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.

State Budget Cuts Hit Juvenile Justice System

Aug 28, 2020
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.

Wyoming Schools Welcome Students Back

Aug 25, 2020
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.

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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.

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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.

Reservation Districts Opt For Virtual Instruction

Aug 6, 2020
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.

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