All posts by tgabrukiewicz

WDE Releases 2021-22 Graduation Rates

CHEYENNE – Wyoming’s graduation rates have remained statistically strong – above 80 percent since 2015-16. The Wyoming Department of Education (WDE) announced today that high school graduation rates were 81.8 percent in 2021-22, a decrease of .6 percent from 2020-21’s 82.4 percent, which was the highest rate reported in a nine-year span.

“Wyoming’s resolve in keeping schools open during the COVID-19 global lockdowns of the 2020-21 school year has proven to be a win for our students and communities,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Megan Degenfelder.

newgraph

“While graduation rates remain relatively stable, there remains work to do to improve rates going forward,” Degenfelder said. “One thing we can look to is the graduation rates of CTE students. The higher graduation rates of CTE students show that when we identify career pathways for students, and work with our business and industry stakeholders, students achieve great success.”

Students concentrating in a Career and Technical Education (CTE) program of study had much higher graduation rates than their peers.

nugraph2

Fifteen Wyoming school districts posted graduation rates of 90% or above, including:

  • Sheridan #3, 100%
  • Sublette #9, 100%
  • Washakie #2, 100%
  • Bighorn #4, 95.7%
  • Sublette #1, 95.6%
  • Fremont #24, 94.7%
  • Uinta #4, 94.4%
  • Teton #1, 93.8%
  • Lincoln #1, 93.8%
  • Laramie #2, 93.3%
  • Park #1, 93.3%
  • Johnson #1, 92.2%
  • Fremont #2, 91.7%
  • Weston #1, 90.9%
  • Crook #1, 90.6%

Full graduation rate statistics are available here.

Since the 2009-10 school year, the WDE has calculated graduation rates using the Federal Four-Year Adjusted Cohort Methodology established by the U.S. Department of Education, complying with federal law that requires all states to calculate graduation rates the same way. Students are counted in the four-year, “on-time,” high school graduation rate if they earn a diploma by September 15 following their cohort’s fourth year. Five- and six-year graduation rates are also calculated, and can be viewed with the rest of the graduation rate data.

 Graduation Rate Brochure

Graduation Rate Methodology

-END-

Media Contact:
Linda Finnerty, Communications Director
307-777-2053
linda.finnerty@wyo.gov

WDE Media Conference Tuesday to Discuss 2021-22 Graduation Rates

CHEYENNE – The Wyoming Department of Education (WDE) will host a virtual media conference at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, January 31, 2023, to discuss the 2021-22 Wyoming high school graduation rate. State Superintendent of Public Instruction Megan Degenfelder and WDE staff will be available to answer media questions.

Media may register in advance here. After registering, participants will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the press conference.

Full graduation rate statistics for the 2021-22 school year will be available Tuesday morning. Since the 2009-10 school year, the WDE has calculated graduation rates using the Federal Four-Year Adjusted Cohort methodology established by the U.S. Department of Education, which complies with federal law that requires all states to calculate graduation rates exactly the same. Students are counted in the four-year (or “on-time”) high school graduation rate if they earn a diploma by September 15 following their cohort’s fourth year. Five- and six-year graduation rates are also calculated, and can be viewed with the rest of the graduation rate data.

– END –

Media Contact:
Linda Finnerty, Communications Director
307-777-2053
linda.finnerty@wyo.gov

Governor Gordon, Wyoming Military Department and the WDE Award First Two Purple Star Schools in Wyoming

CHEYENNE – The Wyoming Department of Education, along with Governor Mark Gordon and the Wyoming Military Department, awarded Wyoming’s first two Purple Star Schools – Freedom Elementary School and McCormick Junior High School – today at a ceremony at the Wyoming State Capitol.

“I am excited to help launch the Purple Star Schools Program in support of military-connected students as they transition into their new homes and schools here in Wyoming,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Megan Degenfelder. “Schools like Freedom Elementary and McCormick Junior High prioritize making these students feel instantly welcome and give them valuable support in acclimating into Wyoming.”

