Enhancement for At-Risk Students

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Walden’s students vary in culture, socioeconomic status, language, gender, motivation, ability, and more. Because each of our students contributes in their own way to the diversity that makes Walden’s learning culture so rich, Walden’s administration and faculty are dedicated to respecting and cultivating these differences. We know, though, that because of inadequacies in our broader social systems some of these differences can put students at-risk of academic failure. Walden’s administration and faculty is committed to identifying and assisting our at-risk students. The following policy outlines the criteria for at-risk and Walden’s current goals, activities, and programs for increasing student achievement.

Utah State Definitions

In compliance with Utah’s rule on Enhancement for At-Risk Students, Walden defines at-risk as low academic performance, poverty, mobility, and limited English proficiency.

Low Academic Performance. Low academic performance includes students who score below proficient on an assessment approved by the Utah State Board of Education or Walden’s Governing Board, including International Baccalaureate assessments. This includes students who score below proficient in Reading/Language, Math, and Science on one of the following exams from the previous school year:

  1. the Student Assessment of Growth and Excellence SAGE;

  2. the Special Education adaptive testing Dynamic Learning Maps; or

  3. other assessments approved by Walden’s Governing Board.

Poverty. Poverty includes students who qualify for free or reduced priced lunches through the National School Lunch Program, meaning that their family income falls below 130 percent or 185 percent of the federal income poverty line, respectively.

Mobility. Mobility includes students who are homeless, migrants, and/or refugees and any students who have changed residences or schools more than once in the previous two years.

Limited English Proficiency. Limited English proficiency includes students who are English Learners and received a score of 1-4 on either the Utah State Board of Education’s English language proficiency assessment or recieved a low proficiency score on an English language proficiency assessment approved by Walden’s Governing Board.

Other Definitions

In addition to the definitions provided by Utah’s rule on Enhancement for At-Risk Students, Walden’s Governing Board approves the following definitions for at-risk.

Minority Status. Minority status includes students who have minority status within one of the protected classes under the Civil Rights Act, Pregnancy Discrimination Act, Immigration Reform and Control Act, Rehabilitation Act, Americans with Disabilities Act, and Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act. In addition, minority statuses considered by Walden include race, religion, national origin, sex, pregnancy, refugee status, citizenship, familial status, and disability,  including students with a 504 plan under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Family Education History. Family education history includes students whose parents and/or siblings have dropped out of school prior to graduation.

Learning Disability. Learning disability includes students with an Individualized Education Plan

LGBTQ+. LGBTQ+ includes, but is not limited to, students who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersexual, and/or asexual.

Attendance. Attendance includes students whose attendance drops below 95%.

Family Upheaval. Family upheaval includes, but is not limited to, a student in foster care, abuse in the home, a student whose parents divorce, death of a family member, and/or chronic or long-term illness or injury of a family member.

Referral. If a student does not meet one of the criteria listed herein, the student may still be considered at-risk through observation and referral by a member of Walden’s administration or faculty.