Tag Archives: education

Education Corner: Starting the day ready to learn: It’s what’s for Breakfast

sbpMany children arrive to school without having eaten breakfast. Starting the day hungry is not conducive to learning. There is ample evidence behind the science of eating breakfast to start the day ready to learn and perform, and how school breakfast programs set the stage for students on a daily basis.

A 2013 study on the effects of breakfast on behavior and academic performance in students (Frontiers in Human Neuroscience August, 2013) revealed that effects of breakfast consumption and school breakfast programs positively affect learning in children, across socio-economic status, in terms of behavior, cognitive, and school performance.

edcornerThe Food Research and Action Center produced a brief of research findings in 2016 that demonstrated a correlation between breakfast and school performance among children.
In the Fairpark community, Backman Elementary School’s Breakfast in the Classroom Program is an exemplar of how students are ready to learn as a result of the structure to provide nutrition at the start of the day. A description of Backman’s breakfast program can be viewed at this link:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=20&v=S02qUcxEmO8

Education Corner: How to Beat the Winter School Blues

edcornerThe holidays are over and school has resumed. While parents may have been excited to get their little ones back into the classroom, children may not be as enthusiastic. Are your students as motivated about school as they were in September? Often, parents and teachers find that at this time of year many students experience the winter school blues. As a teacher, I referred to this as the “third quarter slump”. Here are a few things to consider to help your students snap out of it (or even prevent it!):

Atlanta author and columnist Adlen Robinson, and mother of six children, offers tips to help adults address those winter blues with their students:

  • Speak to your child’s teacher to get the true picture. Ask if your child is struggling in a particular area and how you can help.

Teachers are always happy to discuss ways to remedy or head off problems before they fester.

  • Buy some new school supplies. Remember how excited children are to buy school supplies for the first day of school?

Try letting your child pick out a new notebook or other items. This would also be a good time to examine the current notebooks and folders. Maybe their entire organizational system needs a checkup.

  • Take an interest in what your child is studying. Talk about what subjects you liked when you were that age.

Similarly, admit what you struggled with. My children all knew about my childhood struggles with certain subjects

  • Start a reading club in your family. Choose a book that you can all read and then discuss during dinner.

The classics are great, of course, but try alternating who selects the book. Keep an open mind when they ask you to read their latest favorite.

Read more tips for parents here http://www.forsythnews.com/archives/22708/

The National Education Association recommends that teachers re-energize the second semester with things that will keep up the momentum of the school year:

  • “A Sneak Peak” – Before winter break, review what has been learned up to that point and provide a teaser for what students will be learning after they return

“This created anticipation among his students, says [Carl]Clausen. “When do we start?” they would eagerly ask. “

  • “Ownership Over Learning” – “I stress how grown up [the children] are, and I recognize their maturity as students,” [Michelle Wise Capen]she explains. “I have shown them a number of ways to work on spelling words during the first semester. In the second semester, I ask students to assess how they learn best and allow them to choose a learning approach on their own. Since the classroom expectations are still the same, children begin to take ownership of their learning without it being micromanaged by me.”
  • “Nothing Works Like Space and Technology” – Vicki Vieau’s class at Salem Grade School in Salem, Wisconsin, participates in the NASA cloud cover project, in which students record observations daily about the weather as the CERES (Clouds and the Earth’s Radiant Energy System) satellite passes over their town.

Read more tips for teachers here http://www.nea.org/home/30024.htm

There are many ways to help your students beat the winter blues. Check out the resources and re-energize!

Education Corner: Students with Disabilities: Which Plan is Right?

edcornerThe school year is well under way and the first quarter has ended. After countless meetings, lack of progress despite numerous interventions, and lots of testing, your child has been classified with a disability. You have so many questions! There are various plans for students with disabilities in the educational setting – IEP or 504? What are they and which one is right for my child?

