Transportation, Career Readiness, and ESSA

Dear Superintendents,

It was wonderful to cheer for teachers who won the Arch Coal Teaching Award this week.  WDE attended the “surprise assemblies” for honorees at schools across the state and the fun continues next week as we celebrate all ten.  During Teacher Appreciation Week, I hope you found time to join festivities in your district.

Sharon Duffey, music teacher in Pine Bluffs is honored by Arch Coal and WDE
Sharon Duffey, music teacher in Pine Bluffs is honored by Arch Coal and WDE
The sign at Cheyenne East High School congratulates Joe Allen on his Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Award.
Joe Allen, FFA teacher, was also awarded by Arch Coal

Transportation and Budget

The Wyoming High School Activities Association (WHSAA) will host a statewide summit on June 6 to discuss the issues of travel and lost school time for member schools. The ultimate goal will be to develop strategies to assist in maintaining the 100% travel reimbursement.  If you did not receive a memo earlier this week and need information, contact Ron Laird at rlaird@whsaa.org.

Career Readiness Initiative

A small team attended a career readiness convening with thirty-one other states this week.  Thank you to Superintendent Yennie for attending on behalf of K-12.  As you’ll recall, the Wyoming Career Readiness Council (WCRC) consists of stakeholders from K-12, higher education, workforce services, and the employer community.  In 2015, the council developed Wyoming’s career readiness pathway that includes increased career pathways for students based on labor market data, targeted discussions with business and higher ed, and the establishment of career readiness in Wyoming’s accountability system.  We are now ready to take an inventory of available data, conduct a needs assessment/skills gap analysis, and consider accountability.  The Council will meet June 20-21 in Cheyenne and district superintendents are invited to attend and provide your input and ideas. Information and an invitation is forthcoming.

ESSA Update

Curriculum directors invited me to present on ESSA at their convening in Casper this week.  In addition to the update, I shared several resources that can be used in presentations to leaders, teachers, and the community.  Another resource from CCSSO can be found here.  This summer WDE will host topic-based virtual town hall meetings to solicit input on various components of ESSA.  Please consider attending one or more meetings.

Assessment

Communication went to schools from ETS, our PAWS vendor, early this week regarding missing PAWS test booklets. WDE had no prior knowledge of the correspondence which was vague and possibly inaccurate. We continue to investigate and have sent several updates to building principals and test coordinators throughout the week.  Thank you for your patience and I apologize for the distraction.

Also, Wyoming ended its affiliation with the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC). A link to the media release and letter can be found here.

Memos to be released Monday, May 9:

Jillian