Rumor vs. Reality and Board Meeting Follow Up

Rumor vs. Reality


Welcome to Sweetwater County School District #1's Rumor vs. Reality page. This page is intended to clear up misinformation spreading through the community. If you have a question about something not addressed on this page, send an email to

Let's define some terms. A rumor is defined as a currently circulating story or report of uncertain or doubtful truth. The Reality we'll report here will always reflect the state of matters as they currently exist in our schools. And whenever possible, we'll provide links with more information and supporting or corroborating evidence.

Preferred/Chosen name procedure

Preferred/Chosen Names Procedure. As you become acquainted with your students, you may encounter students wishing to use a preferred or chosen name. A preferred/chosen name is any name a student chooses to use other than their legal name. For example, a student may wish to shorten their first name (e.g., Steven to Steve, Samuel or Samantha to Sam) or to be referred to by their middle name or a nickname. Sweetwater County School District Number One is committed to promoting an educational environment that is supportive and respectful to all students. Calling a person by their preferred name and pronoun shows respect and contributes to the District’s commitment to providing a safe and nondiscriminatory educational environment.  Accordingly, staff must use a student’s preferred/chosen name or pronoun in verbal, written, and electronic communications. 

Pursuant to federal guidance interpreting Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, as well as Article I, § 2 of the Wyoming State Constitution, violations of this procedure may constitute discrimination based on sex and may result in discipline. Students who experience problems or discrimination related to their preferred/chosen name or pronoun shall be referred to the Title IX Coordinator for resources and assistance.  This procedure does not address changes to  educational records to reflect name changes. Any requests to amend educational records shall be referred to the Director of Human Resources.

The procedure applies equally to all students regardless of their gender or sexual orientation. It is specific to student’s preferred/chosen names and pronouns and is intended to further the District’s goal of fostering a respectful and inclusive learning environment.  Wherever possible, staff should involve parents/guardians in the implementation of these guidelines to support the student’s health, safety and well-being.  If the student has not informed their parent/guardian of their chosen name or pronoun, the student should be referred to the student’s counselor who will partner with the student to encourage and support the student to discuss their chosen name or pronoun with their parent/guardian, unless the counselor or other staff member, in consultation with the District’s Superintendent, Human Resources Director, and legal counsel determines that such disclosure would be detrimental to the student’s health or safety.  When requesting a change to their preferred name and/or pronoun, students should be informed that in the absence of a determination that the student’s health or safety is at risk, the District is legally required to share all information about the student’s educational status, including chosen names and/or pronouns, with the student’s parent/guardian upon request.  Because the procedure is content neutral, staff must not proactively contact parents regarding a student’s chosen name and/or pronoun.  The District’s policy is to respect a student’s preference – not to either encourage or discourage any student from forming a preference as to chosen names or pronouns, which could be deemed discrimination based on sex as set forth above. 

Staff members who are uncertain as to how to implement this procedure or are for any reason unable to implement the procedure in relation to specific, identified circumstance should address their concerns with the Human Resources Director.  The District will make every effort to reasonably accommodate staff members where possible.


One of the strengths of a democracy is our right to question public officials and hold them accountable for sharing the truth with us. Their answers may not always be what we want to hear, but reasonable people can reach reasonable resolutions.

Schools today WANT to communicate honestly and openly with their stakeholders. Therefore, when something you hear doesn't make sense or if it is new and disturbing, conflicts with your previous assumptions,  is reported by your child as fact, or in any way upsets your status quo, you can take positive steps to not only discover the facts, but to help defuse your own discomfort level.

When you as a parent are uncomfortable with something you hear about your child’s school, consider the following:
  • Call the school, but don't do so anonymously. Identify yourself so reasonable and trusting two-way communication may be conducted. Most schools will not respond to anonymous correspondence.
  • Speak only of your concerns. If "all" your neighbors share your concern, the schoolhouse door is open to them to meet with the principal or teacher on their own.
  • Go first to the source of your concern. That is how we can provide the fastest and most effective help. Don't "jump over the head" of the teacher to contact the principal if it is a classroom issue. Similarly, if the issue is school-related, your first contact should be the principal (or assistant principal), not the superintendent or school board. Just as any effective business organization would do, the school will redirect your concerns or questions back to the appropriate level so the problem can be dealt with where it originated.
  • Use appropriate in-place committees or groups to raise your questions about a rumor, such as the PTA or PTO clubs, parent forums, parent-teacher conferences, and the like.
  • Discuss the matter in a civil and respectful manner. After all, you are expecting the same manner of response from the school personnel with whom you are speaking. And, this sets a tremendous example for your children.
  • Read the information sent home from school with your child and the school / district web page if you have access.
  • Read local newspapers, where information contrary to the "rumor" may have been reported.
  • Take your children’s reporting with a healthy dose of skepticism. Kids often embellish without realizing it.
Our schools are here not only to educate and prepare children for their lifetime, but also to serve the school community. Schools want you to know everything about current and future activities and plans. You should know everything about the operation of your school. You have the right to know. Students' beliefs in their school can only be as strong as that of their parents/family members.

