education

Gonzalo Guzman

Felix Mercado was born in Worland in 1940. His parents, originally from Mexico, had traveled around the United States, eventually settling in Worland as sugar beet farmers where he and his older brothers grew up.

Bob Beck

The Wyoming House Education Committee has come up with a brand new bill to address the school funding shortfall. The committee set aside House Bill 61 that they had been working on in favor of a new bill, House Bill 173 that now would reduce education funding by $31 million.

Wyoming PBS/Screenshot

Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon said the state of the state is good, despite a difficult financial year thanks to COVID-19. During his annual address, Gordon said the damage of the virus will last a long time.

Bob Beck

A Wyoming legislative committee continues to work on a bill that would reduce spending on K-12 education.

The House education committee continues to reduce the proposed cut of $100 million. After several amendments, the proposed cut is down to roughly $22 million.

Bob Beck


For the last several years the Wyoming Senate, in particular, has been promising to make major cuts to education funding. While there have been reductions, K-12 education has not faced the types of cuts the Department of Health, the University of Wyoming, or other areas of state government has endured. This year there seems to be momentum to make education cuts, but the current proposal may not be constitutional.

MR. Pockets, via Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license

In 2020, Governor Mark Gordon asked school districts across Wyoming to start considering what a 10 percent funding cut would look like. And even more recently lawmakers are suggesting cuts around 6.5 percent.

It's a Wednesday evening in December. Five o'clock means the end of my work day, and the start of Wampanoag language class.

"Wunee wunôq," my language teacher, Tracy Kelly, greets me as I join the Zoom call from my kitchen table in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Scott Stults

The Sheridan County School District #2 Board of Trustees announced on Monday, Feb. 1, that current Assistant Superintendent Scott Stults will take over for retiring, longtime superintendent Craig Dougherty on July 1.

Catherine Wheeler

Despite the pandemic, Wyoming graduation rates rose again last year. State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jillian Balow said the statewide graduation rate was at 82.3 percent. It's the seventh straight year there was an increase.

Erika Yarber

Wind River Cares, a community-based health organization that serves the Northern Arapaho and Eastern Shoshone tribes, is piloting a program in schools to provide proactive care for eligible students.

Wyoming2030

This month, a series of virtual events aims to talk about Wyoming's future through the lens of children and family in the state.

The Wyoming Afterschool Alliance and Wyoming Community Foundation are partnering up for the initiative called Wyoming 2030. It aims to broaden the public education discussion by hosting a series of virtual events every Tuesday of January.

Olivia Weitz


Every year, fifth grade elementary school students from Teton County and students from across the nation spend an entire weekend at Teton Science Schools' Kelly Campus in Grand Teton National Park where they bond with their classmates and learn about wildlife. But, due to the pandemic, overnight programs for local and out of state students were canceled.

In fact, an estimated 30 percent of outdoor education organizations nationwide will be forced to shut their doors by the end of the year. That's according to a survey funded by the National Science Foundation. Teton Science Schools is staying open, but it's required some big changes, especially for its field education branch.

Sam Beebe via CC BY 2.0

Washakie County School District #1 in Worland is having a substitute shortage. But that's nothing new.

"It's always an issue. Most of the time we do pretty well, this year, the problems have been exacerbated primarily because we're having more staff out for longer periods of time due to quarantines," said Jack Stott, the district's business manager.

Sue Reynolds

Since August of 2019, there has been a 200 percent increase in teachers, administrators, and the public utilizing a free web service called Everyday Native. It's an online resource that aims to provide educational material.

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.

Kids Ask WhY

A brand new podcast, Kids Ask WhY, will be available showcasing issues Wyoming kids are interested in. The podcast, which debuts on Tuesday, October 6, was developed by the Buffalo Bill Center of the West and Wyoming Public Media. Bob Beck sat down with the producer Kamila Kudelska.

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."

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.

 


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 has changed its plans and will begin the fall semester on August 24 and will only have limited in-person classes beginning September 7.

Creative Commons CC0

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.

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.


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?

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. 

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.

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