Education / Vocation
Benchmark School is committed to the idea that all students can learn when high standards and clearly defined expectations for student learning are visible and stated often. Benchmark’s teachers serve as positive role models who strive to establish and maintain healthy relationships with students based on mutual respect, which heightens student motivation and provides a firm foundation for learning. We have seen our students excel in the classroom due to this program. In fact, on average Benchmark School’s students’ reading and mathematics scores increase by 1.5 grade levels in one year.
Benchmark School provides a positive learning environment, differentiated instructional strategies, and quality instruction that allow students to be life-long learners. Certified special education teachers work closely with home school districts to develop Individualized Education Plans that meet each students needs to provide the appropriate special education services. Instruction is differentiated and accommodations are made for our diverse student population. Benchmark School believes positive reinforcement and timely feedback, that recognizes individual student success, builds confidence, and encourages appropriate behavior leads to fostering positive long-term outcomes. Benchmark School aims for classroom settings with a 1:12 teacher/student ratio including two behavior specialists.
Benchmark School knows that students must be taught pro-social behaviors and attitudes in order for a positive learning experience to take place. Through the use of a specific positive behavior support program – as well as, consistent collaboration with therapists, medical personal, and other direct-care staff – our students are able to develop positive attitudes about school and improve their interactions with family, staff, peers, and other community members.
Accreditation and Credits
Since 1986, Benchmark School has been a secondary, residential school that is fully accredited through AdvancED (formally Northwest Accreditation Commission). The school follows the Utah State Core Curriculum and focuses on the core classes needed for graduation. All credits earned at Benchmark will be transferred to the students’ home school district. Students can earn 3.0 credits per semester. An additional 1.50 credits will be earned during the summer. For those students who are credit deficient, an Individualized Course Study Program is available for credit recovery.
Benchmark School offers General Education Development (GED) preparation for adult students and opportunities to take the exam. A limited number of on-line college courses are facilitated for students who have met the criteria. Teachers administer a vocational assessment on students to determine the student’s strengths and areas of need when creating transition plans. A Financial Literacy and Transition to Independent Living course are offered to aide in successful employment and independent living post high school. These programs collaborate closely with the Recreation Therapy department to provide additional vocational training.
Parents, guardians and other stakeholders receive a school handbook, quarterly report cards, newsletters and monthly updates. For more information about Benchmark School, please contact us at (801) 299-5334.
Patients have the opportunity to experience and learn real life vocational skills such as going through the application process, completing an interview, clocking in and out, receiving a paycheck, and receiving employee evaluations. All patient employees are mentored by our on–site job coach, who instructs and encourages patients throughout each stage of the program.
Vocational opportunities/ jobs may include:
- Working as a Teacher’s assistant in various classrooms
- Working in the school store
- Working in the school library
- Working in the kitchen
- Working with the hospital maintenance department
- Participating in and certification for the Pro Start Culinary program
- Individual career planning