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.

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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.

University of Wyoming

The University of Wyoming board of trustees passed a motion to ask Gov. Mark Gordon for $79 million in federal CARES Act funding to help pay for testing, upgrades, and technology to make the UW campus safe for the coming school year.

Northern Wyoming Community College District

The Northern Wyoming Community College District will receive some federal dollars to go towards expanding its health sciences program.

The district is set to receive $1.5 million from the federal Economic Development Administration. The money will go towards the remodel and expansion of the district's Health Sciences Center at Sheridan College, which helps to train students like nurses and dental hygienists.

Catherine Wheeler

The coronavirus pandemic has upended everyone's lives. But as Wyoming Public Radio's Catherine Wheeler found out, for high school seniors across the state it's been especially impactful. She collected their voices and brings us this collage.

Three-quarters of U.S. states have now officially closed their schools for the rest of the academic year. While remote learning continues, summer is a question mark, and attention is already starting to turn to next fall.

Recently, governors including California's Gavin Newsom and New York's Andrew Cuomo have started to talk about what school reopening might look like. And a federal government plan for reopening, according to The Washington Post, says that getting kids back in classrooms or other group care is the first priority for getting back to normal.

Idaho State University has accepted more students for next year than it did for this year, but that doesn't mean it'll have more students enrolling.


Maggie Mullen


It's the Monday after spring break, a day when students and professors would usually be returning to campus. But that traditional springtime bustle is nowhere to be seen here at the University of Wyoming in Laramie.

Sheridan College

A local education foundation, Whitney Benefits, has donated a 3D printer along with supplies to Sheridan College.

Its donation will help the college to make personal protective equipment, or (PPE) in response to an increase in demand after one of the college's printers broke. The gift totals approximately $28,000.

sheridanwyoming.com

This story is part of a two-part series on how schools across the state are handling the switch to adapted learning.

When Superintendent Craig Dougherty first heard Gov. Mark Gordon's orders extending closures of public places through the end of April, he knew the district would have to switch to virtual learning.

Arapahoe School District

This story is part of a two-part series on how schools across the state are handling the switch to adapted learning.

This week, all 48 Wyoming school districts launched their adapted learning plans. For some, that means leaning more heavily on online tools that had already been incorporated into the curriculum. But other districts, including many on the Wind River Reservation, are starting from scratch.

University of Wyoming's Pokes Make The Difference Campaign page

University of Wyoming students facing financial hardship due to impacts from the coronavirus can now apply for aid through an emergency fund. The Pokes Make a Difference campaign is collecting donations from the public in order to help students with housing, food, and technology access.

Wyoming High School Activities Association

The Wyoming High School Activities Association (WHSAA) announced it is canceling spring sports this year.

The 3A/4A high school state basketball tournaments were canceled back in March. Now, WHSAA is furthering cancelations, which will affect outdoor track and field, soccer, golf and tennis.

David Maulik

At the start of the week, Tyler Kerr was one of the few people in the office at the University of Wyoming's Student Innovation Center. He and his team had a busy weekend 3D printing 115 face masks for Wyoming.

Old Main, University of Wyoming. Photo: Wikimedia Commons [CC BY-SA 3.0]

If you've spent time on a college campus lately, you may have encountered a land acknowledgment - recognition of the tribes whose ancestral land the institution is built on. But land-grant universities, originally created to educate America's working class, also owe their founding to the seizure and sale of Indigenous land. The 1862 Morrill Act granted over 17 million acres for states to sell and raise endowment principal for the institutions.

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

Joining many other Universities across the country, the University of Wyoming (UW) is allowing students to apply to change how they will be graded in any class.

WTBC

Three science-based businesses participated in the first ever Microbial Ecology Collaborative Startup Launchpad (MECSL) on March 26. The competition is held by the Wyoming Technology Business Center (WTBC) at the University of Wyoming (UW).

In response to the COVID-19 closures, the pitch day was held in a virtual Zoom workspace. 

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.

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