Wyoming Department of Education

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.

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.

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.

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.

Savannah Maher

Social studies teachers from 27 Wyoming school districts gathered in Riverton this week for a two-day professional development workshop. Many used the time to learn about Wyoming's new Indian Education For All standards, which were approved by then-Governor Matt Mead in 2017.

Catherine Wheeler

Wednesday mornings at the Food Group in Sheridan are usually busy.


On a tour of the Juvenile Services Center in Cheyenne, Sgt. Jay Stewart explains that juvenile offenders stay here for an average of 49 days. But whether they're here for a week or a year, kids are required to go to school. 

Wyoming hopes to make computer science education available across the state by 2022, and a new federal grant of about a half million dollars is slated to help.

Wyoming Department of Education

Dane Weaver of Ten Sleep has been awarded Wyoming's 2020 teacher of the year. Weaver has been teaching social studies in Ten Sleep to seventh through 12th graders for the past three years. He said social studies is all about building critical thinking skills.

United States Department of Education

Two Wyoming elementary schools have received national recognition for their high performance.

Wyoming Afterschool Alliance

The Wyoming Afterschool Alliance has named Sheridan resident Michelle Sullivan as its new director.

Each fall the Wyoming Department of Education releases school performance ratings. Those ratings help school boards and the general public assess how well schools are serving students' needs.

Wyoming Department of Education

Most states have at least one policy related to computer science education, but Wyoming is one of just six states with a plan for how to bring computer science into every Wyoming classroom in the state, according to Code.org.

Collage by Tennessee Watson

Summer break can cause students to lose some of what they have worked hard to learn during the school year. Jillian Balow, Wyoming's Superintendent of Public Instruction, said there are ways to prevent what's called summer slide. 

U.S. Department of Agriculture

Wyoming First Lady Jennie Gordon is touring the state with a focus on combating childhood hunger.

Wyoming Department of Education

Wyoming is one step closer to teaching computer science in K-12 schools across the state by 2022. A mandate to do so was passed by the state legislature in 2018.

Wyoming Department of Education

The Wyoming Department of Education is hosting listening sessions as it develops a new plan for the state's career and technical education (CTE) programs.

Wyoming Department of Education

Wyoming's high school graduation rates are on the rise for the fifth straight year. That's according to the most recent graduation data released by the Wyoming Department of Education, or WDE.

Milken Family Foundation

A Jackson second grade teacher won the Milken Educator Award. It's the second year in a row that a Wyoming teacher has received one of the 40 national awards, which comes with an unrestricted cash prize of $25,000.

Kari Eakins

The Wyoming Department of Education is starting off 2019 with a new chief policy officer. But Kari Eakins is no stranger to K-12 education in the state. Before stepping into her new role, Eakins served as the WDE's communications director for close to four years.

Wyoming Department of Education

When we think about whether our public schools are performing well, there's a tendency to get hung up on test scores. But a new tool will help educators, parents and communities to take a more nuanced look at education.

Council of Chief State School Officers

Only 23 percent of 8th graders in the United States are proficient in social studies. That's according to the National Assessment for Education Progress — or NAEP. Wyoming Superintendent of Public Instruction Jillian Balow said she has heard from Wyoming citizens and educators who are concerned about how well prepared students are to be civically engaged as adults.

Wyoming Department of Education

 

While Wyoming's overall population saw a slight decline this year, the number of students enrolled in the state's K-12 schools saw a slight increase. An additional 53 students brought statewide fall enrollment to 93,029.

Wyoming State Legislature

The Wyoming Legislature is moving forward on policy that would require all schools to engage in training and create safety plans in the event of a violent intruder. The bill crafted by Cheyenne Senator Affie Ellis was approved by the legislature's joint education committee nine to four.

Wyoming Department of Education

The transition from the No Child Left Behind Act to the Every Students Succeeds Act (ESSA) has been a multi-year affair, and Wyoming is nearing the completion of the process.

Wyoming Department of Education

Earlier this month, the Wyoming Department of Education (WDE) released its most recent set of school performance reports. Just over half of Wyoming's schools are meeting and exceeding expectations. But close to a quarter are only partially meeting expectations and the other quarter are not at all. The WDE says determining who's on target and who's behind is a tool to help schools.

Wyoming Department of Education

For the first time the Wyoming Department of Education, Wyoming's community colleges and the University of Wyoming are teaming up to share data that will reveal what helps and hinders students on their journey through the state's education system.

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