Board Meeting Follow Up

Welcome to the section in which we will address questions that come through public comment when possible and other issues that arise during board meetings. Personnel and specific student issues will not be addressed publicly per policy to protect the rights and privacy of staff and students. The district follows federal law around the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Here are our public comment guidelines published with every board agenda.

  1. If a member of the public initiates specific complaints or charges against an employee, in order to protect the employee’s rights to privacy and due process, the Board will only hear those complaints or charges in closed session.

  2. The Board encourages concerned individuals to file complaints using the appropriate District complaint procedure and appropriate forms, which can be obtained from the District’s website.

  3. As per Policies BDDH and KD i.e. Public Participation at Board Meetings, please limit your comments to the Board to one time.

  4. If your comments have been previously submitted in writing, please refrain from addressing the Board a second time.

  5. Written comments will be posted to the agenda in the written public comment section below.

  6. Written public comments must be received by 1:00 p.m. on the day of the Board Meeting and will be available for the public and Trustees to view but will not be read aloud at the Board Meeting.

  7. Policies BDDH and KD titled Public Participation at Board Meetings continue to state that questions asked by the public shall, when possible, be answered immediately by the chairman or referred to staff members present for reply; questions requiring investigation shall be referred to the Board or administrative staff for consideration and later response.



RSHS Temperature Information

Hello Rock Springs, High School Community,

As a community, we need a full replacement school for Rock Springs High School (RSHS).  Sweetwater County School District Number One has been working to build the new RSHS onto the Satellite High School Campus since 2008 when the land was obtained from the Bureau of Land Management.  The community’s recent concerns about high temperatures inside the building are just one of the reasons why a replacement school is needed. 

RSHS was designed in the late 1960s and built in 1970 with an old-style indirect evaporative cooling system.  The cooling system design that was abandoned over 40 years ago. The current infrastructure cannot support a modern air-conditioning system large enough to cool all of RSHS.  The current facility is approximately 325,000 square feet.

This is but one of the many concerns with a facility built 53 years ago, in addition to plumbing, electrical, parking, and location restrictions to name but a few. The Board of Trustees, the Superintendent, Facilities Director, and Administration have pursued state action to build a replacement high school for many years and will continue to do so. Construction of schools within the State of Wyoming is controlled by a school facilities commission which makes recommendations for funded through appropriations by the legislature.  The District needs your help in rallying together to address the need for a full replacement high school.   Mark your calendars to attend one of the following informational meetings: 

Monday, October 9, 2023 @ 6:00 p.m. - Board of Education Meeting (in-person or online) 

Thursday, October 19, 2023 @ 5:00 p.m. in RSHS Cafeteria (in-person)

November 8, 2023 @ 4:15 p.m. - Strategic Planning Meeting in RSHS Cafeteria (in-person)

So, what about the temperature problems? Over the last several years, Sweetwater #1 has taken multiple action steps to support RSHS students and staff to address the temperature concerns within the school. These include:

  • Installation of massive evaporative coolers in place of the old indirect coolers in areas constructed in 1971, 1975, 1977, 1981, and 1984. 
  • Four more coolers are on order. Due to supply chain issues and contractor availability, the project is scheduled to be completed by November. We understand the delay and the change of seasons but despite our best efforts, this is out of the District’s control. 
  • The District hired an independent engineering group to assess RSHS and estimates for upgrading. This report confirms the previous state driven reports which all identified the current building infrastructure is in fair to poor condition. While students and teachers are safe in RSHS, the infrastructure is nearing the end of its life cycle despite multiple efforts to replace and upgrade as needed.
  • In 2015, upgrades were made to the existing evaporative coolers. 
  • In March 2017, upgrades were made to the main air handling units.
  • In June 2019, pneumatic controls were upgraded with direct digital controls in the auditorium. Prior to 2014, two air conditioning units were disabled. Only one of the units had enough power to run. A complete building electrical service is required to get this functioning. 
  • In October 2019 a compressor was replaced in the AC unit in the lower-level rooms of the school adjacent to the garage.
  • In September 2020, new filtration systems were installed throughout the RSHS.
  • In July 2021, an upgraded motor and vent values with three controls were installed in the auxiliary gym air handling unit.
  • In April 2022, two boilers were replaced behind the Tiger Arena Gym. 
  • In June 2022, the existing air conditioning unit was replaced in rooms 410/414.
  • In September 2022, an assessment of the existing air conditioning units in the auditorium was conducted. The second air conditioning unit in the auditorium was deemed non-salvageable. 
  • In September 2023, another boiler was replaced.
  • From July 2014 to the current date, countless circulation pumps, compressors for the pneumatic controls or lighting upgrades were completed to reduce some of the existing electrical loads. 
  • In August 2023, three elevators are in the process of being replaced with new elevators.