The Utah Parent Center, a training and information center founded in 1983 by parents of children and youth with all disabilities to help other parents facing similar challenges throughout Utah, has posted a webinar called “IEP vs. Section 504 Plans: Which Is Right for My Child?” (http://www.utahparentcenter.org/iep504webinar). The webinar is presented by the Utah State Board of Education and can be downloaded by viewers. Topics include:

IEP vs Section 504 Which is Right for My Child Slides


IEP Tips For Parents

“Children with disabilities who qualify for special education under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) receive services under an IEP plan. However, some children with disabilities do not receive services under an IEP but are instead served under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504). This interactive webinar, presented by Jennifer Slade and Naté Dearden at the Utah State Board of Education, will describe similarities as well as differences between the IDEA and Section 504. For some children, providing the appropriate modifications and accommodations they need is the only way they will be successful in their school experiences. A thorough understanding of the provisions of these two laws and how they differ can help you and your child’s teachers plan the most appropriate education for your child.”

After view this webinar, you are likely to still have questions and in need of support. Be sure to maintain contact with your child’s school and his/her educational team. Working together has great benefits! Outside of the school you can contact the Utah Parent Center for resources, trainings, and support. Services provided by this non-profit organization are free.

Parent involvement is crucial to the education of all children. Children with disabilities are at higher risk for not completing school, not being employed or not pursuing higher education. Family involvement is especially crucial for these children. Seek out the resources you need to help your child be successful!

More information or questions can be directed to Education Corner author Deanna Taylor, transitionuniverse@gmail.com


Education Corner: The Journey to Being College and Career Ready

edcornerWhen you walk into Backman Elementary School, one of the first things you notice are posters with college and career ready themes.  Even their website opens with the theme (http://backman.slcschools.org/).

“This year at Backman Elementary, we are focusing on being college bound. This means practicing behaviors and skills now that will help our students reach their college and career goals.“

“College and Career Ready” is heard everywhere now, nationally and locally.  The Utah State Office of Education has a page dedicated to being College and Career Ready that has resources for the community on preparing youth to be college and career ready.  (http://www.schools.utah.gov/college-and-career-ready/).

A link to Backman’s  “College bound Character book” leads you to an alphabetized booklet of traits that are necessary to preparing for life after graduation.   (http://backman.slcschools.org/documents/Collegeboundcharacterbook.pdf)

Continue reading

Education Corner: Keeping Your Students Engaged in the Winter

Winter time can be challenging for students and parents, especially after the dazzle edcornerand glitter of the holidays. But keeping the academic and physical engagement momentum going doesn’t have to be drudgery.

In 7 Tips to Keep Your Kids Fit in Winter” The Parenting Squad acknowledges that kids need guidance and motivation to stay active beyond the tv controls and has generated a list of tips to keep kids active in the winter. The tips inlcude making your home a gym, getting creative with workouts, putting electronics aside and braving the weather, and dancing. Read the entiere article at http://parentingsquad.com/7-tips-to-keep-your-kids-fit-in-winter. Continue reading

Education Corner: “Operation Warm” SLC Firefighters to the Rescue

childcoatEach year the Salt Lake City Fire Department chooses an elementary school whose 2nd and 3rd graders will be recipients of brand new winter coats. This year’s school: Backman Elementary.

“Backman Elementary School in Salt Lake City has been chosen by the Professional Firefighters of Utah (PFFU) and IAFF Local 81 (Salt Lake City) to receive coats for their students. Backman Elementary School was chosen based on the needs of their students. 98% of their students qualify for free or reduced meals. “ (Salt Lake City Firefighters, Local 81 website. http://www.1645.org/mobile/index.cfm?highlightId=287)

Multiple media agencies reported on the event. Links are provided below to those articles.

Salt Lake City Fire Fighters Local 81 has a Go Fund Me page for community members to donate funds to support this project.

