The purpose and direction of the educational staff at WBI is serve young people suffering from mental illness and behavioral disorders. Instructors advocate for the student's needs, including educational, behavioral and emotional needs, by motivating, challenging and empowering them. We prepare students to transition back to their homes, schools and communities.
Minda Smith, Education Director
Minda Smith is Wyoming Behavioral Institute's education director. She has a bachelor's degree in elementary education and served as a mental health worker and education teacher for 11 years at WBI prior to becoming the Education Director.
Cynthia Harmon graduated from the University of Wyoming with a bachelor's degree in middle school education with concentrations in language arts, social studies, and sciences. Cynthia has extensive experience in working with high risk and special populations, including gifted and talented students. Prior to becoming a teacher, she was a group home social worker and an early childhood specialist. Cynthia provides educational services for children and adolescents receiving acute care at WBI.
Educational Services Brochure
Diagnostic Services Brochure
Frequently Asked Questions
Wyoming School Comprehensive Plan for Pathways Program Special Purpose Institutional School, 2015-16
The Education Program at WBI is designed to promote success in the classroom. Specific attention is given to designing individualized academic plans and using personal coping skills. Students are expected to participate in school to the extent they are able, and to complete assigned course work. Academic testing is provided to most WBI patients so that age equivalency reports can be completed.
A structured curriculum in math, language arts, and health is available. Acute adolescent patients use material from the classrooms where they are enrolled at the time of admission, unless WBI's curriculum is requested by the school district or no classroom materials are available or provided. Individual Education Program requirements are met when IEPs are in place at the time of admission. The strengths of WBI's education services include:
- Certified teaching professionals
- Academic testing
- Trauma-informed care
- Highly-structured environment
Certified teachers work with children, acute adolescent and residential adolescent patients for up to four hours per day while they are at Wyoming Behavioral Institute. Emphasis is placed on engaging students in the learning process, learning to work cooperatively with peers as well as becoming independent learners. Successful functioning in school is a treatment outcome for most patients.
Conference calls can be scheduled with school officials responsible for student performance (as permitted by information sharing releases). Tours of WBI and interaction with community representatives, therapists and the education coordinator are encouraged. Wyoming Behavioral Institute staff work to educate school districts about the academic challenges students face before, during and after hospitalization:
- WBI is an inpatient psychiatric and behavioral treatment facility where the focus is first and foremost patient care
- Some academic setbacks can be expected while patients devote time and energy to treatment
- Group therapy, outdoor and indoor play, relaxation, arts and crafts, and life skills training are among other teaching tools used at WBI to help with treatment
- Grades are given only for work completed within the Wyoming Behavioral Institute curriculum