Education

WPM is committed to covering education issues in Wyoming in a thoughtful and thorough way. This page captures all education-related stories we've aired and updates you on broad issues.

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An essay has drawn national attention to how University of Wyoming faculty address difficult topics like racism when they come up in the classroom. It was written by Taylar Stagner, a Native American graduate of the University of Wyoming, who is also a part-time reporter at Wyoming Public Radio.

Safe2Tell Wyoming

Wyoming's Safe2Tell program has received over 1,500 tips from students since its implementation two years ago.

Wyomingites working to reduce violence gathered this week for the 3rd Annual Conference for Violence Prevention and Response. A major portion of the conference was devoted to spreading awareness about the Adverse Childhood Experiences Study, or ACES for short. Wyoming Public Radio's Tennessee Watson sat down with Jennifer Davis from the Wyoming Children's Trust Fund and Todd Garrison from the Montana-based not-for-profit ChildWise to understand why ACES could make a difference in Wyoming.

Federal lawmakers are pushing to bankroll the Secure Rural Schools Act before Congress gavels out for the year. That money can be a lifeline for districts across our region that are surrounded by untaxable public land.

University of Wyoming College of Education

The Wyoming legislature's Joint Education Committee received an update Tuesday from the University of Wyoming concerning efforts to better prepare teachers for the state's classrooms.

School board members from across the state gathered earlier this month at the Wyoming School Boards Association delegate assembly. The group set policy goals for the upcoming legislative session, and for the coming year.

University of Wyoming

The University of Wyoming Trustees have approved a new academic program in Construction Management. The program will offer a major and a minor, as well as a certificate for non-degree seeking students who want to enhance their construction management skills.

Tennessee Watson

The University of Wyoming Board of Trustees delayed action on the future of the Biodiversity Institute. Its funding runs out at the end of December. The UW administration originally announced it would shut down the institute, and its science education and outreach efforts, and turn to a heavier focus on biodiversity research.

Taylar Dawn Stagner


Across the country, Native American students are severely underrepresented in higher education . Only 16 percent of Native Americans have a bachelor's degree. That's compared to 42 percent of white students. But a collective effort — that spans from the Wind River Reservation to the University of Wyoming — is helping to close that achievement gap.

Wyoming Department of Education

The transition from the No Child Left Behind Act to the Every Students Succeeds Act (ESSA) has been a multi-year affair, and Wyoming is nearing the completion of the process.

After a controversial year Park County School District #6 has four new trustees on its seven-member school board.

The district, which includes Cody, debated and eventually passed the CKA policy, which allows certain teachers and staff to conceal carry, and dealt with the logistics behind removing a book from the school system.

Now the newly elected trustees want to move on to other issues. John McCue is a Cody native and a new trustee. He said he was motivated to run to ensure these policies would not remain the focal point and concentrate on things like teacher morale.

Wyoming Department of Education

Earlier this month, the Wyoming Department of Education (WDE) released its most recent set of school performance reports. Just over half of Wyoming's schools are meeting and exceeding expectations. But close to a quarter are only partially meeting expectations and the other quarter are not at all. The WDE says determining who's on target and who's behind is a tool to help schools.

Education Commission of the States

State-funded pre-k is coming up in the Mountain West. More states than ever are funding programs across the country. But of the handful that don't, three are in our region.

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Wyoming's Superintendent of Public Instruction Jillian Balow will serve a second term. Four years ago when she started her first term, she said educators called for strong leadership and stability in K-12 education. She said delivering that along with her reputation for collaborative decision making is why she ran uncontested this time around.

Tennessee Watson / Wyoming Public Radio

University of Wyoming leadership held a town hall meeting Wednesday to get input on a transition plan for the closing of the Biodiversity Institute, but many who attended are still uncertain about what's to come.

Screen shot from http://www.uwyo.edu/diversity/council-on-dei/committee-membership.html

The University of Wyoming is introducing new mandatory training for faculty and staff in an effort to foster a stronger culture of inclusivity. Increased programming on diversity and inclusion is part of the university's strategic plan.

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It's election season and on November 6 Wyomingites will have the chance to participate in what's arguably the most local election of all: for the local school board. Caroline Ballard sat down with education reporter Tennessee Watson to discuss some of the hot topics in school board races across the state.

Kids! It's almost Halloween, but this year your spooky shenanigans can last longer than October 31. The Cheyenne Youth Short Film Festival presents the 2018 Fear Film Fest. Anyone under 18 from anywhere in Wyoming is invited to create their own suspense/thriller film.

Afterschool Alliance

Afterschool programs across the country celebrated the 19th annual Lights On Afterschool, a national rally to underscore the importance of afterschool programs.

Wyoming Department of Education

For the first time the Wyoming Department of Education, Wyoming's community colleges and the University of Wyoming are teaming up to share data that will reveal what helps and hinders students on their journey through the state's education system.

Claremont Graduate University

Paying for graduate school can be challenging in the best of circumstances. But one fellowship could help Native American students with financial aid.

A public hearing will be held on proposed changes to special education funding. The Wyoming Association of Special Education Administrators (WASEA) called for the meeting because they say more time and information are needed before weighing in on the new Chapter 44 rules.

Wyoming Department of Education

Last year the Wyoming Department of Education changed the statewide assessment it uses to gauge the health of the state's K-12 education system. The results of the 2017-18 WY-TOPP exam are the baseline for statewide assessment moving forward. Around 50 percent of students performed at proficient or advanced in language arts, mathematics and science.

Biodiversity Institute

In its remaining months, the Biodiversity Institute is gearing up for a regional conference on citizen science. In late July, the University of Wyoming announced plans to shut down the institute, which promotes the study of living organisms by learners of all ages, from pre-schoolers to Ph.D. students.

Annie E. Casey Foundation

Eight thousand children in Wyoming have young parents ages 18 to 24. Close to 60 percent of those families are low income, according to the Opening Doors for Young Parents report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

Wyoming Department of Education

Back in 2005 the Wyoming legislature set up the Hathaway Scholarship to help make higher education more accessible to Wyoming high school graduates, but data requested by Wyoming Public Radio indicates low-income students aren't reaping the same benefits from the program as their higher income peers. Bailey Nowak's story offers a glimpse of why.

Wyoming's Joint Education Committee is considering a proposal to consolidate the administration of early childhood education in the state.

University of Wyoming

For the second year in a row, the University of Wyoming has seen an overall increase in enrollment. Kyle Moore, UW's Associate Vice Provost for Enrollment Management, said the most notable increase is the freshman class. At 1,850 students, that's a 9.5 percent increase from last year.

Last winter, the Uinta County School Board voted to allow teachers and staff to carry guns in schools. But now a judge has blocked that decision, saying the school board didn’t follow Wyoming’s rules for policymaking under the Wyoming Administrative Procedures Act. Sweetwater County Judge Nena James ruled last week the board should have posted the proposal 45 days before voting on it.

A nine-year-old boy in Colorado took his own life on the first week of school this year. The tragedy highlighted a pervasive problem in the state and in the Mountain West region as a whole -- the high suicide rate -- especially among youth. Goal Academy in Pueblo, Colorado is a charter program with high schools around the state that focuses on both academic and mental wellbeing.   

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