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Benjamin Wood

Education reporter, Health, education, environment

801-257-8715, bwood@sltrib.com


  • A still from ’Tell Them We Are Rising: The Story of Black Colleges and Universities’ by Stanley Nelson. Courtesy Sundance Institute Sundance documentary traces the rise and potential decline of America’s black colleges
    Near the end of the documentary film “Tell Them We Are Rising: The Story of Historically Black Colleges and Universities,” several students are shown ...
    Updated Jan 22 2017 11:43 am   |     |   Share

  • (Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune)   West High School Asst. Principal Christine Pittam and senior Kai DiBirk, 19, sign up to participate in the ’Pocket Points’ app, announced by the school earlier this month. Students who stay off their phones during class are awarded prizes. App rewards students for ignoring their phones
    Distracted students are nothing new, according to West High School Assistant Principal Christine Pittam. But distractions evolve over time, she said,...
    Updated Jan 20 2017 09:18 am   |     |   Share

  • Crowd unanimously asks Utah Board of Education to repeal student-athlete transfer rule
    Robert McDaniel said Thursday that when he became principal of Cyprus High School three years ago, he inherited a school with low test scores, poor at...
    Updated Jan 23 2017 11:02 am   |     |   Share

  • (Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune)   Ta-Nehisi Coates, a journalist and ìmemoiristî who uses history and personal reflection to address some of the countryís most contested issues, such as urban policing, racial identity and systemic racial bias, speaks at Kingsbury Hall as part of the Martin Luther King Day events on Wednesday. Shadow of Trump inauguration looms over U. speech by author Ta-Nehisi Coates
    The keynote speaker for the University of Utah’s weeklong celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. began his remarks Wednesday by commenting on a Twitte...
    Updated Jan 18 2017 09:25 pm   |     |   Share

  • Students gather in the band room at Headfort School in a scene from ’In Loco Parentis,’ directed by Naesa NÌ Chian·in. Courtesy  |  Soilsi˙ Films Sundance documentaries pitch creativity, expression as key to learning
    During a scene in the documentary film “In Loco Parentis,” a man, John Leyden, sits in a cluttered room and reacts to a growing commotion outside. “I ...
    Updated Jan 20 2017 09:57 am   |     |   Share

  • (Chris Detrick  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)   Bingham kicks off the ball to Bonneville during the game at Bingham High School Saturday August 24, 2013. Bingham is winning the game 14-7 at halftime. Utah school board to hear feedback on new transfer rules for high school athletes
    Opponents of a new transfer policy for high school student-athletes will have another chance to make their case before the Utah Board of Education. T...
    Updated Jan 18 2017 01:56 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Leah Hogsten  |   Tribune file photo)   Sen. Lincoln Fillmore, R-South Jordan, gives his speech for the Senate District 10 seat at the Salt Lake County Republican Convention, April 16, 2016, at Cottonwood High School. There's a big gap between Utah's richest and poorest schools. Lawmaker hopes to close it.
    Utah has long ranked last in the nation for the amount it spends, on a per-student basis, to support public schools. But there’s another set of dispa...
    Updated Jan 18 2017 02:03 pm   |     |   Share

  • School board member: program for failing schools is $8 million in the red
    In 2015, Utah lawmakers set aside $7 million in annual funding to establish a new turnaround program for struggling public schools. That money is gon...
    Updated Jan 13 2017 10:14 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Al Hartmann  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)    Morris O’Haggerty, Assistant Utah Attorney General, representing Utah State University argues before the State Records Committee on Thursday on a Salt Lake Tribune GRAMA request for release of documents related to sexual assaults at Utah State University as Tribune reporter Alex Stuckey, right, listens. USU’s Torrey Green sex-assault investigation records could be made public
    Utah’s Records Committee will take until February to determine if a 2-inch stack of documents prepared by a Utah State University attorney should be m...
    Updated Jan 13 2017 02:01 pm   |     |   Share

  • After School Satan Club launches at Vista Elementary School in Taylorsville
    Taylorsville • Utah’s first After School Satan Club kicked off with an open house Wednesday at Vista Elementary School. The club, for children betwee...
    Updated Jan 12 2017 11:29 am   |     |   Share

  • (Jimmy Chin  |  Courtesy photo)   Mountaineer and University of Utah alumnus Conrad Anker will address graduates during the school’s commencement ceremony in May. Climber Conrad Anker to speak at U. commencement
    Renowned mountaineer and University of Utah alumnus Conrad Anker will address graduates at the school’s commencement ceremony on May 4. Anker was a f...
    Updated Jan 11 2017 10:48 pm   |     |   Share

  • ‘Don’t waste his money’: Utah high school assignment on dating draws accusations of gender bias
    For many teenagers, getting a date is hard enough — let alone if your high school grades depend on it. School administrators in Salt Lake City went in...
    Updated Jan 11 2017 03:25 am   |     |   Share

  • WSU receives $50K grant to create LGBT violence prevention workshop
    A team at Weber State University is working on new sexual violence prevention training with the help of a $50,000 grant from the Utah Department of He...
    Updated Jan 03 2017 07:38 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Al Hartmann  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)   Students line up by classroom and old classmates meet again at the brand new Butler Elementary in Cotonwood Heights Wenesday March 25.  It is one of hundreds of schools that opened Wednesday as students gear up for the 2016-2017 school year. School funding proponents moving forward with tax-increase initiative as Utah lawmakers prepare to convene
    Mary Bailey’s career in public education can be split nearly in half: 20 years as a teacher and 21 years as an administrator. That career ended in Ju...
    Updated Jan 02 2017 09:41 am   |     |   Share

