Category Archives: News Releases

News releases from the Wyoming Department of Education

WDE Seeks Public Input on Wyoming Seal of Biliteracy

CHEYENNE – A Wyoming Seal of Biliteracy is being created for students proficient in two or more languages. An advisory committee of language educators will convene to recommend assessments and levels of proficiency on assessments that will enable students to earn a Seal of Biliteracy, including a seal with Advanced Distinction.

The Wyoming Department of Education is collecting public input to be shared with the Seal of Biliteracy Advisory Committee, which will develop recommendations that will be forwarded to the State Superintendent of Public Instruction.

To provide input, complete the Seal of Biliteracy Public Input Survey by 11:59 p.m. on June 2, 2022. The Seal of Biliteracy was created by Senate Enrolled Act 47 of the 2022 Wyoming Legislature.

– END –

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

2022 Wyoming Summer Food Service Program to Begin Soon

CHEYENNE – The Wyoming Summer Food Service program for kids offered through the Wyoming Department of Education kicks off soon. Every summer the program delivers thousands of meals to Wyoming children and teens.

“Classes will be ending soon, and Wyoming children and teens do not have to go hungry because their school is out of session,” said Amanda Anderson, Nutrition Program Consultant with the Wyoming Department of Education. “We are loaded with summer food program sites from border to border. Finding a program near you is just a few clicks away.”

The Wyoming Department of Education’s (WDE) website includes a link to a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) map where Wyoming families can easily identify the food service site, or sites, nearest to them. Information is available here, call 211 or contact Amanda Andersen at (307) 777-7168 or amanda.anderson@wyo.gov.

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.

About the Wyoming Summer Food Service Program

The USDA’s Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), also known as the Summer Meals Program, provides kids and teens free meals when school is out. There are several ways that local organizations can be a part of the Summer Meals Program. In Wyoming the program is offered through the WDE.

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and USDA civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits.  Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.  Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at: How to File a Complaint, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:

  1. mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights 1400 Independence Avenue, SW Washington, D.C. 20250-9410;
  2. fax: (202) 690-7442; or
  3. email: program.intake@usda.gov.

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

– END –

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

Wyoming Charter School Application Now Available

CHEYENNE – The Wyoming legislature amended the Charter School statutes to allow for an alternative path for approval of charter schools (W.S. 21-3-301 through W.S. 21-3-314). This change allows for charter schools to apply to either the local district or the State Loan and Investment Board (SLIB) and will take effect July 1, 2022.

The Wyoming Department of Education (WDE) revised the Chapter 32 Charter School Rules to reflect these changes. Public comment was open and received between February 18 and April 18. Additionally, a public hearing was held on April 14, 2022. Currently the rules are awaiting approval from Governor Mark Gordon’s Office.

Additionally, the WDE has revised the charter school application. For charter school applications submitted in 2022, the applications may be submitted between July 15 and August 15 or 30 days after these rules become effective, whichever is later. A copy of the application can be found here.

-END-

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

WDE Seeks Waiver for Extension of Community Eligibility Provision Deadlines

CHEYENNE – The Wyoming Department of Education Child Nutrition Programs (CNP) has submitted a waiver request to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service (USDA FNS) to extend the current Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) deadlines. The extension of the CEP deadlines is in response to the recovery of the pandemic to allow school districts time to collect the necessary data to participate in CEP for SY 2022–23.

The request to extend the CEP deadlines is expected to assist school districts in making the decision to participate in CEP for the next four years. Due to previous USDA waivers school districts have not collected the data to determine the election of CEP. The waiver will provide sufficient time for districts to collect the necessary data to make the CEP determination.

If the waiver is approved, the Wyoming Department of Education CNP will provide detailed information and instructions for National School Lunch (NSLP) and School Breakfast (NSBP) sponsors on the new timelines of the waiver.

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at: http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by: (1) mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights 1400 Independence Avenue, SW Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; (2) fax: (202) 690-7442; or (3) email: program.intake@usda.gov. This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

– END –

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

The WDE Seeks Public Comment on Proposed Charter School

CHEYENNE – The Wyoming Department of Education (WDE) seeks public comment on proposed changes to the state’s charter school rules.

The WDE is currently promulgating Chapter 32 Rules on charter schools. Information on the proposed rules for charter schools is available in the Statement of Reasons and strike and underline versions of the rules are also available for Chapter 32.

Comments can be submitted through April 18, 2022 using the Chapter 32 online comment form. A virtual public meeting will be held at 4p.m. on April 14, 2022 via Zoom.

