A Letter About Late Start from the Board of Education
Dear SLCSD families and community,
Over the last week, we have spent time with you on our Late Start listening tour, hearing your concerns and thoughts on late start in our high schools. We are grateful to each of you who took time to attend, to our staff members who helped organize and execute, and to all who have shared their thoughts with us via email or in person. It was energizing to spend time with you in our communities, and we thank you for making time to let us know where you stand.
We want you to know that we have heard your support and your concerns. We’ve appreciated hearing about the ways in which our stakeholders — parents, students, teachers, staff — will be impacted. Your opinions are important to us. We understand that most of our community members are generally supportive of later start times for our high schools. But we also understand the difficulties this change would create for many of our working families, the concerns for scheduling across all our schools, the need to look out for our students with disabilities and other impacted groups, and the delicate balance between student well-being, family logistics, and staff needs.
Our discussion at our Board meeting earlier this week was made more robust because of your input. It is important for us as a Board that if we implement late start, we do it in a way that maximizes benefits for our students’ physical, mental, and academic well-being while minimizing the negative impacts on our families and educators. While we did not take an official vote on whether to implement late start, we would like to continue to seek input from stakeholders, including you.
At our next Board meeting on February 18, we will discuss the creation of a Task Force to continue exploring how we might best implement late start in our district and develop a potential proposal(s) for consideration. After our listening tour, we understand more than ever how important it is to have many voices at the table, especially when considering such a big change. We want to hear from more families, educators, students, and district leaders, and we invite you to keep reaching out to us with your input.
For any of you who were unable to attend one of our listening sessions, there is a public comment period at the beginning of each Board of Education meeting where community members are given a few minutes to share their thoughts with our Board. We invite you to join us at one of our upcoming meetings (our next two meetings will be held on February 18 and February 25, both at 6:30pm at the District Office, 440 E. 100 S. Salt Lake City, UT 84111). You can also contact each of us via email:
- Tiffany Sandberg, Board President, Precinct 1: email
- Melissa Ford, Board Vice President, Precinct 6: email
- Michael Nemelka, Precinct 2: email
- Katherine Kennedy, Precinct 3: email
- Nate Salazar, Precinct 4: email
- Samuel Hanson, Precinct 5: email
- Kristi Swett, Precinct 7: email
We’ll continue to share updates via letters and online at link to district website throughout this process. We look forward to working with you as we continue to explore the benefits of late start for SLCSD students.
Salt Lake City Board of Education