The Wyoming Department of Education (WDE) is working closely with the Wyoming Department of Health (WDH) and other agencies to monitor COVID-19 (commonly called coronavirus) activity.
School districts should work directly with their local community health department to establish protocols to control the spread of COVID-19 and educate their employees and students on prevention. Districts may also contact the WDH at email@example.com.
This page will be updated frequently; check back often for updates.
- Special Update from Superintendent Balow – December 9, 2020
- Special Update from Superintendent Balow – September 1, 2020
- Special Update from Superintendent Balow – August 19, 2020
- Governor’s COVID-19 Pre-K to Kindergarten Transition Newsletter – August 19, 2020
- Special Update from Superintendent Balow – August 12, 2020
- Special Update from Superintendent Balow – July 28, 2020
- Special Update from Superintendent Balow – July 14, 2020
- Special Update from Superintendent Balow – July 1, 2020
- Special Update from Superintendent Balow – June 24, 2020
- Special Update from Superintendent Balow – June 16, 2020
- CARES – ESSER Grant Application Guidance – June 23, 2020
- Governor’s COVID-19 Pre-K to Kindergarten Transition Newsletter – June 15, 2020
- Special Update from Superintendent Balow – June 3, 2020
- Special Update from Superintendent Balow – May 19, 2020
- Special Update from Superintendent Balow – May 12, 2020
- Special Update from Superintendent Balow – May 6, 2020
- Special Update from Superintendent Balow – May 5, 2020
- Special Update from Superintendent Balow – April 28, 2020
- Superintendent Jillian Balow’s Statement on School Reopening Plans – April 23, 2020
- Special Update from Superintendent Balow – April 20, 2020
- Special Update from Superintendent Balow – April 14, 2020
- Special Update from Superintendent Balow – April 13, 2020
- Special Update from Superintendent Balow – April 7, 2020
- Updates from Superintendent Balow – April 6, 2020
- Superintendent Balow’s Statement on School Closure Extension – April 3, 2020
- WDE Approves all 48 School District Adapted Learning Plans – April 2, 2020
- 2020-045: COVID-19 Guidance Updates – March 30, 2020
- 2020-044: Guidance for State School Closure Period April 6-17 – March 27, 2020
- 2020-043: COVID-19 Guidance Updates – March 23, 2020
- 2020-042: COVID-19 Guidance Updates – March 20, 2020
- 2020-041: COVID-19 Guidance Updates – March 16, 2020
- 2020-040: Temporary K-12 Block Grant Guidance – March 16, 2020
- Governor Gordon and State Superintendent Jillian Balow Issue a Recommendation on School Closures – March 15, 2020
- Statement from Superintendent Balow – March 3, 2020
The Smart Start framework lays out requirements, recommendations, and considerations that will help ensure that schools not only open for the 2020-2021 school year, but that quality education continues throughout the school year. Smart Start was developed by a working group of expert stakeholders in Wyoming education and health. It highlights four key areas that are critical to the opening of schools – Communications, Safety and Wellness, School Operations, and Instruction and Technology. The working group placed the bulk of decision-making in the hands of communities – health officials, school boards, educators, parents, and even students. Communities know best how to address their unique challenges. Wyoming schools should be prepared to quickly and efficiently adapt school operations in response to their challenges.
The Smart Start framework consists of three tiers:
- Tier I – Open In-person classes and activities, as appropriate. Minimal adapted learning on a limited, as-needed basis. Most students in school at the same time under the provisions of current health orders. Social distancing and face coverings to the greatest extent possible. Buildings open to all students.
- Tier II – Hybrid Combination of in-person and adapted learning is required due to local or state health directives. Social distancing and face coverings to the greatest extent possible for those attending in person. Buildings open to some students..
- Tier III – Closed School buildings closed to students due to local or state health directives or orders. School districts will follow provisions in the approved adapted learning plan. Buildings not open to students.
Here are the Tiered starts, by Wyoming School District:
- Albany 1 – All elementary schools, all rural schools, Rock River, UW Lab School, and Whiting High School will be Tier 1; Laramie Middle School and Laramie High School in Tier II.
- Big Horn 1 – Tier 1.
- Big Horn 2 – Tier 1.
- Big Horn 3 – Tier 1.
- Big Horn 4 – Tier 1.
