Last fall the Wyoming Department of Education (WDE) kicked off a campaign to encourage and support the completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). UNLOCK YOUR FUTURE…FAFSA IS THE KEY encourages students to unlock the possibilities, and reach the next level in life. The statewide campaign includes digital media, a website, and support tools for schools and communities.
On October 1, 2021 we launched the FAFSA Completion Challenge. The WDE tracked FAFSA completion percentage rate by high school, in four size categories. A cash prize of $500 is being awarded to the winning schools’ counseling departments.
Congratulations to our winners for this year, and look for the challenge to start again on October 1, 2022.
- Dragon Level – Ten Sleep K-12 in Ten Sleep with 80% completion.
- Buffalo Level – Southeast High School in Yoder with 84.6% completion.
- Rocket Level – Mountain View High School in Mountain View with 75% completion.
- Space Level – Lander Valley High School in Lander with 59.3% completion.
On another note, the CCSSO conference last weekend in Washington, D.C. was a very encouraging experience, hearing so many exciting “wins” from other State Chiefs. The big one for me came from Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn of Tennessee and the Teacher Apprenticeship program that was pioneered there.
In response to the teacher shortage crisis, suffering 1,000-1,200 teacher vacancies each year, the Tennessee Department of Education targeted para-professionals, support staff and TAP students. Academic coursework via evening classes (all paid for) coupled with paid on-the-job training as an instructional aide (under a mentor/master teacher for two years), teacher apprentices would not only be compensated for skills gained, but could potentially receive raises incrementally.
With apprentice candidates able to earn a living wage (with no debt), and begin teaching with only two years of prior experience, this revolutionary paradigm shift not only answered the teacher shortage problem in Tennessee, but is now poised to do so in many other states across the country.
So as we begin talking with some of the key related stakeholders here in Wyoming, we will keep you posted on the prospects of bringing this teacher recruitment model (or some version thereof) to our state.
Memos to be released today:
Improvement-Plan-Process- Trainings-for-School-Year- 2022-23-PDF