Tag Archives: Dr. Wendy Wyman

Latest News – September 5

Schools Get “Green” Light from State

“I’ve been following Superintendent Wyman for a couple of years,” said Joyce Rankin, State Board of Education Lake County Representative (CD3), “and through her dedication and perseverance and the hard work of the teachers and staff in Lake County, the accountability scores are on the rise. Congratulations to all for a job well done!”

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The Lake County High School Class of 2018 shows off their Panther Pride at the 2016 Homecoming Parade in Leadville. This year they “rule the school”. Photo: Leadville Today

So, with new wind in its sails, the Lake County School District steps firmly into the start of the academic year with the final results of the 2017 state assessments. And this time the news is good, very good: Lake County Intermediate School and Lake County High School both received ratings of Performance, also known as green, the highest academic rating a school can receive. The district as a whole also received a green rating, known as Accredited. West Park Elementary does not receive a state rating because it does not serve students in the tested grades, 3rd-12th.

There are four levels of rating that individual schools can receive: Turnaround (red), Priority Improvement (orange), Improvement (yellow) and Performance (green). Districts can receive one of five ratings: Accredited with a Turnaround Plan (red), Accredited with a Priority Improvement Plan (orange), Accredited with an Improvement Plan (yellow), Accredited (green) and Accredited with Distinction (blue). School and district ratings are determined by a formula that weights factors such as academic achievement, academic growth, graduation rate and matriculation to college. Schools or districts that receive red or orange ratings are put on a watch list and have five years to improve before state intervention becomes possible.

Last year, LCIS received a rating of Improvement (yellow), LCHS received a rating of Priority Improvement (orange), and the district received a rating of Accredited with a Priority Improvement Plan (orange). Now, one year later, all three are rated green.

“To have both schools and the district achieve a green rating is a huge achievement by our students and our teachers,” said Superintendent Wendy Wyman. “This is not a nuanced or subjective measure. This is an objective rating of the quality of our schools by the State of Colorado. It is external validation of what we, for several years, have known and believed: Our schools are incredible institutions of learning that are serving, caring for and challenging Lake County kids.”

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Lake County High School saw a big jump in its state 2017 assessment rating.

The district indicated that these results do not represent the end of its work to ensure that all Lake County students achieve. The percentage of Lake County students meeting or exceeding expectations on state assessments remains below state figures for most grade levels and academic content areas. With students demonstrating high growth from year to year, as local students are doing, proficiency will come. But it will require continued focus and effort at all levels. LCIS Principal Stephanie Gallegos reflected, “This achievement would not have happened without a strong vision and support from the top down. It takes a whole system to move things! Now we will use this momentum to get all of our kids to proficiency.”

Lake County High School saw the biggest jump in its rating. The school received 37.1% of possible framework points in 2016, and 64% in 2017. Last year was also the first year the school had a new leader, principal Ben Cairns. Asked about the remarkable turnaround in the school’s performance, Cairns said, “Lots of people have done so much over the last several years to make this possible. I am super honored to be a part of this team and a part of this work.”

Wendy Wyman

Lake County School Superintendent: Dr Wendy Wyman

Wyman is quick to point out the impact of talented school leaders and talented educators on the district’s achievement. “All of our schools have incredible leadership right now. Ben, Stephanie and Kathleen Fitzsimmons at West Park are visionary principals with the expertise and character to take a goal from vision to reality. And beyond the principal’s office, the folks who are really creating change for kids in Lake County are those who have their boots on the ground in our schools every day: teachers, paraprofessionals, secretaries, custodians, cooks, bus drivers and many more. We absolutely couldn’t have done this without an extraordinary team.”

 

Latest News – June 19

How Will HB 17-1375 Affect Local Schools?

From political junkies to educators across Colorado, the passage of HB 17-1375 is being closely watched to see how one-more-carrot added to the school choice plate plays out around the family dinner table when it comes parents’ decision about their children’s education.

