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.

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.

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.

 


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