Wyoming Education Association

Winter 2016

Issue link: http://digital.copcomm.com/i/766038

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Page 9 of 31

BACK TO SCHOOL | WEAnews 10 Great Things Happen Everyday Wyoming Home to Three Blue Ribbon Schools Three schools in Wyoming have the prestigious honor of being named Blue Ribbon Schools: Fort Caspar Academy in Casper, South Side Elementary School in Worland, and Wilson Elementary School in Wilson. National Blue Ribbon Schools are on education's cutting edge, pioneering innovative educational practices from professional learning communities and project-based learning to social and emotional learning and positive behavior systems. Schools are nominated by the state department of education and then complete a comprehensive application about school practices. Schools may be nominated as Exemplary High Performing—among the top schools in a state, or Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing—schools making the fastest progress in their state in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups. About four hundred fifty students in grades kindergarten through fifth grade attend Fort Caspar Academy (FCA). The philosophy and curriculum of FCA can be described as both back-to-basics and classical education. As a school they focus on reading, writing, and math. Science, social studies, and literature are incorporated throughout the curriculum, with a classical content focus from Core Knowledge. Other foundational components of FCA's philosophy and practices are parent involvement, character education, structured behavior interventions and supports, and accelerated academic instruction. South Side Elementary School is a K-5 school in Worland, Wyoming. The success of South Side is rooted in the commitment and dedication of a high-performing staff. The staff functions within a Professional Learning Community model, focused on continuous collaborative efforts, resulting in job-embedded professional development opportunities, maintaining focus on the mission and vision. Wilson Elementary School is a Kindergarten through 5th grade school in Wilson, Wyoming. The staff is committed to building a school community that includes students, parents, teachers and local residents and businesses. As a school, they are very proud of their Multi-Tiered System of Supports. Staff members meet weekly to analyze formative assessment data in order to plan academic and social activities that meet students where they are and set the path for them to achieve at their highest levels. The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program honors public and private elementary, middle and high schools where students either achieve very high learning standards, or are making notable improvements in closing the achievement gap. These three schools are included in the 279 public schools recognized in 2016.

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