BIG HORN — The Sheridan County School District 1 board of trustees in its meeting Tuesday evening heard a funding update and discussed potential changes to its policies on weapons and the suspension or expulsion of students.
Gov. Matt Mead is still considering a bill on school finance amendments, the main education bill that the Wyoming Legislature approved last week. SCSD1 business manager Jeremy Smith said the portion of the bill that would most affect the district is the cap on special education funding.
The bill proposes to cap funding for the 2018-19 school year, which refunds spending from 2017-18. The district has to legally supply special education services but won’t be reimbursed by the state above its previous funding levels, even if the district’s spending exceeds those levels.
The bill also eliminates student testing funds, adjusts how average daily membership is calculated and affects groundskeeper salaries. As a result, Smith said the district would lose about $35,000 in funding during the first year of the bill. Smith said he hopes Mead vetoes the bill.
The board mentioned changing its suspension or expulsion policy wording to have it include any school-sponsored activity, so that events like road sporting games and field trips are included. Board Chairman Gary Reynolds also said the policy needed language for the possibility of suspending a student in violation of the weapons policy for less than eight days.
It also discussed changing the maximum suspension length for a weapons policy violation from 10 school days to eight school days, which would be two weeks because of the district’s four-day weekly schedule.
Board Clerk Penny Barkan said she felt there should be a mandatory eight-day suspension for possession of a firearm.
The board had many different questions, so it did not take any action. At the suggestion of board Vice Chairwoman Carol Garber, the board will meet with district principals to receive input on the policies before next month’s board meeting.
• During the student ambassador report, Big Horn High School student Shyan Davidson suggested student council purchase secondary rope ladders and tools to break glass to better prepare for an active shooter situation.
• SCSD1 superintendent Marty Kobza reported that five additional students enrolled in the district’s virtual school program, bringing the total to 10 students.
• The board approved adding a life skills course to the high school graduation requirement. A life skills course was already being taken by most students, but this will make it mandatory for all students.
• The board approved the Big Horn Elementary School gym roof project to Redd Roofing in Powell at a cost of $70,707.
• Friday, April 13 will be the district’s snow day make up day.
The next regular meeting is scheduled for April 10 in Ranchester.