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West Valley City Journal

30 Granger High students were at risk of missing graduation, until they were introduced to this program

Jul 29, 2019 04:09PM ● By Jess Nielsen Beach

FuelEd, a credit recovery program, features a curriculum that helps at-risk seniors to not only catch up, but to learn trades and skills for work after graduation. (Wikimedia Commons)

By Jess Nielsen Beach | [email protected]

With graduation approaching, some students at Granger High were dangerously close to losing the opportunity to finish school on time—that is, until faculty stepped in to help. 

“Granger High School struggles with, for one reason or another, students who do not complete all of their credits to complete high school,” Ben Anderson, assistant principal, said.

FuelEd, a credit recovery program, features a curriculum that helps at-risk seniors to not only catch up, but to learn trades and skills for work after graduation. 

“FuelEd offers options for those students who are behind to graduate,” Anderson said. “Family issues, education struggles, whatever it might be, students find themselves in unique predicaments that lead to having as little as 10 credits by the time senior year comes around.”

Granger is also proud of how they received the FuelEd services: they paid for it themselves.

As a Title 1 high school, they were able to secure funds to close the gap to benefit their students, while still budgeting for in-class aid assistance, para education, lower class sizes, parent outreach nights and much more.

Once the program was secured, the 30 students had to get to work—and fast. Starting in January, students who had attended but still failed to garner credits had to commit to the program by being on time and working diligently to graduate from Granger.

“One caveat is doing the work,” Anderson said. “The students participated in a construction program, where they had to do two classes of online work every day. They also had to do two credits of home building.”

The home building courses required travel to Granite Technical Institute, where the teens learned framing, roofing, basic construction skills and more in order to give them the skills they need to get jobs after graduation. 

Students also went to electrical and plumbing classes as well, with five of them going straight from high school to apprenticeships or internships from J.B. Hunt Electrical. 

In addition to using the program to assist the students, Granger received FuelEd’s 2019 Transformation Award—the only school in Utah to do so.

In order to qualify for this award, it took two individuals to campaign for their students: teacher Mike Bernard, academic mentor, and Anthony Van Horn, construction mentor. 

Bernard championed for Granger’s cause, telling their story and ultimately bringing the school to the spotlight. There were seven winners total for FuelEd, with Granger winning for their success with the Construction Youth Mentorship Program (CYMP).

The school was notified at the end of the year. 

“We were very honored to receive the award,” Anderson said. “It’s been a very nice thing, because it compliments the efforts of the students and the teachers.”

The Granger Lancers know they couldn’t do all of this without the support of their families, the community and the district.

“I hope the city knows we’re very proud of our students,” Anderson added. “With our faculty and the beautiful building we have, it’s a wonderful place to learn.”

The school is on track to beat 80% graduation, which is something the students—especially those in the FuelEd program—can be proud of.

Of the 30 students who participated, 27 graduated, while the three who didn’t graduate on time are currently finishing credits online.

Anderson wants the community to know that Granger has their back. 

“We’re proud of our students and who they are,” he said. “You can come to us with your children and we’re happy and willing to look for solutions for them to succeed. The students deserve it.”