Wyoming Awarded $43.6 Million Literacy Grant

Dear Superintendents,

Last week, our office enthusiastically shared news of a $43.3 million grant to create a comprehensive state literacy program to advance literacy skills — including pre-literacy skills, reading, and writing — for students from birth through grade 12, including limited-English-proficient students and students with disabilities. The grant cycle is five years and one of our first steps is to put together a statewide literacy panel. Here is the media release. 

1776 Commission

President Trump announced the creation of the “1776 Commission” to counter more critical historical narratives of the American founding like the one popularized by the New York Times’ 1619 Project. The 1776 Commission will “restore patriotic education to our schools,” Trump said.

Health Guidance Update

Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon announced the extension of current health orders this week. One significant change to the orders includes the addition of indoor close-contact activities and sports.

Governor’s news release

Twelfth Continuation of Wyoming Health Orders (schools mostly on pages 7-9)

Nationally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released indicators to help schools make dynamic decisions about in-person learning as local conditions evolve throughout the pandemic.  When coupled with local data about community spread, these indicators are an important tool to help local health officials, school administrators, and communities prepare, plan, and respond to COVID-19.  These indicators are the latest resource CDC has provided for schools during the pandemic, supplementing previously released guidance.

Rural Tech Project

Several weeks ago, I included an announcement for the Rural Tech Project in this update. The challenge invites schools to customize technology education programs for students and local needs. Up to five finalists will progress to Phase 2 and each receive an equal share of the $500,000 cash prize pool, on-the-ground-assistance, and access to virtual resources. One grand-prize winner will receive an additional $100,000.

Proposals are due by 5:59 p.m. ET on October 8. The Rural Tech Project has curated resources to help entrants develop comprehensive program proposals. The resources provide support around topics ranging from program design and delivery to engaging community stakeholders. To learn more about entering the challenge, see the recording of the information session and answers to frequently asked questions.

Memos to be released:

  • 2020-148:    Eighth Grade Unit of Study Certification Form Due June 11, 2021
  • 2020-149:    Call for Nominations: U.S. Presidential Scholars Program
  • 2020-150:    Chapter 20 Public Comment: Rules for the Pupil Transportation Component within the Education Resource Block Grant Model
  • 2020-151:    Roadtrip Nation Application Deadline October 4, 2020
  • 2020-152:    CARES Act Equitable Services Update