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.

CCO Public Domain

The state Senate Revenue Committee passed two bills that take different approaches to transitioning to a monthly ad valorem tax for the mining industry.

Erika Yarber

Wind River Cares, a community-based health organization that serves the Northern Arapaho and Eastern Shoshone tribes, is piloting a program in schools to provide proactive care for eligible students.

Northern Wyoming Community College District

The Sheridan College Agri-Park will once again be open after budget cuts caused the indoor rodeo arena to temporarily close.

The college will now work with the Sheridan WYO Rodeo Board to make it available for rent to community members and manage the facility.

Fred Drews

As the director of education and programs at the Meeteetse Museums, Amy Phillips said part of her job is to document history, adding 2020 was a historic year.

Wyoming2030

This month, a series of virtual events aims to talk about Wyoming's future through the lens of children and family in the state.

The Wyoming Afterschool Alliance and Wyoming Community Foundation are partnering up for the initiative called Wyoming 2030. It aims to broaden the public education discussion by hosting a series of virtual events every Tuesday of January.

languageexchangejh.org

The Language Exchange JH program connects two people who want to learn each other's language. So, for example, a native English speaker with a native Spanish speaker. In the past they would meet once a week at the library for an hour speaking each language for 30 minutes.

Bob Beck / Natrona County High School

Bright Futures, a Cody local non profit, focuses on mentoring for youth. This year, the organization decided to focus on helping young women with healthy dating relationships. 

Director Diane Ballard said the organization focuses on milestones in young people's lives. The new program, Empower, focuses on teenagers beginning to date, which is a huge step into the unknown. 

Olivia Weitz


Every year, fifth grade elementary school students from Teton County and students from across the nation spend an entire weekend at Teton Science Schools' Kelly Campus in Grand Teton National Park where they bond with their classmates and learn about wildlife. But, due to the pandemic, overnight programs for local and out of state students were canceled.

In fact, an estimated 30 percent of outdoor education organizations nationwide will be forced to shut their doors by the end of the year. That's according to a survey funded by the National Science Foundation. Teton Science Schools is staying open, but it's required some big changes, especially for its field education branch.

Sam Beebe via CC BY 2.0

Washakie County School District #1 in Worland is having a substitute shortage. But that's nothing new.

"It's always an issue. Most of the time we do pretty well, this year, the problems have been exacerbated primarily because we're having more staff out for longer periods of time due to quarantines," said Jack Stott, the district's business manager.

University of Wyoming

The University of Wyoming plans to start the spring semester classes on January 21. In-person instruction will begin on January 25, with plans to move completely to online classes after a short spring break in April.

Sue Reynolds

Since August of 2019, there has been a 200 percent increase in teachers, administrators, and the public utilizing a free web service called Everyday Native. It's an online resource that aims to provide educational material.

University of Wyoming

The University of Wyoming has recently opened its Center for Blockchain and Digital Innovation. Only a handful of universities in the country have this kind of center, and UW hopes this will help to diversify the state's economy. Wyoming Public Radio's Kamila Kudelska spoke with the new center's director Steven Lupien to discuss what unique resources the center will offer. First, Lupien explained what a blockchain is.

Patricia Radar

November is Native American Heritage month and the University of Wyoming's Native American Education, Resource, and Cultural Center recently held a virtual speaker series that attracted about 100 students, faculty, and community members.

pxfuel.com, Public Domain

The state legislature's Joint Education Committee has moved forward with a bill that would require school districts to provide suicide prevention training to students.

Gillete College

The Wyoming Community College Commission (WCCC) has approved Campbell County's application to form a new community college district in a unanimous vote on Friday, November 20.

Gillette College is currently a part of the Northern Wyoming Community College District (NWCCD), which is governed in Sheridan County due to the taxing structure. The formation of a new district in Campbell County would give residents more power over decisions at the college by allowing residents to vote for its own board of trustees.