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The Lake County High School Class of 2018 shows off their Panther Pride at the 2016 Homecoming Parade in Leadville. This year they will rule the school! Photo: Leadville Today

So what does that mean for Lake County? A quick check with local and state school representatives indicates it should not have any impact, at least in the short term. For those unfamiliar with the new legislation passed during the recent 2017 Colorado Legislative Session, the new law will directly affect rural schools because it specifies that Charter Schools will now share in the per pupil revenue generated from local mill levies.

But wait, isn’t Greater Heights a charter school? Good question!

New Greater Heights Academy Director Marvin Sandoval explained it this way, “We have a Co-OP with Hope Online Learning Academy, which is chartered under Douglas County School District (near Denver). Our funding is a per student rate that is received from HOPE.”  For readers who may not know Greater Heights Academy will be K-8th grades for the 2017/18 school year and will be located at 1600 Harrison, which is in the Mt. Crest Baptist Church building. 

Lake County School Superintendent Wendy Wyman interpreted the impact of HB 17-1375 in the same manner, adding information about efforts underway in the Leadville schools surrounding student retention:

Wendy Wyman

Superintendent: Dr Wendy Wyman

Currently HB 17-1375 doesn’t affect Lake County School District since the only charter/online school in Lake County is chartered through Douglas County Schools. 

We are incredibly proud of the work we are doing in our schools and we are working to get the word out.  We respect parent choice.  We also want to be sure that as local families consider schools they are aware of the high-quality teaching and learning that occurs daily in our classrooms. This spring, we held two open houses for parents to consider or reconsider our schools. This invitation was extended to all families who live in Lake County and have enrolled their students in other districts, including Greater Heights families.  Over the past five years we have made significant improvements across our system.  The climate in our buildings is welcoming and focused on learning.  We have made much progress in our efforts to support teachers and instruction.  Our infrastructure has consistently improved, for example our 7th through 12th grade students participate in a one-to-one Chromebook laptop model at our beautifully renovated high school campus.  Additionally we continue to support education of the whole child ensuring that our students have access to the performing and visual arts, technology, physical activity and sports, healthy meals and health care.  We invite the community to come in and see our great work when school starts again in August.  If a parent or community member is interested in a tour or learning more about our schools, we welcome them to contact our superintendent Wendy Wyman at wwyman@lakecountyschools.net or 719-486-6810.

And finally at the state level, Lake County’s Representative Joyce Rankin weighs in on HB17-1375 in addition to SB17-267 and the new legislation’s impact to rural schools.

Education Legislation and Summer Vacation

By Joyce Rankin, Lake County’s Rep. on the State Board of Education

Last month I reported on the education bills that were considered during the 2017 legislative session.  Senate Bill (SB) 267 and House Bill (HB) 1375 are two new acts that have significant impact on the rural schools that I represent.  SB 17-267 is called Sustainability of Rural Colorado.

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State Board Representative Joyce Rankin

Among other things, this bill sets aside $30M to be used for rural and small rural school districts. HB 17-1375 specifies that Charter Schools will share in the per pupil revenue generated from local mill levies.

After bills are signed into law the state board is tasked with approving rules that determine how the laws are applied.  At this month’s board meeting we will issue final determinations of the Turnaround/Priority Improvement process, based on a law passed in 2009. The Board will determine whether the plans the districts and schools previously presented implement the change necessary for the students to improve in math, reading and language arts. We may need to ask the legislature for additional direction and authority to help low performing schools.

Another new act, HB 17-1340, creates a legislative interim committee to study school finance issues. The bill specifies issues that the committee must study and tasks this committee to make recommendations for legislation to meet the funding needs of students.  Since school finance is always on the minds of district administrators and local school boards, this will be an important committee to watch.

Summer vacation is upon us and we’ve been able to take a little time off for recreational activities.  Right after the legislative session ended we decided to experience the E-Bike and joined a group for a “test drive”.  Unfortunately my E-Bike ride didn’t go well. After a fall, two hours of surgery and thirty stitches later I decided it wasn’t for me. Stitches are out, I’m on the mend, and look forward to visiting on the Western Slope this summer.

Be safe out there, and thank you for the honor to serve.

OldSchoolhouse

The Old Malta Schoolhouse’s red color paints a stark contrast against October’s bright blue skies in Leadville, much like school choices for Lake County families