  • 2016 will be even longer thanks to ‘leap second’ on Saturday afternoon
    With its months of divisive politics and long list of notable deaths, 2016 is widely derided as one of the planet’s worst trips around the sun. But E...
    Updated Dec 30 2016 11:17 pm   |     |   Share

  • |  Courtesy Josh Ewing  The new Bears Ears National Monument contains 109,000 acres of Utah state trust parcels, like this spot at the southern tip of Comb Ridge, that federal offcials propose trading for BLM land elsewhere. Utah officials are balking at the offer. Education funding from Utah’s trust lands expected to grow despite Bears Ears designation
    By creating Bears Ears National Monument, President Barack Obama put in limbo roughly 109,000 acres held in trust for Utah’s public schools. Revenue f...
    Updated Dec 30 2016 11:08 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Al Hartmann  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)   Incoming USU President Noelle Cockett speaks with Salt Lake Tribune’s editorial board Tuesday Dec. 13. ‘I don’t take lunch’: New USU president has hard-working history at school
    Noelle Cockett’s formative education years were spent at a small parochial school in rural eastern Montana. Grades one through 12 were housed in the s...
    Updated Dec 26 2016 10:23 am   |     |   Share

  • (Rick Egan  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)    The Stevens-Henager campus in Murray, Friday, March 20, 2015. Education department: Stevens-Henager College isn’t a nonprofit, and that’s final
    Federal education officials are sticking with their decision that Stevens-Henager College and its sister schools are for-profit institutions. The col...
    Updated Dec 23 2016 07:41 pm   |     |   Share

  • Uintah district superintendent to keep his job; school board approves $7K for conduct investigation
    Mark Dockins will remain superintendent of Uintah School District through the school year, members of the district’s school board announced Wednesday,...
    Updated Dec 22 2016 10:39 pm   |     |   Share

  • Audit: Utah State mismanaged conflicts with private company it created
    A private company created by Utah State University was rife with conflicts of interest and inconsistent financial reporting, according to an audit rel...
    Updated Dec 21 2016 08:30 pm   |     |   Share

  • Layton web developer donates $2,000 for unpaid school lunches
    Students in Davis School District are getting a little help with their lunch money this year. Layton resident Damon Burton recently donated $2,000, t...
    Updated Dec 21 2016 08:27 pm   |     |   Share

  • Uintah teachers fear lame-duck ouster of district superintendent
    Members of the Uintah School District Board of Education are scheduled to meet Wednesday to discuss, among other items, the contract and conduct of di...
    Updated Dec 22 2016 03:31 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Leah Hogsten  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)   Horizonte Instruction and Training Center has created a scholarship program through Salt Lake Community College for adults earning a high school diploma to further their studies. SLC alternative high school expands scholarship program to include adult students
    Diana Mejia first enrolled at the Horizonte Instruction and Training Center in 2011, shortly after she emigrated from Mexico to the United States. Sh...
    Updated Dec 19 2016 01:48 pm   |     |   Share

  • 2 Utah school districts named to AP Honor Roll
    Two Utah school districts are among 433 nationwide to be included in this year’s Advanced Placement Honor Roll. The recognition, awarded to districts ...
    Updated Dec 16 2016 09:37 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Trent Nelson  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)   Patricia Thomas reacts to the announcement of a homeless shelter moving in at 653 E Simpson Ave, across the street from her Salt Lake City home, Tuesday December 13, 2016. Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski earlier announced sites of four planned homeless shelters. Here is a look at the four Salt Lake City shelter sites
    The announcement of sites for new homeless shelters in Salt Lake City caught many neighbors by surprise on Tuesday. City leaders revealed locations ...
    Updated Jan 05 2017 09:10 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Trent Nelson  |  Tribune file photo)   Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski on Tuesday, Dec. 13, announced sites of four planned homeless shelters. Salt Lake City leaders say decision on homeless shelter sites set in concrete
    The decision is final. There is no going back, whether residents and businesses like it or not. Mayor Jackie Biskupski and the City Council on Tuesday...
    Updated Jan 05 2017 09:10 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Keith Johnson | The Salt Lake Tribune)    Inversion partially obscures the Wasatch Mountains as Hawthorne Elementary School students enjoy recess, December 17, 2013 in Salt Lake City. Updated air quality guidelines encourage Utah schools to hold indoor recess at lower particulate levels
    Utah schools are being told to play it safe before sending students outside for recess this winter. New guidelines from the Utah Department of Health ...
    Updated Dec 12 2016 10:49 pm   |     |   Share

  • |  courtesy of Utah Board of Education  Mark Huntsman was named the new chairman of the Utah Board of Education on Friday. Utah school board picks Mark Huntsman as chairman, increases leadership positions
    Members of the Utah Board of Education selected a new and larger leadership team on Friday ahead of recently elected members being added to the body i...
    Updated Dec 09 2016 10:31 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Chris Detrick  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)   Members of the football team practice at Skyridge High School in August. Utah school board votes to require loosening of athlete transfer rules
    Members of the Utah Board of Education gave final approval on Friday to a policy that compels the Utah High School Activities Association to loosen tr...
    Updated Dec 09 2016 10:31 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Steve Griffin / The Salt Lake Tribune)    BYU student Jerron Orton — pictured here in November 2016 — was critical of a proposal to relocate the school’s wall honoring alumni who died in war. In December, the university announced it will still redesign Memorial Hall into a space for meditation, but that the wall will remain in its current space. BYU scraps proposal to relocate memorial to fallen soldiers
    A tribute to Brigham Young University alumni who died in war is staying put in the school’s student center. The university announced Wednesday that it...
    Updated Dec 08 2016 08:54 pm   |     |   Share