Summer Professional Development Season

Wyoming Department of Education > Superintendent's Weekly Update > Summer Professional Development Season

Dear Superintendents,

The summer professional development season is wrapping up. This week the WDE, tribal partners, Wyoming Humanities, Wyoming PBS, and many others will host the Native American Education Conference virtually. Conference registration is still open. The speakers and sessions will provide inspiration and resources for educators, students, and community members.

Last week the Wyoming National Guard, WDE, and the Wyoming Military Department hosted the first-ever Leadership Rendezvous. Educator stars from across the state merged with military members for a unique week of leadership and learning. Participants repelled, flew in Blackhawk helicopters, and did PT at 5:00AM at Camp Guernsey. We are already planning for 2022!

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Educator Leadership Rendezvous at Camp Guernsey

Governor Gordon released this statement about a safe return to in-person school.  According to the release no statewide mask mandates will be issued. Locally elected school boards, school administrators, and county health officials should continue to make decisions that are best suited for their communities.

The National Assessment Governing Board (NAGB), which develops policy for the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), is seeking candidates for several positions (to be appointed in fall 2022): fourth-grade teacher, eighth-grade teacher, secondary school principal, and general public representative-parent leader.

The Wyoming National Guard and partners are hosting STEM Day and the Wild West Airshow (historically held in July) on September 10 (for schools) and September 11-12 for the public. The event is not a recruiting event and many state and local partners in STEM will participate. Coordinators of the event are prepared for busloads of students and will work with schools and teachers to accommodate the school day hours and travel time. For more information about STEM Day or the airshow contact maxwell.mcmillan.1@us.af.mil

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FEDERAL UPDATES and RESOURCES

(Note: some of the resources are not fully applicable to Wyoming since schools were nearly universally in-person for the 2020-21 school year)

  • Upcoming Deadline for FCC Emergency Connectivity Fund: Schools and libraries can submit applications for the $7.17 billion Emergency Connectivity Fund. The fund can be used towards purchasing laptops and tablets, Wi-Fi hotspots, modems, routers and broadband connections. To learn more, click here. Instructions on how to apply for funding can be found here.
  • The Institute of Education Sciences (IES) released a study on the promise of community schools based on an assessment of the impact of the New York City Community Schools Initiative. To read the study, click here. Several Wyoming schools have moved toward becoming community schools in recent years.
  • Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) requests comments on national school lunch and breakfast Programs on buying American. Comments are due on or before November 2, 2021. To read the Federal Register notice, click here.
  • The United States Department of Education (USED) released the “Return to School Roadmap” on August 2. The roadmap can support students, schools, educators, and communities in preparing for the 2021-2022 school year.
  • The USED released a resource to help schools, colleges, and universities improve their ventilation systems. The resource explains how American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds can be used to improve indoor air quality, as part of the agency’s broader efforts to support campuses as they welcome back students for in-person learning and build back better. Note: The WDE can provide technical assistance if a school or district is considering using ARP funds for this purpose.

Memos released on Monday, August 9:

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