Bridging school security and student well-being

Wyoming Department of Education > Superintendent's Update > Bridging school security and student well-being

Dear Superintendents,

Last Friday the Wyoming House defeated a bill that would have created a framework for school safety and security. Specifically, it would have required inter-agency collaboration at the state level to develop guidelines and best practices for schools. Also, the bill would have emphasized specific aspects of school safety and security plans and professional development. Student safety and well-being is a priority we share. While I was disappointed in the outcome of the bill after unanimous passage out of the House Education Committee, I remain committed to keeping student safety and well-being on our front burners.

At times, it feels like a challenge to bridge school security and student well-being. Recently I had the opportunity to attend a Rachel’s Challenge student assembly. In a word, it was powerful; powerful for me, powerful for the students, and powerful for the safety and culture of the school. Many many schools in Wyoming and across the nation have hosted a Rachel’s Challenge events.

Here’s what our colleague, Superintendent Dave Nicholas from Worland, shared with me recently,

“This is the best student assembly I have ever hosted.  The training that accompanies the presentation is profound and is making a positive impact in our district. This message is ‘sticky,’ the precepts of Rachel‘s Challenge are simple and if implemented; life changing.”  David

Now, onto exciting news regarding Rachel’s Challenge: A supporter of the program has offered to pay a portion of the assembly fee for Wyoming schools. Because of the generosity of this Wyoming supporter, the “Immerse” program, that is typically $6500, is available for $2800. That price is “all-in.” This is a tremendous gift to Wyoming schools and the assembly is well worth it.

Rachel’s Challenge has partnered for years with Dr. Bob Marzano and is bringing on a new partner in Scarlett Lewis, founder of the Jesse Lewis Choose Love Foundation. 

Below are a few links with contact information. Please reach out to me personally if I can assist you in any way as you pursue Rachel’s Challenge in your community. This is a positive, local, and impactful step toward ensuring student well-being and a positive school culture.

Chain Reaction-Rachel’s Challenge
The Story that Changes Everything

Here is a link to the pricing and programming sheet with contact information. Once again, for Wyoming schools the “Immerse” package is $2800 versus $6500.


Cheyenne East High School FCCLA students worked to bring Rachel’s Challenge to their schoolprayer breakfast

Governor’s Prayer Breakfast (L to R) Superintendent Balow, Governor Gordon, Sergent Daniel Stech (Wyoming Army recruiter), keynote speaker Navy SEAL Commander Denver Rorkeddd

Milken Educator of the Year, Chris Bessonette (and son Karsten), recieves the official reward from Milken presented by SBE Board Chair Walt Wilcox and Superintendent Balow

Memos to be released on Monday, February 25:

  • 2019-026:  Virtual 307 Website Launch
  • 2019-027:  Douvas Memorial Scholarship Applications Open
  • 2019-028:  Positive School Climate Funding Opportunity
  • 2019-029:  Wyoming Education Trust Fund Applications Open
  • 2019-030:  Science Survey, PD, and Resources