

Mike Moore mike@glenrockind.com

Noel Sinske’s fingers dig into a pit of oats, leaves and other various objects intended to touch and interact with her senses. Across the room, other youngsters play with individual sets of vibrant red barns and animals typically found in barn lots.
At this point a year earlier, the classroom space was used for special education purposes and the district didn’t offer a preschool program at all.
A lot has changed for Converse County School District No. 2 since the final bell rang at the end of the 2017-18 school year this past May. Budget cuts from the state meant the district had to cut $425,000 from its budget after already cutting in the neighborhood of $800,000 the year before.
The district had already trimmed as much fat from its budget as possible leading up to this year, and to absorb yet another year of cuts had to be done through some hefty legwork and creative thinking. For starters, they did away with school being in session on Fridays this year, but additional areas needed to be addressed.
According to CCSD#2 Superintendent Coley Shadrick, solutions they were able to come up with have not hindered educational opportunities, but enhanced them.
All of this was a time-consuming process, but has paid off now that the school year is well underway.
“I feel like it was very transparent and collaborative,” Shadrick said of the process to cut funds. “Now it’s a matter of ironing out the wrinkles we didn’t see.”
The school year started out strong, with 595 students on the first day, Aug. 20. However, the school is allowed to carry students for 10 days, so the number is actually inflated in the case of students registering at the end of the last school year or during the summer. A more accurate figure comes with the “10-day drop” - an evaluation of enrollment 10 days into the school year. After 10 days they had lost only one student - a welcome sign for Shadrick.
“That is good news,” he said.
The district is up regarding enrollment by about 11 students. Considering the district receives $17,232 per student for the 2018-19 school year, a bump in enrollment is always positive.
The district added a preschool this year, which has 49 children enrolled. Those enrollment numbers are not calculated in the district’s total, however, as the program is not funded through the state model. Instead, the program is paid for through a combination of community education dollars and monthly tuition from parents enrolling their children in preschool. Currently, the district charges $50 per month in the 3-year-old program and $75 per month in the 4-year-old program.
Shadrick says reshuffling in the district opened up the space to host the program, and that there was a need in the community.
Reconfiguration of the school’s buildings saw the fourth-grade move to the Intermediate School, while 7th and 8th grades moved to the high school. This shift opened up room for the preschool at Grant Elementary and for the Boys and Girls Club, who moved into the Intermediate School.
Grant Elementary is now K-3 with an enrollment of 173, with rural Boxelder School sitting at 9 K-6 students. There are 154 Intermediate School students in grades 4-6, and Glenrock Junior/Senior High School has 258 students in grades 7-12. Of the high school changes, the superintendent says likely the biggest change for those students is a shift from traditional block scheduling to the current 7-period class schedule.
“Instead of four 90-minute periods, they now have seven 55 minute periods,” he said. “We did that so we could share staff. We’ve got several middle school teachers that are teaching high school classes and several high school teachers teaching middle school classes.”
Aside from the BGC hosting Friday activities in cooperation with the district to fill the no school day, Shadrick noted other benefits of the four-day week.
He said struggling students or those who missed a day can come in for reteaching on Fridays, along with professional development opportunities for district educators. In addition, students involved with extra-curricular activities won’t have to miss anything when traveling to sporting events on Fridays, the most popular travel day of the week, either.
The school is now cooperating with Douglas as well through virtual classes to cover subjects one district has and the other doesn’t. Glenrock’s physics teacher has a pair of Douglas students, while Douglas offers anatomy and biology. On Fridays, students can travel over to DHS to do various work with labs, the superintendent added.
“We want to compliment each other, not compete with each other,” he said.
As the school year progresses, Shadrick says they will iron out unexpected obstacles that have shown up in the reshuffling process, but overall, he is pleased with the change.


Glenrock Independent

Physical Address:506 W. Birch, Glenrock, WY 82637 Mailing Address: PO Box 109, Douglas, WY 82633 Phone: (307) 436-2211

The Glenrock Independent is located in the Bronco Building

Office hours: Monday, Wednesday, Friday - 10:00 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday - 9:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Subscriber Login