TORRINGTON – The Goshen County School District (GCSD) held its first regular meeting of April on Tuesday.
The board met in executive session prior to the meeting to discuss personnel, salaries and benefits.
The board had 13 consent agenda items, two old business items and 30 new business items.
In old business, the board approved on second and final readings revisions to District Policy 4111.50/4211.25 (Internet Access for District Staff) by deleting the original policy and replacing with Employee Acceptable Use of Technology, including policy title and approve the proposed revisions to District Policy 4350 (Employee Use of Social Media Sites Including Personal Sites).
Due to the approval of new positions in the district this year, the Torrington Middle School Intervention Team of Jessica Martin, refocus room; Cheyenne Broadway, behavior interventionist; Heather Milligan, reading interventionist and LaDonna Sittner, math interventionist presented to the board a short video with information on their role in these new positions.
In new business, the board approved contracting with TNG Solutions for a total of eight days of Title IX complaint investigation training and report writing training for administrators on September 26-30 and October 25-27, 2022, in the total amount of $69,000.00 (general fund).
Director of Curriculum and Instruction, Jeff Fuller, mentioned in the training he attended last summer, he learned the top two issues getting school districts into trouble is first, bias and the second is not properly reacting to allegations of retaliation and believes that this additional training is necessary.
“Currently, one of the big things is getting school districts into trouble in Title IX investigations is bias, he said. “One of the ways that we eliminate bias of our formal Title IX investigations is by not having anyone connected with or lives in our county do those investigations for us.”
Kramer has spoken with other superintendents around the state and would like to form a consortium with other districts. Currently, Cheyenne and Laramie are only in the state that are trained. Everyone is utilizing their services and they are not able to get to every case in a timely manner. Investigations need to be done in a timely basis or districts could get into trouble. With a consortium, our district can call on others, and others can call on us. The plan is to open training up to all districts in Wyoming. A fee structure is already set up, so anyone wanting to train with us would pay to attend.
The board also approved the purchase of Eureka Math as the district elementary math curriculum from Great Minds in the total amount of $52,695.24 for the 2022-2023 school year (general fund - curriculum); contracting with Great Minds for Eurkea Math professional development and training for elementary teachers during the 2022-2023 school year in the total amount of $192,600.00 (ESSER III/ARP funds); approved the purchase of math manipulatives for Eureka math curriculum from Didax Incorporated in the total amount of $24,459.60 (general fund - curriculum) and approved the purchase of access to Zearn online intervention and supplemental program for Eureka Math in the total amount of $12,500.00 for the 2022-2023 school year (general fund curriculum).
With the addition of many new faces, including parents along with input from teachers, the Curriculum Coordinating Council (CCC) met to discuss the implementation of Eureka Math prior to going to the board for approval.
Superintendent Ryan Kramer was pleased with the conversations that were taking place when he attended the latest meeting of the council. “The process for formalizing that recommendation was a very stringent process moving through than what I’ve seen [previously],” Kramer said. “I’m very pleased to see that go through and have that type of input even before it gets to the board.”
Board member Kerry Bullington, who is also a member of CCC is very pleased with the results of discussion on Eureka Math.
“One of the things I walked away with was the number of staff that said we want a curriculum, even knowing that the first year of implementation is difficult. I’m very pleased with the support you guys have built into that to give teachers support,” Bullington said. “I think it’s something that teachers see as a true benefit to the whole county to improve our math scores.”
Fuller mentioned all k-6 teachers in the district were polled and asked based on what they know now, would they support the implementation of Eureka Math. “38 out of the 43 teachers replied, for an 88% response rate, Fuller said. “Of those 38 responses, 30 teachers responded ‘yes’, which is a 79% positive rate.”
Other action items included the board approval of offering teaching contracts and renewal of annual employment agreements for the 2022-2023 school year; approve offering an administrator contract to Robert Wiegel as a principal at Lincoln Elementary for the 2022-2023 school year; approved offering a one-quarter time administrator contract to Lindsay Maxey as a principal at Platte River School for the 2022-2023 school year pending certification (Ms. Maxey is also a 3/4-time PRS teacher).
