Category Archives: News Releases

News releases from the Wyoming Department of Education

WDE Seeks Public Comment on Chapter 14 Rules

CHEYENNE – The Wyoming Department of Education (WDE) seeks public comment on proposed revisions to the Chapter 14 Rules: Education Program Approval of Public and Private Institutions Receiving State Funds for the Education Costs of Students. The revisions are a result of the passage of Wyoming Statute 21-13-336 in 2016 (SEA 0034).

The current rules (from 2006) detail the requirements for institutional schools in cases where Wyoming students are placed by court order; however, there are no requirements addressing placement due to medical necessity. The revised rules will define the expectations that institutions and facilities must meet in order to receive payment from the WDE for the educational costs of students placed by a court order, or placed for medical necessity as verified by the Wyoming Department of Health. The proposed revisions are a combination of rules and regulations for both W.S. 21-13-315 and W.S. 21-13-336.

Public comment on the proposed rules is open, both online and by mail from through April 30, 2019. Comments can be submitted online or mailed to:

Wyoming Department of Education
Attn: Jo Ann Numoto
122 West 25th Street, Suite E200
Cheyenne, WY 82002

All public comments will be recorded verbatim, including the submitter’s name and city of residence, on the Secretary of State website as part of the rules promulgation process. When commenting, please specify which rule change the comment is concerning.

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Media Contact:
Michelle Panos, Communications Director
michelle.panos1@wyo.gov
307-777-2053

State Superintendent Partners with Industry and CTE Teachers to Improve Hathaway Scholarship

CHEYENNE – Wyoming Superintendent of Public Instruction Jillian Balow applauds a new law that provides greater flexibility for Wyoming students to qualify for a Hathaway Scholarship.

“After years of work with industry and career and technical teachers, I am proud that Wyoming took one more step toward recognizing the viability of the trades and career readiness training,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jillian Balow. “With this bill, we can help deliver the skilled workforce that Wyoming industries need, no matter if that’s a four-year degree or specialized training. Whatever our cars will run on in the future, we’re still going to need mechanics with advanced skills to keep them on the road. We need welders, electricians, plumbers, carpenters and wind turbine technicians. Also, with Wyoming leading the way in blockchain technology, there is a growing demand for computer coders, tech engineers, and developers.”

Senate File 43, signed into law today by Governor Mark Gordon, expands Hathaway Scholarship opportunities. Wyoming students with an aptitude and passion for specialty trades now have more options for meeting the Hathaway Success Curriculum requirements in high school.

For 2019 and 2020 high school graduates, students can take either the current Success Curriculum or the new amended curriculum. The new Success Curriculum will take full effect in the 2021 school year.

The Wyoming Department of Education will provide guidance for school districts, institutions of higher learning, parents, and students later this month

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CTE

Media Contact:
Michelle Panos, Communications Director
michelle.panos1@wyo.gov
307-777-2053

WDE Helps Champion Wyoming Cowboy ChalleNGe Academy’s Educational Accreditation

CHEYENNE – The Wyoming Department of Education (WDE) announced Tuesday the Wyoming Cowboy ChalleNGe Academy (WCCA) in Guernsey received its educational accreditation from AdvancEd, a national non-profit organization that accredits educational institutions based on standards of quality. Of all the National Guard-sponsored ChalleNGe programs, WCCA is the seventh academy to gain full accreditation.

Credits students earn while attending WCCA are now more easily transferable back to students’ home school districts and will count toward graduation. Several Wyoming schools are AdvancEd accredited in addition to state accreditation.

“I am thrilled to see the Wyoming Cowboy ChalleNGe Academy gain accreditation,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jillian Balow. “WCCA gives each cadet who chooses to attend the academy the opportunity to explore many careers and trades, all while achieving their GED or earning credits toward a diploma.

“This was an incredible partnership we forged with our military, and we look forward to continuing to build on this accomplishment,” Balow added. “Wyoming succeeds when all of our students succeed.”

