Sublette Examiner | Garvey thanks the district for its support during a trying year

BIG PINEY – Kevin Garvey, acting superintendent of Sublette County School District 9, presented his final report to the board of directors at the June 15 meeting.

School District No.9 has risen to the task during a difficult year marked by the threat of COVID-19, Garvey said.

The district ended the 2020-2021 school year with all healthy students, teachers and staff, an impressive achievement, Garvey said. Garvey pointed out that schools and activities have remained open and that no child has fallen “seriously ill”.

Schools have handled the many local and national public health ordinances well and implemented the Wyoming Department of Education’s Smart Start plans, he added.

The district was relieved when the state’s remaining warrants and Smart Start plans were canceled by the state on June 1, Garvey told the board of directors.

Garvey thanked all teachers, staff and administrators for keeping schools safe throughout the year. He also thanked local and state public health officials for their willingness to be available to answer complicated questions and collaborate with the district.

Lessons learned during the pandemic included the need for a reliable and rapid technology system, Garvey said. The board approved an offer to replace the district’s aging network infrastructure with a new system at its April meeting.

Garvey reported on June 15 that the new network infrastructure was installed the following week and was working successfully.

The Smart Start plans have taught the district to effectively use virtual classroom education for homebound students, Garvey said. He told board members that schools are planning to use new technology and virtual learning techniques for students who have to miss school due to illness or injury.

The renovations to Big Piney Middle School were “nearing completion,” Garvey added in his report. The work remained on the drains in the shower room and with the new carpet being laid, he said.

The district was preparing to offer a summer snack program to all students, Garvey said. Free summer snacks will be handed out every Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Big Piney Palace of Fine Arts. Snacks will be available every other Wednesday from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. at LaBarge Elementary School.

In other news from the school board

  • Changes to the Kindergarten to Grade 12 vocal music and elementary school computer science curriculum have been approved by the board. The changes aim to make music standards more comprehensive and detailed and to bring IT standards in line with state requirements.
  • In a unanimous vote, administrators approved changes to policies relating to mandatory attendance, student absences and excuses, truancy, and drug and alcohol testing for transportation personnel .
  • Trustees approved a food offering from Nicholas and Company, the 2021-2022 wellness goals, and the 2021-2022 academic year student textbooks.
  • Following an executive session to discuss staff, the board offered initial teaching contracts to Tessa Christiansen as an elementary school reading worker and Krista Manning as a speech therapist.

The Board also approved the following additional duties: Jeff Makelky, Director of Big Piney High School Activities, Scott Carpenter, Director of Big Piney Middle School, Sam Rees, BPMS Swim Coach, Jeromy Moffat, Coach BPHS football assistant and Jess Nugent, head high school athletics coach.

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