The Wyoming Purple Star School Program – in partnership with the Governor’s Challenge – recognizes the efforts of Wyoming K-12 schools that are committed and supportive of military students and families – known as military-connected – as they transition to their new homes and schools. The program was designed to help with the challenges of high mobility by setting standards of commitment for the school’s award of the military-friendly Purple Star designation. All Wyoming public and private schools are eligible to apply for the Purple Star School Award.

“This program is essential to helping service members and their families navigate the added challenges they are often presented with,” said Maj. Gen. Greg Porter, Adjutant General, Wyoming National Guard. “Despite those challenges, military children are some of the most resilient people I have ever met. We will only see positive things from the schools’ dedication to providing a seamless transition and welcoming atmosphere for military students under this program.”

Both Freedom Elementary and McCormick Junior High Schools have a continuous focus that welcomes new sons and daughters of military parents. School staff are notified to prepare for and welcome new students. At Freedom, arriving students are provided an elementary Student-to-Student representative-led school tour and a welcome packet containing relevant information. New students meet with the school counselor to share previous locations, hobbies, and challenges they have faced during school in the past. At McCormick, new military-connected students are met by members of the current student body, given an informative flier (about the school, city, etc.), shown around the building, and invited to sit with their peers at lunch. Both schools’ staff continue to ensure that the student is transitioning well.

“Freedom Elementary is honored to receive the distinguished Purple Star award. We have the distinct opportunity to serve students and families at F.E. Warren Air Force Base,” said Freedom Elementary Principal Chad Delbridge “Freedom Elementary staff are committed and honored to support and respond to the educational and personal challenges that military children and their families face during their transition to a new school and community.”

Freedom Elementary and McCormick Junior High Schools also support departing students. Fellow students and staff sign names and write positive messages around the borders of a Wyoming map, which is framed and presented to the student to remember the experience at Freedom Elementary, and McCormick students are presented with an autograph book prior to leaving to say goodbye to friends and classmates.

“Being a Purple Star school was a goal for me because so many of our students at McCormick are military-connected children,” said McCormick Principal Tina Troudt. “Their needs, whether it be starting our school mid-year, leaving our school mid-year, or having a deployed parent, are unique and deserve unique support.  We are proud of our military-connected students and want them to know we support them and the goals they have for their future.”

With more than 1.1 million military-connected students attending schools, issues of school transition are a high priority for families. The most current data indicates that Wyoming has 2,140 military-connected students in our schools. The frequent relocations required of military personnel mean that, on average, military-connected children move six to nine times between kindergarten and high school graduation. As they transition between schools, these students must adapt to varying cultures, school populations, curricula, standards, course offerings, schedules, and graduation requirements. As a result, military-connected students often face unique academic and social-emotional challenges. The mission deployment of a parent or parents can also contribute to impactful stress on a student.

Additional information about the Wyoming Purple Star Program and how schools can become Purple Star Schools can be found here.

– END –

Media Contact:
Linda Finnerty, Communications Director
307-777-2053
linda.finnerty@wyo.gov

Summer Food Service Programs Available Across Wyoming

CHEYENNE – The Wyoming Summer Food Service program for kids offered through the Wyoming Department of Education (WDE) served thousands of meals last summer to Wyoming children and teens.

The Summer Food Service Program is a federally funded, state-administered program. The program reimburses providers who serve free healthy meals to children and teens during the summer months when school is not in session. In addition to serving food, summer food sites often include activities for students to do during the summer, including crafts and games.

If you are interested in being a serving site, contact WDE Nutrition Programs State Director Carla Bankes at 307-777-6263 or carla.bankes@wyo.gov.

USDA Non-discrimination Statement

– END –

Media Contact:
Linda Finnerty, Communications Director
307-777-2053
linda.finnerty@wyo.gov

Superintendent Degenfelder Appoints Former Deputy Secretary of State Karen Wheeler as Boards and Commissions Coordinator

CHEYENNE – State Superintendent of Public Instruction Megan Degenfelder has named Karen Wheeler as the Boards and Commissions Coordinator for the Wyoming Department of Education (WDE).

