BioEYES science lab

Students were hunched over microscopes, frantically writing down notes, and having excited conversations with lab partners.  These students are involved in the week long BioEYES Science lab at Bryant Middle School in December.

In collaboration with the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Utah, 7th grade students learned about the scientific process by developing a scientific question in relation to Zebrafish embryos and then determined what data they would need to collect to answer the question.  Students then counted, observed and tracked the zebrafish embryos and recorded data in their science notebooks.

7th grade Science teacher, Marc Ellis, observed how engaged his students were while participating in this lab project.  Ellis stated, “The most important thing that students learned was how to solve a problem using a lab experiment.  The students were very excited because it’s hands-on and they get to work with live animals.  The students were amazed at how rapidly they could see the embryos change.” 

During the lab, students learn about embryo and tissue development by seeing how a cluster of cells in an embryo develops into organs including a heart, brain, blood, and eyes.  Students also learn about genetics by receiving a normal and mutant zebrafish and exploring how the traits are passed down in a dominant or recessive inheritance pattern.  Science students were also able to explore how the inherited traits and structures allowed the organisms to adapt to their environment.

Bryant Winter Concert

On Thursday, December 8, from 6:30- 8:00 pm Bryant student groups presented the Bryant Winter Concert.  The Orchestra I and II, Band I and II, Choir I and II, Dance, and Drama department performed at the event.  The music groups performed a combination of holiday music and traditional music.

7th grade dancers have learned a variety of partner dances this year: Cha-cha, Waltz, Swing, and Bachata.  Their favorite is the Bachata because of its addicting music and natural movements.  They performed a dance showcasing the style and variations of this beautiful Latin dance.

8th grade dancers have had the opportunity to attend a performance and workshop with a hip-hop dance company based in Los Angeles called VersaStyle.  They learned some basic hip-hop dance moves, along with the origin and meaning of these motifs.  They performed choreography based on the dance combinations they experienced during this field-trip.

Drama students also performed in the concert.  Part of the Drama curriculum is performance and so as part of this students memorize a poem that is at least 16 lines long and use gestures and expression to perform it.  Several of the students who have a more polished performance were chosen to perform their piece at the Winter Concert.

Steve Schwemmer, Bryant orchestra, band, and choir teacher, feels that students’ participation in the Fine Arts has positive effects in all areas of student school performance.  “Students develop self-discipline and learn how to set individual goals,” Schwemmer explained.  “Students have a sense of pride and accomplishment when they’ve practiced and learned a challenging section of the music.  The focus and concentration that students learn in our program allows them to focus and concentrate in all academic areas.”

Science Interactive Notebooks

Bryant Middle School is a school wide AVID school.  Last summer, 6 teachers from Bryant were able to go to the AVID Summer Institute in San Diego.  They learned about the AVID program and how to implement AVID in their classrooms.  AVID’s mission is “to close the achievement gap by preparing all students for college readiness and success in a global society.”

The Science department at Bryant has utilized the tools they were taught in the Summer Institute to have all students use Science interactive notebooks.  Students have a notebook for each standard.  They use the notebook to keep the vocabulary pages, labs, and Cornell notes that they create in class.  Students review the notebooks each evening so that they can retain the information that they are learning throughout the unit.  The use of Cornell note taking and having students regularly review their notes is a core principal of the AVID program.

7th grade Science teacher, Marc Ellis, has found that the interactive notebooks are having many positive outcomes for the students in his classes.  “Students are better organized.  I am getting more assignments turned in and very few no-name papers.  Students have something to reference when studying at home.  I’m finding that 90% of my students bring their notebooks to class every day.”

In April, teachers will hand the notebooks for each Science strand back to students for them to review for the SAGE exam.

The Challenge

In connection with the ribbon cutting ceremony for the newly remodeled library, Bryant Middle School, is issuing “The Challenge” to all students and staff beginning October 27, 2016, which is to read 100 pages a month to meet a school goal of reading more than 200,000 pages before the end of the 2016-2017 school year.

Bryant Middle School received $8000 in funding from the Utah Legends Golf Tournament to purchase informational and fictional texts for the library.  This substantial donation resulted in more than 480 books being added to the shelves.  The Haloti Ngata Family Foundation and Salt Lake Education Foundation were a part of honoring the V.I.P. Donors: Lavell Edwards, Former Brigham Young University Football Coach, and Rob McBride, Former University of Utah Football Coach.

Students need opportunities for sustained encounters with print as well as practice and application of literacy strategies throughout the school day (Montero, Alvermann, & Swafford, 2004).  Principal James E. Yapias and Emily DeJong, the school Library Technology Teacher, have worked to create a school library that has become the center of the educational community.  This contribution provides students who may have limited print resources at home with opportunities to check out new, up-to-date, and relevant texts for their academic and personal reading.  The new books are a mix of informational text (about 60%) and high-interest fictional text (about 40%) chosen to reflect areas of student interest in grades 7-8.

“Over the last two years, the updated library collection has helped increase circulation by 133%,” said Ms. DeJong.  “This increase in student reading has been supported by all teachers, which is what makes our school culture academically strong.  The new books made possible by the Utah Legends Golf Tournament will make our library collection diverse and vibrant.”

Bryant’s ongoing commitment to a high-quality library program is one reason Bryant’s students are demonstrating high levels of academic performance.

