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Board Meeting Report - May 7, 2024

The Board of Education of Salt Lake City School District (the Board) met on Tuesday, May 7, 2024. You can watch the meeting on the district YouTube channel:


The Board honored two award-winning teachers and thanked them for their dedication to our students.

  • Kenan Brown at Clayton Middle School was named the 2024 Innovative Teacher of the Year by the Utah Coalition for Educational Technology.
  • Sayre Posey from Northwest Middle School was recently selected as the 2025 Salt Lake City School District Teacher of the Year.

General Fund Budget

During the last few Board meetings, Business Administrator Alan Kearsley has reported on various parts of the district’s annual budget. For this meeting, he reported on the general fund budget. The money in the general fund comes mainly from local property taxes and funding from the Utah Legislature and federal government. This money is used to operate our schools and district offices, with nearly 90 percent of the general fund used to pay for employee salaries and benefits. The other ten percent goes to items such as supplies, equipment, and contracted services. The district also maintains a reserve fund in the general fund budget to cover some one-time costs and unexpected or changing costs.

Mr. Kearsley told Board members to expect a full budget review during the next Board meeting, scheduled for May 21, and then they should be prepared to vote on the annual budget during the Board meeting on June 4.

Closure and Boundary Adjustment Transitions Activities Update

This spring, many of our schools have focused on end-of-year activities, such as art nights and field days. Superintendent Elizabeth Grant said she is proud to see how the schools affected by closures or boundary adjustments have gone the extra mile to welcome their new students and families. It takes a lot of work to create new school communities, and our teachers and leaders are doing a great job at keeping new families informed and involved. Other recent transition activities include:

  • finalizing safe walking routes (these will be available soon on the state’s safe walking route website and will also be sent directly to families),
  • arranging to move teachers and their supplies to new schools, including providing paid days for teachers to pack up their old classrooms and set up their new ones,
  • and making plans for the immediate use of the four closing elementary schools. While the district and Board evaluate the future of these campuses, the four schools will serve as office space for certain district departments and their teams. Additionally, a custodian will be assigned to care for each school campus daily. This will prevent the buildings from sitting empty and becoming a blight to the community while we work on long-term plans for each site.

2024-25 Weapons Detection System Staffing Contract

Mr. Kearsley told the Board about school safety changes coming to our schools. The district’s contract with the company who staffs the weapons detectors at our high schools expires at the end of the school year, and there are other changes coming due to recent legislation. One new law, H.B. 84, will require an armed guardian at all schools. Bullet-proof film on windows and a panic button in each school will also be required. School districts across the state are waiting for information from the state security chief on implementing these changes, but we know we will be working with the Salt Lake County Sheriff’s office to conduct a safety assessment at each district school before the end of December. The results of those safety assessments will help determine how we move forward with the remaining school safety requirements in recent legislation.

The Board will discuss these issues more in future meetings, and the district will provide information to our families and schools as we receive it from the state.

Draft Board Retreat Topics

The Board president and vice president handed out a draft list of possible topics for the upcoming Board retreat. They asked Board members to review this list and provide feedback to them, with the hope of providing a final draft to all Board members at the next Board meeting. The retreat is a public meeting scheduled for June 24 (starting at 5:00 PM) and is an annual chance for the Board to review certain topics in-depth, as well as tentatively decide which topics to study further during the coming school year.

Superintendent’s Report

Superintendent Grant informed the public that, given the Board vote last meeting to not continue the Washington Elementary Gifted/Talented pilot program, as superintendent, she has put forth a plan to grandfather out the current students. We will not continue with 4th grade Magnet Gifted/Talented offerings at Washington next year but will grandfather out the current cohort of 5th and 6th graders in the coming years.

The superintendent concluded her report with comments on House Bill 257, saying, "I want to apologize for any pain or discomfort that were created in our attempt to follow the law and to serve our students. It is a law that I am broken-hearted about. I said early on that I am proud to lead a district that is inclusive and welcoming. I think that is the nature of who we are as Salt Lake City and I believe this through my bones, that that’s what we should be. I am grateful that Salt Lake is a district that welcomes people, and so they choose to come here; to be in a district that has this stance toward difference.... my apologies that that didn’t go better.”  She finished her remarks by sharing that this has raised the importance of opening up the conversation about implementation of new legislation, especially in a climate where we are likely to see other difficult-to-implement bills in future legislative sessions.