SHERIDAN — The Wyoming Department of Education released state and federal accountability results for the 2018-2019 school year on Monday. Results give schools an indication of their performance relative to other schools in the state and nationwide across a variety of criteria.
On state criteria, all schools in Sheridan County but one received overall ratings of meeting or exceeding expectations.
Only Henry A. Coffeen Elementary received a rating of partially meeting expectations. However, 68.5% of Coffeen students had proficient scores, so the overall rating reflects low growth rather than poor performance.
This is the second year that Wyoming DOE has used a comprehensive accountability system combining state and federal assessments and standards. The chief metric used is the Wyoming Test of Proficiency and Progress. For high school juniors, results also include performance on the ACT.
Under state law, all Wyoming elementary, middle and traditional high schools are assigned rankings of exceeding expectations, meeting expectations, partially meeting expectations or not meeting expectations.
State indicators under the Wyoming Accountability in Education Act include student growth, readiness, achievement, equity and English language proficiency. Alternative schools were scored on a unique model that includes climate and engagement categories for the first time this year.
Statewide, results showed that 56.1% of traditional schools and 70.6% of alternative schools are meeting or exceeding expectations overall.
“The results show improvement from 2017-18 to 2018-19 with more schools exceeding expectations and fewer schools partially or not meeting expectations,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jillian Balow in a press release. “Deliberate state and local supports are proving effective in helping schools improve student outcomes.”
For the state results, Tongue River Elementary and Big Horn Middle School received ratings of exceeding expectations. Big Horn Elementary, Tongue River Middle School, Big Horn High School and Tongue River High School all earned ratings of meeting expectations. Slack Elementary is under review due to low enrollment.
On the federal metric, Tongue River High School and Big Horn High School each received above average ratings in three of four applicable categories.
Sheridan County School District 1 middle and elementary schools met or exceeded expectations in all federal categories.
“We are just super pleased with our results. It was an exceptional year,” SCSD1 Superintendent Peter Kilbride said. “The principals did just a phenomenal job of focusing on kids and not only on the test scores but focusing on culture.”
Tongue River Elementary exceeded expectations in every area, “which hasn’t happened in the past ten years,” Kilbride said.
Story Elementary, Woodland Park Elementary and Sagebrush Elementary are all exceeding expectations on the state system.
Sheridan High School and Highland Park Elementary are both meeting expectations on the state system.
The John C. Schiffer Collaborative School was rated as meeting alternative school expectations.
Henry A. Coffeen Elementary received a rating of partially meeting expectations, though with 68.5% of students scoring proficient, it lands in the high proficiency/low growth category. Coffeen had previously been rated as exceeding expectations.
All Sheridan County School District 2 elementary and middle schools were at or above average in all federal categories.
“Overall, SCSD2 is happy with the results,” SCSD2 Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Assessment Mitch Craft said in an email. “We always find opportunities for improvement and each principal has been working with their staff since last spring on specific plans to address growth areas.”
Craft also commented on the difference between achievement and growth, which affected Coffeen School’s rankings.
“Because our students demonstrate high levels of achievement, our major focus is to ensure growth from year to year for all students, even those already achieving at high levels,” Craft said.
Arvada-Clearmont K-12 School is meeting expectations on state criteria while Arvada Elementary is under review. Arvada-Clearmont K-12 School is average or above average on all federal criteria.
“I’m excited that we’re meeting expectations at both levels,” Sheridan County School District 3 Superintendent Charles Auzqui said. “We met the target for growth and exceeded the target for Achievement.”
Auzqui also said it was especially encouraging that the achievement level exceeded targets and students continued to improve after the move to a teacher-led school with no principal.
“I do know (Arvada Elementary students are) some of the highest performing students in the state,” Auzqui said.