SHERIDAN — Sheridan County School District 2 officials continue to push for more statewide collaboration.
At the SCSD2 board retreat in Ucross on Saturday, Superintendent Craig Dougherty and other district officials discussed the development of a principal and teacher college along with implementing a statewide professional learning communities framework.
The principal and teacher college would take the knowledge and techniques used by SCSD2 staff and share it with educators throughout Wyoming. The program would be offered to both new and existing teachers and principals.
“We think we’ve developed a great model here, and we want to share that with the rest of the state,” Dougherty said in an interview with The Press.
The district has also submitted plans to every district in the state with steps to increase and enhance statewide professional learning community efforts.
SCSD2 plans to meet with the Wyoming Department of Education to initiate more statewide collaboration and to get and other districts involved with the principal and teacher college.
Several school districts have already jumped on board with the idea. Natrona County School District 1 recently began discussions with SCSD2 to improve its school district, according to Dougherty. Teton County School District also sent officials to SCSD2 this school year.
At the board retreat, board members and administrators determined their next action steps in developing the teacher college.
District officials intend to partner with a top-tier university, begin the college with a focus on kindergarten through sixth grades and develop principal and superintendent certification programs.
“From a statewide perspective, it is really exciting,” SCSD2 board chair Ann Perkins said. “Looking at test scores, no one can touch us. If we can guide other school districts to achieve at a high level, that benefits all of us.”
Dougherty said districts should take what works from SCSD2 and mold it to their own needs, rather than copy and paste exact models.
“We want them to make it their own,” Dougherty said. “We don’t want them to come to Sheridan, and then try to make a Sheridan product in a place like Gillette, Casper, Shoshoni or wherever.
“We want to be collaborative with these guys, we don’t want to lord it over them,” Dougherty added.
Dougherty said the district will look outside state boundaries to collaborate, as well.
The district will begin to participate in a program called PLC Live.
The online collaboration program will allow teachers and administrators from across the nation to view SCSD2 techniques and practices.
District officials look to launch the program by fall 2017, and Dougherty said he hopes PLC Live will be an opportunity for the district to generate revenue in the coming years.
“If you are one of the top performing districts in the country, we have to figure out a way to sell our wares to provide revenue, but also share what other districts should be doing,” Dougherty said.