Wyoming schools are a place of linguistic diversity, and students whose primary language is other than English are guaranteed access to the same academic content as their peers.
The Wyoming Department of Education tracks the progress of English Learners (EL), and provides online resources and face-to-face workshops to support districts.
WDE Consultant Antoinette Hallam said the state has seen a steady increase in such students over the last decade.
“We have about 28 – or 58 percent – of our districts with an increase,” said Hallam.
Laurie Hernandez, the Wyoming Department of Education director of standards and assessments, said the department also thinks about EL students when creating educational guidelines.
“Whenever we do any of our work related to standards and assessments we always include EL teachers on those committees so that there’s that voice,” said Hernandez. “And somebody is advocating for those students, and a fair and equitable education is being administered across the board.”
Most of Wyoming’s English Learners speak Spanish, according to Hallam, but others speak Arabic, French, German, Mandarin and Cantonese.