CASPER, Wyo. — The Natrona County School District Board of Trustees voted on Monday to de-mothball the former University Park Elementary School facility.
That will allow the facility to be put back into action to support a new “Day School” program. That program would be geared toward “students struggling with the most intense behavioral needs,” according to the Board Board Infrastructure Planning Committee’s recommendation to de-mothball the University Park facility.
The proposed new Day School would provide a local option for students with significant behavioral issues as an alternative to being placed in 24-hour programs outside of the district. NCSD officials told the Board of Trustees on August 9 that such residential placement facilities are often located not only out of district but out of state.
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The new Day School program would be an option that could allow students to receive services in Casper during the day while still going home to their families on nights and weekends.
In terms of 24-hour placement programs, NCSD most often “utilizes facilities that are two hours plus from Casper,” the NCSD Board Infrastructure Planning Committee says in its recommendation.
In addition to creating an option to keep students closer to home, having the Day School in Casper would allow NCSD to direct families to local agencies and resources that provide support.
The NCSD Board Infrastructure Planning Committee says that the University Park facility was recommended to host the new Day School because it is the facility with the smallest student capacity, that is in the best condition and that best suits the needs of the new Day School program out of the buildings the district currently has mothballed.