Governor Mark Gordon’s Reimagining and Innovating the Delivery of Education (RIDE) Advisory Group and the Wyoming State Board of Education (SBE) discussed the findings from the public input gathered by the RIDE and Profile of a Graduate initiative at a joint meeting last week, according to a press release.

The RIDE Advisory Group was established with the goal to study and develop recommendations for elevating Wyoming’s primary and secondary education system to a position of national leadership. The SBE has finalized the Profile of a Graduate and is working on identifying graduation standards. Extensive public input was collected to inform each of the initiatives, and several common themes emerged from the separate input provided by Wyoming stakeholders.

The RIDE Advisory Group and the SBE discussed input regarding the need for local flexibility and relief from the pressures of excessive state standards and testing. “If we want to expand on opportunities for student learning inside and outside the classroom, teachers need time to innovate,” said state board chair, Ryan Fuhrman. Wyoming stakeholders also would like to see additional opportunities for students to learn at an individualized pace, as well as the expansion of options that prepare students for careers and life.

The RIDE heard about the need to increase parent involvement and build stronger relationships between schools and communities. The implementation of the Profile of a Graduate also looks to the support of families and communities for its success. Throughout the development of the profile, the state board has recognized that the vision for Wyoming graduates may only be reached through the collective efforts of parents, schools, and communities.

The discussion also included current flexibilities within the statute to support innovation, such as competency, work, and community-based learning opportunities.

In honoring Wyoming voices, the SBE took action on a resolution to audit the current state standards as a means to focus on essential knowledge and skills and create time for schools and communities to provide more opportunities that promote the application of knowledge and authentic learning experiences for students. “The profile work showcased many examples of excellence across the state. The board wants to make certain schools have the opportunity to grow these types of student opportunities without unintended or unnecessary barriers created by state policies,” said Fuhrman.

The board also approved a request to establish a Board of Cooperative Education Services (BOCES) from Sheridan College and an alternative school calendar request from the newly formed Prairie View Charter School.

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