“This is a very low impact fast and easy way to raise the funds to make it possible to provide coats to provide coats. Continue reading

Education Corner: West High School

edcornerThe editors of The Gazette would like to learn more about the history of schools in our community. If you have any materials such as yearbooks, news articles, photos or other information to share, please contact us at: info@fairparkcommunity.org
This month’s featured school is West High School, “Home of the Panthers,” which is located at 241 North 300 West in Salt Lake City. West is the high school that serves students in grades 9-12 in the Fairpark community.
West was the first high school in Utah, originally known as Salt Lake High
School. According to the West High website, “West has been a Salt Lake
City School District high school since 1890, and was the #1 high school in
the State of Utah and #167 (2007) and #169 (2008) in the Nation according to Newsweek Magazine. West High School is the home to 18 National Merit Scholarship 2012 Semi-Finalists – the most in the entire State of Utah! We have more than any other public school in the State.”

West is an urban school that serves a very diverse community. There is a concentrated partnership between the community and the school so that all stakeholders in the school community are involved, which better serves the students in their education. Academically, “West offers over 200 courses ranging from remedial courses to vocational and college level academics, including the prestigious Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate programs, designed for serious academic students.”250px-SouthCampusWestSide
West also has a comprehensive sports program, that has a long history. “Participation in a sport is one of the major vehicles by which young men and women can learn to experience healthy fun and, at the same time, develop their full
potential as individuals. Students develop not only greater physical skill but also skills in teamwork, integrity, judgment, responsibility, leadership, self-discipline, and respect for rules and authority that benefits both themselves and their
teams. Winning isn’t everything, honor is. It does not matter how many times you get knocked down, but how many times you get up. Play with heart, win with class, and lose with dignity.”
You can learn more about West High School at its website:


Education Corner: Elementary students are musicians; SAGE testing

edcornerEducation is a community effort. Our teachers and staff in our community schools work very hard to provide education to our children. Parents work hard at home to make sure their students are completing their homework and getting the support they need to become the best learners possible. Volunteers are always needed in our schools. Please contact one of the schools in our community to see how you can be an active part of the school’s efforts. Visit fairparkcommunity.org for contact information.

Jackson Elementary School News and Events

Jackson Elementary has served the children of our community since 1892. Originally a one-room school house the school, now located at 750 West 200 North, is a full-service elementary school serving 550 students, pre-school through sixth grade.jackson

Perhaps one of the most unique aspects of Jackson is that every child becomes a musician, according to information at the Salt Lake District website. Every child who attends Jackson becomes a musician. Through a structured, sequential music program from kindergarten through sixth grade, every student, starting in third grade, learns to play the violin, learns to read music, and enjoys many opportunities to perform.

The school publishes the Jackson Journal every month with news and events about the school community, inlcuding Teacher of the month. The following is an excerpt from the publication. More information can be found at the school’s website at http://jackson.slcschools.org.


The long awaited Student Assessment of Growth and Excellence (SAGE) test results are in – a measure of how Utah students in public schools fared in English Language Arts, Math and Science.

The SAGE assessment system is a computer adaptive assessment system aligned to the state’s core standards. This comprehensive testing system includes summative, interim, and formative components.”

The scores indicate that Utah students are well below grade level proficiency. Keep in mind, however, that this was the first round of testing under the new system and that there were many logistical and technological challenges in administering and taking the test, which may have influenced student responses.

The following links provide statewide information as well as information on how schools in the Fairpark community fared:

All students in Utah: https://datagateway.schools.utah.gov/SAGE?schoolYear=2014

Backman Elementary School: https://datagateway.schools.utah.gov/SAGE?schoolYear=2014&leaNum=36&schNum=104

Jackson Elementary School: https://datagateway.schools.utah.gov/SAGE?schoolYear=2014&leaNum=36&schNum=188

Northwest Middle School: https://datagateway.schools.utah.gov/SAGE?schoolYear=2014&leaNum=36&schNum=440

West High School: https://datagateway.schools.utah.gov/SAGE?schoolYear=2014&leaNum=36&schNum=716

Utah State Office of Education: http://www.schools.utah.gov/sage/Results.aspx

Salt Lake Tribune article: http://www.sltrib.com/news/1743116-155/percent-students-scores-utah-science-sage

SAGE portal: http://sageportal.org/ – information for stakeholders on SAGE, including resources.

Please send questions and items for submission to education@fairparkcommunity.org