All public comments will be recorded verbatim, including the submitter’s name and city of residence. When commenting, specify which section of the rule the comment is concerning.

.

– END –

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

Superintendent of Public Instruction Appoints Chief of Staff

CHEYENNE – Wyoming Superintendent of Public Instruction Brian Schroeder has appointed Chad Auer as the Wyoming Department of Education’s Chief of Staff. Auer will assume his role with the agency on Monday, February 14, 2022.

“As my new Chief of Staff, I am very excited about what Chad brings to the WDE team, and the work we will be doing with Wyoming schools,” Schroeder said. “His qualifications and professional experience speak for themselves, as does his character. I am confident he will be a tremendous help to me personally, as well as a valued asset to the agency. We feel fortunate to get him.”

Auer said he believes that frontline educators are absolutely essential to Wyoming’s future, and is committed to doing his part to support teachers, parents and administrators across Wyoming. He also believes that every child, regardless of ethnicity, socioeconomic status, ZIP code, or disability deserves the best in the state’s education efforts. Lastly, he believes that a key component to a thriving school environment is the genuine collaboration between parents and educators at the local level.

“I am humbled to join the dedicated team at the Wyoming Department of Education,” Auer said. “I look forward to rolling up my sleeves and contributing to the important mission of providing the best possible education to students across Wyoming.”

Auer’s diverse work background includes working as a classroom teacher, school administrator, law clerk, small-town mayor (Firestone, Colorado, 2008-2014), educational consultant, and attorney (licensed in Montana and the US Tax Court). He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Science (Biology) from Colorado State University, a Master’s Degree of Arts, Education Administration, Leadership & Policy from the University of Colorado, and his Juris Doctor Degree from the University of Wyoming.

The father of three – Zach, 23, Sophie, 21, and Ben, 18 – Auer has lived in Cheyenne since 2016 and is married to Megan, a Nurse Practitioner. His hobbies include travel, working with horses, golf and fly fishing.

– END –

High-resolution photo of Chad Auer

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

Wyoming Teachers Receive the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science

CHEYENNE – Two Wyoming educators – Katie McCue and Craig Williams – have received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST). President Joe Biden made the winner’s announcement on Tuesday.

PAEMST is the highest recognition that K-12 mathematics, science, or computer science teachers can receive in the U.S. Nominations and awards are facilitated by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and the National Science Foundation.

“It is an honor to be selected for the Presidential Award in the area of mathematics and to join the ranks of other outstanding educators in mathematics and science education,” said McCue, a second-grade math teacher at Eastside Elementary in Cody. “Being selected for this award is particularly meaningful because I believe in being a champion for education and this award reinforces that my instruction is worth recognition. It is humbling even to be nominated for this prestigious award. I would like to thank all of my colleagues that have supported and mentored me.”

“The award has connected me to a network of high-achieving educators in Wyoming, while also opening doors to influence curriculum and best practices for students,” said Williams, a fourth-grade math teacher at Buffalo Ridge Elementary in Cheyenne. “I hope to connect with teachers nationally to network about best practices in the teaching of mathematics and bring those home. The award has increased my confidence in my ability to prepare my students in STEM fields and help mentor teachers in their own growth in mathematics.”

Each year, up to six finalists in each state are chosen for the award through a rigorous peer review process. The applications are forwarded to the National Science Foundation, where the final selection for the national Presidential Awardee is made. Enacted by Congress in 1983, the program authorizes the President to award 108 math and science teachers each year in recognition of their contribution to excellent teaching and learning.

“These teachers are not only leaders in their field, but they are an inspiration to students and colleagues alike,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Brian Schroeder. “I am truly proud of Craig and Katie for their dedication in teaching mathematics, and for their commitment to the students of Wyoming.”

The awardees come from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the Department of Defense Education Activity schools, and schools in four U.S. territories. Each awardee will receive a certificate signed by President Biden and a $10,000 award from the NSF. Awardees will also travel to Washington, D.C., for an awards ceremony at a future date.

– END –

High-resolution photo of Katie McCue

High-resolution photo of Craig Williams

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

Schroeder to be Sworn in Friday as Wyoming Superintendent of Public Instruction

CHEYENNE – A formal swearing-in ceremony for Superintendent of Public Instruction Brian Schroeder will take place in the Capitol Rotunda at 3:15 pm on Friday February 4, 2022. Chief Justice of the Wyoming Supreme Court Kate Fox will administer the oath of office. The ceremony is open to the public.

