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Superintendent's Newsletter - April 14, 2022

Dear Salt Lake City School District families and community,

As we near the end of the school year, we come to the time for end-of-year tests. These tests can be stressful for some students, but they play a vital role. They tell us how well students understand what was taught, and they show us, as educators, where we can make changes and improvements to our instruction. 

You are an essential partner in helping our children experience success during this time. Here are some tips that you can use to support our children.

Talk to them about taking tests
The purpose and goals of testing are not always obvious, even to the children who take them. Especially with new test-takers, because it is easy to be intimidated by testing or feel unmotivated to put forth a lot of effort on the test. Have open, ongoing conversations with children to explain the benefits of testing, focusing on how it helps them, you, their teacher(s), and other educators understand their strengths and weaknesses and figure out the most effective ways to teach them.

Communicate with teachers
Regular communication with teachers can help you gain insight into children's progress. Talk with teachers consistently to understand what your children are working on, what will be tested on, and areas in which they are excelling and struggling.

Offer positive reinforcement
A little encouragement can go a long way in helping students walk into testing days feeling confident—which, in turn, can have a significant effect on their performance. Praise children for their work to prepare for testing, and share in their excitement when they have success with a new concept or skill.

Support healthy habits
Sleep and nutrition can considerably impact children's ability to focus and retain information. Well-rounded meals and a regular sleep schedule will help children succeed in the classroom daily. On testing days, it is imperative to ensure children get a night of good sleep, start their day with a nutritious and filling breakfast, and go to school with a water bottle to help them stay hydrated.

Our positive attitude and words about testing will boost our children's confidence and comfort on testing days.


Timothy Gadson, III, Ph.D.
Salt Lake City School District

Moving to New, Temporary District Office

During the second week of May, the district administrative offices will move to a new, temporary location four blocks south of our current building, 465 South 400 East.  

The move is necessary due to the pending construction of a new district administration building. The age of the current building has led to a growing number of maintenance problems, and the building does not meet seismic standards, which poses a significant danger to employees in the event of an earthquake. Fortunately, we have been saving and planning wisely for this new construction for many years, and there will be no need for bonds or tax increases to pay for the new administration building. 

We anticipate being at this temporary location for two years while the district office is rebuilt on the existing site. 

Summer School

We have excellent news! This year, we will have summer school offerings available for all students in the district. The program will run Monday through Thursday, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. most weeks, except for the week of June 19 and July 4 due to holiday observances. For those two weeks, summer school will begin on Tuesday and include Friday. 

During summer school, the day will begin with breakfast at 8 a.m. Students will then participate in English Language Arts and Math instruction from 8:30 - 11:30 a.m., and from 12:30 – 3 p.m., they will engage in enrichment activities. Lunch will be served from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Breakfast, and lunch will be provided to all students enrolled in summer school. 

This is an amazing opportunity for your child to gain additional academic support for the coming school year and build stronger relationships while enjoying fun learning experiences over the summer. To attend the program, please check your email and complete the registration via the link that has been sent via email. Once completed, you will receive an email confirming your child's registration. 

As we get closer to the beginning of summer school, you will receive additional notifications regarding where to bring your child on the first day of summer school and any necessary transportation details. If you have not received an email, please contact your child’s school for registration information. 

All Schools on Quarter System

Beginning in the 2022-23 school year, all elementary schools will be moving to a quarter system. They will follow the same dates as our middle schools and high schools.

  • End of quarter 1 - November 4, 2022
  • End of quarter 2 - January 27, 2023
  • End of quarter 3 - April 7, 2023
  • End of quarter 4 - June 9, 2023

This change also means elementary students and families will receive three report cards and one progress report during the year.  

Calendar of Observances

With the rich diversity among our student population and the growing diversity in the city and state, it is important to understand and recognize the different cultural and religious observances that we see in our schools. We want to share this information with our employees and our community proactively.

    Celebrates the Arab American heritage and culture and pays tribute to the contributions of Arab Americans and Arabic-speaking Americans. 
    A month that marks important anniversaries for past and contemporary genocides. Throughout the month, individuals, communities, and organizations join together to remember and honor victims and survivors of mass atrocities. 
    Introduced in 1996 by the Academy of American Poets as a way to increase awareness and appreciation of poetry in the United States. 
  • April 3–May 2 - RAMADAN (Islamic) 
    Observed by Muslims worldwide as a month of fasting to commemorate the first revelation of the Qur'an to the Prophet Muhammad. 
  • April 10 - PALM SUNDAY (Christian) 
    Observed the Sunday before Easter/Pascha to commemorate the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. 
  • April 10 - RAMA NAVAMI (Hindu) 
    Celebrates the birthday of Rama, king of ancient India, hero of the epic Ramayana, and seventh incarnation of Vishnu. 
  • April 14 - VAISAKHI (also spelled Baisakhi) (Sikh) 
    The festival celebrates the founding of the Sikh community as the Khalsa (community of the initiated). On this day, Sikhs gather and celebrate Vaisakhi at their local Gurdwaras (Sikh house of worship) by remembering this day as the birth of the Khalsa.
  • April 14 - HOLY THURSDAY (Christian) 
    Also known as Maundy Thursday, it is celebrated on the Thursday before Easter, commemorating the Last Supper. Jesus and the Apostles were together for the last time before the Crucifixion. 
  • April 15 - GOOD FRIDAY (Christian) 
    Known as Holy Friday in Eastern Christianity, it commemorates the Crucifixion of Jesus on the Friday before Easter/Pascha. 
  • April 16 - THERAVADA NEW YEAR (Buddhist)  
    In Theravada countries, the New Year is celebrated on the first full moon day in April. 
  • April 16–23 - PASSOVER/PESACH (Jewish) 
    The eight-day “Feast of Unleavened Bread” celebrates Israel’s deliverance from Egyptian bondage. 
  • April 17 - EASTER (Christian) 
    Known as Pascha in Eastern Christianity, it celebrates the resurrection of Jesus. 
  • April 20–May 1 - FESTIVAL OF RIDVÁN (Bahá’í )
    Annual festival commemorating the 12 days when Bahá’u’lláh, the prophet-founder of the Bahá’í Faith, resided in a garden called Ridván (Paradise) and publicly proclaimed his mission as God’s messenger for this age. The first (April 20), ninth (April 28), and twelfth (May 1) days are celebrated as holy days when Baha’is suspend work. 
  • April 22 - DAY OF SILENCE 
    Students take a day-long vow of silence to protest the literal silencing of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning (LGBTQ) students and their straight allies due to bias and harassment. 
    Memorializes the genocide of approximately 1.5 million Armenians between 1915 and 1923 in Turkey. 
  • April 27 - LAILAT AL-QADR (Islamic) 
    Commemorates the night that the Qur'an was first revealed to the Prophet Muhammad. It is known as the “Night of Power.” Often set on the 27th day of Ramadan, Sunnis may observe it on the 21st, 23rd, 25th, or 29th, and Shīʿite (Shiite) observe it on the 19th, 21st, or 23rd day of Ramadan. 
  • April 28 - YOM HASHOAH (Jewish) 
    “Holocaust Remembrance Day” memorializes the heroic martyrdom of six million Jews who perished in the Nazi Holocaust. 

Affordable Connectivity Program

The federal Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) provides eligible low-income households up to a $30/month credit toward the cost of Internet and/or mobile service. Program participants who select plans that cost $30 or less will essentially receive their service for no charge. Our district business partner Comcast participates in the ACP and offers its Internet Essentials service for low-income households. 

If your family could benefit from this program, you can find information about available plans and directions for how to apply at