April 23, 2020

Micheal Pearlman, office of Gov. Mark Gordon

Schools can reopen in May to limited instruction and school districts will be required to submit proposals for reopening schools, Wyoming Department of Education Superintendent Jillian Balow said Thursday afternoon. Balow spoke during a news conference held by Gov. Mark Gordon.

CHEYENNE - Superintendent Jillian Balow issued the following statements on the reopening of schools in the weeks or months ahead:

"School districts have implemented their Adapted Learning Plans, approved by the Wyoming Department of Education (WDE). These plans are authorized for use until the end of the school year, if needed.

Health orders, including the order for educational institutions, remain in effect.

"There are school districts that want to open school buildings to students as soon as possible. Within the current health orders, there is an opportunity for districts to work with their county health officials to open school buildings to some students on a limited basis for in-person instruction. Examples of this include services for those on IEPs with special needs, career and technical education, and small group reading intervention. Proper social distancing, hygiene, and enhanced sanitation must be practiced and guidelines from the CDC and Wyoming Department of Health must be followed.

"To prepare for the eventual reopening of schools - whether this spring (utilizing a variance), during the summer months, or in the fall - districts are required to submit a Reopening Schools Plan to the WDE. This plan requires approval by the local county health official. All school district superintendents should be engaged in regular and ongoing conversations with their county health official to develop a plan. The discussion about immediate in-person instruction of some students should evolve into discussions about broader opening of schools to students during the summer, and then fall. The health and safety of students, staff, and the community are of primary importance.

"In the coming days my staff and I will provide guidance to school districts including a template for reopening schools."


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