State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jillian Balow’s Statement on the COVID-19 Virus

CHEYENNE – State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jillian Balow joined Governor Mark Gordon and representatives from Homeland Security, the Wyoming Department of Health and Wyoming Military Department to discuss the COVID-19 virus and plans to be ready should cases of the virus show up in Wyoming.

Balow emphasized that districts would not be penalized financially, should Wyoming schools be shuttered to combat the spread of COVID-19. Her statement:

“As of today, I have reached out to district superintendents, as well as our state’s associations for school nurses and custodians. Every community and every school has the appropriate and necessary personnel to lead the prevention, planning, and management of the COVID-19 and other diseases. School nurses, custodians, and principals, in collaboration with county and state health departments should stay abreast of updates and communicate pertinent information to students, staff, parents, and the public. Schools should revisit current practices to ensure they are the very best practices and make adjustments as needed. For example, are desks and other surfaces disinfected according to best practice protocol? Do students have adequate time and facilities to wash hands before lunch? Should professional development time be devoted to training, or re-training staff? Strict adherence to the best practices our professionals know are the best measure for prevention.

“If a school becomes affected by COVID-19 and is required to stop operations for a period of time, I encourage districts to contact my office, the Wyoming Department of Education, and work with staff on the availability of a waiver to ensure that they receive full funding for the school year. It is my responsibility in state law to work directly with local school districts to ensure the health, safety, and welfare of students, teachers, and other employees. I will do what I can to avoid any districts being penalized financially for taking measures to protect their students.”

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Media contact:
Michelle Panos, Communications Director
307-777-2053
michelle.panos1@wyo.gov