The Natrona County School District's board of trustees heard recommendations to deal with high school attendance issues at its work session Monday, according to a prepared statement from the school district.

The high school expectations committee has offered these recommendations:

  • Closed campuses for high school freshmen.
  • An emphasis on communication about the importance of attendance for the community.
  • An identification process for poor attenders.
  • An accountability system at the schools regarding attendance.

The committee also will consider half-day Fridays for feasibility and effectiveness.

Trustee Rita Walsh, chairwoman of the committee, said the recommendations could be implemented within the next six months.

The recommendations will be sent to the board’s policy committee that will develop a final recommendation to propose to the entire board of trustees for consideration.

In other business, the board approved the construction steering committee’s recommendation to award a $11,569,000 contract to Sampson Construction for the new capacity elementary school.

The new school will be on the site of the old CY Junior High School. Construction could start by the end of February.
District Superintendent Steve Hopkins said Tuesday the budget crunch facing the state, which provides local school funding, will not affect immediately affect the new elementary school or other capital projects.

"They (the legislators) do not enter into projects without having the dollars in the bank," Hopkins said. "Those are fully funded, none of them are at risk."

While the capital projects continue, the district has been looking at ways to trim personnel costs through attrition, Hopkins said. "The district spends about 85 percent of its dollar on personnel, and so that's where the biggest impact will be felt and will be achieved."

The board heard updates from the academic steering committee and the construction steering committee. Committee reports can be viewed on the school district's website here.

The board also received the Strategic Plan Quarterly Report for the first quarter ending Sept. 30, 2015. The report and the corresponding appendices can be viewed here.