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Superintendent's Message 2021-01-07

Dear Salt Lake City School District community,

I wanted to touch base with you on a couple of important topics.

First, I want to acknowledge the devastating events that unfolded yesterday in our nation’s capital and even here at our own state capitol building. Many of our students may have watched these events in the news and on social media with great concern. (I know I did.) As educators, we work hard to teach children that violence is never the way to solve conflicts. It is important for us as parents and as educators to convey to our students that this violence is not what our country stands for. Democracy matters, and we each play an important part in preserving it. 

As our students process what they’ve witnessed, they may have a lot of questions. The National Association of School Psychologists has put together a comprehensive guide with tips for parents and teachers to talk with children about violence. You can find the guide below in several languages:

Thank you for helping us continue to teach our students that violence is never the answer, that we can disagree with others respectfully, and that civic engagement continues to be more important than ever in 2021.

I also want to share some outcomes from this week’s Board of Education meeting. I mentioned I’d be   to the Board regarding an in-person learning option for secondary students. The Board voted to tie the start of this in-person learning option to the availability of COVID-19 vaccinations for teachers and front-line school employees. At this time, we don’t know exactly when those vaccinations will be available, but we remain optimistic that we’ll have that information soon. Once we have confirmed vaccination dates, the Board can determine when the in-person learning option for secondary students will begin. 

The Board of Education has also asked that I gather information for the next Board meeting and report on the mental health services available to students. We know online learning has impacted students in different ways, and I look forward to reporting on the mental health resources we offer to help support students and their families during the pandemic and beyond.

The Salt Lake Education Foundation will distribute food for families on the following dates and at the following locations. 

Wednesday, January 13, 2021 

  • Rose Park Community Learning Center (1105 W. 1000 N., Salt Lake City, Utah), 3:00-5:00 PM
  • On this day, the Glendale Community Learning Center will be also be distributing food at the following apartment complexes.
    • Seasons at Pebble Creek - 1:30 PM
    • Riverview Apartments - 2:15 PM
    • Ashford Apartments - 3:00 PM

Other food distribution dates and times for January can be found on our website, 

Finally, I would like to remind you about the upcoming stakeholder forums for our Superintendent Search. In order to select the best individual to lead this district, we need your input. Please join us for one of the upcoming forums on Zoom.

Parent Forums 
Saturday, January 9, 2021, 11:00 AM 
A Zoom link has been previously emailed to parents.

Tuesday, January 12, 2021, 6:30 PM 
A Zoom link has been previously emailed to parents. 

Community Forums 
Saturday, January 9, 2021, 6:30 PM 
Zoom link:   

Monday, January 11, 2021, 6:30 PM 
Zoom link:   

All stakeholder forums will have Spanish translation available. If you need translation in a different language or if you have questions about the forums, contact Molly Schwarzhoff with Ray and Associates at   

Sincerely, 

Larry Madden 
Interim Superintendent 
Salt Lake City School District

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