Wyoming Department of Education Officials are asking school districts throughout the state to submit plans for reopening this fall.

The Smart Start Guidance provides requirements, recommendations and considerations based on three tiers of possible reopening and operating scenarios schools could face this fall, according to a news release.

School districts will be required to submit their plans to WDE by August 3. Plans must include how schools will meet requirements for all three tiers of operating in various focus areas.

According to the guidelines, the three tiers are as follows:

  • Tier I - Schools are open to students with some health precautions like social distancing and use of masks.
  • Tier II - A combination of in-person instruction with possible intermittent closures and quarantining students and staff.
  • Tier III - Full closure of school buildings to students at the state or county level. Similar to what occurred at the end of this school year.

In the plan, Wyoming Superintendent of Public Instruction Jillian Balow told teachers and administrators to "expect change."

"During the 2019-2020 school year, precious instructional time was lost and all of us faltered as we adapted to learning packets and remote instruction. We know better now," Balow said. "Technology will be an integral part of every school's "tiered" approach to school operations and educational delivery.

"New health and safety protocols will be in place for a long time, maybe forever. We can help slow the spread of COVID-19.

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