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Superintendent's Message - September 17, 2020

Dear families,

I want to start by thanking you for your incredible patience and flexibility last week. Certainly, none of us expected a windstorm, on top of a pandemic, along with everything else we’ve experienced this year, but I thank you for your understanding of our delays to the first day of school.

I’m happy to report that we’ve had three successful school days so far, with hopefully, many more to come. I know many of you may still be working through some tech issues, but I’m confident we’ll be able to address those and get every one of our students connected. It’s been wonderful to see some of our teachers back in the buildings, to see students online, and to even see a few of our special education students participating in small group instruction at school.

At our Board meeting on Tuesday night, we discussed the COVID-19 numbers in Salt Lake County. Our goal is to get students back in the classroom as soon as possible and to do it safely. I’m working to schedule a meeting with the Salt Lake County Health Department next week to discuss whether the metrics we’re using to decide when to bring students back in person still make sense, to discuss lessons learned from the experiences of neighboring school districts, and to review any other information our health experts think we should consider. We’re committed to making evidence-based decisions that safeguard the health and well-being of our students and our employees. I will share an update when I have more information from this conversation.

Below are a few other reminders for you this week:


We frequently use pronouns when referring to individuals. Sometimes, people make assumptions about the gender of another person based on their name or appearance. Using someone’s correct pronouns is a way to respect them and create an inclusive environment, which is always our goal in the Salt Lake City School District. Canvas, our district's main online learning platform, allows users to enable their pronouns on their Canvas page.

Here is a short video demonstrating how to enable your pronouns on your Canvas page if this is of interest.

For more information regarding pronouns, you can visit


Every 10 years, the federal government conducts a census to count the population in the United States and five U.S. territories. The census provides critical data that lawmakers, business owners, teachers, and many others use to provide daily services, products, and support for you and your community. Every year, billions of dollars in federal funding go to schools, hospitals, fire departments, roads, and other resources based on census data.

Your participation in the 2020 Census is critical to support our students, our schools, and our community. An accurate census provides increased funding for our schools, including funding for

  • high poverty schools,
  • student meals,
  • adult education, and
  • preschool education.

This year, the Census is available online. When you respond to the Census, your answers are kept anonymous. By law, the Census Bureau cannot release any identifiable information about you, your home, or your business, even to law enforcement agencies.

Please make sure you fill out the Census online by going to my2020census.govBut hurry! The 2020 Census ends on September 30.


Larry Madden
Interim Superintendent
Salt Lake City School District