A Vision for Wyoming Schools

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Hope this finds you all well! As you continue to guide our Wyoming schools, be sure to let us know how we can help or get out the way, whichever is needed. The WDE stands ready to serve, and the hard-working staff here will leave no stone unturned in helping you make our schools the best possible and our students the highest-achieving possible.

In this edition of the Update, we will continue unpacking (layer by layer) a vision for Wyoming Schools, reporting on our most pressing initiative, spotlighting some of the great work and great people here at the WDE, and sharing briefly about some of the latest district visits. It will also include our usual calendar notation as well as the regular chief memos.

Vision & Focus

Wyoming is poised to lead the nation in education. As stated before, that doesn’t mean it will, it just means it could. There is something deep within the DNA and character of Wyoming people that sets the stage for a model of education that could be the envy of our entire country.

An example of this happened during the COVID-19 pandemic: why did the Cowboy State lead the nation in the most in-person class time of any state in the Union? When outside forces put on the pressure to shut down our schools, the people of Wyoming put on the pressure to keep them open.

So Wyoming schools begin to take the lead when they doggedly resist the cultural pressure to go in the same direction that thousands of other schools in the country are going. If this is Wyoming’s destiny, it will become one of Wyoming’s greatest legacies. Let’s make it happen!

The Primary Priority   

The Teacher Apprenticeship Initiative continues to make progress. The WDE, PTSB and other Work Group members have begun drafting a framework to present to the Governor and an Advisory Group in mid-May. Both the Work Group and the Advisory Group represent the key stakeholders in our state that will be needed to bring this initiative forward.

In the Spotlight

What an honor it was to meet this week with Major General Gregory Porter and some of his staff to hear about the good things the Wyoming Military Department (WYMD) is doing in our state, especially as it relates to our schools and the WDE. Besides the important contribution of the Wyoming Cowboy Challenge Academy with at-risk students, the WYMD will launch its second year of the Educator Leadership Rendezvous (ELR) this summer, on August 3-5.

During this three-day event, the WYMD will host around 40 Wyoming educators, counselors and principals at Camp Guernsey. The camp will focus on building partnerships with the WDE through various activities and presentations conducted by WYMD personnel.

Participants not only develop a stronger sense of connectedness and a deeper appreciation for each other’s respective roles, but professional educators will come away with a more acute awareness of some of the opportunities that the WYMD provides to students. They will also come to better recognize how the WYMD further supports service members while in college and during their careers, all the while preserving military readiness.

With the steep decline in military enlistments not only in our state but across the country, we want to do everything we can to promote patriotism in our schools and increase interest in the high honor of serving one’s country through military service. This is one very significant way to do that.

Mark Your Calendars

The 2022 Wyoming Innovations in Learning Conference seeks engaging virtual session proposals from educators in kindergarten through postsecondary education that will be delivered in an online format. Proposals are open now through May 13, 2022. Register here.

Monday Memos