March 21, 2016

CHEYENNE – Last week the Wyoming State Board of Education voted to progress the science review committee’s draft recommendations for Wyoming Science Content and Performance Standards. The next step includes a public input period, according to Pete Gosar, chairman of the board. A committee of 41 teachers, administrators, business people and parents developed the standards over the last year, and more than 200 public comments were collected and considered as part of the process.

Wyoming citizens will soon be invited to share additional feedback via online comment, five public meetings across the state, and upcoming State Board meetings. Input will be gathered and presented to the State Board for consideration at its May 26-27 meeting in Laramie. The board may then choose to vote to promulgate rules, effectively moving the draft standards to the next step: a 45-day public comment period. Draft science standards can be viewed here.

“We’re grateful for the committee’s dedication, hard work and commitment to an open process,” said Gosar. “The draft science standards are comprehensive and focus on dynamic, multi-tiered learning, allowing districts to address expanded concepts from varying perspectives. Now that the draft standards are available to Wyoming citizens, we invite everyone to continue sharing their input.”

After the State Board approved the final order on the Guild Charter School hearing, Wyoming Department of Education consultant, Joel Dvorak, presented the Wyoming Statewide System of Support, a mechanism developed at the request of the board to help districts achieve accreditation and comply with new accountability expectations. Dvorak gathered input from the board and will share it with the system of support collaborative council and integrate it into the next draft. An action item will be recommended to readdress the updated system of support at the April State Board meeting in Worland.

Due to a necessary technical correction, the State Board also voted to open K-1 standards for extended language arts standards for students with cognitive disabilities. “This review will be limited in scope but does remind us that we must develop a reliable framework within which we can address potential Wyoming Content and Performance Standards updates outside of the mandated schedule,” said Gosar.

Lastly, the State Board addressed Wyoming’s updated graduation requirements per the 2015 assessment and accountability bill, which require the Department of Education to modify Chapter 31 rules. The State Board asked the Department of Education to finalize these edits to get the rules into compliance by March 31 when the board will hold a special meeting.

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Paige Fenton Hughes
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