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WYOMING COLLABORATIVE FOR STUDENT SUCCESS:

CONNECTING THE DOTS WITH LEGISLATORS

Amanda McAdams

In recent years, there has been an increasing need for educators to create and strengthen relationships with legislators in Wyoming. As the legislature looks to tighten the financial belt on education, the state is also implementing their accountability plan under the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). State legislators had little to no knowledge of ESSA, or the state’s accountability plan and how it was going to be implemented in the 2018-19 school year. Because there were multiple competing priorities and differing levels of knowledge, we found it critical to ensure all stakeholders are familiar with Wyoming’s state plan and so the state implements it with fidelity and in a way that will improve student outcomes.

Thus, the Wyoming Collaborative for Student Success developed a plan to achieve three main goals:

  • Strengthen relationships between legislators and educators;
  • Amplify educator voice in policy discussions;
  • Support accountability implementations to ensure the opportunities of ESSA are being met.

To achieve this, we developed a legislator-teacher network, which began with our second annual Take Your Legislator to School Day in Lincoln County School District #2. This was followed by an ESSA training for our state legislators, led by teacher leaders and Teacher Champions.

Representative Marti Halverson reading with students in Etna Elementary.
Senator Dan Dockstader chatting with Star Valley Middle School teacher, Scott Milne during our legislator training