Sweetwater BOCES Grants

Classroom Support

Northpark Elementary and Pilot Butte Elementary benefit from Sweetwater BOCES grants through funds to support paraprofessional support in the classroom.



Concurrent Enrollment

Black Butte High School and Rock Springs High School students are able to earn credit concurrently with Western Wyoming Community College. Students in the BBHS Computer Aided Drafting (CAD) and RSHS Welding II class are using equipment purchased through BOCES funds.

BOCES Supports Gifted & Talented Program

During PAWS testing, Gifted & Talented Teacher Dr. Cristy Pelham visited the eight K-4 schools plus Desert Elementary and Farson-Eden Elementary to provide enrichment activities to kindergarten, first, and second grade students who scored well on their fall NWEA MAP tests. During this time students worked on collaborative problem solving, creativity and innovation, engineering and design, critical thinking and communication, visual and tactile learning, patterns, following directions, and a variety of other STEM related concepts. Each lesson can be tied to common core, International Society for Technology in Education Standards, 21st Century Skills, and the Gifted and Talented standards.

The students rotated through stations, working alone, with a partner, or in groups to complete each activity. At one of the stations students used 3Doodler Pens. Students used the 3D pens to create cubes by following three easy steps. The pens heat up the Eco-Plastic. The students draw a flat square first then, draw up to complete the cube. These 3D pens were purchased with funding from a Sweetwater BOCES grant.

Student Success, Retention, and Graduation

Graduation is a focus for school systems across the country. Over the past several years, SCSD#1 has worked to provide a comprehensive program designed to improve student achievement levels, increase student retention rates, offer students who have dropped out an alternative path to a diploma, and increase high school graduation rates. This program contains the following components:

  1. Dropout Prevention-aimed at keeping all students in school and on track to graduate
  2. Credit Recovery-supports students who have dropped out or fallen critically behind and gives them an opportunity to earn a diploma
  3. Alternative Pathways-includes, but is not limited to, online programs with flexible scheduling and summer courses to help students graduate on time

The district, along with Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act (IDEA or Special Education), and the Wyoming Bridges Grant, purchase research-based intervention programs and technological interventions to support identified students before, during, and after school in working toward recovering credit and graduation.

After receiving his diploma, Joshua Patterson shakes hands with school board member Paul Kauchich. 2016 school board chair, Brady Baldwin and principal's secretary, Marylin Rosette are in the background.


The Giving Pack Project

Four years ago RSHS Health Occupations Academy seniors Shelby Vasa and Randi Miller, saw a community need for weekend meal assistance specifically for elementary students that qualify for free or reduced price lunches. This launched the idea for The Giving Pack Project.

After gaining approval from Sweetwater County School District #1, Shelby and Randi held food and backpack drives and visited non-profit organizations to promote the program in hopes of obtaining funding or donations. The students also communicated with the two original participating schools to send parent permission letters.

The Giving Pack Project has grown from providing backpacks for two schools in need to six schools. This is half of the K-6 elementary schools in SCSD#1! Two year into the project Sweetwater BOCES became involved providing $4000 to The Giving Pack Project that year.

Seniors in the Health Academy now run The Project. They plan nutritious meals while keeping noted food allergies in mind. They organize shopping trips then, store and inventory the food. The students fill and deliver backpacks to schools as well. Each year current RSHS Health Academy seniors interview juniors to replace them keeping The Giving Pack Project alive.

More schools would like to be a part of the program, but at this time funding cannot support additional backpacks. It costs approximately $1200 per week to fill the backpacks. Sweetwater BOCES continues to fund the project with yearly grants of $4,000-$5,000. Community members also contribute to the project with monetary and food donations.

Students continue to benefit from Giving Packs thanks to continued support from Sweetwater BOCES. If you would like to donate to The Giving Pack Project contact Bruce Metz, RSHS Health Oscupations Academy Director: metzb@sw1.k12.wy.us or 307-389-9172.

Current RSHS Health Occupations Academy seniors involved in The Giving Pack Project are:  Kiki Corley, Kia Hafner, Devyn Williams, Katie Noomen, Matt Fowler, Oaklan Jenkins, Jack Stout, Preston Portillo, Taylor Seilbach, Bailey Johnson, Amrey Plemel, Tristan Van Valkenburg, Maddi DeGoyette, Kylee Smith, Cory Cordova, & Kevin Liu

RSHS Career Academy Grants

The grants provided through Sweetwater BOCES benefits Rock Springs High School Career Academy students by providing funding for projects and materials as well as certifications.

  • Energy Resource Academy (ERA) students can obtain Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) and Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S) certification.
  • Health Occupations Academy (HOCA) students can graduate with certification in phlebotomy, Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), and/or certified Emergency Medical Responder (EMR).
  • Students in the Fire, Law and Leadership Academy (FLLA) can receive certification in First Aid/CPR, Alive @ 25, Hunter Safety, and EMR. FLLA is also working toward certifying in Incident Command Systems (ICS) 100, 200, and 700 as well as receiving a Red Card allowing the holder to of the card to work within the National Wildlife Coordinating Group (NWCG) system.

Reading Intensive Intervention Program

The Reading Intensive Intervention Program targets specific learning gaps and designs individual learning paths for each student. Sweetwater BOCES, along with the district, provides funding to support this program. Students needing to develop necessary reading skill are able to participate in before, during, and after school program focusing on the five essential components of effective reading instruction: 

  1. Phonemic Awareness--understanding that spoken words are made up of separate units of sound that are blended together when words are pronounced
  2. Phonics-set of rules that specify the relationship between letters in the spelling of words and the sounds of spoken language
  3. Fluency-recognizing words in text rapidly and accurately
  4. Vocabulary-understanding of the words needed to communicate
  5. Comprehension-construction of meaning that is reasonable and accurate


Rural Support Program

The Rural Support Program ensures the SCSD#1 rural schools in Farson-Eden and Wamsutter will successfully deliver educational services and support to students in their communities.

SCSD#1 provides the majority of financial support from the district's general fund by providing certified classroom teachers, school counselors, intervention teams, intervention teachers, and paraprofessionals. The district also purchases research-based intervention programs and technological interventions through the general fund as well as through Special Education and the Wyoming Bridges Grant. Sweetwater BOCES funding is used to provide additional staff to work with small groups of students identified as at-risk at Farson-Eden School and Desert School in Wamsutter.

Student Transition Program

Change is never easy, particularly when the change involves moving from a secure environment to an unfamiliar one. It can be overwhelming for students transitioning from a K-4 school to a 5-6 school or from 5-6 to junior high. For the past several years SCSD#1 has worked to provide support for students in these transitions with tutoring and support classes, double doses of English and/or math instruction, adult advocates and/or mentors, peer mentors and/or tutors, close monitoring of academic performance and attendance of at-risk students, and early identification of students who could be considered at-risk before or during the transition years.

The district supports this program through the district general fund, Title III, Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act (IDEA or Special Education), and Wyoming Bridges Grant.