“Now that WCCA is accredited, we are looking forward to partnering with all Wyoming school districts in providing at-risk youth and non-traditional learners additional options for advancing their educational achievement,” said WCCA Director William Moore. “WCCA’s goal is to maximize a student’s credit recovery so they can rejoin their respective classes and graduate from high school. For those young men and women that can no longer achieve a traditional high school diploma, WCCA aims to provide them with the opportunity to obtain a GED and vocational education that will aid them in joining the Wyoming workforce.”

“We’ve been working toward accreditation for some time. I’m pleased our staff’s hard work allows us to continue to provide our state’s at-risk youth an alternative to dropping out of school, while partnering with Wyoming school districts to ensure they are college, career, and military ready,” said Major General Luke Reiner, Wyoming’s adjutant general.

The mission of the Wyoming Cowboy ChalleNGe Academy is to provide a safe, disciplined and professional learning environment that empowers non-traditional learners (ages 16-18) to improve their educational level and employment potential and become responsible productive citizens.

The WDE has developed a fact sheet to help answer questions school district might have, such as how this accreditation impacts districts when a student attends WCCA, then transitions back to his or her home district. This document will be updated as necessary.

For more information about the WCCA, visit wycowboychallenge.org.

WCCACake

Major General Luke Reiner, Adjutant General for Wyoming, and Superintendent of Public Instruction Jillian Balow celebrated the WCCA’s accreditation with a cake ceremony at the WDE offices Tuesday. 

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Media Contact:
Michelle Panos, Communications Director
michelle.panos1@wyo.gov
307-777-2053

WDE Helps Champion Wyoming Cowboy ChalleNGe Academy’s Educational Accreditation

CHEYENNE – The Wyoming Department of Education (WDE) announced Tuesday the Wyoming Cowboy ChalleNGe Academy (WCCA) in Guernsey received its educational accreditation from AdvancedEd, a national non-profit organization that accredits educational institutions based on standards of quality. Of all the National Guard-sponsored ChalleNGe programs, WCCA is the seventh academy to gain full accreditation.

Credits students earn while attending WCCA are now more easily transferable back to students’ home school districts and will count toward graduation. Several Wyoming schools are AdvancedEd accredited in addition to state accreditation.

“I am thrilled to see the Wyoming Cowboy ChalleNGe Academy gain accreditation,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jillian Balow. “WCCA gives each cadet who chooses to attend the academy the opportunity to explore many careers and trades, all while achieving their GED or earning credits toward a diploma.

“This was an incredible partnership we forged with our military, and we look forward to continuing to build on this accomplishment,” Balow added. “Wyoming succeeds when all of our students succeed.”

“Now that WCCA is accredited, we are looking forward to partnering with all Wyoming school districts in providing at-risk youth and non-traditional learners additional options for advancing their educational achievement,” said WCCA Director William Moore. “WCCA’s goal is to maximize a student’s credit recovery so they can rejoin their respective classes and graduate from high school. For those young men and women that can no longer achieve a traditional high school diploma, WCCA aims to provide them with the opportunity to obtain a GED and vocational education that will aid them in joining the Wyoming workforce.”

“We’ve been working toward accreditation for some time. I’m pleased our staff’s hard work allows us to continue to provide our state’s at-risk youth an alternative to dropping out of school, while partnering with Wyoming school districts to ensure they are college, career, and military ready,” said Major General Luke Reiner, Wyoming’s adjutant general.

The mission of the Wyoming Cowboy ChalleNGe Academy is to provide a safe, disciplined and professional learning environment that empowers non-traditional learners (ages 16-18) to improve their educational level and employment potential and become responsible productive citizens.

The WDE has developed a fact sheet to help answer questions school district might have, such as how this accreditation impacts districts when a student attends WCCA, then transitions back to his or her home district. This document will be updated as necessary.

For more information about the WCCA, visit wycowboychallenge.org.

WCCACake

Major General Luke Reiner, Adjutant General for Wyoming, and Superintendent of Public Instruction Jillian Balow celebrated the WCCA’s accreditation with a cake ceremony at the WDE offices Tuesday. 

