CHEYENNE – Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Wyoming Department of Education seeks public comment on temporary changes to its federal accountability plan. Public comment is being accepted from January 8-25, 2021. A summary of the changes, copy of the draft document and waiver can be found here.
The COVID-19 pandemic caused the cancelation of statewide assessments in the spring of 2020. Wyoming’s accountability system requires multiple years of assessment data, which means that even if students are able to be assessed in the spring of 2021, some adjustments are necessary in order to meet federal requirements for the 2020-21 school year because of the absence of assessment data.
Wyoming plans to submit an addendum to its federal accountability plan, which would allow long-term goals in academic achievement, graduation rate, and English language acquisition to be pushed one year. The addendum would also allow Wyoming to – for one year – not calculate measures for which there is not adequate data, not calculate overall scores for schools, and delay identification of low-performing schools for Comprehensive Support and Improvement . Additionally, Wyoming plans to seek a waiver from the annual requirement to identify schools for Targeted Support and Improvement based on the performance of specific student populations.
These temporary changes to Wyoming’s ESSA plan do not waive the federal assessment requirements. For the 2020-2021 school year, Wyoming will assess its students to the extent possible.
Comments can be submitted to the WDE through January 25, 2021 via an online survey, or by mail. Two online public meetings will be offered, one at noon and another at 5 p.m. MST on January 14. Anyone wishing to participate can register online here for the noon session and here for the 5 p.m. session.
Comments can be mailed to:
Wyoming Department of Education
Attn: Linda Finnerty
122 West 25th Street, Suite E200
Cheyenne, WY 82002
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Linda Finnerty, Communications Director