Wyoming Department of Education releases School Performance Ratings

The Wyoming Department of Education released school performance ratings on Thursday, August 31.

The state results show that the majority of Wyoming schools are meeting or exceeding expectations, and the number of schools Not meeting expectations is dropping.

Kemmerer Junior Senior High School earned an overall School Performance Level of “Meeting Expectations.”

The four performance levels are Exceeding Expectations, Meeting Expectations, Partially Meeting Expectations, and Not Meeting Expectations.

Kemmerer Elementary School (K–2) and Canyon Elementary School (3–6) both earned an overall School Performance Level of “Partially Meeting Expectations.”

Lincoln County School District #1 Superintendent Teresa Chaulk weighed in on the state results.

“I disagreed with the reports at first on Canyon Elementary and Kemmerer Elementary,” Chaulk said. “We didn’t reach our growth targets, which means that each and every student has to show growth.”

Chaulk said that those growth targets can often be harder to reach because they include the growth of high-achieving students who are already at a higher level and may not grow as much during the year as lower-achieving students.

“We have high expectations in this school district,” Chaulk said. “The state believes that growth is more important than achievement, but I believe that we should have a high level of students that are proficient.”

Kemmerer Elementary and Canyon Elementary both fall into the categories of “Higher Achievement and Lower Growth.”

Canyon Elementary’s Growth Target Level was “Below Targets,” but the school’s Equity Target Level and Achievement Target Level both earned a “Meeting Targets” standard. These results were the same for Kemmerer Elementary.

Equity target levels are determined by making sure all subgroups of students (special education, Title I, etc.) are receiving the same standards of education across the board.

The schools could have received a “Meeting Expectations” performance level with 5 points more in achievement or 7 more points in growth, according to Chaulk.

Under the Wyoming Accountability in Education Act, schools serving grades 3–8 are rated on achievement, growth, and equity indicators. Indicators for high schools also include graduation rates, 9th grade credits earned, and Hathaway Scholarship eligibility.

The state also evaluates public high schools.

Kemmerer Junior Senior High School earned a “Meeting Targets” standard on overall readiness, grad rate target level, qquity and growth.

The state gave the high school a “Below Targets” rating on Achievement Target Level, which examines the percent of student test scores proficient or above in grade 11 on ACT subject area tests of mathematics, reading, science, and English/writing.

Chaulk also discussed the school district’s efforts to keep improving scores and students’ education.

“I’m not displeased with the reports; we are still a high-achieving district in the state,” Chaulk said. “We will continue to diagnose problems and look at the test data to remedy those problems in the classroom. We will continue to give our teachers and students the support they need.”

Chaulk said administrators and teachers in the district focus heavily on individual development and growth.

“We have groups of teachers and administrators meet weekly to focus on the data and on every child,” Chaulk said.

“Schools are starting to make the progress they have been asked to make,” said State Superintendent Jillian Balow about the results.

“Especially when you look at our elementary and middle schools, they are focusing on growth and equity, and getting results. As we put our state plan for the Every Student Succeeds Act into motion, and include post-secondary readiness for high schools, I hope to see even more progress.”