Governor Mark Gordon appointed Schroeder to replace Superintendent Jillian Balow, who resigned January 16, 2022. Schroeder will serve as Superintendent for the remainder of Balow’s term, which ends in January 2023.

– END –

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

Wyoming High School Graduation Rate Improves for Eighth Consecutive Year

CHEYENNE – The Wyoming Department of Education (WDE) announced today that high school graduation rates increased to 82.4% in 2020-21, marking the eighth-consecutive year of improvement from the class of 2013, where 77.6.% of students graduated.

Full graduation rate statistics are available here.

gradgraf

Seventeen Wyoming school districts posted graduation rates of 90% or above:

  • Sheridan #3 100.0%
  • Washakie #2 100.0%
  • Teton #1 97.6%
  • Sublette #9 95.0%
  • Lincoln #1 94.7%
  • Weston #7 94.7%
  • Park #1 94.2%
  • Sublette #1 94.1%
  • Converse #2 94.0%
  • Big Horn #3 92.9%
  • Uinta #4 92.5%
  • Fremont #6 92.3%
  • Platte #2 92.3%
  • Carbon #2 91.9%
  • Fremont #24 91.7%
  • Uinta #6 90.5%
  • Weston #1 90.2%

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 –

Wyoming Students Selected for United States Senate Youth Program

CHEYENNE – Cameron Nicholas Reckard and Tamica Lee Smith will join Senator John Barrasso and Senator Cynthia Lummis in representing Wyoming during the 60th annual United States Senate Youth Program (USSYP) Washington Week, set for March 6-9, 2022.

The USSYP was established by the U.S. Senate in 1962, and provides an educational experience for students interested in public service careers. The program provides an in-depth view of the Senate and federal government, as well as a deeper understanding of the relationships between the Legislative, Judicial, and Executive Branches. During the program week, the student delegates will attend online meetings and briefings with senators, the president, a justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, leaders of cabinet agencies and senior members of the national media, among others.

Delegates and alternates are selected by the state departments of education nationwide, after nomination by teachers and principals. The chief state school officer for each jurisdiction confirms the final selection.

Reckard and Smith, both of Sheridan, were selected from among the state’s top student leaders to be part of the 104 national student delegation who will each also receive a $10,000 college scholarship for undergraduate study from the William Randolph Hearst Foundation. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 program will break ground as the first-ever fully virtual Washington Week, and is designed to be a highly interactive and exciting education and leadership forum for the nation’s most outstanding student leaders.

Reckard, a junior at Sheridan High School, serves as the Student Council Junior Class president. He also serves as the secretary general of the Model UN team, is co-vice president of the  Speech and Debate team, and is a member of the National Honor Society. Reckard participates in Interact, a  community service club, competes on his school’s highly successful We The People team, and volunteers in his community with the Big Brothers Big Sisters program. He attended the 2021 Summer High School Institute at the University of Wyoming and represented his school at the Wyoming Hugh O’Brian Youth  Leadership conference. He has also written, directed, filmed, and produced a short film in collaboration with  the WYO Film Festival. After graduating in 2023, Reckard hopes to pursue an undergraduate degree in  business, followed by his MBA.

Smith, a senior at the Arvada/Clearmont High School, serves as the president of the Clear  Creek Future Farmers of America (FFA). She is an active member of numerous student organizations,  including serving as the president of Student Council and president of National Honor Society. Her  community FFA organization hosted the Jerry Hampshire Benefit, a fundraiser for a community member  diagnosed with cancer. She has also been recognized for her accomplishments and leadership through  earning Student of the Second Quarter in 2019, and the Student of the First Quarter in 2021. After graduating  in 2022, Smith plans to pursue undergraduate degrees in marketing and studio arts.

Chosen as alternates to the 2022 program were Jaden Sophia Campbell of  Saratoga, who attends Niobrara County High School, and Jackson Bridger Fouras of Teton  Village, who attends Jackson Hole High School.

Each year this extremely competitive merit-based program brings the most exceptional high school students – two from each state, the District of Columbia and the Department of Defense Education Activity – to Washington, D.C. for an intensive week-long study of the federal government and the people who lead it. However, this year, the program will be held online. The mission of the program is to help instill within each class of USSYP student delegates more profound knowledge of the American political process and a lifelong commitment to public service.

For more information, visit: www.ussenateyouth.org.

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

– END –