Wheeler began her 37-year career with the Secretary of State’s Office in 1985, and served under seven Secretaries of State. Wheeler finished her career in the Secretary of State’s Office in 2022, serving as the Deputy Secretary of State. She is now a private consultant, and will be staffing and advising the Superintendent on her board and commission work.

“I am thrilled to announce the addition of Karen Wheeler to our leadership team,” Degenfelder said. “One of my top priorities as State Superintendent is to maximize return on state lands and investments for schools and other beneficiaries. Karen’s nearly 40 years of experience in the state’s executive branch, many of which included regular staffing of the State Loan and Investment Board, State Board of Land Commissioners, and State Building Commission for the Secretary of State, will be an invaluable resource on this priority.”

Wheeler started in the Secretary of State’s business division as a registrar, then transferred to the securities division as a financial analyst, where she audited stockbrokers and brokerage firms. She then became the Compliance Division Director in the Secretary of State’s office, and was responsible for the regulation of the investment industry as well as the registered agent industry.

As the Deputy Secretary of State, Wheeler was responsible for all statutory duties and operations of the Secretary of State’s Office, including planning, budget, personnel, staff development, boards and commissions, legislature, and oversight of service to the public. During her time as Deputy, the Secretary of State’s Office received national recognition for their state of the art administrative rules system and blockchain and digital asset regulation.

She  joins a WDE  leadership team that includes Dicky Shanor as Chief of Staff, Wanda Maloney as Chief Policy Officer, Trent Carroll as Chief Operations Officer, Shelley Hamel as Chief Academic Officer, and Linda Finnerty as Communications Director.

– END –

Media Contact:
Linda Finnerty, Communications Director
307-777-2053
linda.finnerty@wyo.gov

WDE Announces Wyoming Child And Adult Care Food Program Sites

CHEYENNE – The Wyoming Department of Education has announced the participating Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) organizations in Wyoming. The program reimburses participating organizations for nutritious meals and snacks served to children in child care centers and family day care homes. The program teaches good eating habits and assures that well-balanced, nourishing meals are served in these participating centers.

Organizations are reimbursed for meals provided to children who are up to 12 years of age. The same meals must be made available to all enrolled children at no separate charge regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, disability or age. There is no discrimination in the course of the meal service.

Centers are reimbursed for meals that are served at their center. Completing the income application helps the center receive meal reimbursement for the meals they serve. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR), foster children, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and eligibility based on household income qualify for the meal claim reimbursements to the center as defined by the USDA Eligibility Guidelines.

For more information, contact Judy DiRienzo, Wyoming Department of Education Nutrition Section, at 307-777-6262 or judith.dirienzo@wyo.gov.


LIST OF PROGRAM PARTICIPANTS BY COUNTY, 2022-23

Albany

  • U.W. Early Care & Education Center
  • Developmental Preschool and Day Care
  • Laramie Educational Afterschool Facility, Developmental Preschool and Day Care
  • Laramie Child Development, Laramie Head Start
  • Basic Beginnings South/Aaron’s Place

Big Horn

  • Basin Head Start, Absaroka Head Start
  • Lovell Head Start Absaroka Head Start
  • Shooting Star Academy

Campbell

  • Boys and Girls Club of Campbell County
  • Campbell County Head Start, WY Child and Family Development
  • Scotty’s Toy Box
  • Child Developmental Services
  • Little Guy’s and Gal’s Day Care – Wildwood

Carbon

  • Rawlins Head Start, Carbon County Child Development
  • Saratoga Head Start, Carbon County Child Development

Converse

  • Douglas Child & Family Development, WY Child and Family Development
  • Glenrock Early Childhood Center, WY Child and Family Development
  • Glenrock Boys and Girls Club, Boys and Girls Club of Central Wyoming

