School improvement, future construction plans discussed by SCSD2 board

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SHERIDAN — The Sheridan County School District 2 board of trustees discussed school and capital construction updates Monday.

Secondary school principals briefly described improvement plans to the board. The John C. Schiffer Collaborative School moved its location this year to a building on the Sheridan College campus, and principal Troy Lake said the move is going well overall. The outward student maturity level has risen. Students don’t want to act like children in front of the college students, Lake said.

Lake added that the school is changing its instruction technique to more project-based learning, which he hopes will give students ownership over their learning.

He said he’d like to eventually have all students at the school work for at least 100 hours as part of a community internship. Currently, four of 59 students have an internship. There are also eight students taking dual enrollment courses, six of whom are doing well, and two who need extra tutoring.

The school added 35-minute interventions Monday through Thursday for students struggling in certain areas. For example, Lake said, there are a few students still reading at a third- or fourth-grade level. Those students’ project-based learning approaches are also better suited to their ability level, Lake said.

Sheridan High School principal Brent Leibach said he was proud of the weekend successes of the school swim team, which placed second at state and set seven school records. He also praised the football team, which advanced to the state championship set for Saturday.

Leibach said it is great to recognize students who win awards and have high achievements, but noted he is a lot more concerned about students who don’t get those types of recognition.

“We can’t ever forget about them,” he said.

Leibach said there were three main areas he was most proud of: the school’s high graduation rates, school staff embracing professional learning communities and seeing the professional and personal success of alumni who had difficult upbringings. He used as an example Samuel Baker, an SHS alumnus who graduated from college with honors and recently started a job for Tesla Motors in Colorado.

SCSD2 facilities director Mathers Heuck gave an update on capital construction. The main announcement was that three significant budget items were approved by the Wyoming Legislature’s Select Committee on School Facilities. The items are a $6.1 million design and planning project for Sagebrush Elementary School; a $1.29 million project to acquire land for the Schiffer Collaborative School; and a a $565,925 design and upgrade project for classrooms in the SHS science wing. The items now go to the Joint Appropriations Committee for vote in December, and, if approved, will be voted on by the Legislature in February’s budget meetings.

Many policies on first reading were unanimously approved, including new policies on student data security and acceptable use of technology. A plethora of policies were unanimously approved on second reading, including those regarding the district code of ethics, alcohol and tobacco-free schools, conflicts of interest, homeschooling procedures and employee safety and occupational health. The donation of a 2005 school bus to the Wyoming Girls School was approved as well. 

Chair Ann Perkins announced that a resolution proposed by the board that would increase the school dropout age from 16 to 18 years old is up for vote by the Wyoming School Board Association Delegate Assembly during its annual conference Nov. 15. The board also re-appointed three members to the Whitney Benefits board of trustees — Dr. Stephen Holst, Kim Love and Lynie Phipps. It also appointed two new trustees — Brandi Bilyeu and Nadine Gale.

By |November 7th, 2017|

About the Author:

Ryan Patterson joined The Sheridan Press staff as a reporter covering education, business and sports in August 2017. He's a native of Wisconsin and graduated from Marquette University with a bachelor's in journalism in May 2017. Email him at:


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