COVID-19 Resources

Wyoming Department of Education > COVID-19 Resources

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 wdh.covid19@wyo.gov.

ARP ESSER State Plan

The Wyoming Department of Education has submitted its ARP ESSER State Plan to the U.S. Department of Education. The American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act, signed into law on March 11, 2021, includes $122 billion for the ARP Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ARP ESSER) Fund. Wyoming was granted $303,709,391 in ARP ESSER funds.

  • The ARP ESSER State Plan and supporting documents can be found here.
  • Public comment can be provided here.

2020-21 School Year Updates:

Smart Start Guidance Document

WDH Protocol Infographic for Positive Test in School Staff or Student

2020-21 Distance Learning: Guidance for Wyoming School Districts 

Emergency Chapter 41 Virtual Education Rules

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and Virtual Learning During COVID-19

COVID-19 and Student Data Disclosure Guidance

Federal Funding Updates:

ESSER I State Education Agency Reserve Grant Opportunity

CRRSA ACT – ESSER II GRANT GUIDANCE

ESSER I SEA Reserve Grant Application Guidance

ESSER Fund Frequently Asked Questions

Final ESSERII Factsheet

CARES Act funding for eligible Wyoming private schools


Smart Start Tiered School Openings, By District

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.

Additional Links:

WDE Division or Program Information

Assessment

Wyoming is assessing students to the extent possible for the 2020-21 school year. More information on assessments can be found here.

For more information on statewide assessments, contact Jessica Steinbrenner, Assessment Supervisor, at 307-777-8568 or jessica.steinbrenner@wyo.gov.


Accountability

The Wyoming State Board of Education has granted exception requests for state accountability for all school districts for the 2020-21 school year. Schools will continue to hold the school performance ratings received in the 2018-19 school year. Wyoming has also requested flexibility from federal accountability requirements. More information on accountability can be found here.

For more information on accountability, contact Sean McInerney, Accountability Supervisor, at 307-777-8752 or sean.mcinerney@wyo.gov.


Hathaway Scholarship

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. Parents and students can find more information at hathaway.org. Information for districts is available here.

For more information, contact Bradley Barker, Hathaway Scholarship Consultant, at 307-777-6226 or bradley.barker@wyo.gov.


School Nutrition

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 tamra.jackson@wyo.gov.

Questions and Answers

Meal Service

Additional Resources

For more information, contact Tamra Jackson, Nutrition Program Supervisor, at
307-777-6263 or tamra.jackson@wyo.gov.


School Support

Federal Grants
USED provided guidance regarding the use of federal funds to cover cancellation fees for all federally funded professional development opportunities. The WDE 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 les.koch1@wyo.gov.

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 mark.bowers@wyo.gov.

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 jessica.fancher3@wyo.gov.

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 shannon.cranmore@wyo.gov.

For General ESSA Grant Program questions, contact Jessica Binning at 307-777-6208 or jess.binning@wyo.gov.

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 diana.thompson@wyo.gov.

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 Jeannie Coulson at 307-777-6808 or jeannie.coulson@wyo.gov.

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, wyodeca@gmail.com.
FBLA:  Barb Frates, fratesb@wyfbla.org.
FCCLA: Angela Sweep, angsweep98@gmail.com.
FFA: Stacy Broda, sbroda@yahoo.com.
SkillsUSA: Janie Wilcox, rjhkwilcox@icloud.com.

TANF/ECCG
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 amy.reyes@wyo.gov.  


Special Education

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 margee.robertson@wyo.gov.

For more information, contact Margee Robertson, Special Education Director, at
307-777-2870 or margee.robertson@wyo.gov.


Finance

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.

Transportation

Chapter 20 Transportation
Current rules allow 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.

COVID-19 Transportation Reimbursement FAQs

National Association for Pupil Transportation Update on COVID-19

For information on student attendance impacts on student funding, or school closure, contact Leslie Zimmerschied, School Foundation Program Supervisor, at 307-777-6000 or leslie.zimmerschied@wyo.gov.


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)
On March 30, 2020, The United States Department of Education (ED) Student Privacy Policy Office (SPPO) hosted a webinar offering guidance to schools and districts in the wake of school closings across the country.

Best Practices for Districts Considering Work From Home Scenarios.


Additional Resources: