Wyoming digest

May 16, 2017 From wire reports

UW gets seat on state ed board

LARAMIE (AP) -- University of Wyoming President Laurie Nichols has appointed College of Education dean D. Ray Reutzel to represent the college on the Wyoming State Board of Education.

A law adopted by the Legislature this past winter grants UW a nonvoting, ex-officio membership on the Education Board.

The move aims to improve communication and collaboration among the state's educational institutions. A representative of the Wyoming Community College commission also sits on the state board.

Reutzel says sometimes there's a disconnect between K-12 perceived proficiencies and what's required at the university level. He says UW's voice on the board can help clarify such issues.

State Board of Education chairman Pete Gosar was quoted in the news release as welcoming the change.

The State Board of Education sets educational policies for Wyoming's K-12 schools on standards, accreditation, accountability, assessments and other matters.

Midwest School air test promising

CASPER (AP) -- A small school in central Wyoming closed for nearly a year because of a gas leak has cleared its first air-quality test.

The Casper-Natrona County Health Department and the Natrona County School District say the test of the air at Midwest School is the first of four it must pass before students can return to the building next fall.

A new air system has been installed at the expense of FDL Energy, which runs the oil field near the school.

The school had to be closed in May of 2016, and the students sent to Casper schools when testing revealed high levels of carbon dioxide, areas of the school that were deficient in oxygen, and one classroom that had a level of benzene 200 times more than government guidelines.

Honors college to be established

LARAMIE (AP) -- The University of Wyoming Board of Trustees has approved establishing an honors college.

Associated vice president for undergraduate education Anne Alexander says elevating the current honors program will help UW recruit more top-achieving students and compete with other schools that have adopted such programs.

Additionally, an honors college could require enrolled students to take part in activities such as undergraduate research, study abroad or internships, which currently are encouraged but optional for honors students.

Alexander says a more rigorous system would demand more of honors students, in turn making them more well-rounded, experienced graduates.

The trustees approved the idea last Friday. Plans call for the honors college to be fully established by fall 2020.

A search for the first honors college dean is under way now.