Shannon Hale Author Visit

On October 4, all students at Bryant Middle School were visited by author and Bryant alumnus, Shannon Hale.  Hale is the best-selling author of fifteen children’s and young adult novels, including the Ever After High series, The Books of Bayern series, The Princess Academy series, and Book of a Thousand Days.  She has also co-authored the graphic novels Rapunzel’s Revenge and Calamity Jack with her husband Dean Hale.  Hale is the only Utah author to ever have received a Newbery Medal or Honor which she received for Newbery Honor winner The Princess Academy in 2006.

At Bryant Middle School, having authors visit the school is a critical component to developing students who are readers and writers.  Emily DeJong, the librarian at Bryant Middle School, said “We are so proud to have an author of Shannon Hale’s caliber that was a student at Bryant Middle School.  Our students are going to hear from Shannon and see what she has been able to accomplish in her life and know that with dedication and hard work that they can accomplish great things in their lives as well.”

Hale talked to students about the rejection that she faced as she began her writing career.  She said she continued to write because, “I didn’t want to get to an age and look back and say, ‘What if?’ I wanted to spend my time doing what I love.”  She described how when she writes a novel she focuses on “world building” and thinks about what the culture of the characters and society will be, what they will wear, what they will eat. 

Hale said that often boys think they can’t read her book The Princess Academy because of the word “Princess” in the title and encouraged them not to limit themselves by thinking something is “for girls.”  She showed pictures of famous male authors and boys reading The Princess Academy including Jon Scieszka and James Dashner.  To become better writers she advised them to “read, allow yourself to daydream, think, question, try new things.”  She finished by telling students not to write what they know, but to write what fascinates them. 

Margaret Peterson Haddix author visit

On September 22, all students at Bryant Middle School were visited by author Margaret Peterson Haddix.  Haddix is the best-selling author of over 35 books including The Shadow Children series, The Missing series, Uprising and Under Their Skin.  Haddix introduced her newest release, The Children of Exile.

At Bryant Middle School author visits are a very important part of developing students who are readers and writers.  Emily DeJong, the librarian at Bryant Middle School, said “hearing a real author speak is the ultimate literacy incentive.  When students meet the author of a book, the book becomes real and something they want to read.  And when they start to read one book, they will read more.”

Haddix described how she gets ideas for her books from things that happen in her own life.  She advised students that if they want to become writers they need to “read a lot, play around with poetry, keep a journal, and make sure you have time to think.”  Haddix said, “When I write, I get to imagine other worlds.  I get to imagine other people’s perspective on things.”  Haddix explained that she was inspired to become a writer from all the books she read as a child. 

Breakfast with the Superintendent

Throughout the year the Salt Lake City School District Superintendent will be hosting breakfasts for any interested parents or community members. The breakfasts will be from 7-9 am.  The breakfasts will be on the following dates:

August 30                                Rose Park
September 14                          Glendale
October 25                               West
November 9                              Bryant
December 14                            Riley
January 24                              Uintah
February 15                             Highland
March 28                                 Lincoln
April 18                                   Washington
May 24                                    Northwest

Salt Lake ELP Middle School Assessment Information

Salt Lake City School District’s Extended Learning Program (ELP)

Salt Lake City School District’s Extended Learning Program (ELP) provides specialized educational services for identified gifted and high ability 7th and 8th grade middle school students. ELP services are available at all district middle schools with more extensive services provided through ELP Magnet Programs at Clayton, Hillside, and Glendale Middle Schools, and West High School.

As part of the eligibility process for the 2017-2018 school year, gifted and high ability 6th and 7th grade students may participate in the middle school testing which includes an out-of-level CogAT, an abilities assessment, and out-of-level IOWA reading and math assessments. The assessments will be given at our school during the November 2 – December 14 testing window. The dates for testing will be chosen by the administration and proctors at our school. Check back on our website for those dates. Students who live outside district boundaries may call the ELP office for a testing appointment. This testing will be scheduled on November 4, 11, 18, December 2 and 9.

Parents must submit registration and disclosure statement forms to the district ELP office between September 19 and November 2, 2016. Registration and disclosure forms are available on the district website:, or contact Amy Burris, ELP Administrative Assistant, at the district ELP Office at 801-578-8573.

Parent information meetings will be held on Wednesday, October 12 and Thursday, October 27, 2016. They will begin at 6:00 pm at the Administration Building, 440 E. 100 S., rooms 112-114.

Students who are currently in magnet ELP do not need to retest.


The Front office will be open August 11-18 Mon-Fri 9:00 am -3:00 pm to assist any parents/guardians with late registration.   Computers will be available in room #103 for you to complete the online portion of registration. Please go to the Counseling Office to complete the registration, apply for fee waivers, and/or pay fees.  NEW students will receive their schedules on the first day of school, incoming 6th graders from a Bryant feeder school and returning 8th graders will receive their schedules once they are registered.

What do I bring?

Bryant Staff will be collecting the required documentation below:

Returning 8th Grade Students

  • Proof of address

Incoming 7th Grade Students

  • Immunization records
  • Proof of address
  • Birth Certificate

New Students

  • Proof of address
  • Transcripts from previous school
  • Immunization records
  • Birth Certificate

Special Permits

Students outside of Bryant boundaries will need to complete a Special Permit Form and meet with Principal Yapias.

Note: There is a $5 fee for all approved special permits.

  • Proof of address
  • Transcripts from previous school
  • Immunization records
  • Birth Certificate

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