Edith Bowen Laboratory School ranked first among Utah’s charter elementary schools

Designated a National Blue Ribbon School last fall, Edith Bowen Laboratory School was recently ranked first among Utah's 58 charter elementary schools and 68th among 2,636 charter elementary schools evaluated nationally. 

<a href=”https://edithbowen.usu.edu/”>Edith Bowen Laboratory School</a> has been listed among the top three percent of America’s charter elementary schools, recently receiving a first place ranking from <a href=”http://www.niche.com/”>Niche.com</a> among Utah’s 58 charter elementary schools and a ranking of 68 among 2,636 charter elementary schools evaluated nationwide.

Niche.com describes its website as a nationwide tool to help families choose which schools and neighborhoods best meet their needs. Niche rigorously analyzes public data, surveys, reviews and outcomes to provide community and school rankings, grades and profiles. Its 2017 charter elementary school rankings are calculated based on four weighted factors including academics (50%), comparative district analysis (20%), teacher data (20%) and culture and diversity (10%).  Statistics are largely obtained from the U.S. Department of Education.  Edith Bowen’s overall ranking is an A grade. The school’s teachers are rated A+.

“It’s just an absolute honor for our kids, our families and our school,” said Dr. Dan Johnson, Edith Bowen Laboratory School’s director. “I’m excited for the next phases of how we move forward, and I think it just is a testimony to how hard people work and how important education is.”

Johnson considers Edith Bowen’s greatest strength to be how true the school has been to its mission, which is to educate students with place-based and project-based learning. Rather than focusing on programs, Johnson says the school emphasizes what kids need to know and what they need to be able to do.

“We provide them with opportunities to be able to think and to design and to construct, and it builds powerful learners,” he said. “I think the next step for us is to make sure we do not turn away from what we know that works. We haven’t designed our school to have rigid direct instruction, but rather to create a community of collaborators and a community of learners. I think the next steps are that the faculty and students need to be even more engaged in that kind of work because it’s going to build kids who really, truly love learning. It is so awesome, it really is. It’s one of the amazing experiences of my life to watch how this has been developed.”

Edith Bowen Laboratory School <a href=”http://www.cachevalleydaily.com/news/local/article_2c3aaf92-90a7-11e6-91f0-67828125b289.html”>received another prestigious honor</a> in September 2016, having been selected among one of just three schools in Utah to be named a <a href=”https://nationalblueribbonschools.ed.gov/”>National Blue Ribbon School</a>. Johnson appreciates how Edith Bowen, as part of <a href=”http://www.cehs.usu.edu/”>Utah State University’s College of Education</a>, gives perspective teachers an opportunity to experience the school’s award-winning environment firsthand.

“I think it’s important that teachers learn how to teach this way,” he said, “and to see the impact it can have on kids.”

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jennifer@cvradio.com

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