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District Newsletter – May 16, 2024

Dr. Elizabeth Grant

Dear Salt Lake City School District community,

It’s hard to believe the end of the school year is just a few Fridays away. Naturally, I’m thinking about my first school year back in the Salt Lake City School District, and I want to share a few things with you.

I walked into this role with a lot of optimism. I believe firmly in the promise this district holds—that with the talent we have and the incredible support we enjoy from our community, we can achieve great things for our students. I’m told this year was an “unusual” one and not without its challenges. But I’m ending the year with that same optimism. I know now more than ever that we have what it takes to be the state’s flagship district in terms of student growth, opportunity, equity, and accomplishment.

My Executive Cabinet and I spent some time reviewing critical student data earlier this week, and I want to share some takeaways I’m immensely proud of:

  • Looking at Utah’s 10 largest school districts in terms of enrollment, we are among the leaders in the state for growth in Math and English Language Arts – no small feat, given that among the 10 largest, our district has the second highest poverty rate.
  • As we looked at student data across cohorts over several years, we noticed something important: both during the school year and across school years, Salt Lake City School District students tend to achieve more the longer they are educated by the district. Seeing the jumps in student proficiency from year to year is energizing; and proof that we’re already on the right track.
  • We have some of the top teachers in Utah: our teachers have more advanced degrees than teachers in other districts, and we are succeeding in retaining quality educators (the average teacher in our district has more than 11 years of teaching experience in the district). This also means that our teachers, as of last school year, had the highest average teacher salary out of the 10 largest districts in Utah. Retaining quality educators is critical to our goals for student success, and we are proud of the caliber of our teacher workforce.

I could keep going, but the bottom line is this: we know we have the talent, and, living in Utah’s capital city, we know we’re in proximity to critical resources that benefit our students. I commit to you that, with the support of my team, I will continue making data-driven decisions; and we will continue to focus on the critical work of literacy, college and career pathways, and setting the expectation that here in Salt Lake City School District, we treat everyone with dignity. Thank you for your support this year. Thank you for continuing to trust me to leverage our talent, relationships, and resources to help our students succeed.


Elizabeth Grant, Ph.D.
Salt Lake City School District

Apprenticeship Signing Day

groups photo of student apprentices

Sixteen Salt Lake City School District high schoolers have officially signed on as part of the district’s newest cohort of apprentices! Students found out at a Signing Day ceremony on Thursday, May 9, 2024, the company to which they will be assigned for the next three years. The students currently attend East High School, West High School, Highland High School, Innovations Early College High School, and the Salt Lake Center for Science Education. All students will be high seniors in the 2024-25 school year. After the students complete their first year of the apprenticeship during their senior year of high school, they’ll attend Salt Lake Community College, with full tuition paid for by their employer while also continuing the apprenticeship for two more years. 

The Salt Lake City School District is leading the way in providing youth apprenticeships in collaboration with Talent Ready Utah, the Salt Lake Education Foundation, Salt Lake Community College, and companies including Stadler Rail, Doppelmayr, Mondi Bags USA, and Utah Paper Box . Stadler, Doppelmayr, and Mondi are global corporations, while Utah Paper Box is a fifth-generation local Utah company. If your student is interested in being part of next year's cohort of apprenticeships, contact their high school counselor.  

2025 District Teacher of the Year

Sayre Posey

Congratulations to Sayre Posey at Northwest Middle School, our 2025 District Teacher of the Year! She was told about the award during a surprise announcement in her classroom. You can view a short video of that announcement on our social media.

Ms. Posey has spent eight years in the classroom and comes from a family of teachers. After volunteering with at-risk students in after-school programs throughout college, Posey began her teaching career in Baltimore City Public Schools before moving to Utah. Her experience in developing literacy-based social studies instruction has been instrumental during her four years at Northwest in supporting students whose native language is not English.

STARBASE Hill Program

Last week, 50 students from Mary W. Jackson Elementary attended the STARBASE program at Hill Air Force Base (STARBASE Hill). STARBASE Hill is sponsored by the federal government to provide students in Title I schools with hands-on experiences in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Participating schools bring students to Hill Air Force Base weekly over the course of 5-6 weeks, allowing the students to build both their knowledge and skills each week.  On this particular visit, students got to code robotic cars and to use computer aided design software to design 3D objects. We are proud to partner with Hill Air Force Base to provide our students a glimpse at the career pathways available to them.

