First, my heartfelt and best wishes to new and seasoned superintendents as you open a new school year. It’s exciting to welcome students, staff, and the community to a new chapter. I’ve been sending out a weekly update for over a year now and the purpose is twofold:
- To provide talking points, resources, information, and share happenings at WDE. (Blue underlined text indicated a “hot” link to a resource.)
- To allow superintendents an opportunity to preview memos before they go to pertinent district staff on Monday morning.
Multiple districts invited suicide prevention speakers and trainers as part of back-to-school preparation. I believe strongly that your efforts will make a difference and that the next step is to bring effective awareness training to students and to communities. Earlier this week I was part of several events that addressed the role of schools, educators, parents, youth, non-profits, churches, parents, and others in the prevention efforts. I maintain that schools alone cannot reduce the suicide rate. Schools are a stable vehicle for prevention efforts but it takes advocacy and work at all levels within a community to make sustainable changes. Last spring I wrote a guest column about suicide prevention that appeared in newspapers across the state.
There are resources for schools and communities to support prevention efforts. Later this month, there is a Suicide Prevention Conference in Casper and it is preceded by a symposium hosted by Governor Mead. Incidentally, the symposium follows the AdvancEd Continuous Improvement Conference and I encourage educators who are attending the CIC to attend the symposium as well.
This week, I also had the opportunity to visit WDE staff member, Jo Otterholt. She is the resource specialist at a unique library located in Casper. Jo maintains resources for individuals who are visually impaired or deaf/hard of hearing. There are a number of resources available for parents, teachers, and others who support individuals with these disabilities. The library has an organized outreach process so the materials are available to anyone across the state.
Memos to be released Tuesday, Sept. 6:
- Memo 2016-101: WDE453 Kindergarten Readiness Data Collection
- Memo 2016-102: Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Grants Issued
- 2016-102-attachment: 2016-17 Grant Recipients
- Memo 2016-103: Eighth Grade Unit of Study Certification Form
- 2016-103-attachment: Certification Form
- Memo 2016-104: Fall Instructional Facilitators Summit
- Memo 2016-105: ACT Preparation Teacher Workshop
- 2016-105-attachment: Workshop Agenda
- Memo 2016-106: Comprehensive School Improvement Plan Update
- Memo 2016-107: September WAPSD Meeting