Crook

  • Moorcroft Head Start, WY Child and Family Development

Fremont

  • Lander Child Development Services, Child Development Services of Fremont County
  •  Riverton Child Development Services, Child Development Services of Fremont County
  • Ethete Head Start/Early Head Start, Eastern Shoshone & Northern Arapaho Birth to Five Head Start
  • Ft. Washakie Head Start, Eastern Shoshone & Northern Arapaho Birth to Five Head Start
  • Great Plains Head Start, Eastern Shoshone & Northern Arapaho Birth to Five Head Start
  • Smart-Start Quality Care
  • World Cares Inc./Small World Children’s Center
  • Lander Head Start, Absaroka Head Start
  • Riverton Head Start, Absaroka Head Start
  • Fremont CSD #2 – Little Ram’s Learning Center
  • Fremont CSD #14 – Wyoming Indian School Learning Lab
  • Riverton branch of Boys and Girls Club of Central WY

Goshen                               

  • Lil’ Bits n Spurs Child Care
  • Torrington Learning Center, WY Child and Family Development
  • Lincoln Infant and Toddler Center, WY Child and Family Development
  • Stacey Houk Family Enrichment Center

Hot Springs

  •  Thermopolis Center, Absaroka Head Start

Johnson

  • Buffalo Head Start, Absaroka Head Start
  • Buffalo Boys and Girls Club, Boys & Girls Club of Central Wyoming
  • Buffalo Children’s Center

Laramie

  • F.E. Warren AFB Child Development Center
  • F.E. Warren Youth Center
  • Cheyenne Head Start – Wyoming Child and Family
  • Foundations Learning Academy
  • World of Wonder
  • Triumph Early Learning Center
  • Alphabet Academy
  • Alphabet Academy II
  • Alphabet Academy III
  • Alphabet Academy IV
  • Laramie County CSD #1:
  • Henderson Elementary – Supper
  • Sunrise Elementary – Supper
  • Johnson Junior High – Supper
  • South High School – Supper
  • Afflerbach Elementary-Supper
  • Arp Elementary-Supper
  • Alta Vista Elementary-Supper
  • Baggs Elementary-Supper
  • Rossman Elementary-Supper
  • Kiddie Kollege
  • Cheyenne Family YMCA AT Risk
  • Cheyenne Family Child Care
  • Boys and Girls Club of Cheyenne, At Risk

Lincoln

  • The Playroom Learning Center, Afton, Alpine, Thayne
  • Kemmerer Child Development Center, Lincoln Uinta Child Development Association (LUCDA)
  • Afton Child Development Center, LUCDA
  • Thayne Child Development Center, LUCDA
  • Alpine Child Development Center, LUCDA

Natrona

  • Natrona County School District #1, Bar Nunn, Cottonwood, Evansville, Journey Elementary, Lincoln Elementary, Midwest- (PK and Midwest School Supper), Pathways Innovation Center and Sagewood Elementary
  • Casper College, Inga Thorson Early Childhood Learning Center
  • Mountain Ridge Akidemy
  • Sunshine Corner Day Care
  • Learning Junction Children’s Center
  • Natrona County Head Start/Home Start, WY Child and Family Development
  • Natrona County Early Head Start, WY Child and Family Development
  • Casper Early Childhood Center, WY Child and Family Development
  • Mills – Wyoming Child and Family
  • Greater Casper Boys and Girls Club, Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Wyoming
  • Mills Boys and Girls Club, Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Wyoming
  • Lincoln Branch Boys and Girls Club, Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Wyoming
  • Paradise Valley Boys and Girls Club, Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Wyoming
  • Verda James, Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Wyoming
  • Busy Bumblebees Child Care Center
  • Neighborhood Child Caring Center
  • Neighborhood Child Learning Center
  • Kids Campus, Casper Housing Authority
  • Wildwood Child and Adult Care Food Program (Sponsor of home daycares throughout the state)

Niobrara

  •  Lusk Early Childhood Center, WY Child and Family Development

Park

  • The Learning Garden
  • Winsor Castle Daycare & Preschool
  • Cody Head Start, Absaroka Head Start
  • Powell Head Start, Absaroka Head Start
  • A Little Paradise
  • The Crane Academy
  • True North Academy

