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.

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.

There’s a high demand for contact tracers across the nation. One university in the Mountain West is in the process of training 85 college students to help fill the gap once classes resume in the fall. 

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

The University of Wyoming is planning to reopen for in-person instruction this fall. But after many years of steady and sometimes increasing enrollment, the institution is expecting a significant drop because of COVID-19.

What protection requirements do Wyoming families want to see implemented if students are welcomed back either full or part time?

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Kristen Landreville

According to a Pew Research Center study, scientist is one of the most trusted professions in the U.S., second only to the military. Trust levels are lower for K-12 principals, religious leaders, the media, and elected officials. So why do we hear so many people question scientific findings?

Eastern Wyoming College

Goshen County has had only a few confirmed coronavirus cases. And the community college there, Eastern Wyoming College, is planning to launch the semester, as usual, at the end of August.

Laramie County Community College

As the fall semester nears and COVID-19 cases continue to rise in the state, Laramie County Community College (LCCC) is planning a largely virtual return to school.

Northwest College

Northwest College in Powell will reopen it's campus for fall semester with some modifications due to COVID-19. Students will be welcomed back with options to take online and in-person classes. 

President Stefani Hicswa said the college is trying to figure out how some more hands-on classes can offer online instruction or social distancing in person. 

Aina Farid Shah

When the University of Wyoming announced that it will resume in-person classes and re-open campus in the fall, international student Aina Farid Shah was worried. "At first I was shocked, because, isn't that unsafe?" she said.

Allan Henderson

The University of Wyoming Board of Trustees has approved a plan to reopen campus this fall, but some classes will still be taught online.

Rachel Watson

Due to the pandemic, the University of Wyoming Science Roadshow has reinvented itself. The Science Roadshow made its name by sending UW graduate and undergraduate students to schools across Wyoming to show science to kids. Following the coronavirus outbreak, the program went virtual.

Topics in the Virtual Roadshow include the night sky, how to brew kombucha and how weed killers work.

The lessons cover a lot of the requirements for science education in Wyoming, and team member Liam Guille said the Virtual Roadshow will help teachers.

Wyoming Department of Education

State agencies and local officials are working together to come up with plans on how to reopen schools this fall after the coronavirus pandemic required them to shut down in the spring.

The Smart Start working group is part of a COVID-19 task force started by Gov. Mark Gordon. It includes representatives from the local school districts, the Wyoming Department of Health (WDH) and the state's education department.

AnukEvo / Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-SA 4.0)

The University of Wyoming and the state's department of education are co-hosting a virtual literacy conference this summer.

At the Embracing Literacy conference, teachers will brush up on the best tools and strategies for teaching kindergarteners through third graders how to read.

Ellen Currano

University of Wyoming's paleobotany professor Ellen Currano contributed to a PBS documentary airing this summer. The documentary, "Prehistoric Road Trip," explores fossils throughout the Great Plains.

Laura Vietti

PBS will air a three-part documentary this summer that explores Wyoming's geology and environment. The documentary, "Prehistoric Road Trip", brings together scientists across the state to investigate Wyoming's rocks and fossils.

Donald W. Boyd and David R. Lageson

This summer, PBS will air a documentary on the geology, ecology and environment of the Great Plains over billions of years. The first episode of the PBS documentary "Prehistoric Road Trip" features Kelli Trujillo, a Laramie County Community College professor and paleontologist.

University of Wyoming

The University of Wyoming has released a flexible plan to reopen this fall that will allow students to choose between in-person and online classes. With this plan, professors will offer in-person classes that follow the restrictions on large gatherings, as well as online versions of the same classes for students who opt to stay at home.

Matt Bryant

The University of Wyoming Physics and Astronomy department will devote three months of telescope time this summer towards studying the atmospheres of planets around other stars. This comes as a follow-up to recent space-based missions specifically designed to find hundreds of planets outside our solar system.

Ryan Shippy/NWCCD

The Northern Wyoming Community College District is offering a new online program that will train high school and middle school teachers how to teach computer science.

In 2018, the state legislature passed a bill requiring schools to offer computer science classes by 2022. That means middle school and high school teachers need to get official endorsement from the state standard's board before they can teach the subject.

Wyoming State Geological Survey

People interested in learning more about the geology of Yellowstone now can turn to an interactive map online.

Buffalo Bill Center of the West

As we focus on suffrage in Wyoming, we are taking this opportunity to preview a new podcast that Wyoming Public Media and the Buffalo Bill Center of the West are in the process of creating. The KidsAskWhy podcast amplifies the voices of kids who want to ask questions. And it turns out Wyoming kids want to know about women's suffrage as well. Wyoming Public Radio's Bob Beck spoke to producer Kamila Kudelska.

Northern Wyoming Community College District

The Northern Wyoming Community College District will be reopening its campuses this fall, but with some changes. Students will be able to utilize both in-person and online courses for the upcoming academic year.

Classes will begin on August 24, which is a week earlier than usual.

Taylar Stagner

Central Wyoming College in Riverton has had an increase in new student applications, but a dip in returning students enrolling in classes. Since March 30, the community college has been teaching classes online to help curb the spread of COVID-19. CWC is worried the stressful semester has taken a toll on returning students.

Google Maps

The University of Wyoming trustees approved a new campus master plan last week, setting a course for the next 20 years.

University of Wyoming

College students are leaving the University of Wyoming into an unknown job market. Normally students would have jobs lined up, but these are not normal times. Jo Chytka is UW's Director of Advising, Career and Exploratory Studies. She joins Wyoming Public Radio's Bob Beck to discuss the situation.

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