Category Archives: Superintendent’s Weekly Update

State Superintendent Jillian Balow sends an update to school district superintendents at the end of every week so they can see the memos which will be sent out the following week and highlight statewide education work.

Celebrating Keeley Anderson

Dear Superintendents,

I had the honor of traveling with Governor Mark Gordon to Newcastle last week to celebrate Keeley Anderson, an intervention specialist at Newcastle Middle School, who was named as the national 2022 Recognizing Inspiring School Employees (RISE) awardee.

In planning this event, our amazing team here at the WDE was able to successfully keep this whole event tightly under wraps so it would be a complete surprise to Keeley, her family, the students and the teachers in Newcastle. What a thrill it was to see Keeley’s reaction (surprise, joy and tears!) and be able to give honor to whom honor is due. Keeley is a special person, truly one of our country’s unsung heroes, and we are grateful to her for the difference she is making in the lives of the students in Newcastle.

Learn more about the award here and watch U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona’s award video here.

RISE


Visiting Hulett School

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Besides the Newcastle visit and the beautiful country we witnessed, we were able to interact with many hard-working leaders and classroom teachers at the nearby Hulett School.

One second grade teacher I met, Beth Marlatt, has been teaching 40 years, all in Hulett. She is, by all accounts, a local legend – and another one of those very special people working with our kids.

Hats off to the staff and student bodies of Weston County School District #1 and Crook County School District #1 Thank you for having us – it was a banner day up in the northeast part of the state!


Memos to be released today:

Sincerely,

BSchroederSig

An Eventful Two Weeks

Dear Superintendents,

Week two at the WDE has been very eventful, what with the legislative session opening. We kicked off the week with the State of the State address on Monday, where Governor Mark Gordon recognized Wyoming’s 2022 Teacher of the Year, Brittany Montgomery, a first-grade teacher at Harrison Elementary in Green River:

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The Legislature will begin their work on the budget next week. Currently, the budget contains a single-year external cost adjustment for educational materials and energy, which would equal a $10.4 million increase in the School Foundation Program for 2022-23.

Lastly, the WDE, along with several of our education partners, has created the K-3 Literacy Guidance Framework for teachers to use in their classrooms. Please share this framework widely with your individual educators: Literacy Guidance Framework


There are no memos this week.

Sincerely,

BSchroederSig

Brian Schroeder
Superintendent of Public Instruction

Brian Schroeder Sworn In As Superintendent

Dear Superintendents,

On Friday afternoon, Wyoming’s 23rd Superintendent of Public Instruction, Brian Schroeder, took the Oath of Office, and sending this weekly update is my final duty as interim superintendent before returning to my work as Chief Policy Officer.

In the speech he gave shortly after taking the Oath of Office, Superintendent Schroeder said his goal is to make a difference for students, teachers, and parents. He added that his objective is to give Wyoming the most dynamic Department of Education in the nation, saying, “We can lead the way in this field, therefore, we should.”

Superintendent Schroeder taking the Oath of Office

Superintendent Brian Schroeder takes the Oath of Office from Chief Justice Kate Fox.

Memos to be released today:

KEakinsSig

Kari Eakins
Interim Superintendent of Public Instruction

Superintendent Brian Schroeder Appointed

Dear Superintendents,

Governor Mark Gordon announced this past Thursday the appointment of Brian Schroeder as Wyoming’s Superintendent of Public Instruction. In the press release, Schroeder said, “I am honored and humbled beyond words at this incredible opportunity to serve the students, teachers and parents of Wyoming. I’ll do my best to help strengthen education for the future of our state.”

Here is a link to the full press release from the Governor’ Office.

We look forward to welcoming Superintendent Schroeder to the WDE.

On the memo front, memo 2022-014 contains some much anticipated information regarding Title I eligibility and allocations in light of the lack of National School Lunch Program data due to the USDA waivers. As always, the excellent staff at the WDE is available if there are any questions.

Memos to be released today:

KEakinsSig

Kari Eakins
Interim Superintendent of Public Instruction

2020-21 Graduation Rates

Dear Superintendents,

The graduation rate for the Class of 2021 was released on January 19. The 82.4% grad rate marked the eighth consecutive year of improvement in Wyoming and is a testament to the hard work of students, teachers, and staff.

