This October, the State of Wyoming will be evaluating our school district and decide whether there needs to be changes regarding leadership or processes within the district and what transformations need to be made.

There are many different standards such as how the school board functions, the district leadership, professional development and instructional programming. 

Debbie Fisher, the Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction, described what accreditation is specifically and how it is formatted. 

“Accreditation is a peer review that measures your ability to meet certain educational standards about how the school board functions, the district leadership, professional development and instructional programming to name a few.”

This information will determine the validity of diplomas coming from the school, and if a school needs to make major changes or minor ones, usually regarding certain plans. 

Fisher said that the previous time our district was accredited, the state had just a couple of small changes they wanted to see. 

“They asked us to put our communication plan in writing, and while we had this plan in place, we just didn’t have in writing how we would communicate to all our stakeholders regarding events or if a tragedy were to occur. They also wanted a flowchart about what kind of assessment we use in our district, and we also had this plan in place, just not in writing.” 

The state employees, people from the Wyoming Department of Education, or WDE, will be coming into schools throughout the district October 9th to assess teachers and students and observe how our district is functioning. 

In the past and overall, our district has excelled in many ways regarding our education programs, intervention and support systems, and the availability of psychologists, nurses and transition specialists throughout our district. 

“We have a great educational program, and a couple of areas where our district excels is one, for a long time our high school was the highest performing high school in the state, and still tends to be top 3 as far as ACT scores. We also have great intervention programs and supports for students who are struggling, every school has a psychologist, we have actual nurses that are RN’s in the building, we have counselors and a lot of professional development all throughout the district that lead to great support K-12,” Fisher said.

Based on how our district did last year, which only needed a few corrections, Fisher hopes that we will knock it out of the park this year.

Even though we corrected the things that the WDE suggested we add this year, there is always room to improve, and the detailed report that is sent to the district later always has some really valid feedback and focus areas that the district can ameliorate. 

This accreditation will most likely not affect certain things such as jobs or funding unless there are some major lack in certain processes, but will provide the district a good viewpoint into where we are at with our educational program overall.