The board also approved offering contracts as presented for the 2022-2023 school year to Shanda Rogers as a Special Education teacher at Torrington Middle School; Jody Distler as a Math teacher at Torrington High School; Kaylee Bohnsack as a half-time Physical Education teacher at Torrington High School; Katie Keller as a School Nurse at TMS and THS; Tammy Durnford as District Special Education Case Manager; Josie Ryan as an English teacher at Torrington Middle School and Chelsea DeWitt as an Elementary teacher at Lincoln Elementary.
The board also approved renewing the contract with WEBT for the 2022-2023 school year to provide employees with health, dental and vision insurance; approved district employee salary and benefit compensation proposal for the 2022-2023 school year.
The proposed new District Policy 3381 (Memorials for Students or Staff) was tabled for later discussion as there are questions for the policy committee.
The board approved the proposed revisions to District Policy 5131.7 (Interscholastic Athletics and School Activities) as presented on introduction and first reading; approved contracting with Transfinder for district transportation software and hosting services, including first year set-up and implementation in the total amount of $13,245.00 for the 2022-2023 school year (general fund transportation reimbursable); approved contracting with Frontline Education for 504 program management from May 2, 2022, through June 30, 2023, in the total amount of $7,403.42 (general fund spec-ed non-reimbursable); approved the addition of new course Advanced Coding – Python for 1.0 credit, allowing all computer science courses to count for credit as needed for graduation and/or Hathaway requirements, and to approve the proposed new math curriculum program for all students in K-6; approved contracting with IMSE for additional Orton-Gillingham professional development, training, and support for district staff on August 8-12, 2022, in the total amount of $80,660.00 (CLSD WYBILT literacy grant funds); approved contracting with the Danielson Group for district administrator professional development and training for teacher evaluation on May 10-11, 2022, in the total amount of $9,000.00 (Title I, II, VIB funds); approved contracting with Jim Knight Coaching for instructional coaching professional development for facilitators and administrators for the 2022-2023 school year in the total amount of $60,324.54 (Title I, II, and VIB funds); approved extending the contract with PEBC for one day of professional development for virtual leadership coaching in the additional amount of $3,000.00 from April 1, 2022 through June 30, 2022 (Title II funds); approved contracting with Sources of Strength for professional development and training for staff at TMS and THS in the total amount of $10,000.00 on May 2 and 3, 2022 (Suicide Prevention Grant); approved contracting with Kagan for professional development services for Lincoln Elementary staff from June 1-3 and 6-7, 2022 in the total amount of $19,035.00 (Lincoln Title I funds); approved the job description as presented and the posting of the new position for the 2022-2023 school year; approved the purchase of cleaning and disinfecting supplies and paper products from Bluffs Facility Solutions for Trail Elementary - $5,336.22, TMS - $5,042.41, THS - $27,198.89, LFL Schools - $8,226.27, SE Schools -$10,637.24, Lincoln Elementary - $8,140.64, and LaGrange - $3,172.23, for a total amount of $67,753.90 (general fund); approved the purchase and installation of replacement carpeting at Lincoln Elementary, LFL Middle School, THS, and the Transportation Office from Anderson Carpet in the total amount of $71,840.62 (major maintenance funds); approved the purchase and installation of replacement flooring for the Trail Elementary cafeteria from Carpet One in the total amount of $26,823.00 (major maintenance funds); approved the purchase of a portable stage for Torrington High School from The Stage Depot in the total amount of $15,209.93 (building budget); approved the purchase of 110 football uniforms for the THS football team from The Sports Racquet in the total amount of $18,040.00 (activity fund & building budget); approved the purchase and installation nine sets of cabinets for THS from Torrington Office Supply in the total amount of $14,400.00 (general fund - district equipment) and approved the purchase of seven cafeteria tables for TMS from Torrington Office Supply in the total amount of $20,300.00 (general fund – district equipment).
Superintendent Kramer also provided an update on staffing and in-district transfers, current student enrollment numbers, district ACT information and district graduation to be held May 22; Lingle-Ft. Laramie High School at 1 p.m.; Southeast High School at 2:30 p.m. and Torrington High School at 4 p.m.
The next regular board meeting will be Tuesday May 10 at 7 p.m.