November 2, 2020
I want begin by thanking special education leaders in Wyoming: directors, teachers, paraeducators, and the team at WDE. This week at the School Finance Recalibration committee, WDE Director of Special Education Margee Robertson, and Chief Academic Officer Shelley Hamel, were asked to present on short notice. Not only did they make an excellent presentation but educators from across the state provided public testimony supporting Wyoming’s investment and programming. Both the committee and the third-party consultants spoke highly of the work and outcomes in Wyoming special education. I can’t think of a more important area to shine brightly!
WDE presents at the School Finance Recalibration committee meeting.
NEW Resources from the United States Department of Education (USED)
- School Climate Improvement
- Creating a Safe and Respectful Environment in Our Nation’s Classrooms
- Mindfulness in Education: An Approach to Cultivating Self-Awareness That Can Bolster Kids’ Learning
- Returning to School During and After Crisis
- Supporting Students with Disabilities at School and Home
- OESE Resources
- Center on Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS)
- National Center for Pyramid Innovations
- IES COVID-19 Evidence-Based Resources
- Part C Provision of Services in the current COVID-19 environment
- Parent and Family Digital Learning Guide
School District Response to COVID-19 (national report)
A new report on school district responses to the COVID-19 pandemic was released this week by the American Enterprise Institute (AEI). Here is the report link.
Key findings from this new research:
- About two in five schools began the year offering an option for full-time in-person instruction, about a third were fully remote, and the remaining 25 percent offered a hybrid model or in person for select grades.
- Overall, COVID-19 case rates were weakly related to reopening models, and higher percentages of schools returned in person in small, low-minority, low-poverty, and high-achieving districts.
- Eleven percent of all schools shifted from remote-only instruction to more in-person instruction by October 1, and most of these schools were in red states.
- Districts’ remote instruction offerings were, indeed, a large improvement from the “emergency learning” remote instruction in the spring, as measured by multiple indicators.
Ambassador Fellowship Program
Apply now for the USED 2021-22 School Ambassador Fellowship Program. The program enables outstanding teachers, principals, counselors, psychologists, social workers, and other school-based professionals interacting with students on a daily basis to bring their expertise to the national level.
NOVEMBER IS NATIONAL VETERANS AND MILITARY FAMILIES MONTH. Every community in Wyoming has veterans and many have active duty members. Please encourage teachers to invite U.S. military veterans into their classrooms (in-person or virtually) around Veterans Day (November 11). Veterans can share their experiences and teach students lessons about the history and significance of the holiday, helping students reflect upon the importance of the ideals of liberty, freedom, and democracy.
I had lunch with these airmen (and others) at a recent Greater Cheyenne Chamber of Commerce event.
Memos to be released today: