Sheridan is providing some housing for new teachers amid house shortage
The school district which serves students in the city of Sheridan, is providing new teachers with housing amid a constrained local housing market. Sheridan County School District No. 2 (SCSD #2), purchased six housing units on the 227-acre site of the former Normative Services Academy (NSI), a facility for at-risk and juvenile offenders west of Sheridan.
“[We’re] looking at providing teacher housing for individuals on a short-term basis, kind of an annual lease, with the intent that this would allow them to have secure housing and that not be a worry for them the first year knowing that they would need to work on finding something during the school year,” said Scott Stults, superintendent of SCSD #2. “They wouldn't be under the stress of only having a month or a couple of months to try to do that, that they would have an opportunity to find something as they were here for that school year.”
Stults said the local housing market is causing issues for starting educators who are not able to find affordable housing. The six units have been renovated with new flooring and cabinetry to welcome new teachers on a lease that lasts for the length of the school year. A lease extension for another year could be considered under “extenuating circumstances,” though this would limit the number of units for new teachers in the following 2024-25 school year.
The district purchased the property earlier this year for $1,046,571 through a depreciation reserve account and Elementary and Secondary School Relief funds, part of the American Rescue Plan. Community Impact LLC, an entity of the Sheridan-based Homer A. and Mildred S. Scott Foundation, donated approximately $500,000 to aid in the district’s purchase. The foundation is also working to change the name of the NSI property to “Bridges.” The area already houses workers and employees of other organizations such as Sheridan Memorial Hospital and short-term workers with AmeriCorps, Habitat for Humanity, and the Antelope Butte Foundation.
With the school year getting underway in just a few weeks, Stults said all of the district’s teaching positions have been filled with the exception of a career and technical education position. For this, they’re working closely with Sheridan College and considering if those in local industry would be willing to dedicate some of their time to teaching and obtaining credentials to teach basic and advanced classes.