Platte

  • Platte County Day Care/Kid’s Kastle
  • Wheatland Early Childhood Center, Wyoming Child and Family Development
  • Guernsey Early Childhood Center, Wyoming Child and Family Development

Sheridan

  • Tongue River Child’s Place
  • Children’s Center
  • Sheridan Head Start, Absaroka Head Start
  • Harmony Child Care Center

Sublette

  • Children’s Discovery Center
  • The REAL Center/The Redstone Early Active Learning Center

Sweetwater

  • Green River Head Start, Sweetwater County Head Start
  • Rock Springs Head Start, Sweetwater County Head Start

Teton

  • The Children’s Learning Center – Head Start/Early Head Start Mercill Site and Rafter J Site

Uinta

  • Children’s Learning Foundation, Evanston Child Development Center
  • Bridger Valley Child Development Center, Mountain View, LUCDA
  • Children’s Learning Foundation, Evanston Child Development Association
  • Evanston Child Development Center, Evanston Child Development Association
  • Lil’ Rascals Academy

Washakie

  • Worland Head Start, Abasorka Head Start

Weston

  • Newcastle Child Development Center, Weston County Child Development Center
  • Upton Child Development Center, Weston County Child Development Center
  • Little One’s Family Child Care

Resources, Training, Links & Forms

All of the necessary program documents can now be found on the WDE’s CNP Application and Claim website. You will find this information under Applications, then Download Forms.

– END –

Media Contact:
Linda Finnerty, Communications Director
307-777-2053
linda.finnerty@wyo.gov

WDE & PTSB Launch Teacher Retention & Recruitment Taskforce with Call for Members

CHEYENNE – As a follow-up to the establishment of the Wyoming Teacher Apprenticeship last fall, the Wyoming Department of Education (WDE) and the Wyoming Professional Teaching Standards Board (PTSB) will turn its attention to the creation of a Teacher Retention and Recruitment Task Force. The mission of the task force will be to develop recommendations for state policymakers, district-level, and school-level staff to increase efforts to positively impact the education workforce.

From January 9-20, 2023, the WDE and PTSB will begin accepting applications for stakeholders to participate here. The task force will be composed of up to three district superintendents, three principals, 10 teachers, one parent, one teacher who has left the profession, one personnel director, one school counselor, and one post-secondary representative.

Those applying will need to be available for an initial in-person meeting on Saturday, February 11, 2023, in Casper, followed by monthly meetings held in-person on the second Saturday of the month through May. Additional virtual meetings will be scheduled as needed. Applicants will be notified of their selection status by February 1, 2023.

-END-

Media Contact:
Linda Finnerty, Communications Director
307-777-2053
linda.finnerty@wyo.gov

Superintendent Degenfelder – An Introduction

Happy New Year! I am very excited to work with you in 2023, and beyond. I ran to be State Superintendent because I am a product of Wyoming public schools, a lifelong Wyomingite, and as such have a deeply held passion for ensuring our students are provided every opportunity to build a successful future right here in Wyoming.

Over the course of the past year, I had the opportunity to travel all across the state, meeting with tens of thousands of Wyoming voters and discussing the education issues important to them.

By the end of the campaign, three topics rose to the top of collective concerns: 1) parental empowerment and transparency; 2) industry partnership and preparing students for successful jobs; and 3) getting government out of the way of the classroom. My goal will be to make progress in addressing these concerns with strategic initiatives, working with education stakeholders like you. We will build trust with families, businesses, and school districts by working collaboratively toward solutions to these concerns.

I am also very excited to announce my leadership team. With decades of experience in education, from the classroom to the state department, the team is incredibly experienced and talented. As such, we have a great opportunity to immediately move on our strategic initiatives. The leadership team includes:

  • Dicky Shanor, Chief of Staff.
  • Trent Carroll, Chief Operations Officer.
  • Shelley Hamel, Chief Academics Officer.
  • Wanda Maloney, Chief Policy Officer.
  • Linda Finnerty, Communications Director.

