Wyoming’s Smart Start Guidance that allowed schools in the state to open this fall and remain open was a topic of discussion during a recent interview with Governor Mark Gordon. Sheridan Media’s Ron Richter has the details.
Last summer, the Wyoming Department of Education required that each school district in the state submit a Smart Start Plan outlining how they would safely, and effectively open their schools to in-person learning amid the ongoing pandemic. Each plan was reviewed and ultimately approved by the Department of Education. K-12 schools opened in the fall of 2020, and remain open to in-person learning. Governor Mark Gordon said he was asked during a recent conference call with a number of Republican Governors about the blueprint that Wyoming has provided for safely opening schools and keeping students in the classroom.
While the Governor lifted the statewide mask mandate on March 16, health orders for K-12 schools in Wyoming, including mask wearing in areas where social distancing cannot be achieved, remain unchanged. In a memo issued to school superintendents on March 8, Superintendent of Public Instruction Jillian Balow said schools should continue to implement the current and approved Smart Start plans that align with current health orders. She said the hope is that keeping school-related health orders in place will ensure we can continue to have in-person schooling, activities, and end-of-year events.