Sheridan County School District 3 consistently has 100% graduation rates and nearly all students testing proficient in state assessments, but upcoming expectations of the No Child Left Behind Law could cause problems for a small school like Arvada-Clearmont.
Arvada-Clearmont has met state requirements, as determined by the PAWS state assessment, since No Child Left Behind was passed as a law.
However, the law requires all students to be proficient by 2014. Ninety-two students are enrolled at Arvada-Clearmont this year. In a school where class sizes can be fewer than ten, just one student not testing proficient drastically drops school percentages.
Principal Charles Auzqui says that the expectation of meeting AYP and 100% proficiency by 2014 will be difficult for many schools.
Along with federal expectations, he added that it will be just as important to meet new state requirements for school accountability. Auzqui says that meeting requirements goes hand-in-hand with individual student learning.
Sanctions under the No Child Left Behind Act are imposed on schools that miss Annual Yearly Percentages in assessments. Relief from these sanctions will come through waivers which the state will be responsible for obtaining from the federal level.
Wyoming State Department of Education officials said this past weekend, according to AP reports, that they want more information about the waivers before deciding whether or not to apply to opt out of parts of the law.
State Superintendent Cindy Hill said in an interview with Sheridan Media last week that waivers, if approved, would still require schools to adopt things like common core standards - or more rigorous curriculum for schools statewide.
In exchange, schools might not be required to test 100% proficient in English and Math.