Wyoming school closures extended to April 30; Superintendent Balow says districts are prepared - Casper, WY Oil City News
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Wyoming school closures extended to April 30; Superintendent Balow says districts are prepared

Wyoming Superintendent of Public Instruction Jillian Balow. (Wyoming PBS, Youtube)

CASPER, Wyo. — Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon announced on Friday, April 3 that three existing statewide closure orders intended to curb the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus have been extended until April 30.

That includes in-building school closures. Superintendent of Public Instruction Jillian Balow issued a statement following Gordon’s announcement.

As the State Superintendent, I can proudly say that education in Wyoming is prepared to move forward no matter the circumstances.

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As of Thursday, all 48 school districts have Adapted Learning Plans for the continued instruction of all students. The process to build and approve these plans was iterative and involved multiple reviews by districts and the Wyoming Department of Education. I have personally read every plan and communicated individually with every superintendent in the state. 

I have extended maximum flexibility to school districts in addressing the needs of all students. They also can – and will be – modified as long as the closure exists. My office and I will continue to provide guidance, technical assistance, and support.

In their plans, school districts had to summarize their instructional approach and strategies for engaging all students. There are 48 unique plans to meet the needs of students. Learning is age-appropriate and will not feel like ‘normal school.’

My continued guidance is to prioritize personal and community health. 

The Governor’s COVID-19 task force on education, which I chair, has focused our work on kindergarten readiness and transitions from high school to college and career. We are also working through implications and guidance for incoming education stabilization funds as a result of the federal CARES Act. We look forward to providing updates. 

I would like to end by saying – we have the best educators. We have the best students. We have the best communities. Let’s support each other.

Superintendent Balow’s statement via the Wyoming Department of Education

The Latest Statistics from the Wyoming Department of Health:

What to do if you are feeling sick: In the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, the Casper-Natrona County Health Department says that people who are feeling sick or exhibiting symptoms should contact their primary physician.

If you do not have a primary care provider, and live in Natrona County, please contact the COVID-19 hotline, operated by the Casper-Natrona County Department of Health. The line is open Monday – Friday 8:00 am – 5:00 pm 577-9892. Hotline services are intended for Natrona County residents and may not be able to provide specific information to persons calling from out of county.

Officials ask that you please do not self-report to the Emergency Room. Persons experiencing problems breathing should call 9-11.

For general inquiries and non-symptom related questions about COVID-19, please contact the Casper-Natrona County Health Department via email: covid@cnchd.org

  • Practice Social Distancing by putting distance between yourself and other people. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Stay home if you’re sick
  • Cover coughs and sneezes. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
  • Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.

A list of area closures attributed to COVID-19 are available here.