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Media Contact:
Michelle Panos, Communications Director
michelle.panos1@wyo.gov
307-777-2053

Public Input Requested on the Proposed Computer Science Standards

CHEYENNE – The State Board of Education (SBE) requests public input on the Proposed 2019 Wyoming Computer Science Content and Performance Standards. The Wyoming Department of Education (WDE) will collect public input through an online survey until 11:59 p.m. on March 5, 2019 and also at regional meetings.

Public input meetings will be held from 6-7:30 p.m. at the following locations:

  • February 25, Green River – SCSD #2 Central Admin. Office, 351 Monroe Avenue.
  • February 25, Buffalo – JCSD #1 Buffalo High School, 29891 Old Hwy 87.
  • February 26, Meeteetse – PCSD #16 School Building, 2107 Idaho Street.
  • February 26, Douglas – CCSD #1, Admin. Building, 615 Hamilton Street.
  • February 28, Cheyenne – LCSD #1, Storey Gym, 2811 House Avenue.

A summary of the public input gathered during these meetings will be presented to the SBE at its March meeting. If the SBE moves to adopt the draft standards, an additional public comment period will follow before the new standards are adopted.

Once adopted, school districts will have until the 2022-23 school year to implement the new standards into their curriculum, instruction and assessment system.

“We rely on Wyoming citizens to make the most important policy decisions – computer science is no exception. The standards committee was comprised of 40 members including 16 teachers. I have full faith and confidence in their work,” said Superintendent of Public Instruction Jillian Balow. “We value additional input from the public to ensure we do our very best to prepare kids for tomorrow’s world.”

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Media Contact:
Michelle Panos, Communications Director
michelle.panos1@wyo.gov
307-777-2053

Support Needed for Summer Food Service Program

CHEYENNE – In an effort to head off hunger and poor nutrition across the state, the Wyoming Department of Education (WDE) seeks sponsors for the Summer Food Service Program. This is a federally funded program of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) that provides nutritious meals and snacks to children in low-income areas during the summer months.

While sponsors are needed across the state, Powell and Sheridan are in need of additional sponsors.

Sponsors may include public and private nonprofit schools; local and municipal sites; houses of worship; county, tribal and state government entities; private nonprofit organizations; public and private nonprofit camps; and public and private nonprofit universities or colleges.

Summer food program sites must either be in the attendance area of a school where 50 percent or more of students are eligible for free and reduced-price meals, or within the boundaries of a U.S. Census block where at least 50 percent of children are eligible for free and reduced-price meals at school. Once those criteria are met, the site is open to all area children under age 18. The WDE may assist sponsors in obtaining information about possible sites.

Last year, Wyoming summer food service program sites provided 296,071 meals and snacks, which is nearly 60,000 additional meals over the previous summer. Sponsors are reimbursed a set amount for each meal served. More information is available on the WDE website.

The USDA is an equal opportunity provider.

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Media Contact:
Michelle Panos, Communications Director
michelle.panos1@wyo.gov
307-777-2053

21st Century Learning Centers Seek External Organizations

CHEYENNE – The Wyoming Department of Education (WDE) is developing a list of prescreened nonprofit organizations that provide expanded learning programs, curriculum, and activities to youth.

Eligible organizations interested in supporting the work of after school and summer learning, are invited to submit a profile survey by February 8, 2019.

Under Title IV, Part B of the Every Student Succeeds Act, these programs must have a record of success in running or working with before and after school or summer recess programs, or be in partnership with such a program to be listed. To meet the requirements for a record of success, organizations must demonstrate that they:

  • Operate as a nonprofit in good standing in Wyoming.
  • Have a minimum five years of experience operating and/or implementing expanded learning programs outside the regular school day for school-age children and youth in Wyoming.
  • Provide a statement of success that describes the organization’s quantitative or qualitative measures of success in local programs for at least the past two years.

“Every student should have access to enrichment opportunities during non-school hours and 21st CCLC is one way to help achieve that,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jillian Balow. “These programs inspire, spark interest, and help students be successful in school.”

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Media Contact:
Michelle Panos, Communications Director
michelle.panos1@wyo.gov
307-777-2053

New State Report Card Offers Information on Wyoming Schools

CHEYENNE – A new tool for parents, educators, and others to access information about Wyoming schools and districts is now available at wyomingmeasuresup.com. The Wyoming Department of Education created the user-friendly website to house its State Report Card, a requirement of the federally mandated Every Student Succeeds Act.

