Laramie County School District awarded its first 5 Seal of Biliteracy awards this past spring. This past year, the Wyoming Foreign Language Teaches' Association SEAL Task Force worked to bring the Seal of Biliteracy award to Wyoming students. Two schools, Laramie County School District and CY Middle School, took the lead, offering the Pathway to Biliteracy and the Seal of Biliteracy to their students. While 5 students earned the Seal of Biliteracy at Laramie County School District, 11 CY Middle School students in Casper, WY earned Pathway to Biliteracy awards.
New Wyoming World Language Standards Presented to the State Board of Education
June 2012-Robin Holbrook, WDE Education Program Consultant for Foreign Language Content, and members of the Foreign Language Standards Review Committee presented a final draft of new World Language Standards that will take effect in 2013-2014.
The Board moved to approve the standards, with the next step of "rules promulgation" to be presented to the Board September 2012 in Jackson, Wyoming This rules promulgation will occur concurrently with the new Fine and Performing Arts standards..
Other topics mentioned by the Board were the need for legislation to change "Foreign Language" to "World Language" in the statute, as well as many positive comments concerning dual immersion programs.
UW includes Foreign Language in Admission Standards
November 2011-The UW Board of Trusees "approved the increased “assured admission” standards for all UW freshmen to a 3.0 grade-point average and an ACT score of 21 beginning in fall 2013.
"Under the old standards, the university guaranteed admission to in-state students with a minimum high school GPA of 2.75. Out-of-state students needed either a 3.0 GPA or a 2.75 GPA with an ACT score of 20.
"The new standards also assure admission to students who have a minimum of four years of English, math and science; three years of social studies and two years of the same foreign language. The old standard was four years of English and three of math, science and social studies.
"The changes match the Hathaway Success Curriculum, coursework designed to prepare students for college that is approved by the state Legislature."
(Taken from Wyoming Tribune-Eagle article)
New WDE Education Program Consultant for Foreign Language and ELL Named
August 2011-Robin Holbrook is the new Education Program Consultant with the Wyoming Department of Education with primary responsibility for Foreign Language Content and ELL Assessment in the Standards and Assessment Division. Prior to joining the Wyoming Department of Education, Robin worked for seven years as a Reading Tutor with the Poudre School District in Fort Collins, Colorado, notably with the Read 180 program where she worked with Middle School students who have never been proficient in reading. Robin's experience and great interest in Foreign Language comes from her experience living abroad in France for five years with her family where they all learned the language and culture of another country, greatly expanding their world and educational opportunities.
New Committees Formed
Two committees have recently been formed to work on some very important endeavors.
In April 2010, the Wyoming School – UW Partnership, P-16 Council,and language teachers from across state met and started the discussion of articulation across the levels. The Wyoming Department of Education formed a Foreign Language Standards Review Committee and beginning in June began work on reviewing the existing standards.
These are both long term projects with both groups meeting for meaningful discussions that will end with decisions that can only improve the quality of language instruction and student expectations and performance for Wyoming language students.