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Great Public Schools Criteria for Wyoming

Great Public Schools Criteria refers to the seven elements needed for closing the achievement gaps and raising achievement for all students. The seven elements are: (1) readiness to learn, (2) high expectations, (3) quality conditions, (4) qualified staff, (5) accountability, (6) parental involvement, and (7) funding.

Read more below about the Great Public Schools Criteria in Wyoming.

Readiness to Learn


Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) provides reimbursement for nutritious meals and snack served to children birth to 12 on participating child care center, home day care providers, head start programs, outside-school-hours programs, and emergency shelters based on Income Eligibility Guidelines. (WDE)

According to the ACCESS Web site Wyoming lost a lawsuit filed by school districts demanding state-wide funding for local pre-kindergarten programs. The presiding judge appointed an Early Childhood Standards Task Force that created the Early Child Wyoming Readiness Standards in 2002. (WDE)

A state bill was recently introduced that called for a high quality child care system with a quality rating system, incentive payments (50 percent of state market price of childcare), scholarships for professional development, technical assistance and quality support run by the Department of Family Services with preference given to at-risk children. (ECS)

Full-day Kindergarten:

Wyoming offers no state funding for Head Start programs.

High Expectations


According to the WDE Web site, "Standards specify what students must master. They are not instructional curricula or technical documents used by teachers to guide day-to-day instruction. Teachers ensure that students achieve standards by using a range of instructional strategies that they select based on their students' needs." (WDE)

Wyoming has developed extensive standards in math, science, reading, writing, literature, social studies, fine and performing arts health, foreign language, and physical education for the fourth, eighth and eleventh grades. The standards aim to incorporate specific learning groups (e.g., special education and ELL) as well. (WDE)

The State Legislature began the WYFLES program, which provides school curriculum for instruction in foreign languages' in elementary schools.(WDE)

Quality Conditions


Wyoming takes part in NCLB state grant Title IV, Part A—Safe and Drug-Free Schools

Education code says each district "shall endeavor to maintain when practicable" an average class size of no more than 20 students per teacher in grades K-3. (CEPM)

Teacher quality and enhancement programs must substantially address one or more components of What Works in Schools… Translating Research into Action by Dr. Robert Marzano which includes:

   1. Guaranteed and viable curriculum
   2. Challenging goals and effective feedback
   3. Parental and community involvement
   4. Safe and orderly environment
   5. Staff collegiality and professionalism
   6. Instructional strategies (as detailed in Dr. Marzano’s work)
   7. Classroom management
   8. Classroom curriculum design
   9. Home environment
  10. Learned intelligence and background knowledge Motivation (WDE)

Wyoming schools received top marks in the latest Technology Counts 2003 Study Pencils Down: Technology’s Answer To Testing. The study analyzes the amount of technology that is available to, and used by, students and teachers in all 50 states. Some of the categories considered included students per Internet-connected computer and percent of schools where at least half the teachers have school based e-mail addresses.

Schools in Wyoming landed in the top ten in a majority of categories. Some of those top finishes included having the second highest percentage (78) in the United States of teachers whose students use computers during class time.

Also Wyoming ranked in the top four in the U.S. for having 3.9 students, on average, per Internet-connected computer.

Wyoming is one of 31 states that have incorporated technology into the state standards for administrators and one of the 42 states that regularly collects data on technology in schools.

Wyoming appears dedicated to providing access to technology to all students despite the rural nature of many of the districts. This is demonstrated by the creation of the Wyoming Equality Network or WEN which connects 98 percent of the schools in Wyoming to a T1 line.

Video conferencing is available in every high school in the state.

Qualified Staff


NCLB has provided state grant money for the development of highly-qualified teachers and principals. WDE has made a strategic decision to target the majority of these grant funds to provide professional development for K-12 teachers/principals and other educators in the core academic subjects for reading/language arts or foreign language. (WDE)

$343,906 will be available for grant distribution on a competitive basis. The amount awarded per project proposal is expected to be in a range upward from $25,000. (WDE)

Funds will be awarded to worthy proposals to begin project activities in April 2006 and to finish by the end of September 2007. (WDE)

Accountability


Statute
Wyo. Stat. § 21-2-304, § 21-2-202
Administrative Code: WCWR 005-000-006 § 1 – 15

State does not reward but it sanctions districts on the basis of performance. State sanctions on district include offer of technical assistance, requirement that district create and implement a plan for improvement, or loss of accreditation.