Thank you for your passion for education and all you do in your local communities. Together, we will improve educational opportunities and outcomes for students. I look forward to working with each of you.


Monday memos:

Sincerely,

DegelfelderSig

Megan Degenfelder
State Superintendent of Public Instruction

Vision and Focus

Dear Superintendents,

With only a couple of Updates left to go before this administration bows out and the new administration assumes the reins, a re-cap of some of the initiative priorities pursued over the past year may be helpful. The vision and focus of each not only dovetail, but will hopefully be sustained by Wyoming’s overall educational vision.


Vision & Focus

The Wyoming Teacher’s Apprenticeship – Dubbed the “Cadillac of Teacher Apprenticeship programs,” Dr. Laurel Ballard (WDE), Brendan O’Connor (PTSB) and their team can never get enough credit for the feat they pulled off in getting this initiative launched in response to the teacher shortage crisis. As we continue to pilot this in three districts throughout the balance of this school year (Teton County #1, Fremont County #24 and Laramie County #1), working through some of the funding challenges, we are very optimistic the WTA is poised to move forward and flourish in our schools.

Literacy Efforts – Accomplished early readers is what we want, and structured literacy through the phonetic approach is how we get there. To that end, the wind that spreads the fire brings us a number of promising programs that will undoubtedly improve early  literacy skills across the state. For example, a number of districts have expressed interest in leveraging an intervention program endorsed by Dr. William Bennett (a man not given to endorsements). The WDE continues to work with local school districts to ensure that our children acquire the literacy skills they need to be successful and engaged Americans.

The Taiwanese Student & Teacher Exchange – The official signing of the Memorandum of Understanding recently in Taipei, Taiwan, combined with the emerging sistership of two of our Wyoming schools (Black Butte High School and Campbell County High School) with two Taiwanese schools, paves the path to a rich educational and cultural exchange between the teachers and students of Wyoming and Taiwan. Moreover, with the WDE’s Chief Policy Officer Wanda Maloney as the point person, the sky will be the limit regarding this budding and exciting new partnership.

The Tourism-Hospitality Project – Because tourism/hospitality is the second biggest industry in Wyoming, a well-built bridge from our schools to the training and careers it can provide is absolutely critical. Although still in the seminal discussion stages, with WDE CTE Supervisor Dr. Michelle Aldrich at the helm, along with WDE Communications Director Linda Finnerty’s ever-guiding hand and Executive Director of the Wyoming Hospitality and Travel Coalition Chris Brown’s inspiring vision, the commitment remains very high in terms of long-term continuance and sustainability once this effort gets fully launched.


In the Spotlight

Speaking of Linda Finnerty, since day one, Linda has thoughtfully and candidly advocated for the best interests of the agency. She has taken leadership roles in numerous initiatives designed to improve outcomes for teachers, students and parents. She has built and maintained positive professional relationships within the WDE, as well as with external stakeholders including legislators and economic development groups. Linda is creative, articulate and she has a passion for Wyoming and the WDE!

Linda has been particularly instrumental throughout the transitions. Last winter, when Superintendent Jillian Balow and Chief of Staff Dicky Shanor left for Virginia, Linda rolled up her sleeves and helped the agency stay focused. As Deputy Superintendent Chad Auer and I assumed our roles in February, Linda helped us get off the ground. Now, as the WDE undergoes yet another transition, Linda is stepping up to ensure the process is successful and honorable.

Linda, you are ‘In the Spotlight’ for everything that you have done for our state and for the WDE!


Mark Your Calendars

The Nomination Drive for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (#PAEMST) is happening! Do you know a 7–12th grade STEM teacher in Wyoming whose impact goes beyond the classroom? Help us celebrate the future of STEM education by nominating a teacher today. Read more here.


Monday memos:

There are no memos this week.