Goshen County School District

Wyoming's COVID-19 surge is having an overwhelming effect on state and local contact tracers. Public health officials might not be able to reach everyone that may have been exposed. That could have a major effect on K-12 schools around the state, since it's up to the county and district how they handle it. Wyoming Public Radio's Catherine Wheeler spoke with Goshen County School District Superintendent Ryan Kramer about how the district has begun contact tracing all of its cases.

University of Wyoming

The University of Wyoming will move forward with its plan to cut 10 percent from its budget.

The UW Board of Trustees approved the administration's $42.3 million budget reduction plan. This comes after Gov. Mark Gordon requested state agencies take a 10 percent cut from state funding due to a drop in revenue.

Array School of Design and Technology

High school students across Wyoming now have free access to a self-paced computer programming course offered through the Array School of Design and Technology in Cheyenne. It's all thanks to a $3,000 grant by the Cheyenne Rotary Club.

uwyo.edu

Over the past three years, the Wyoming legislature has passed laws to create a regulatory environment for blockchain application growth. Now, the new University of Wyoming Center for Blockchain and Digital Innovation hopes to help keep this new industry in the state.

University of Wyoming

Officials at the University of Wyoming have announced their draft proposal in response to a $42 million budget cut. It includes potential impacts to seven different colleges on campus, athletics, and positions, most of which are currently unfilled. Wyoming Public Radio's Catherine Wheeler spoke with UW interim Provost Anne Alexander. First, Alexander laid out what's included in the draft plan.

Northwest College

Northwest College President Stefani Hicswa will be leaving her position to become the new chancellor of Montana State University, Billings. Hicswa was president of the community college in Powell for seven years. Wyoming Public Radio's Kamila Kudelska spoke with her about her biggest accomplishments as president.

University of Wyoming

Due to Wyoming's economic downturn, Gov. Mark Gordon asked state agencies and departments to make 10 percent budget cuts.

Dr. Fredrick Douglass Dixon

A new Black Studies Center has opened this fall at the University of Wyoming. The center aims on advancing the accurate histories of Black people and history in the state.

Catherine Wheeler

The Wyoming Community College Commission (WCCC) held two public hearings on the potential separation of a district.

The Campbell County Board of Commissioners applied to create a new community college district. The proposed district would be centered around Gillette College, which currently belongs to the Northern Wyoming Community College District. Because the district is based in Sheridan where the mills are levied, Sheridan County makes up the representation on the district's Board of Trustees.

A recent report card on climate change education in public middle and high schools across the U.S. ranked Wyoming at the top of the class with a solid A. The rest of the Mountain West was mixed.

Alexis Barney/Natrona County School District

Alexis Barney teaches fourth and fifth grade at Evansville Elementary School in Casper. And this year, the Wyoming Department of Education has announced Barney is the state's 2021 teacher of the year. Barney said she's humbled to receive the award and views it as a privilege to represent the state's teachers. Wyoming Public Radio's Catherine Wheeler spoke with Barney about how she has been focusing on her students' mental health, especially since the pandemic.

Domen Novak

A University of Wyoming team is exploring how robots can help with physical therapy.

A few years ago, Arnold Levinson and his colleagues found themselves in what he calls an ethical “pickle.”

They’d been compiling reports to distribute to Colorado schools that had participated in a state-wide anonymous survey, where students would answer questions about their drug use, food access and suicidal ideation, among other topics. The researchers had made a practice of sharing a school’s results as a courtesy for participating in the survey, but they didn’t tell them how they stacked up relative to the norm. Until 2013, when an analyst spotted something.

Wyoming Department of Education

The Wyoming Department of Education (WDE) has announced it will be receiving a federal grant to improve literacy across the state.

The Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy grant from the U.S. Department of Education will provide $8.6 million in the first year. And if the state remains eligible, it could provide more than $43.5 million in funding over the next five years.

Catherine Wheeler

High school wrestling and basketball have gotten approval to start on time this year.

The Wyoming Department of Health has approved plans for athletes to start practice November 23.

The Wyoming High School Activities Association (WHSAA) says it will be using similar precautions used during fall sports, like keeping players in pods during practices and health screenings.

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