- Campbell 1 – Tier 1.
- Carbon 1 – Tier 1.
- Carbon 2 – Tier 1.
- Converse 1 – Tier 1.
- Converse 2 – Tier 1.
- Crook 1 – Tier 1.
- Fremont 1 – Tier 1.
- Fremont 2 – Tier 1.
- Fremont 6 – Tier 1.
- Fremont 14 – Tier 3.
- Fremont 21 – Tier 3.
- Fremont 24 – Tier 1.
- Fremont 25 – Tier 1.
- Fremont 38 – Tier 3.
- Goshen 1 – Tier 1.
- Hot Springs 1 – Tier 1.
- Johnson 1 – Tier 1.
- Laramie 1 – Tier 1.
- Laramie 2 – Tier 1.
- Lincoln 1 – Tier 1.
- Lincoln 2 – Tier 1.
- Natrona 1 – Tier 1.
- Niobrara 1 – Tier 1.
- Park 1 – Tier 1.
- Park 6 – Tier 1.
- Park 16 – Tier 1.
- Platte 1 – Tier 1.
- Platte 2 – Tier 1.
- Sheridan 1 – Tier 1.
- Sheridan 2 – Tier 1.
- Sheridan 3 – Tier 1.
- Sublette 1 – Tier 1.
- Sublette 9 – Tier 1.
- Sweetwater 1 – Tier 1.
- Sweetwater 2 – Tier 1.
- Teton 1 – Tier 2.
- Uinta 1 – Tier 1.
- Uinta 4 – Tier 1.
- Uinta 6 – Tier 1.
- Washakie 1 – Tier 1.
- Washakie 2 – Tier 1.
- Weston 1 – Tier 1.
- Weston 7 – Tier 1.
- St. Stephens – Tier 3.
- Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
Resources for K-12 Schools and Childcare Programs
- Institute for Education Sciences
COVID-19 Resources for Implementing Continued Learning
- U.S. Department of Education
Information and Resources for Schools and School Personnel
- Wyoming Department of Health
General Information, Links, Notices, and Healthcare Provider Information
WDE Division or Program Information
On March 20, USED approved Superintendent Balow’s request for a waiver from assessment requirements. As a result, Wyoming students will not take the summative statewide assessment, WY-TOPP, this spring. WY-ALT is also suspended. Any additional changes will be posted to the assessment calendar and also included in the weekly assessment newsletter.
ACT has canceled all State and National Testing for March through April. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic; there is no longer concern about census testing. Testing options are strictly to give juniors the opportunity to take the ACT for college submissions and scholarships. The WDE has issued a brief survey about possible options moving forward.
The College Board has announced that they are working to make AP tests available online to students enrolled in AP courses. The latest information and resources are available here.
For more information on statewide assessments, contact Jessica Steinbrenner, Assessment Supervisor, at 307-777-8568 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
On March 20, USED approved Superintendent Balow’s request for a waiver from certain accountability and report card provisions. As a results, no formal accountability determinations will be made for the 2019-20 school year. School districts may request an informal review of their School Performance Rating under Chapter 3 Rules if they were unable to administer the statewide assessment for good cause.
For more information on accountability, contact Sean McInerney, Accountability Supervisor, at 307-777-8752 or email@example.com.
- Districts may decide to utilize a pass/fail or satisfactory/unsatisfactory grading methodology as part of their Adapted Learning Plan. Courses graded in this fashion are not included in the student’s Hathaway GPA calculation, but districts still must report any credits earned from these courses in order to show completion of the Hathaway Success Curriculum.
- Students must still complete the Hathaway Success Curriculum to be eligible for the Hathaway Scholarship. Any students unable to complete the curriculum because a district was unable to offer courses due to the COVID-19 pandemic can apply to the WDE for an exception.
- The 8th Grade Unit of Study is still required. If students did not take it before the closure of school buildings, it should be delivered through the district’s Adapted Learning pPlan. Districts are still required to submit a certification form to the WDE assuring that all 8th graders have received the information. Resources are available here.
For more information, contact Bradley Barker, Hathaway Scholarship Consultant, at 307-777-6226 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Guidance is below regarding meal service during COVID-19. The Food Service staff from all over the state of Wyoming has done an amazing job of making sure that their students have received and continue to receive meals. There have been many waivers released by the USDA to assist food service staffs in the schools to continue to reach their students. If you have any questions regarding any guidance, contact Tamra Jackson at email@example.com.
