District News

New study skills model helping students

teacher working with student

As Bountiful High Remediation Coordinator Alexa Lou Olson helped students during their remote Study Skills class last spring, she noticed students were struggling with school — not because of the subject concepts — but because of challenges outside of school.

“During the soft closure, I had a lot of kids reach out and say they didn’t want to do their homework because they were struggling with things in their personal life,” said Olson. “Their emotional needs weren’t being met and school was the last thing they were thinking about.”

Olson took action and worked with administration to incorporate aspects of Social Emotional Learning into the Study Skills courses offered at Bountiful High. The curriculum now includes self-awareness, self-management and responsible decision-making.

Additionally, Olson and staff members Emily Su’a and Kory Sagers decided to meet one-on-one with students each day to check in with and discuss goals. While the model is still in its infancy, Bountiful High is seeing increased success in their students’ ability to recover substantial amounts of credit and improved attendance for students with chronic attendance concerns.

“By implementing these SEL changes, kids are so much happier about learning and their willingness to ask questions. They now want to understand their course material and they aren’t afraid to ask questions or ask for help,” said Olson. “I like that school is now a place where they can excel.”

The school hopes to grow the program to offer additional study skills classes during the school day and expand the class to students in advanced classes. The idea is to help underrepresented populations who are taking Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate and Concurrent Enrollment courses.

One student said the modified class has impacted his life in several ways. 

“Not only has this class helped me catch up on my work, it has helped me be more organized with my planning and setting goals,” said Bountiful High senior Vincent. “In general, it has made me more efficient in completing assignments and being motivated to tackle more knowing I have a supporting cast that cares about my success in this class.”