Schools may choose to describe up to two additional pieces of information about how their school is supporting students. These self-reported indicators are not factored into school accountability calculations but provide the opportunity for schools to highlight successful programs or practices in addition to the indicators included in school accountability.
PARENT & FAMILY ENGAGEMENT
Building Bridges with our Community
When looking at attendance patterns in 2014, we noticed there were groups of students who had trouble getting to school. We have an apartment complex on the far reaches of our boundaries that was too far for students to walk but too close to traditionally be considered for a bus route. We started looking it the possibility of a school bus and in three months we had 75 students safely traveling to and from school and our attendance greatly increased along with our capital with the Backman community. Out next step was to reach the students across the Jordan River from our school. This natural barrier meant that children had to walk along a busy road or through an abandoned field to get to school, so we started working on building a bridge across the river. Six years later, we have a $1.2 million project moving through the city process and we are expected to break ground in 2021! The Bridge to Backman Project also includes the beautification of the abandoned field, turning it into a natural park and outdoor classroom. At Backman, we work hard to break down every barrier we possibly can through partnerships, outreach, connections, resources and services. We believe that, in order for our students to succeed academically, we need to look at the big picture and clear the way so our children can focus on learning!
EQUITABLE EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES
Success with our Multi Language Learners
For the 2019-2020 School year, Backman was recognized as an Exemplary School by the Utah State Board of Education. We were one of eight schools in the state who met the criteria for our work with Multi Language Learners (MLL). Each year MLLs take the WIDA (World-Class Instruction Design and Assessment) which assess their proficiency in reading, writing, speaking and listening. Our goal is to move our students through this process as quickly as possible because if they do have mastery of the language by upper grades in elementary, they have a harder time accessing the grade level core content. We reached this success by teaching our students about the assessment, what it meant, why it was important, how to use the tools and access the platform. Then we poured through the data and supported our teachers in understanding how to teach MLLs, what to leverage and why there was a sense of urgency. We also received support from the district level through curriculum, coaching, data and guidance. Thirteen percent of our students reaching proficiency on the WIDA in 2019-2020, this was among the highest in the state. We are proud of our students who worked so hard and our skilled and relentless teachers who supported them!