Results & Case Studies

Researchers at the Utah Education Policy Center (UEPC) have already found the BTS Program has improved the educational experience in many ways, including:
Higher student achievement on the CRTs
Increased student engagement
Positive changes in students’ behavior
Increased participation in class activities
Willingness to try new things
Improved student attendance
Increased student confidence
Increased social-emotional development

In one Utah school, it was found that there was a


correlation between a student’s ability to match pitch and their reading level

Students who were struggling with reading were given extra music lessons to increase their vocal flexibility and pitch accuracy, and most of those students went on to improve their reading level dramatically.
With the help of arts integration, one class showed
improvement in sentence structure testing
higher scores than non arts-integrated classes
increase in language scores vs. a 1% decrease in non-BTS schools
increase in math scores vs. a flat trend in non-BTS schools
increase in math scores vs. a flat trend in non-BTS schools

Case Studies

Number of students who missed 10 or more days of school dropped 14%

The BTS Arts Learning Program has fostered the celebration of art as a universal language for teachers, students, and parents at Woodrow Wilson Elementary school. More than 50 percent of the students at Woodrow Wilson are English Language Learners (ELL), and the visual art program is providing a foundation for students to build confidence and success. In a test group, ELL students showed at least a 0.5 level increase in English fluency after only five days of instruction within the BTS program. Additionally, teachers have reported an increase in student attendance on days art class is held. The first year the program was at Woodrow Wilson, the number of students who missed 10 or more days of school dropped 14 percent. And, despite the barrier language can impose on a child’s learning, teachers feel students are 100 percent engaged in the art class at Woodrow Wilson.

  • Woodrow Wilson Elementary
  • Granite School District
  • Lynda Hart
  • Rosemary Mitchell

End-of-level test results for fourth grade science increased an astounding 22%

Teachers, parents, and students are delighted with the success of the BTS Arts Learning Program at Iron Springs Elementary School. After introducing the BTS program, end-of-level test results in fourth grade science jumped a substantial 22 percent. Throughout the year, arts specialist Alisa Petersen integrated visual art into core subjects, including science, to maximize student understanding and retention of difficult subjects. One such project—taught in correlation with the fourth grade science core that saw such astonishing results—taught students about how and where imprint fossils are formed in nature, using the artistic principles of positive and negative shapes.

  • Iron Springs Elementary
  • Iron County School District
  • Jane Twitchell
  • Alisa Petersen

Belknap’s end-of-year scores in mathematics were almost 20% higher than the state’s average

Integrated arts education, like that taught through the BTS Arts Learning Program, provides teachers unique and meaningful ways to teach students information in core subjects. Belknap Elementary found that students benefit significantly when they are taught music alongside core subjects like math. After introducing the BTS program, Belknap’s end-of-year scores in math were almost 20 percent higher than the state average. Belknap also has several students whose first language is not English, and the music program allows those students to practice their newly acquired language skills in a uniquely interactive and immersive way.

“Students learn in a variety of ways, and many students fall into the auditory learning realm,” said Brady Fails, principal at Belknap. “Having the music portion of the BTSALP in our school has certainly had a positive impact on the learning of many of our students.”

  • Belknap Elementary
  • Beaver Schoool District
  • Brady Fails
  • Amanda Riley

The number of sixth-grade students who passed a final language arts unit increased from 85% to 97%

The first year Oakridge Elementary began implementing the BTS Arts Learning Program, the number of sixth-grade students who passed the final language arts unit increased from 85 percent to 97 percent. Through the years, Oakridge has gradually implemented the full gamut of art disciplines into its curriculum, and the school’s educational excellence is reflected in every subject area. Successful integrated arts lessons have included math students creating a tile mosaic to learn about calculating area, social studies students creating an arts display on the Great Wall of China, and a kindergarten class writing and performing an original opera.

  • Oakridge Elementary
  • Granite School District
  • Roseanne Newell
  • Dianne Krehbiel

Average student vocabulary test scores improved from 19% to 94%

As part of the BTS Arts Learning Program, Oakwood Elementary School used integrated arts learning to teach science vocabulary to fifth graders, and saw incredible results. The lesson, titled “Electrical Aliens in the Comics-Sphere,” combined traditional methods with dance and visual arts instruction to help students learn the vocabulary associated with electricity. By the end of the course, the average student vocabulary test scores at Oakwood improved from 19 percent to 94 percent. Teachers at Oakwood commented that students were excited about the movement and visuals in the course and that there was a noticeable increase in student energy levels and excitement about learning.

  • Oakwood Elementary
  • Granite School District
  • Court DeSpain
  • Erica Wangsgard

Music helped fifth grade vocabulary scores increase from 68% to 95%

At Davis Elementary, fifth grade students learned vocabulary words for their magnetism unit with the help of music. Using West African drum rhythms, words and their definitions were set to simple beats, and when practiced with repetition the students were able to better learn and retain the vocabulary. The average vocabulary test score for the class prior to the drumming lesson was 68 percent. After the lesson, those scores jumped to an amazing 95 percent, showing just how effective the BTS Arts Learning Program can be.

  • Davis Elementary
  • Uintah School District
  • Kathy Farnsworth
  • Chalynn Thomas

91% of students learned letter sounds when integrated with dance, compared with 37% who learned the letter sounds without the dance element

Educators at Midas Creek Elementary put integrated arts learning to the test by analyzing whether or not students would learn letter sounds better kinesthetically versus visually and verbally. To do this, every day for 10 days one kindergarten classroom spent 15 minutes learning letter sounds kinesthetically by making the shape of the letter with their bodies or dancing to make the pathway of the letter. A second classroom learned these same letters visually and verbally. At the end of the course, 91 percent of the dancing classroom had learned the letter sounds, while only 37 percent of those students being taught in the traditional method learned the letter sounds.

  • Midas Creek Elementary
  • Uintah School District
  • Kevin Pullan
  • Angela Challis

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