Back to School

Dear Superintendents,

Last week’s update included a link and memo with a back-to-school kit. We have received positive feedback from superintendents, principals, legislators, and others—we are grateful that it’s informative and useful.  Here is a link to the Snapshot.

It was an honor to help open the new school year at Carbon #1 with Superintendent Turcato.  I am looking forward to, once again, visiting you in your communities throughout the school year.

You may notice new WDE staff members included on emails, delivering customer service, and visiting your schools.  What a great team we are building!  Among the new leaders at WDE are Shelley Hamel, the new School Support Division Director (replacing Rob Bryant) and Anne-Marie Williams, the new Individual Learning Division Director (replacing Chief Policy Officer Lisa Weigel).  Yesterday, we welcomed a new staff members with a special breakfast reception and orientation.

Superintendent Balow speaking from a podium on stage at the Rawlins High School auditorium.
Welcoming Carbon #1 Staff back to school
Superintendent Balow visits with employees in a conference room while they all enjoy coffee.
Coffee and donuts with new and seasoned WDE staff

OTHER NEWS

ACT

The national Class of 2016 ACT results were released this week placing Wyoming 11th among 18 states that administer the ACT to all juniors. I’ll reiterate that this is one measure, an important one albeit. I urge school districts to analyze local ACT scores and consider how to adjust practices to better align scores to student success.  Here is a link to an article that appeared in today’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle. 

THE CAPITOL and 2016-17 CLASS VISITS TO CHEYENNE

Yesterday, Wyoming broke ground on construction of the Capitol Square Project.  The Project enters this new phase after months of abatement and demolition. The Project also includes renovation of the Herschler Building.  For the first time in recent history, the office of the State Superintendent will be located in the Capitol along with the other statewide elected officials (Governor, Secretary of State, Auditor, and Treasurer).  The offices of WDE staff will be in a new wing of the Herschler Building.  Completion of the Capitol is slated for early 2019.  In the meantime, please encourage teachers and classes to continue to visit the Capitol City. Here is a brochure and summary of the renovation–teachers may be interested in reviewing it with students before visiting. The State Museum’s display about the Capitol is among many fabulous exhibits.  Also, the Wyoming Supreme Court is completing a major project called the Wyoming Judicial Learning Center (in addition to icivics and You Be the Judge).  The Center is set to open in early 2017 but students get a “sneak peek” when they visit.

Superintendent Balow with Governor Matt Mead, members of the Capitol Building Oversight Group, and Wendy Madsen from the Legislative Services Office all stand in front of the State Capitol with shovels digging into a pile of dirt for the groundbreaking ceremony.
Breaking Ground on Capitol Square Project-Construction Phase
Superintendent Balow smiles while standing near the new display about the Wyoming State Capitol at the State Museum featuring old photographs, maps, a gavel, state seal stamper and other artifacts with descriptions.
State Museum Display about the Wyoming State Capitol

I look forward to seeing many of you at the upcoming WASA meeting!  Have a wonderful weekend.

Memo to be released Monday, August 29:

Jillian