Here is a link to the press release about graduation rates.

The path to this important milestone has had a few more bumps in it over the last two years. Congratulations to all and thank you for your dedication to Wyoming students.

Memo to be released today:

2022-011-2022-23 Hathaway-Success-Curriculum-Course-Verification-and-8th-Grade-Unit-of-Study-PDF

KEakinsSig

Kari Eakins
Interim Superintendent of Public Instruction

Statement from Wyoming State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jillian Balow

CHEYENNE – “I am honored, and deeply humbled, to announce that Virginia Governor-elect Glenn Youngkin has asked me to serve as Virginia’s Superintendent of Public Instruction. With a focused drive to lead on the front lines of educational transformation in this country, I have accepted. Therefore, I announce my resignation from the office of Wyoming State Superintendent of Public Instruction. Serving as State Superintendent for the last seven years has been the greatest honor and challenge of my life.

“Governor-elect Youngkin made educational transformation the centerpiece of his campaign. There is no more serious time to be in K-12 education governance than now, and Virginia is on the cutting edge of this battle for the future of our public schools. The work we will do to restore parents’ voices in education, push for innovation and student success, enhance school choice, and to eliminate political ideology from the classroom will set a new tone in Virginia and the nation. We have made great progress on these very items during my tenure in Wyoming.

“As State Superintendent, I made parent voice a priority by including parents in our policy making decisions, such as state standards review committees. We pushed through the Capitol inertia to pass historic Computer Science education requirements for K-12 public schools, greatly enriching and modernizing the curriculum delivered to our students. I have always been an advocate for school choice, and at times, chosen to place my own children in private school. I supported groundbreaking legislation during the 2021 session of the Wyoming legislature to substantially increase the opportunity for charter schools to form in our state. And when it comes to politics in the classroom, I’ve made my position crystal clear that partisan politics and radical theories should not be forced upon our children.

“I started my teaching career in the small town of Hulett, Wyoming, population 386. From there I have built a 25-year career in education and politics, serving as a national literacy consultant, an executive in state government, a policy advisor in the governor’s office, and now the elected State Superintendent of Public Instruction. I have served in leadership positions of national education organizations and led through COVID-19 with the highest percentage of students learning in-person in the nation. I am ready and more motivated than ever to engage at this critical time in our nation’s history serving alongside Governor-elect Youngkin as he leads Virginia through this historic opportunity to reset and restore public education with parents and students as the priority.”

– END –

High-resolution photo of Jillian Balow

New Year, New Memos

We are ringing in the new year with seven memos. Stay warm.

Memos to be released on Monday:

 

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NAESP Resources Available

Dear Superintendents,

Earlier this month, the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) released the second brief in the Leaders We Need Now (LWNN) research series titled Evolution of the Principalship: Leaders Explain How the Profession Is Changing Through a Most Difficult Year. The brief reveals that in 2020–21, principals’ work priorities shifted in response to the new challenges caused by the pandemic, and principals took on new responsibilities in community-wide crisis management and social media communications. The second brief, Evolution of the Principalship, is available here. You can also access the Leaders We Need executive summary and the first brief in the series, Leaders in the Tumult.

Related, the Wallace Foundation shared a new guide for school district leaders on leveraging federal sources to fund principal pipelines.

Finally, U.S. Education Secretary Cardona penned this letter describing strategies for addressing teacher and staff shortages that can be funded through ARP ESSER.

Memos to be released today:

Have a blessed holiday break.

Blue Balow Signature

“The SEA of the Future is Already Here and It’s Wyoming”

Dear Superintendents,

Thank you for being great partners in education. We proudly share this recognition with you and many others: “The SEA of the Future is Already Here and It’s Wyoming” 

Tis the Season

Each year we select one Wyoming school to create an ornament for the National Christmas at the White House. This year a 6th grade art class at Eastside Elementary School in Rock Springs took the sleigh by the reins. The theme, “What makes your state beautiful?” was evident in every art piece. The ornament below is hanging on the National Christmas Tree this year. Congratulations Eastside 6th graders!

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Wyoming’s ornament on the National Christmas Tree in Washington, DC

Memo to be released today:

2021-135-Public-Comment-on-Proposed-School-Accountability-Rules-PDF

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