1st Virtual Town Hall Meeting

Dear Superintendents,

Good afternoon.  Yesterday we kicked off the ESSA Virtual Town Hall meetings with Standards and Assessments as the topic.  We started with this topic as sort of the “low hanging fruit” because, frankly, not much will change in theses areas for Wyoming as a result of ESSA.

STANDARDS

Over the past year and a half, Wyoming has implemented a new standards review and adoption process (piloted with science) and extended the timeline to “up to nine years.”  These changes have helped to create consistency in school districts, provided additional opportunities for public input, and initiated a more thoughtful standards review and adoption process.

ASSESSMENT

Wyoming is poised to adopt a new statewide assessment for 2018 but not as a result of ESSA. The Wyoming Assessment Task Force made recommendations that move Wyoming toward an aligned assessment system and some of the recommendations translated into legislation during the 2016 session.  Also, through the Request for Proposal (RFP) process, we will focus on securing an assessment that is configurable, aligned to Wyoming standards, allows us to compare our performance to other states, and is reasonably priced.

The next town hall meeting will focus on teacher and leader quality.  It will be held on July 14 at 4:00. To join via teleconference, go to www.uberconference.com/wdeuberconference, dial 888-670-9530 or 307-438-9905, and enter the pin 38533 when prompted.

Please pass along information about the upcoming town hall meetings to principals, curriculum directors, board members, parents and others.  Here is a link to the media release with details.

OTHER UPDATES

Chapter 31 Rules

Many of us across the state have weighed in or worked on Chapter 31 rules (graduation requirements) over the past several years.  This afternoon, the State Board of Education voted to move forward with revised rules.  You may be feeling some deja vu about now, and rightly so.  The State Board voted on March 31 to move forward with Chapter 31 rules also.  Through the promulgation process, however, amendments to the rules were needed to align more closely with legislative intent. Here is a link to the proposed rules that will be open for comment. 

Transgender Bathroom Guidance

Wyoming has entered a lawsuit with nine other states against the federal government over transgender bathroom guidance at school.  The lawsuit was filed in Nebraska and centers around the usurping of local authority and a unilateral redefinition of portions of Title IX. Nearly half of the states (23) have now taken legal action regarding the guidance issued to schools in May.

There are no memos this week.

Jillian