Celebrating Closing Schools

Four elementary schools (Hawthorne, Mary W. Jackson, M. Lynn Bennion, and Riley Elementary Schools) will be closing at the end of this school year. We extend a heartfelt thank you to the school leaders, teachers, staff, families, and our communities for supporting our students as they transition to new schools for the 2024-25 school years.  Each of the four schools has planned an event to celebrate their years of serving the students of Salt Lake City.

  • Hawthorne Elementary held an Art Night on Thursday, May 9. Alumni and community members were invited to stroll through a gallery of student art and to take tours of the school. A second celebration for current employees, students, and families will be held next week.
  • Mary W. Jackson Elementary will hold its special celebration on Wednesday, May 29, at 1:30 PM.
  • M. Lynn Bennion Elementary will host a Farewell Fair on Thursday, May 30, at 5:00 PM.
  • Riley Elementary has scheduled a farewell celebration on Friday, May 17, at 5:00 PM.

Registering for School

With the many changes happening due to school closures and boundary adjustments, we want to remind parents and families that you need to register your student for school before the beginning of every school year.  Look for information from the school your student will attend next year about registration dates or times. You can also follow the school’s social media pages or website. If you have specific questions, you can also call the school office. A list of our schools and their phone numbers can be found at

Nominate Principal and Assistant Principal of the Year

Help us celebrate the school leaders that inspire and educate our students by nominating your favorite principal and assistant principal for the 2025 Principal and Assistant Principal of the Year! Nominations can be made online and are due by May 22, 2024.

High School Graduations

We are so excited to celebrate our students as they become the Class of 2024. The dates and times of our schools’ graduation ceremonies are listed below.






East High School

May 31, 2024

4 p.m.

Huntsman Center 

Highland High School

May 31, 2024

1 p.m.

Huntsman Center 

Horizonte Instruction and Training Center

May 31, 2024

9:30 a.m.

Huntsman Center 

Innovations Early College High School

May 30, 2024

6:30 p.m.

Highland High School


Salt Lake Center for Science Education

May 30, 2024

5 p.m.

Libby Gardner Hall
U of U


Sky View Academy

June 10, 2024

9 a.m.

State Correctional Facility


West High School

May 31, 2024

7 p.m.

Huntsman Center 

Focus on Reading: The Benefits of Audiobooks

(written by our Executive Director of Teaching and Learning, Dr. Tiffany Hall)

Is reading an audiobook really reading? 

Yes! Listening to audiobooks offers several benefits to readers. First, audio enhances listening skills as students focus on understanding and processing the content without the visual cues of a printed text. Listening strengthens students' ability to comprehend spoken language, which is crucial in academic settings and everyday communication. 

Audiobooks also allow for multitasking, allowing students to engage in other activities like drawing or exercising while listening. Additionally, for students who have difficulties with traditional reading, audiobooks provide an accessible alternative for independent learning. 

Audiobooks offer a dynamic and inclusive way for students to explore stories and information. The district's online library, Sora, has a wide variety of audiobooks to check out all summer long for students in grades K-12. So, for summer reading, encourage your students to plug in, and listen to a good book!

Your student can access Sora on a computer by using the link in the previous paragraph or on a phone or tablet by downloading the Sora app from Apple’s App Store or the Google Play Store. Once you open the app or visit the website, your student will need their district login information to sign in and find the district’s online library. If they don’t know their login, please contact one of your student’s teachers or school office.

Upcoming Important Dates

May 21, 2024
Board of Education meeting – 5:30 p.m.
District Offices (465 S. 400 E., Suite 300, SLC, UT)

  • Agenda will likely include a final budget review

May 27, 2024
Memorial Day (no school; district offices closed)

May 30, 2024
Last day of school for elementary and middle schools

May 31, 2024
Last day of school for high schools

June 4, 2024
Budget Hearing and Board of Education meeting – 5:30 p.m.
District Offices (465 S. 400 E., Suite 300, SLC, UT)