New Chief Policy Officer

Dear Superintendents,

Welcome to our new Chief Policy Officer, Megan Degenfelder, who started on August 1. As a Casper native and policy leader, she is quite familiar with the strengths and challenges in education. She has spent her first days on the job meeting educators from across the state. Here is a link to the related media release: https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/WYDE/bulletins/1b020e4 

For the second year, WDE will honor our Chief Operations Officer and breast cancer survivor, Dianne Bailey, by running as a team at the Wyoming Pink Ribbon Run. Go Team Bailey!

I’ll travel to several schools and districts over the next few weeks to help kick off the new school year. It remains my privilege to see, first hand, the great work that is happening and to welcome back educators and students. Thank you for the invitations!

State Superintendent Jillian Balow, Chief Operations Officer Dianne Bailey, Communications Director Kari Eakins, and former Chief Policy Officer Lisa Weigel are all dressed in pink following last year's Pink Ribbon Run.

Lisa Weigel, Dianne Bailey, Superintendent Balow, and Kari Eakins represent Team Bailey at last year’s Pink Ribbon Run

SCHOOL FINANCE

At its last meeting, the School Finance Recalibration Committee asked that the the WDE  assist in sharing information about the work of the committee. Here is a letter from the chairs encouraging participation in stakeholder meetings. 

The Every Student Succeeds Act–ESSA

I intend to sign Wyoming’s stakeholder-driven ESSA plan on August 17. We can all be very proud of the framework that this plan sets forth for education in our state. We successfully built on many of our strengths and addressed pressing challenges in the plan. As we move closer to implementation, more and more important decisions will be made at the school and district levels. We all know that true improvement is about much more than compliance or checking boxes–how will your schools move from compliance to responsibility to improve outcomes for all students? I hope you find empowerment through ESSA to:

  • Challenge and change existing norms and structures that hinder improvement
  • Create new conditions that accelerate progress for all students with the expectation that all students can master the skills and knowledge necessary for success in school and life
  • Explore new approaches that could better serve students even if they require a change to the existing system
  • Recognize that the best school improvement strategies are evidence-based and locally-driven
  • Combine evidence, innovation, and best practice to truly change the trajectory for our students who are most at risk of not succeeding

Memo to be released on Monday, August 14:

Jillian