Ogden School District Making Resurgence, Becomes Accredited

Apr 16, 2021, 6:12 PM | Updated: 8:23 pm

OGDEN, Utah – The Ogden School District has become the second district in Utah to achieve accreditation. It was the latest in a line of accomplishments for a district that has been known more for struggles than status.

The accreditation status meant they have seen a resurgence in one of the state’s toughest school districts.

They have some impressive accomplishments, but officials said they’ve had to do things differently.

“That’s the way we do things,” said Janice Bukey, principal at New Bridge Elementary – a Platinum STEM school. “We give a challenge and students are going to engage through a problem-solving process.”

Every Ogden school achieved accreditation through an independent process that requires rigorous standards.

“When a family chooses Ogden School District, their child is going to get a high-quality education,” said Superintedent Rich Nye.

That hasn’t always been the narrative in a district known for high levels of poverty, ethnic minorities and students learning English.

Officials said the accreditation was among other signs that show it’s a new day for the district.

In just a few years, high school graduation rates have gone from dead last in the state at 69 percent, to as high as 90 percent at Ogden High School.

“It means we’re making the right moves, we’re doing the right things for kids, that’s the bottom line,” said Bukey.

In addition to accreditation, officials said every student now has a computer device and access to free high speed internet. They’re the only district to offer a K-12 IB program (International Baccalaureate), which has high rigor curriculum.

Their goal was to meet the needs of students where they are.

“We want to make up that difference and gap for students’ learning. We want to make it more equitable for our population,” said Bukey.

Nye acknowledged they still have a lot of work ahead. Scores still lagged behind in other areas, but based on recent developments, Ogden appears to be on the fast track.

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