Purple Star Schools

Wyoming Department of Education > Uncategorized > Purple Star Schools

Dear Superintendents,

Leadership is a convictional enterprise – it starts with a purpose, not a plan. Therefore, it is more about what a leader believes than what he or she does. And because ideas have consequences, it makes a difference what a leader believes.

Moreover, it is these convictions that give a leader his or her vision, mission and passion. And from this soil comes other leaders, for good or for ill, affecting generations to come. May we each lead our troops with the sense of direction and conviction that our roles require. May we also find solace in the fact that none of us do it perfectly.

Vision & Focus

Years ago, a tractor trailer truck got stuck while heading into a Boston tunnel. City officials were confused as to how they were going to move it. Some suggested they hire a blasting crew to remove part of the tunnel; others suggested that the roof of the truck and trailer be sawed off.  Meanwhile, traffic was piling up and patience was wearing thin.

Finally, a child stepped forward and suggested they let some air out of the truck tires and back it out to a nearby exit ramp. Needless to say, it worked – the truck was removed and traffic was soon flowing smoothly.

The city officials in this anecdote were taught what to think. The child was taught how to think.

The Primary Priority

This week’s Wyoming Teacher Apprenticeship Question & Answer session:

Questions: Are mentors compensated for their role, If so, by whom are they compensated? Do mentor teachers go through any training?

Answers: Yes, they will be paid a stipend for mentoring an apprentice. The WDE has some funds set aside to assist the district in covering these stipends while sustainable funding sources are achieved. The WDE and PTSB have resources available for training mentors, and the University of Wyoming launched a Mentor Cohort this past summer. It is a year-long training to build capacity and network of support for mentors.

In the Spotlight

Military children experience many challenges as they relocate to new schools due to a parent’s change in duty station. By establishing statewide Purple Star Schools programs, states can encourage local education agencies to implement practices that assist military children with transitions/deployments and also recognize military service and civic responsibility.

We are especially excited about the work that Ken Reynolds and his team have been doing with this program at the WDE. The Purple Star School program is designed to help schools respond to the educational and social-emotional challenges military-connected children face during their transition to a new school and keep them on track to be college, workforce, and life-ready. Military-connected refers to children of service members on active duty, and in the National Guard and Reserves. And for that, we put Ken, his team, and the Purple Star program “In the Spotlight!”

Mark Your Calendars

Seats at the Wyoming MTSS Center Effective Progress Monitoring in-person training on September 21 at Little America are going fast. Progress monitoring is the use of reliable and valid measures to assess a student’s performance and to quantify a student’s rate of improvement or responsiveness to supplemental instruction and support. During this training, participants will learn the critical elements of a progress monitoring tool and how to analyze progress monitoring data to evaluate a student’s response to instruction/intervention. Participants will evaluate and select progress monitoring tools for their own sites. Claim your spot, and register here.

Monday memos: