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Wasatch schools top state rankings for student reading proficiency

wasatch county school district education center
Wasatch School District
The Wasatch County School District Board of Education meets at the Wasatch Education Center in Heber.

Wasatch County School District has been named the highest-performing district in Utah for students’ reading skills.

At the school board meeting Oct. 24, board member Tyler Bluth celebrated the gains the district made.

“This is a huge accomplishment for this school board, for this district and for our teachers,” he said. “We plan on many more to come. We plan on this happening much more in the future.”

Bluth said the district has worked hard to improve students’ performance over the past several years. He said low test scores in 2016 were a wake-up call that prompted the district to set new goals for student learning.

Then, fewer than half of students in grades 3-10 were deemed proficient in reading, based on statewide end-of-grade RISE testing. Now, the district leads the state in English and language arts proficiency, and it ranks third in math skills.

These test results came after a recent study showed Wasatch County students’ academic performance improved during COVID, rather than the learning loss many of their peers experienced.

Director of teaching and learning Garrick Peterson applauded teachers for their work to improve students’ performance in all areas.

He said everyone in the community had to work together to improve learning outcomes in Wasatch County schools.

“It takes everyone to be involved in something like this and to achieve something like this,” Peterson said.

“It’s just a great thing for not just the district, but… for Wasatch County,” he added. “What a great achievement for the valley – to know that they’re part of a place that works on behalf of their kids like this.”

District leaders said they raised teacher salaries and provided new professional development opportunities as part of their efforts.