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Superintendent's Newsletter - December 10, 2020

Dear Salt Lake City School District community,

During the past week, you may have seen posts on social media about the Black Lives Matter flag and LGBTQ Pride flag hanging inside Rose Park Elementary. I appreciate the concerns that have been shared, but I want to make sure our community understands the purpose of these flags.

The flags are not a political statement nor are they meant to take sides on any political issue. For years, Rose Park has flown flags to represent the heritage countries of Rose Park students and their families. Several years ago, the school added a Pride flag to express support for a Rose Park student who came out. And this summer, with racial injustice at the forefront of many across the country, a Black Lives Matter flag was added to send an explicit message that Rose Park Elementary is a welcoming and safe space for all members of our community.

Our district and city, and the Rose Park community specifically, are some of the most diverse communities in our state, and the flags show the school’s and district’s desire to be an inclusive and welcoming environment for the entire community. The district fully supports the flags at Rose Park, and the decision to hang these flags is backed by policies in our district that bolster ALL students and specifically prohibit discrimination. More importantly, the flags show our students and families we love them and want them to succeed. That’s a goal I hope the entire community can support.


This year, it is more important than ever to get your annual flu shot. If you still need to get your flu shot, the Westside Coalition and the Salt Lake County Health Department will host a free flu shot clinic this coming Sunday, December 13. The clinic will be at the Utah State Fairpark (155 North 1000 West, Salt Lake City, Utah 84116) and will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Free vision screenings by Friends for Sight will also be available.


Starting next week, be on the lookout for a Golden ticket in our Grab and Go meals for students. The tickets will be placed randomly in meal bags at all school meal sites. Students who receive a Golden Ticket should bring it back to the meal site where the ticket was received to redeem it for a prize.

The prizes were donated by the Dairy Council of Utah and include backpacks, pedometers, frisbees, notebooks, NFL trading cards, lanyards, school supplies, and clothing. The grand prizes are NFL autographed footballs, mini helmets, hats, and photographs.

The prize contest runs from December 14 through January 22.


Winter Recess is quickly approaching. For two weeks, December 21 – January 1, schools will be closed, which means we will not be serving student meals, and we will not be hosting any food pantry distributions at our schools.

  • Grab and Go meals for students will be available next week but will not be served during Winter Recess. The last day for Grab and Go meals before Winter Recess will be Friday, December 18.
  • Our last Food for Families distribution before Winter Recess will take place on Thursday, December 17, at the Liberty Elementary Community Learning Center, 2:30-5:30 p.m.


The Utah State Board of Education announced the names of the six 2020 Utah finalists for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. We are so proud that three of the six are from Salt Lake City School District! Heidi Boogert from Highland Park Elementary is a finalist in Elementary Mathematics. Jennifer Carver-Hunter from Mountain View Elementary and Linette Sheffield from Dilworth Elementary are finalists in Elementary Science.

The Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) is the highest honor bestowed by the United States government specifically for K–12 science, technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM), and/or computer science teaching. Finalists serve as models for their colleagues, inspiration to their communities, and leaders in the improvement of STEM education.

I hope you have a great week.


Larry Madden
Interim Superintendent
Salt Lake City School District