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District Newsletter – January 12, 2023

Salt Lake City School District Newsletter

Dear Salt Lake City School District families and community, 

I have spent decades working in public schools. I’ve been a classroom teacher, a school administrator, a district administrator, and a superintendent. During that time, I’ve discovered one thing is constant: students are more successful when their parents/guardians are interested and engaged in their education. Parents, teachers, and schools need to be partners in education.

With that in mind, I want to ask for your help. In the next few months, the Salt Lake City Board of Education and the Salt Lake City School District will be tackling some important issues, and we need your input. These issues include searching for and hiring a new superintendent, studying the possibility of school boundary changes or school closures, and possibly renovating or rebuilding two of our high schools. These are issues that will affect the schools in our city for years to come. 

In the coming months, you will hear about opportunities to share your opinions and thoughts. There will be public hearings, open houses, and chances to offer public comment at Board meetings (visit our website to sign up to speak at a Board meeting). You can also submit a question for me to answer on the Superintendent’s Blog

I urge you to not miss these opportunities but to take advantage of them. Not everyone will agree, but decisions are better made when a wide variety of experiences and opinions is shared. Working together is the best way forward for our city and this school district. I thank you in advance for sharing your thoughts with us.


Martin W. Bates, Ph.D.
Interim Superintendent
Salt Lake City School District 

District Calendars Approved

This week, the Salt Lake City Board of Education approved the district calendars for the 2023-24, 2024-25, and 2025-26 school years. As part of the calendar process, three options for each year were created, sent out to schools for review by employees and parents, and then schools voted for their favorite option. The newly approved calendars have been added to the district website.

Board Report

In addition to approving the new district calendars, this week’s Board of Education meeting covered a variety of important topics, including

  • A report on the latest financial audit report;
  • An update on the district’s Strategic Plan for Student Achievement;
  • Results from a recent legislative audit;
  • Information on a district-wide population and demographics study; and
  • A recommended timeline for finding and hiring a new superintendent.

You can read the complete Board Report on the district’s website, and you can watch the Board meeting on the district’s YouTube channel

Feasibility Study Public Meetings

The next public meetings for the feasibility studies at Highland and West High Schools are coming soon. These studies focus on the future of the two schools, with the possibility of renovating or rebuilding the schools. The studies are being conducted by architects who will provide expert opinions on the needs of the school buildings and community, give the district a look at cost estimates, make sure we meet student needs, and consider priorities like energy efficiency.

  • West High School
    Wednesday, January 18, at 7 p.m. 
    in the school auditorium. 
  • Highland High School
    Monday, January 23, at 7 p.m.
    in the school auditorium. 

These will be the last public meetings before the architectural firms present their reports to the Board of Education. Spanish translation will be available at the meetings, and we can provide translation into other languages by request. Please call (801) 578-8378 to request translation into a language other than Spanish. For those unable to attend, the meetings will be live-streamed on the district’s YouTube channel in English and Spanish.

Early Open Enrollment

Are you interested in more educational options or having your student attend a school across town? Parents can apply to have their students attend a school outside of their neighborhood boundaries. Early Open Enrollment for the 2023-24 school year is available until February 3, 2023.

In Salt Lake City School District, we have a variety of programs to meet the educational needs of your student, including traditional schools and programs, K-8 schools, charter schools, language immersion programs, and much more. Our teachers are highly qualified, professionally trained, and coached in the use of successful and proven teaching strategies. Please visit our website to find more information about the educational programs and services our schools offer, and remember, applications are due by Friday, February 3.

ELP Information
The district’s Extended Learning Program offers services for gifted and high ability students. If you are interested in having your student tested for ELP, be sure to visit the ELP website. It includes a comprehensive list of application and testing information. In addition, there will be a virtual ELP Information meeting held on Wednesday, January 18, from 5:30-7 p.m. You will be able to ask questions and learn more about our ELP Magnet programs. The Zoom link is Spanish translation will be available.