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Superintendent's Newsletter - January 20, 2022

Dear Salt Lake City School District families and community, 

We look forward to welcoming all of our students back to in-person school on Monday, January 24. Thank you for your support during our online days this week. The recent surge in the number of COVID-19 cases is shocking and troubling. The number of our students, employees, and families affected by this virus has captured everyone’s attention, and it will take all of us working together to get through this challenging time.

As we continue using the tools we have to keep our school communities safe, I wanted to make you aware of a couple of things.

On Tuesday, the State Senate passed Senate Joint Resolution 3, which would lift the city and county mask orders if the House of Representatives also votes to pass it. Because this is a joint resolution, it does not need the governor’s signature to go into law. If the House of Representatives also votes for this bill, it would lift the requirement for masks in our schools, city, and county. Regardless of what happens with this legislation, we strongly encourage all students, employees, and community members to continue using masks – and respirators such as N95 or KN95, where possible – at school and in the community to help curb the spread of COVID-19. We need to keep using every tool at our disposal against a virus that spreads as rampantly as COVID. If you wish to share your own thoughts on this legislation with your legislators, you can find their contact information under the “My Legislators” tab of the Utah Legislature’s website.

I also want to remind our community that one important way to combat COVID-19 is to make sure you, your eligible children, and everyone you know are fully vaccinated and boosted. Booster doses are available in Utah for anyone age 12 and older (and for children age five and older who meet certain conditions). If you want to get a booster shot, you can find a participating pharmacy or clinic by visiting You can also visit one of our district’s Vaccination Clinics.

Intermountain Healthcare Clinic at Liberty Community Learning Center 1078 South 300 East SLC, UT 84111 (801-408-3585) 

  • Monday-Friday, 7:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.   
  • Please call ahead to make sure there are available vaccines.

Intermountain Healthcare Clinic at Rose Park Community Learning Center: 1105 West 1000 North SLC, UT 84116 (801-408-8626)

  • Monday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.
  • Tuesday-Thursday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • Please call ahead to make sure there are available vaccines.

Community Health Centers at Glendale-Mountain View Community Learning Center: 1388 S. Navajo St. SLC, UT 84104 (801-955-2360) 

  • Monday-Friday, 7 a.m.-6 p.m.   
  • Please call ahead to make sure there are available vaccines.

We have much more information about our district’s response to COVID-19 on the district website, and you can find a wide variety of COVID-19 resources on Utah’s Coronavirus website

I genuinely believe that the Salt Lake City School District community is a village, and as a village, we must do all we can to overcome this pandemic. It will take a combined effort, but I know we can do it and that we can provide learning environments that are safe, healthy, and productive. Please join me in this effort. I am excited to see our students back in school on Monday!

Yours in education, 

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


We want to thank you for your patience and understanding as we temporarily moved to remote learning for a few days this week. We hope this quick pivot has helped to slow the spread of COVID-10 in our schools. We are excited to see our students back in school on Monday, January 24.


Parents, you may be aware that the need for substitute teachers during the Omicron surge is at an all-time high. Though we don’t expect this will last through the end of the school year, it is an immediate concern in our district and other districts.

Substitutes create important stability, continuity, and care that our students need. Again, we don’t need long-term commitments for this area of concern, but we want to avoid disruptions during this unprecedented time.

If you have the time or ability to work as a substitute, we would love to talk to you. Substitute teachers in Salt Lake City School District are compensated at a rate of $105-$140 a day, depending on their level of education and experience.

If you want to be a substitute teacher, you can apply on our website. If you have questions, contact Human Resource Services at (801) 578-8340.

We also need child nutrition workers, bus drivers, custodians, and other personnel. Any skill level or help would be appreciated. All of our job openings can be found at


You can now go online and order FREE at-home COVID-19 tests provided by the federal government. The website,, includes a link for you to order four at-home tests per residential address. The tests will be delivered by mail. Shipping will typically take 7-12 days.

Of course, COVID-19 testing is still available in various locations across the city. On the district website, you can find information about testing clinics at our community learning centers and other sites in Salt Lake City. 


Do you want to know how many cases of COVID-19 there are at your school? That data is maintained and available for review on the Salt Lake County Health Department COVID-19 Dashboard. The dashboard contains a wide variety of data about COVID-19 in Salt Lake County, but to find the current case counts at schools, go to and click on the ‘School” tab. Then, filter the results by selecting ‘Salt Lake’ in the list of district names.

sample image of the county COVID dashboard


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.   

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 is available until Friday, February 18, 2022.  

You can find much more information on our School Choice website.  


Arundhati Bonney Oommen is one of two Utah students who will join Senator Mike Lee and Senator Mitt Romney in representing Utah during the 60th annual USSYP Washington Week. Arundhati, a senior at West High School, serves as the district 7 Student Advisory Council representative to the Utah State Board of Education. She is a former student board member for the Salt Lake City School District, has a passion for youth involvement and youth engagement, and works to bring young voices to the table. She brought House Bill 338 to the Utah Legislature which would create a student voter pilot project for local school board elections. She is a student representative on the HCR015 Civics Taskforce and has worked with the Salt Lake City Mayor’s office on representative youth programs and with the Racial Equity in Policing Commission to ensure the safety and success of both students and officers. Arundhati plans on attending a full-time university in the fall to pursue a career in public service. 


The Utah State Legislature and the Utah State Board of Education (USBE) are partnering to reexamine the state’s school accountability (school grading) system. The current Utah School Accountability System was established through S.B. 220 during the 2017 legislative session, prior to the advancement of the Personalized, Competency-Based Learning and Portrait of a Graduate initiatives. The pandemic has highlighted the dependency of the school accountability system on access to state assessment results. The state is seeking to build a new accountability system to be:

  • Inclusive of the additional initiatives
  • More comprehensive in evaluation criteria
  • Aligned with and supportive of continuous school improvement efforts for all schools

For this work to be successful, the state needs to hear from the public on the information needed to better understand school quality. Please consider taking this survey to provide your input on the future of school accountability in Utah. The state will also offer both virtual and in-person opportunities to engage further along in the process.