“Transparency and public engagement are two of the main tenets of the Every Student Succeeds Act,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jillian Balow. “Our state report card gives everyone the ability to easily find information on their school and see how it compares to other schools in their district and across the state.”

Visitors to the new report card can view information from the 2017-18 school year at the state, district, and school level. Sections include school performance, assessments, enrollment, graduation, teachers, and more.

The State Report Card is an ongoing, annual requirement of the Every Student Succeeds Act, and will be updated and improved every year.

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Media Contact:
Kari Eakins, Communications Director
kari.eakins@wyo.gov
307-777-2053

Wyoming K-12 Enrollment Adds 53 Students

CHEYENNE – Fall K-12 enrollment data for Wyoming public schools for the 2018-19 school year is available online. Fall enrollment rose from 92,976 in 2017-18 to 93,029 students this year.

“As our state is focused on economic diversity, it’s encouraging to see a slight increase in school enrollment,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jillian Balow. “Wyoming has a quality education system and it is a factor families certainly consider when moving to or staying in Wyoming.”

Sheridan County School District #1 gained the most students with 88, followed by Laramie County School District #1 with 81, and Natrona County School District #1 with 64. The biggest drop in enrollment occurred in Sweetwater County School District #1 with 101 fewer students.

The Wyoming Department of Education (WDE) has prepared the following reports that break down the enrollment statistics:

This data was gathered from all school districts throughout the state in a snapshot performed on October 1, 2018.

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Media Contact:
Kari Eakins, Communications Director
kari.eakins@wyo.gov
307-777-2053

Wyoming Delegates Chosen for U.S. Senate Youth Program for 2019

CHEYENNE – Easton Countryman, a junior at Kemmerer Junior/Senior High School, and Toby Arment, a senior at Rawlins High School, will serve as Wyoming’s 2019 delegates for the U.S. Senate Youth Program (USSYP). Delegates receive an all-expenses paid trip to Washington, D.C. for an comprehensive educational experience, as well as a $10,000 scholarship from the William Randolph Hearst Foundation.

“The application process for this program is rigorous, and Easton and Toby excelled in every category,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jillian Balow. “Besides being excellent students, they are excellent citizens, and both have given back to their communities in so many ways. I am pleased that Easton and Toby will represent Wyoming as they meet with our nation’s leaders and get a real, hands-on experience in leadership through service.”

Countryman has been on the Kemmerer Junior/Senior High School gold honor roll each semester and has been recognized by the Kemmerer Lions Club for outstanding academic achievement in several areas. He is the president of his class, and participates in in speech and debate, 4-H, and golf. His community outreach includes volunteering for blood drives, highway cleanups, and park renovations. Countryman also helped start a youth organization called Interact, which he currently serves as vice president.

Arment serves as student body treasurer and also participates in the Rawlins chapter of the National Honor Society, band, and speech and debate; Arment captained the Rawlins High School speech and debate team his junior and senior year, and is the recipient of the Speech and Debate Academic All American Award: a recognition that goes to fewer than one half of 1 percent of all student speech and debate members each year. Arment has a keen interest in politics, and has volunteered to moderate political forums for city, county, and state races. He also has served the Carbon County Clerk as a poll judge.

The USSYP was established by the US Senate in 1962, and provides an educational experience for students interested in public service careers.Delegates will hear major policy addresses by senators, cabinet members, officials of the Departments of State and Defense and other federal agencies, and will participate in a meeting with a justice of the U.S. Supreme Court and President Donald Trump. Each session includes an in-depth question and answer period. The 57th Annual USSYP Washington Week will be held March 2-9, 2019.

The USSYP provides students with an in-depth view of the Senate and the federal government, as well as a deeper understanding of the relationships between the Legislative, Judicial, and Executive Branches. Two students are chosen from each state, along with two from the District of Columbia, and two from the Department of Defense Dependents Schools network.

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Media Contact:
Kari Eakins, Communications Director
kari.eakins@wyo.gov
307-777-2053