A Week of Celebrations!

Dear Superintendents,

What a week of Wyoming education celebrations!  First, we saw an uptick in the number of schools meeting or exceeding school performance expectations. On Monday, the WDE released performance ratings.  This year, Wyoming opted to NOT calculate AYP (since it is not part of ESSA) and so we are able to solely focus on School Performance Ratings (SPRs).  As a result of ESSA and Wyoming’s pragmatic approach to accountability, there will be several statutory and policy changes to the accountability model and we will do our best to proactively inform and involve you before and during the legislative session.

On Wednesday, former Cheyenne Central High School Principal, Matt Strannigan, and many others celebrated as Matt received the “Making Democracy Work” award from the Wyoming League of Women Voters.  The award is not exclusively for educators and the afternoon was a genuine tribute to great teaching, leadership, and civic education.  Matt has grown the “We The People” program from the ground up over the last two decades.  He is among elite Wyoming citizens to have received this award including former Chief Justice Marilyn Kite.  The ceremony took place in the Wyoming Supreme Court.

Matt Stranigan (seated) listens to retired teacher and WTP coordinator Dick Keane at the Wyoming Supreme Court
Matt Stranigan (seated) listens to retired teacher and WTP coordinator Dick Keane at the Wyoming Supreme Court

WYOMING EXCELS AND THE UW COLLEGE OF BUSINESS

Education leaders and advocates serve on the founding steering committee for Wyoming Excels.This week the committee met to work on a mission and vision at the UW College of Business. The Wyoming Excels initiative aims to place business and industry in a closer partnership with education.

Speaking of the UW College of Business, have you visited lately?  Now that classes have resumed, the atrium is full of aspiring business men and women and the energy is high!  Dean Putrevu and the newly appointed Bill Daniels UW Chair of Business Ethics, Kent Noble, are traveling to communities this fall to promote the College.  They are interested in visiting with schools and students.  A memo with the visit schedule will be distributed in the coming weeks.

The committee stands together in a conference room.
Wyoming Excels Steering Committee
The view looking down into the UW College of Business atrium, with an electronic scrolling sign that displays US Stock Market prices.
UW College of Business atrium with US Stock Market “ticker”

UPCOMING MEETINGS

There are a number of upcoming statewide meetings.  I look forward to attending the WASA meeting among others.  Next week, the Management Audit Committee meets to discuss the recommendations from a program audit of IDEA part B and part C, otherwise known as developmental preschool.  Generally, we agree with the recommendations that aim to maximize efficiency and effectiveness.  Here is a link to the agenda. I, along with other WDE staff, will testify.

Thanks for the continued hospitality in your schools as I make my way across the state!

State Superintendent Jillian Balow stands with Teton County Superintendent Gillian Chapman outside the Teton Count School District administrative offices
Superintendent Gillian Chapman at TCSD admin offices

Memo to be released on Monday, September 12, 2016

Jillian