This list does not include the electrical panels that have been replaced due to electrical fires and electrical wiring issues caused by excessive age and amperage. Nor does it include items like rebuilding restrooms due to the sewer line cracking because of age. The multiple repairs and upgrades that were necessary to maintain the competition level swimming pool at RSHS and many other maintenance projects such as roofing.  In all, countless items have been repaired, replaced, or added to support the education of our students and working conditions of our staff. 

As you can see, the District continues to remedy, renovate, and retrofit the existing spaces to fit current needs.  However, the inherent limitations of the neighborhood site, the age of the infrastructure, and the costs for maintenance and constant renovation vs. replacement all point to the need to actively continue advancing down the required path to a needed replacement for RSHS. 


6-26-23 - Cherell O'Driscoll
Where do the numbers on the document from item 4 - Public Hearing to Amend the 2022-2023 Budget come from?

Account codes used by the district are taken from the  School-district-Accounting-Manual-2020. This is required by the state of Wyoming Department of Education.

6-26-23 - Cherell O'Driscoll
Stop the Bleed kits are cheaper on the website, training requires 2 year recertification, how much is the training, and will they have to be purchased every 5 years due to expiration dates?

The kits have been purchased in small chunks over a period of time. Nurses were trained by first responders at the end of the 2022-2023 school year. Thanks to our partnership with local first responders, certifying our nurses to be trainers does not cost us any money. They will then be able to turn around and train our staff to be able to use the items in the kit.

The contents in the kit referenced as being cheaper on the website do not have the same contents. The kits being purchased at the recommendation of local first responders contain these items Bleeding Control Kit Contents.pdf. They are from a company approved by the American College of Surgeons. They do not require certifications and can be used by untrained personnel. We are training our staff so they have the knowledge to use the kits if needed in an emergency situation.

The items in the kits will still be beneficial even if expired. (See the attachment above.) They will be far more useful in the event of an accident or other situation where there is excessive bleeding than having nothing at all.

6-26-23 - Cherell O'Driscoll
Farson Scoreboard Bid - No bids were received, referred policies, when were bids published, seems like a fast turn around?

It was advertised in the Rocket Miner on June 3 and June 10. There was a mandatory walk-though held in Farson on June 14, 2023. Only one company had representation at the walk-through. State law and district policy are followed in all district bid processes.

8-14-23 - Cherell O'Driscoll

If a parent chooses to help their child procure a book from the school library, this platform makes it accessible for them to see if the child can bring it home or if they need to make a trip to the public library. Many parents have brought up the digital media aspect and how will they have access to materials on Epic and/or RazzKids, etc., can we have access to the digital media as well? In the meantime, how do we have access in writing to the books and/or digital media that is currently in our district? Where is this list of books located and how do the parents have access to these lists until something is established to easily look them up?


Sweetwater County School District Number One has clear policies and procedures for the selection of material for school libraries.  Policy File IIAC.  The policy includes this point, which seems particularly relevant to your reporting: “All materials selected shall be consistent with the state principles of selection which apply to all instructional and library materials.” In other words, we follow state law.

Additionally, our selection policy notes that the school officials who help make library selections “shall strive to provide a balanced collection, with a fair proportion of each type of material selected to meet the needs of the curriculum, the students, and professional staff at all levels.”

In considering what books are included in school libraries or any public library, it’s important to note that part of the mission is to make information available to people freely and equitably, without imposing any personal moral system on parents or their students.

Indeed, in a library containing thousands of books, I’m sure we can find elements that offend or are controversial to many different people for many different reasons.

Please let me emphasize this point: Parents always have the right to choose what their children read, but no one has the right to restrict access to the entire school community.

We have watched other communities around the country having similar debates – sometimes very angry debates – about what books belong in public libraries, leading up to books being removed. It’s worth remembering that when books are removed from a library, it sends a message to students who could relate to those stories that their experience and who they are is not valued or important.

We welcome questions about books or any material including in any of our libraries. We urge, though, that these conversations begin by acknowledging that each family has the right to determine which library resources are acceptable for its children and must acknowledge the same right to other parents.

Parents have access to the books available in school libraries. The Alexandria website is a resource that is available not only to high school students but in all K-12 schools of the District. It can be found on the homepage, under Student Links, and Alexandria is listed as an option. The search button allows a user to type in a book title and view options available at the various school libraries by genre and reading level (i.e. Accelerated Reading or Lexile Level). The RSHS Alexandria site has additional links that search other state or national libraries.

Epic! is a K – 6 supplemental reading program also found on the District homepage as noted above. Epic! will provide approximately 40,000 books by published authors and is available for free to from 7:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. during school time on the school network for students. As the District uses the free version, parents wishing to purchase Epic! will need to do so separately as it would require a separate license for each family.

Raz Kids is a K – 6 licensed supplemental reading program that some schools purchase separately and contains approximately 400 searchable books to support literacy. 

Parents can access these literary options through their student’s account so they have the option of researching their child’s materials and continue to create transparency between the District and parents. K - 6 students have usernames and passwords are shared with teachers due to the age of students. For those students in grades 7 – 12, they have a computer name and password. Sweetwater County School District Number One offers numerous reading, math, science, and other student support links available on the District homepage,, under Student Links.






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