Questions and Answers
- Summer Food Service Program and National School Lunch Program Seamless Summer Option Nationwide Waivers Q & A
- Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program During COVID-19 Q & A
- Child Nutrition Program Meal Service during Novel Coronavirus Outbreaks: Questions and Answers #4
- COVID 19 SFSP and SSO Meal Delivery Q and A
- Questions and Answers: Child Nutrition Program Meal Service during COVID-19 Outbreaks
- COVID-19 Meal Services Fact Sheet
- Approval Steps for Meal Service COVID-19
- Child Nutrition Program Meal Service during COVID-19 Outbreaks
- COVID-19 and Food Safety
- Fresh Fruits and Vegetable Program During COVID-19
- Nationwide Waiver of Area Eligibility in the Child and Adult Care Food Program At-Risk Afterschool Care Component EXTENSION
- COVID19 Extending Summer Food Service Program Seamless Summer Option EXTENSION
- COVID19 Area Eligibility Nationwide Waiver EXTENSION 3
- COVID19 Meal Pattern Nationwide Waiver School Year 2020-21 – EXTENSION 5
- COVID19 Meal Pattern Nationwide Waiver – EXTENSION 8
- COVID19 Parent Pickup Nationwide Waiver EXTENSION 5
- COVID19 Non-Congregate Nationwide Waiver EXTENSION 5
- COVID19 SFSP Closed Enrolled Nationwide Waiver EXTENSION 2
- COVID19 SFSP First Week Site Visits Nationwide Waiver EXTENSION 2
- COVID19 SFSP Meal Service Time Nationwide Waiver EXTENSION 2
- COVID19 SFSP OVS Nationwide Waiver EXTENSION 2
- Wyoming Potable Water Waiver Request
- Food Safety During COVID-19
- Nationwide Waiver of 60 Day Reporting Requirements for January and February 2020
- Emergency Procurement MEMO 2020
- Wyoming unexpected school closure waiver
- Donation of perishable food from the USDA Child Nutrition Programs due to closing of schools due to COVID-19.
- Food Service Accounting for the Summer Food Service Program
For more information, contact Tamra Jackson, Nutrition Program Supervisor, at
307-777-6263 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Districts wishing to implement alternative education delivery, such as Adapted Learning, should keep several considerations in mind. Assurances to maintain instruction fidelity for all students remain the responsibility of individual schools or districts. Guidance on creating an emergency school closure Adapted plan, training, and resources are available here.
Emergency Rules – Chapter 41 – Virtual Education
The modification to the rules adds language to allow for greater flexibility of delivery of instruction during times of emergency by establishing Adapted Learning. This includes direction for documentation and tracking student participation which will determine attendance, Adapted Learning providing the ability to expand currently approved virtual education programs, and the removal of some requirements during times of declared emergencies.
For more information, contact Laurel Ballard, Student/Teacher Resources Team Supervisor, at 307-214-0170 or email@example.com.
USED provided guidance regarding the use of federal funds to cover cancellation fees for all federally funded professional development opportunities.
The WDE is seeking guidance regarding the use of federal funds that cover programs, personnel costs, and professional development in light of school district closures and event cancellations that exceed carryover allowances and grants reaching the end of their cycle. This includes federal funding sources such as Title programs, TANF, Perkins, and IDEA.
USED recognizes that districts could face challenges meeting certain fiscal requirements. Districts are encouraged to reach out to the appropriate contact at USED. The WDE staff is also available to offer technical assistance.
Title I-A, School Improvement 1003(a): All allowable uses of federal grant funds still stand at this time. Reach out to the program manager if you have questions about how to use the program funds. Contact Leslie Koch at 307-777-6216 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Title II-A & Title IV-A: All allowable uses of federal grant funds still stand at this time. Please reach out to the program manager if you have questions about how to use the program funds. Contact: Mark Bowers at 307-777-8739 or email@example.com.
Title I-D Subpart 2 and Title III: All allowable uses of federal grant funds still stand at this time. Reach out to the program manager if you have questions about how to use the program funds. Contact Jessica Fancher at 307-777-8964 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Title I-D Subpart 1, Title IX-A McKinney-Vento: All allowable uses of federal grant funds still stand at this time. Reach out to the program manager if you have questions about how to use the program funds. Contact Shannon Cranmore at 307-777-3672 or email@example.com.
