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.

Wyoming Department of Education

Top state officials are requiring Wyoming schools stay closed through April 17. State Superintendent Jillian Balow and the Wyoming Department of Education have been working with districts across the state to help figure how schools will work for all students if closures persist.

Wyoming Public Radio's Catherine Wheeler spoke with Balow first about how statewide exams have been canceled for this year.

Samira Caamano

On Friday, Governor Mark Gordon and Superintendent of Public Instruction Jillian Balow extended a recommendation for all Wyoming schools to shut down until at least April 17 in hopes of slowing the spread of coronavirus. Some schools have been on Spring Break and the closures just felt like an extra-long vacation…at first.

But lots of parents were left wondering whether they were now responsible to homeschool.

Northern Wyoming Community College District

The Northern Wyoming Community College District has announced it will postpone spring commencement ceremonies as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a letter sent to students, faculty and staff, District President Walter Tribley said students will still graduate and receive diplomas this spring, and that they hope to reschedule commencement for December.

As the COVID-19 pandemic ramps up, there's concern that health care workers and other essential personnel will have trouble finding reliable childcare. So, the Wyoming Department of Family Services spent last weekend creating a map of all the childcare centers that are still up and running.

Ling Li

Ling Li was on vacation with her family for winter break, in the province of Hainan, China, when the country confirmed its initial cases of coronavirus.

WTBC

The pitch day for the Microbial Ecology Collaborative Startup Launchpad (MECSL) has been moved to an online space as a response to the University of Wyoming (UW) canceling all campus events due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

University of Wyoming

The University of Wyoming will teach classes online for the rest of the semester. The decision announced in a meeting of the UW Board of Trustees Monday morning is in response to the COVID-19 outbreak and the attempt to keep the campus community safe.

uwyo.edu

University of Wyoming students who find themselves on hard times in the coming weeks might have money available to them through the student government.

CCO Public Domain

School districts across Wyoming have announced they are closing until April in compliance with Gov. Mark Gordon's recommendation.

Gordon and State Superintendent Jillian Below announced Sunday evening that schools should stay closed until at least April 3, and students should practice social distancing to prevent further spread of the coronavirus.

Bob Beck

The Wyoming Legislature wrapped up its work this week with concerns about the future. A downturn in oil prices and worries about a drop in investment income has lawmakers thinking that they may need to make some difficult decisions in the not-too-distant future.

VCU Capital News Service / Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC 2.0)

The Campbell County School District's Board of Trustees approved the new policy that looks to prepare staff in the event of an opioid overdose.

The Campbell County School District will now allow staff like school nurses, coaches, and secretaries to be trained to recognize the signs of an overdose and properly administer naloxone, or Narcan, which is a nasal spray that can rapidly reverse an opioid overdose.

Campbell County School District

The Campbell County School District Board of Trustees approved an agreement with the city of Gillette aimed at making schools in the city safer.

District administrators have been working for months on getting more school resource officers, or SROs, in the district's junior high and high schools in Gillette city limits.

public domain

In an announcement made Thursday afternoon, Acting University of Wyoming President Neil Theobald said spring break would be extended to two weeks, with students returning on March 30. And while the university is holding off on moving classes completely online, the extended break is meant to give faculty time to prepare for distance learning in case it becomes necessary.

Ted Brummond, University of Wyoming Photo Service

Two major actions ​regarding sports ​activities across Wyoming came on Thursday because of concerns over COVID-19. 

Associated Press

The State Senate has passed a bill that sets up a process for legislators to review the school funding model and take a close look at education requirements.

Wyoming State Senator Affie Ellis.
LINDSAY LINTON BUK

Cheyenne Senator Affie Ellis successfully added an amendment to include more non-politicians in discussions over how Wyoming spends its education money.

University of Illinois Urbana

The University of Wyoming's Board of Trustees unanimously appointed Edward Seidel as the university's next president.

Bob Beck

The Wyoming Legislature will be undertaking what is called a recalibration of its school funding system. It's a process where lawmakers look at what they require of educators and the state is paying enough for education. But for the first time since it was developed, the committee will study what is in Wyoming's basket of goods. Those are the skills and content areas students are required to learn, such as math and science.

Tennessee Watson

Wyoming lawmakers are still looking for ways to pay for education funding. A variety of tax proposals have been rejected and the long term forecast shows a major deficit in funds used for education.

Old Main by thecoldmidwest is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The University of Wyoming's Board of Trustees released the names of the three finalists for the president position. It includes Gregory W. Bowman, dean of West Virginia University College of Law; Edward Seidel, vice president for economic development and innovation for the University of Illinois System; and Daniel M. White, chancellor of the University of Alaska-Fairbanks.

A new degree program in Colorado aims to train business leaders for the fast-growing outdoor recreation industry in the Mountain West.

The Council of State Governments Justice Center

A new report from the Council of State Governments Justice Center says Wyoming has some improvements to make in fostering access to post-secondary education for people who are currently and formerly incarcerated. The national criminal justice non-profit has previously worked with the state on ways to lower Wyoming's prison population.

Campbell County School District

Under Wyoming law, any person can go to a pharmacy and ask for a prescription of naloxone, which is a medication that temporarily reverses an opioid overdose.

Now, the Campbell County School District's Board is considering instituting a policy that would allow trained staff to carry and administer it on school grounds. 

Starting this fall, a state university in Colorado will offer a bachelor's degree in the science of the cannabis plant, among the first programs of its kind in the nation.

whytoread.com

During his State of the State message, Gov. Mark Gordon indicated that there is a need to reduce education spending.

Kamila Kudelska

Vocational classes that teach high school students trade skills are common in our state. One school is taking its vocational skills to the next level. Lovell High School is now in the tiny house business.

Campbell County School District

The Campbell County School Board will be hosting public listening sessions on a proposed policy that would allow staff to carry guns in schools.

PHOTO CREDIT NORTHWEST COLLEGE VIA FACEBOOK

Powell High School and Northwest College are partnering to offer vocational classes to high school students who are not planning to go to college.

Campbell County School District

The Campbell County School District administrators updated school board members on the potential armed educators policy at its Tuesday meeting.

Dennis Jacobs / Gillette College

The Northern Wyoming Community College District has announced a new certificate program that targets working adults.

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