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.

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.

Tennessee Watson

A new state grant seeks to start up makerspaces across the state and a University of Wyoming program is spearheading the effort.

Tennessee Watson

How do you think K-12 schools are doing AFTER returning to in-person classes?

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Catherine Wheeler

In Cody, Park County School District Number 6 Superintendent Peggy Monteith said with all the uncertainty going on in the world, she was just happy to see kids climb onto a school bus on the first day of school?

"I stopped behind the bus with their red lights on and watched these little, little guys get on the bus with their masks. And I was an emotional mess by the time I got to the school because I was so happy to see them back on buses, but also so sad that they had to get on buses in masks," Monteith said. "What a world! It's turned upside down."

University of Wyoming


University of Wyoming officials had high hopes for phasing students back into the classroom, but those hopes were dashed when large numbers of positive COVID-19 tests started coming in.

As of Thursday, September 10, the university had 66 active cases. And 63 of those were students, 50 of whom live off-campus.

NASA

A University of Wyoming team has received a $5 million grant to research the Earth's critical zone.

University of Wyoming Western Thunder Marching Band / Facebook


This time of year usually means the start of college football. Not this year. Without game days and big crowds of tailgaters, college towns across the Mountain West and beyond look different - and sound a lot different, too.

As many schools across our region are turning to distance learning to prevent further spread of the novel coronavirus, districts are concerned about how to enforce attendance for remote students.

NASA/AP

A team of University of Wyoming astronomy students have compiled the largest ever catalog of quasars. Wyoming Public Radio's Ashley Piccone spoke with graduate student Brad Lyke about what a quasar is and why they are important.

Regional Educational Laboratory Central

Though most school districts throughout Wyoming have reopened their doors to students in-person, the option to attend class online is widely available - and may even become necessary should the state see significant spikes in cases of COVID-19 due to attending schools. 

A recent study by the Regional Educational Laboratory at Marzano indicates that this switch may be more difficult for some students than others.

European Southern Observatory/M. Kornmesser

A team of astronomy students at the University of Wyoming have compiled the largest ever catalog of quasars.

Catherine Wheeler

The Wyoming Community College Commission (WCCC) officially received a completed application to start a new community college district in Campbell County. That receipt kicks off a 90-day timeline in which the commission must review the application and approve or deny it.

University of Wyoming

After five more University of Wyoming students tested positive for COVID-19, the University has paused its fall return plan.  

University of Wyoming

A University of Wyoming life science team has received a $6 million National Science Foundation grant.

For days now, wildfire smoke has degraded the air quality in much of the Mountain West, and that unhealthy air is forcing tough decisions for schools that are trying to reopen.

 


Eda Uzunlar

Faced with more than a $1 billion budget deficit Gov. Mark Gordon announced on Wednesday his plan for a 10 percent cut to various state agencies, boards and commissions. With the Wyoming Department of Family Services included in these reductions, the juvenile justice system in Wyoming will have to adapt.

Wyoming Virtual Academy

The Wyoming Virtual Academy (WYVA) offers free, public education to K-12 students in the state seeking an alternative to in-person classrooms. And with the pandemic still surging across the country, many Wyoming families are taking advantage.

Tennessee Watson

Across Wyoming, students are returning to schools armed with masks, hand sanitizer, and the knowledge that their next day in class might be taught from a screen. In most districts teachers, staff and administration are determined to provide their students' education face-to-face.

University of Wyoming

The University of Wyoming will conduct upwards of 25,000 COVID-19 tests per week when all students return to campus September 28.

Creative Commons CC0

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act promises all students, regardless of ability, the same opportunity for a good education. That promise stands in full, even during a pandemic.

Catherine Wheeler

On a bright and warm morning, Campbell County High School's football players are slowly shuffling out of the locker room and out to the practice field. The players have already had a conditioning workout earlier and a coaches' talk. Now they are waiting for the second practice to start.

University of Wyoming

The University of Wyoming has changed its plans and will begin the fall semester on August 24 and will only have limited in-person classes beginning September 7.

Creative Commons CC0

Wyoming Department of Education's State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jillian Balow said as of Wednesday, August 12, more than half of the state's 48 school districts have had their returning to school plans approved.

Catherine Wheeler

Leaders from Campbell County have formed a taskforce to work on the formation of a new community college district that would just include Gillette College.

The taskforce was created after disagreements about the budget cuts made by the Northern Wyoming Community College District. The district is currently made up of Sheridan College, Gillette College and Sheridan College in Johnson County.

Enoch Leung / flickr CC BY-SA 2.0


There's a lot to consider with schools reopening this fall. That's especially true for teachers and other staff members. Take Ken Hilton—he's a middle school counselor in Laramie, Wyoming. He also has a daughter going into the seventh grade. He says he's not sure what the best approach is. This piece was produced by the Mountain West News Bureau's Maggie Mullen and was made possible with the support of America Amplified.

Arapahoe School District

 

Hundreds of students on the Wind River Reservation will begin the school year online. This week the Fort Washakie, Wyoming Indian and Arapahoe districts, as well as St. Stephen's Indian School, became the first in the state to officially opt for virtual instruction.

Yale School of Public Health researchers created a simulation: a hypothetical campus of 5,000 students where 10 are asymptomatic carriers of COVID-19. They found the safest way to reopen a campus like that was to enforce strict guidelines like distancing and mask-wearing. But that wasn't enough.


University of Wyoming


When University of Wyoming President Ed Seidel was hired this spring, he had lots of ideas. Then COVID-19 hit and his priorities shifted. Despite budget cuts, he's still excited about the future of UW and how it will impact the state. He spoke with Wyoming Public Radio's Bob Beck.

Casper College's Facebook


Wyoming has seven community colleges - and each one is preparing for the fall in its own way.

Several state agencies are working together to ensure kids are safe when they return to schools.

The Wyoming Department of Health (WDH), the Wyoming Department of Education and Wyoming Office of Homeland Security are helping distribute 500,000 face coverings between school districts for when students return in the fall. The coverings were paid for by a donation from clothing company Hanes and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

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