For General ESSA Grant Program questions, contact Jessica Binning at 307-777-6208 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Grants Management System will still be accessible via the internet as always. For general GMS questions, contact Diana Thompson at 307-777-6209 or email@example.com.
Career and Technical Education (Perkins V)
Perkins work is continuing as normal. All allowable uses still stand as of this time. For questions or more information, contact Perkins managers Randall Butt (Districts beginning with A-L) at 307-777-5329 or firstname.lastname@example.org or
Jeannie Coulson (Districts beginning with M-Z) at 307-777-6808 or email@example.com.
- Round #1 – Questions and Answers Regarding COVID-19 and Perkins
- Round #2 – Questions and Answers Regarding COVID-19 and Perkins
- Guidance on Donation or Loan of Protective Personal Equipment and Other Medical Supplies
Career Technical Student Organizations
For the most updated information regarding Career and Technical State Organizations and state competitions, contact the state adviser.
DECA: Mary Hopper, firstname.lastname@example.org.
FBLA: Barb Frates, email@example.com.
FCCLA: Angela Sweep, firstname.lastname@example.org.
FFA: Stacy Broda, email@example.com.
SkillsUSA: Janie Wilcox, firstname.lastname@example.org.
TANF Grant proposals have been extended until April 30, 2020 due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
For General Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Grant sites or the Early Childhood Collaborative Grant questions, contact Amy Reyes at 307-777-7708 or email@example.com.
All IDEA requirements remain in full effect when educational opportunities are offered by the district to any student. Districts are expected to document their efforts to meet the requirements. Upcoming RDA events will be held virtually or can be rescheduled by contacting Margee Robertson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- WDE Special Education COVID-19 Guidance – Updated October 2020
- Questions and Answers on Providing Services to Children with Disabilities During the COVID-19 Outbreak
- Council of Administrators of Special Education: Considerations for Special Education Administrators
- Wyoming Corona Virus COVID-19 Letter to Families of Students with Disabilities
- OSERS Supplemental Fact Sheet: Addressing the Risk of COVID-19 in Preschool, Elementary and Secondary Schools While Serving Children with Disabilities
For more information, contact Margee Robertson, Special Education Director, at
307-777-2870 or email@example.com.
In alignment with previous guidance from WDE, Special Education and Transportation staff should be paid in a manner consistent with general education staff. Standard Special Education and Transportation reimbursement procedures are still in effect.
Entitlement and recapture payments will continue as scheduled. Out-of-state tuition collection remains due on April 15 unless otherwise instructed. COMPS payments will continue as normal unless otherwise instructed.
Emergency Rules – Chapter 20 Transportation
The modification to the rules allows for the reimbursement of transportation services related to student needs. These needs include, but are not limited to, delivering meals or instructional materials during an emergency situation. The emergency rules have been approved by Governor Gordon and shared with district transportation directors on March 24, 2020.
For information on student attendance impacts on student funding, or school closure, contact Leslie Zimmerschied, School Foundation Program Supervisor, at 307-777-6000 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Data and Reporting
All WDE data collections remain on schedule. However, the Post-Secondary Readiness Indicator Review window has been delayed until May 4-15. Any changes will be updated here.
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
- FERPA & Virtual Learning During COVID-19 webinar recording and slide deck
- FERPA & Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Frequently Asked Questions
Picus Oden & Associates are currently organizing professional judgement panels. The subcontractor, District Management Group (DMGroup), has facilitated a schedule sharing activity for special education district staff and shifted from on-site school visits to virtual interviews with staff.
- National Association of School Nurses
General Coronavirus Resources
- U.S. Department of Agriculture
Food Safety Questions and Answers
- The School Superintendents Association
Information and Resources for School District Superintendents
- Afterschool Alliance
COVID-19: Considerations for the Afterschool Field
- Department of Family Services
Licensed Child Care Centers Serving Essential Personnel
Governor Defines Essential Personnel – begins on page 3
- Centers for Disease Control
Considerations for School Closure
Indicators for Dynamic School Decision-Making
Strategy for Distributing COVID-19 Vaccine
Vaccination Program Interim Playbook
Vaccination Distribution Process Infographic