Superintendent's Newsletter - December 9, 2021
Dear Salt Lake City School District families and community,
I want to start my last message of 2021 by expressing my gratitude for each of you in our Salt Lake City School District village. It has been a breath of fresh air to see students, parents, and families back in our buildings this fall. The best part of my week is the time I get to spend in schools, and I want to thank you for trusting us to care for and educate your children.
I have enjoyed visiting different parts of our district during my Superintendent’s Listening and Learning Tour. Thank you to each who attended one or more of our town halls. Your feedback has been invaluable and has made a difference in shaping our plans for the future of the Salt Lake City School District. The past four months have given me a baseline for how we move our district forward to ensure we are establishing excellence as the minimum standard for every student. I am committed to taking every opportunity to listen and learn and to work collaboratively with our staff, families, and community to improve achievement for all students. By doing this, I believe the Salt Lake City School District can become a leader in our state and our nation.
As I have continued visiting our schools the last few weeks, I’ve had the pleasure of learning alongside our students about the many ways our families celebrate this special season. For many of you, the holidays have already begun. For others, your holiday is yet to start. Nevertheless, however, your family celebrates; I wish you a peaceful and joyous holiday season. It is my privilege to lead our school district as superintendent, and I look forward to what we, as a village, will accomplish for our students in 2022 and beyond.
Timothy Gadson, III, Ph.D.
Internet access is essential for students to be successful, and we are committed to helping make sure our students have the tools they need. To assist students without in-home internet, we entered into a partnership with Comcast to provide students with broadband at no cost. Families will receive a promo code to use when they sign up for Internet Essentials. The promo code will allow us to pay the monthly internet fee for that household. We also have T-Mobile hotspots available for families to check out, which will allow students to have a secured network connection wherever they go. If your student needs access to the Internet, please contact your school counselor or teacher about accessing one of these options.
OPEN ENROLLMENT AND SCHOOL CHOICE
Are you interested in enrolling your child(ren) in a school outside your neighborhood boundaries for the 2022-23 school year? Now is the time to submit your application. Early Open Enrollment runs from December 1 through the third week in February.
Salt Lake City School District has a variety of programs and services to assist all students and families. We strive to meet the needs of every child and offer a variety of choices to every parent. In our district, you will find traditional schools and programs, K-8 schools, charter schools, language immersion programs, and much more. Not every child learns the same way, so our teachers and staff work to foster learning environments that challenge and engage students to develop their innate talents, abilities, and interests to the fullest.
You can find much more information on our School Choice website.
SCHOOL COVID-19 RAPID TESTING
Beginning the week of January 3rd, 2022, Salt Lake City School District will offer COVID-19 rapid testing for all Salt Lake City School District students presenting with symptoms at school.
- Please complete the School COVID-19 Testing Registration Form if you are interested in having your student tested at school:
- If you do not have Internet access or need help accessing the form in a language besides English, please go to your school’s main office for assistance.
- Parents must complete the consent form. Students may not complete this form.
- By filling out this form, parents give consent for their child to be tested for the duration of the 2021-2022 school year. This means if your child needs to be tested more than once, you will not need to fill out a form every time.
Students who are tested may return to school under the following conditions:
- If test results are negative, the student must stay home until symptoms have improved, and there has been no fever for at least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication.
- If the test results are positive, the student must go home and isolate until at least 10 days have passed since the first symptom appeared, symptoms have improved, AND there has been no fever for at least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication.
Students will not be tested for COVID-19 without parental consent.
- Highland Park Elementary Kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Chris Moray, recently published her first book. In collaboration with her son, she authored The Great Snowman Snatch. She recently spent time in other Highland Park classes describing how and why she became an author.
- Congratulations to West High School senior Malavika Singh, who has been chosen as a National YoungArts Finalist in dance. Every year, thousands of performing, visual, and literary artists ages 15-18 apply to the YoungArts national competition. Winners receive financial awards, mentorship, and professional development opportunities and become part of an uplifting, inter-generational community that helps artists connect, create and collaborate.
- Eighth-grade students from across the district are attending Career and Technical Education open houses. There, the students learn about Career and Technical Education opportunities available to them starting in the 9th grade. A minimum of one credit in Career and Technical Education is required for all students to graduate from high school in Utah. However, studies show that students who complete at least two credits of Career and Technical Education classes are more likely to graduate from high school, and students who complete at least three credits are more likely to complete college.
STUDENT IDENTIFICATION FOR MEALS AT SECONDARY SCHOOLS
Starting in January 2022, all middle and high school students must enter their Student Identification number when they get school lunch or breakfast. This is a requirement of the Utah State Board of Education and must be implemented to ensure program integrity when accounting for students eating second meals. Please inform your students of this change and advise them to be prepared to enter their student ID number when they pick up their meals.
We have enjoyed a nice, long fall with very mild weather, however, that is changing. As we approach winter and the stormy conditions that come with it, Salt Lake City School District schools will be open on all regularly scheduled school days, unless weather circumstances create health or safety issues. We fully expect our schools to be open and functioning normally throughout the winter, but weather conditions can vary greatly in different areas of the city.
Like any public service, people count on our schools to remain open. Our role in the community goes beyond providing educational services. Many Salt Lake City School District students rely on their neighborhood schools for breakfast and lunch. These meals are not simply convenient; they provide nutritional needs for children who may otherwise go without. A significant number of students in the district would remain home alone without supervision if their school had an unscheduled closure. Many families don't have the luxury of adjusting work schedules on short notice. A functioning school building provides warmth and safety in addition to classroom instruction.
Again, we fully expect our schools to be open, but we will use our website, social media sites, emails, text messages, and possibly phone calls to notify parents of any school delays or closures. If you hear nothing, you can safely assume your school is open.