According to a press release, Governor Mark Gordon’s education initiative has completed its statewide listening sessions and will have a summary of policy recommendations available for the public later this fall.

The release did not provide any additional details on when the recommendations would be publicly available.

After conducting a statewide survey with over 7,000 responses in May, Gordon’s Reimagining and Innovating the Delivery of Education (RIDE) Advisory Group hosted 17 listening sessions with more than 200 attendees in June and July.

The last two sessions were held virtually on July 26 and participants across the sessions included a mix of parents, students, employers, district employees, and community members.

According to the release, some of the most common feedback received during the listening sessions included support for more individualized approaches to learning, more flexibility for students to move at their own pace, addressing standards, and expanding options that prepare students for careers and life.

There were also calls to increase focus on the early years before third grade, including pre-kindergarten, an increase in mental health support for students and educators, and teacher preparation, retention, and recruitment.

Gordon said in the release:

"We asked our citizens how they would improve Wyoming’s education system so we can better prepare students for successful careers in our changing world," Gordon said. "We heard a consistent message in both our small and large communities – they support their local teachers and want to maintain control. But we can do more to address challenges such as teacher retention, student engagement, and the mental health of both students and staff members."

The release said that the RIDE Advisory Group is trying to find approaches that are achievable and sustainable and will review innovations within Wyoming, states, and nations, and confer with experts and the State Board of Education on how whatever approaches are chosen might fit in Wyoming.

RIDE Chairman John Masters said in the release:

"It is abundantly clear that we need to appreciate the uniqueness of each student, and to promote an educational system centered on preparing each student for a productive and fulfilling future consistent with that student’s dreams and abilities."

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