Wyoming – Rock River is a Small Rural Town With a Strong Local Education System

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Wyoming is known for its wide open spaces and rugged beauty. Home to abundant wildlife such as pronghorn antelope and one of North America’s largest herds of wapiti (American elk), Wyoming also features forests composed primarily of Ponderosa pines and lodgepole pines with some Douglas firs and Engelmann spruces present.

At Albany County Road and Bridge Department’s Rock River shop, plow crews utilize the buddy system. Venturing into northern Albany County on one’s own would be unwise due to its vast sagebrush-covered expanses covered with snowfall.

Location

Rock River, situated in Albany County and with a population of 245, offers residents a quiet and peaceful lifestyle as they take part in outdoor recreational activities available here. Residents also can visit nearby towns and cities for shopping or other purposes.

Rock River is located between Wilcox and Harper in Albany County, Wyoming, United States, and was established due to an oil boom. Established in 1919 as the result of this oil boom, this small town hosts historic buildings and is known for hosting one of Wyoming’s infamous train robberies, The Wilcox Train Robbery.

People looking for a peaceful rural atmosphere with easy access to larger towns and cities will find Livingstone the ideal spot. Surrounded by mountains, there are ample outdoor recreational activities and relaxation spots perfect for unwinding with family or friends.

Laramie, Wyoming lies along US Highway 30 just minutes away, boasting an agricultural history and small-town feel that’s hard to come by today. Residents can spend their time watching Antelope and enjoying its peace and tranquility – ideal places for an idyllic Wyoming town retreat!

Population

Rock River is a small town located in Albany County with a population of 244 residents, boasting a low population density. Residents enjoy living a rural lifestyle here while taking part in outdoor activities like fishing, camping, and hiking. Furthermore, there are various restaurants and bars where residents can meet friends, and there are several local organizations that put on special events throughout the year.

Rock River boasts a median household income of $47,375 and features a high concentration of homeowners with a low renter percentage. The average household size in Rock River is 2.46; its most prominent ethnic groups are White (non-Hispanic) and Hispanic.

Rock River may be one of the smallest towns in Wyoming, yet its demographics are among some of the most varied. Religious people and educated residents make Rock River one of the best places to live in Wyoming.

Rock River’s population in 2022 stood at 215, representing a slight annual decrease. This marks its lowest population level since 2000. The town’s median age was 29.6, significantly younger than the national average of 38.4. Almost 29% of households contained children under the age of 18, and 60.7% of adults were married. Education levels in Rock River were exceptionally high, with all adults possessing at least an associate’s degree or higher education qualification.

Economy

Rock River offers its residents a small-town charm, where residents form strong relationships with one another and their neighbors. Many work at local businesses and government agencies that contribute to its robust economy; additionally, Rock River provides easy access to outdoor recreational activities that residents can enjoy.

Rock River’s median gross rent, as of 2016, stands at $789 a month; this includes utilities and some building expenses. Comparatively, nearby cities such as Craig and Torrington average higher monthly gross rents: $711 and $658, respectively. Meanwhile, the poverty rate in Rock River sits at zero percent compared to 7.69% statewide.

Historically, this town’s economy has been driven by ranching and agriculture. Although experiencing periods of boom-bust cycles in its history, it currently enjoys stability due to its location along the Lincoln Highway, which served as an essential stopover point for automobile travelers during the early 1900s, and this resulted in increased economic activity within town limits.

The town has a predominantly white population with an increased Native American presence. There are 62 businesses located downtown; among these are Rock River Cafe and Wildflower Grille for dining options.

Education

Rock River boasts a robust local education system despite its small population. Students attending schools in Rock River benefit from rigorous curricula taught by highly rated teachers as well as one-on-one attention from instructors and faculty members, setting them on the path toward long-term success in life.

Stacie Anfinson must constantly recruit new teachers as principal of a minor, rural school in Wyoming. Unfortunately, this issue is commonplace across rural schools statewide; rural schools typically experience high teacher turnover. The University of Wyoming is working to address this through initiatives like Wyoming Rural Teacher Corps, which targets undergraduates as potential pastoral teaching candidates; interim Dean Jenna Min Shim has also launched High Altitude Pathways, which connects college students to rural high schools, alternative education centers, and after-school programs.

Rock River High School serves 30 students and employs eight teachers, boasting a diversity score of 0.24, which is lower than Wyoming’s state average of 0.39. Overall, it ranks in the bottom 50% of public high schools in Wyoming based on math and reading proficiency testing scores; its graduation rate stands at 50% (below Wyoming’s state average of 80%); students are encouraged to learn through hands-on and project-based methods of instruction.