Sincerely,

sig

Partnering with Taiwan

As we continue the transition to a new administration, we have been conducting a series of orientation meetings with our new Superintendent-Elect, Megan Degenfelder, related to the duties and responsibilities of the office of the State Superintendent of Public Instruction and all things WDE.

We remain committed to a smooth transition, as well as Superintendent Degenfelder’s success for the ultimate good of the department and our Wyoming school districts. Feel free to reach out to Megan and offer her a warm welcome, as she prepares to assume the role of this very important and difficult position.


Vision & Focus

Vision is best cultivated and sustained in a contextual framework, and the vision of American education, with deep historical roots in the arts and sciences, boasts not only an impressive intellectual legacy but also an enduring educational model. Though human nature will always want to reinvent the wheel, only short memories propel us to actually do so. Because, indisputably, the arts and the sciences of the Western education tradition are the two rails that have kept the train on the track, and for good reason.

While a contemporary familiarity with both rails typically involves little more than the Bachelor of Arts or Master of Science degrees that we may have earned in college, a look behind the curtain really does provide the context and inspiration for an incredibly visionary academic legacy.

When most of us nowadays hear the word “art,” we think of a painting or sculpture, with brush or chisel nearby. But the backdrop of history gives us a more expansive definition. Since art comes from the Latin word ars, the arts were closer to what we would now call a skill or craft. So it was not surprising to hear about how soldiers were learning the art of war or doctors the art of healing. An art, then, was a craft that you honed, an ability you developed or a skill you mastered.

In like manner, the term “science” is now linked to what we know as the natural sciences (biology, chemistry, physics). But the Latin root word again sheds light: Scire means “to know or understand” and scientia means knowledge. So science was simply an organized body of knowledge.  In that context, history and literature were as much a science as astronomy was.

This distinction was, and is, enormously significant, and in terms of vision and focus, it gave our Western model of education a formidable substance and balance that can’t be beat to this day.


Partnering with Taiwan

A recent  trip to Taiwan on behalf of the WDE yielded not only a consequential signing ceremony for a Memorandum of Understanding that sealed the deal between Taiwan and Wyoming regarding a robust future Teacher/Student Exchange, but also an amazing look behind-the-scenes at the educational, cultural and geopolitical dynamics of a very impressive country and people.

Determined to make English the primary language for their students and their future, the Taiwanese educational leadership is extremely focused, motivated and excited about their schools forming partnerships with our Wyoming schools. The stage is set, therefore, for some wonderful student and teacher exchanges for both parties that will, no doubt, enrich the school systems and lives of both peoples.


milken

In the Spotlight

Jessica Kavitz’s young students rarely sit still — and that’s by design. Kavitz, who teaches kindergarten at Meadowlark Elementary in Buffalo, knows that movement engages students’ brains and helps them process and retain information. She borrows basketballs and other sports equipment from the school gym to coordinate with books the class is reading and encourages students to hop, leap, crawl and do push-ups as they move through learning stations. Interspersing physical activities like cup-stacking and agility ladders with reading, writing and math tasks helps Kavitz “wake up” her young learners’ brains as they absorb and master new skills. Kavitz takes a project-based approach that includes trips to the park and other local attractions, often on foot.

For all of her amazing work, Jessica was chosen as this year’s Wyoming recipient of the Milken Educator Award, which comes with a $25,000 cash prize. Kavitz is among up to 40 elementary educators across the nation who will receive the Milken Educator Award during the 2022-23 school year, and the first recipient from Johnson County School District #1 in the history of the award. For that, Jessica Kavitz is ‘In the Spotlight’ this week.

Read more here.


Mark Your Calendars

Join the WDE for the second virtual session in its Wellness Speaker Series, with presenter Shaundalyn Elliott discussing “Self-Care for Educators” from 4:30-6:30 p.m. on December 7, 2022. This two-hour interactive presentation will highlight practical solutions to cope with stressors that surface throughout the school day, as well as outside of the classroom. Since this session will be interactive, participants should bring a pen/pencil and paper for notes. Register here.


Monday memos:

.

Sincerely,

sig