Board Meeting Report - March 21, 2023
The Board of Education of Salt Lake City School District (the Board) held its latest meeting on Tuesday, March 21, 2023. You can view the meeting on the district’s YouTube channel.
2023-24 STUDENT FEE SCHEDULE
Immediately prior to its discussion about the 2023-24 Student Fee Schedule, the Board of Education held its second public hearing on the matter, as required by law. Board members discussed the proposed fee changes and how they can impact families. The district’s Business Administrator also reminded the Board that the fee schedule lists the maximum amount allowed for each fee and not what will actually be charged. After their discussion, the Board voted to move directly to their action agenda and approved the changes in the 2023-24 Student Fee Schedule.
VIRTUAL SCHOOL INSTRUCTION OPTIONS
The district’s Executive Director of Human Resource Services and Executive Director of Teaching and Learning provided information to the Board of Education about ways to provide virtual learning to elementary students. The district created a pilot school, Salt Lake Virtual Elementary (SLVE), during the COVID pandemic, but since the easing of the pandemic, enrollment has been drastically decreasing. Board members were given information about four possible options for moving forward.
- The Board could maintain SLVE as is. Because of the low enrollment, this would require a significant financial investment by the Board.
- The Board could create a virtual learning program within another district elementary school with program staffing based on student enrollment. Because of the small number of students, teachers would likely need to teach three grades each.
- Students could be referred to enroll in the Utah Online School. This virtual program is run by the Washington County School District and is available to any student in Utah. The Utah Online School offers only asynchronous classes.
- Students could be referred to enroll in Rocky Peak Virtual Elementary, a program run by the Jordan School District. This program offers synchronous and asynchronous options as well as voluntary in-person opportunities.
Board members asked district staff to survey the SLVE teachers and parents to see what aspects of virtual learning are most important to them.
FISCAL AND POPULATION VIABILITY OF A FOURTH COMPREHENSIVE HIGH SCHOOL
The district’s Executive Director of Auxiliary Services presented information about the viability of building a fourth comprehensive high school in the district. He shared the consensus that to provide a full complement of courses and enough flexibility that courses are available to every student, a minimum enrollment of 1,500-1,600 students is necessary. The report then reviewed various points of information.
- The current number of students at East High School, Highland High School, and West High School divided into four high schools
- The current number of all district high school students (including Horizonte, Innovations, and SLCSE) divided into four comprehensive high schools
- How enrollment projections would affect the numbers in the first two points
- The amount and cost of the land needed for a new comprehensive high school and the cost of building such a school
- The ongoing costs of operating a new high school
The Executive Director of Auxiliary Services emphasized that no boundary or other changes are being proposed but that he was answering questions that had been raised as part of the Highland/West feasibility studies. The Board expressed their gratitude for the information and agreed there is a very large number of issues to consider related to the future of district high schools. These issues will be discussed in future Board meetings.
SUPERINTENDENT SEARCH DISCUSSION
The Board President asked Board members to review some items related to the search for a new superintendent. He gave the Board two letters that will be going out to members of the stakeholder application review committee. Stakeholders will review the job applications once they are available. He also provided for board review and comment, a rubric that stakeholders may use in their assessment of applications.