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Board of Education Letter to Employees

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Dear Salt Lake City School District friends and colleagues, 

We write to you today simply to express our gratitude. The last few weeks have shown our state and our city what you, who work in our schools and offices everyday, already knew: Public school professionals do so much more for our community than most people imagine. 

Through an earthquake and the beginning of a pandemic, it is all of you who have led the way. Those of us elected and appointed to serve the District are immensely thankful for each of you. 

The courage you have demonstrated, prioritizing the common good over your own comfort, should give us great hope for the generation you are educating. All of us have struggled with feelings of helplessness. Some of us have felt paralyzed. You’ve been busy distributing food and other supplies that make learning possible. You’ve been busy disinfecting whole buildings hours after an earthquake. You’ve literally reinvented the teaching profession on the fly. 

Peeking in on some of your online lessons this last week we’ve smiled and laughed, forgotten for a moment about our strange times, and remembered the great teachers of our own school days. Your care and ingenuity will make a lasting difference to our city and to the lives of the young people we serve.

The work of education is never done. And the crisis we are facing now is far from over. Please feel free to reach out to us with any concerns. We don’t have all the answers, but we need to live with you in the daily questions. This will help us make the right decisions to support your crucial work. We hope you know the door is always open. We believe in you and feel extremely honored to work on your behalf. We have not forgotten the important discussions we were engaged mere weeks ago, about how to make your profession more sustainable in this changing city.

Take care of yourselves. Prioritize your own physical and mental health. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. We can’t do any of this critical work without you. When it feels hopeless, remember the adults that helped you through moments of collective and personal trauma, whether they were national tragedies or personal losses. Know that you are giving that same gift to a new generation. Because of you, they will flourish and grow despite the hopelessness we are all feeling now. 

In admiration, 

The Salt Lake City School District Board of Education

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