Challenges and Successes

Dear Superintendents,

First, I want to share a couple of salient articles from this week:

http://trib.com/news/local/education/study-shows-rural-communities-benefit-from-after-school-programs/article_7fac8c46-c44a-5d2b-8fbf-4265b8f47b2f.html

https://www.the74million.org/article/in-the-shadows-of-wyomings-oil-and-coal-heydey-an-education-funding-crisis?utm_campaign=Contact+SNS+For+More+Referrer&utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=snsanalytics

Both touch on some of the greatest challenges and successes we face today. We are seeing unprecedented collaboration in Wyoming education with new, reinvigorated, and targeted partnerships. We are all working to create more opportunities for students to keep Wyoming strong, no matter the funding scenario. Superintendents, school boards, and communities are beginning to have very difficult conversations about how to keep budget cuts as far from the classroom as possible. Thank you for keeping me updated on your community conversations–I really appreciate it.  As always, WDE leadership and staff stand ready to provide support and information whenever you need it.

Visiting with Gillette 5th graders about state government structure
Visiting with Gillette 5th graders about state government structure

Standards

As expected, the State Board of Education voted to seek additional input on the new draft science standards. Simultaneously, members of the Board will continue to independently review the standards.  The WDE will release dates and locations for community meetings soon.  I encourage you to attend with interested staff and community members.  Also, please feel free to reach out to WDE staff with feedback or questions. Continued transparency and feedback about the process and standards remains essential.  Again, the standards can be found at:

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0BxbGtXThMppZY0Y1VE82bVJncjA

The State Board also voted to open up Extended (SPED) English/Language Arts standards to make numerous, non-substantive changes.  The intent is to align K-1 to the higher grades and the regular ELA standards. To reiterate, the scope of work is narrowly focused on K-1 extended standards. For more information, I direct you to the SBE board packet where the specific changes can be found starting on page 71:

http://edu.wyoming.gov/wordpress/downloads/board/2016/3.2016-Meeting-Packet-RS.pdf

Memos to be release Monday, March 21:

Jillian