Superintendent's Newsletter - March 10, 2022
Dear Salt Lake City School District families and community,
I want to take this time to reiterate that we are a village and that it takes all of us to ensure the success of our children. You may ask yourself, what does that mean?
A village is a cluster of humans living together in a defined area for safety and productivity in its most basic form. Villages are places where people know each other, rely on each other, and understand the strength in interdependence among all within. Each village consists of individuals and families, but everyone works towards a common goal in the best and most successful villages.
That is how I see our school district and community. We are a village, and when we work together toward a common goal, providing a world-class education for our children, we will attain success.
We need teachers to prepare and deliver meaningful and engaging lessons. We need administrators to set lofty goals, monitor progress, and guide us in the right direction. We need secretaries, custodians, and other staff members to maintain our schools and support students, families, and classrooms in various ways. We need our elected leaders to provide a clear vision and the necessary resources to deliver quality education and programming to our children. We need taxpayers and community members to support and encourage our precious ones. And we need parents and families to be actively involved in our children's education and show them how important it is to participate in the learning experiences provided in our schools enthusiastically.
I could go on and on mentioning different groups and individuals vital to the success of our village and our children. Ultimately, we need everyone. We need YOU!
If you would like to take a more active role in ensuring the success of our children, reach out to your child(ren) 's principal or to the Salt Lake Education Foundation to sign up to volunteer in one of our schools. Attend your school's School Community Council or PTA meetings. Apply to substitute teach, either part-time or full-time. Or join us as an employee. You can visit our Jobs webpage to see our current full-time and part-time openings. We are grateful to have your support.
Timothy Gadson, III, Ph. D.
Salt Lake City School District
Following updates from U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Salt Lake County Health Department Executive Director Dr. Dunn has updated her recommendations to help prevent COVID-19 transmission and decrease the likelihood of serious illness. In accordance with new Salt Lake County Health recommendations, wearing face masks is now optional but still welcome in our schools and office buildings. However, if you are experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms or are feeling sick, please stay home.
Additionally, our custodial staff will be removing the plexiglass partitions at schools and new mask signage will be posted soon.
2021 Child Tax Credit
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) wants to ensure that eligible families in Salt Lake City are aware of and receive their complete 2021 Child Tax Credit. While not all families will qualify, we wanted to share this important information with our community, as this may benefit many families in our school district.
Some families may have received a portion of their Child Tax Credit in monthly payments during 2021. These families can claim the remainder of their tax credit by filing a 2021 tax return. Even families who did not file a tax return in previous years may qualify and receive the Child Tax Credit.
Please visit the IRS website for more information about the 2021 Child Tax Credit. The IRS website also has a list of Frequently Asked Questions to help families determine if they are eligible for this tax credit and how to claim it.
At-home Learning Days for 2022-23
The 2022-23 school year will be the second year of professional learning for all Utah K-3 teachers in the LETRS® (Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling) program. The program is designed to provide deep knowledge to our educators and is a priority for all teachers, administrators, and our Board of Education. Our district is committed to supporting all students reading at grade level by the end of third grade.
Next year, we have scheduled four days to complete the required all-day professional learning sessions with our teachers. The first day will be Wednesday, August 24, before the student school year begins. The remaining three days will be asynchronous, at-home learning days for students. Students will have tasks and projects to ensure that their learning continues while our educators are also learning.
The dates for our final year of district-wide LETRS training during the school year are:
- Tuesday, November 1, 2022
- Friday, February 17, 2023
- Friday, April 21, 2023
These dates will be published as at-home learning days on our school and district calendars.
Kudos to Our Employees
Our employees are the best in the state, and we like to recognize them when they are honored by their peers.
- Lara Dean from Liberty Elementary was chosen as one of the Wasatch Front Outstanding Counselors of the Year.
- The Utah PTA has placed Laura Bettison, a 5th-grade teacher at Salt Lake Virtual Elementary, on its Teacher Walk of Fame.
- Britnie Powell, Principal at the Salt Lake Center for Science Education, was recognized as one of Utah Business Magazine's 40 under 40. Each year, the magazine celebrates 40 professionals - all under 40 years of age - who are working to evolve Utah's business landscape.
Moving to New, Temporary District Office
In May, the district administrative offices will be moving to a new, temporary location four blocks south of our current building.
The move is necessary to accommodate the construction of a new district administration building. The age of the current building has led to a growing number of maintenance problems, and the current building does not meet seismic standards, which poses a significant danger to employees in the event of an earthquake. Now that we have first made sure all of our school buildings have been updated to meet seismic standards, it's time to make sure we provide a safe working space for our district office employees. 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 being rebuilt at its current location.
New Secondary English Language Arts Curriculum
The district has completed the review and selection process for a new English Language Arts Curriculum for grades 7-12. This process was conducted by a team of 18 educators, invited from every secondary school and representing each grade level. Many members of the committee were also parents of students in the district. More information about the selection process can be found on the district website.
If you would like to preview the selected program, it will be available to view at the District Office, 440 East 100 South, Room 116 on:
- Wednesday, March 16, 3 – 6 p.m. - CANCELED
- Thursday, March 24, 3 – 6 p.m.
UPDATE: The Secondary ELA Curriculum is still under review to ensure that the financial comparison is equivalent between the two finalist programs. We hope to have the financial points added in this week and be able to announce the program by the week of March 21. We will have an open house on Thursday, March 24 from 3:00 - 6:00 PM with the final program.
Public Hearing on School Fees
The Salt Lake City School District Board of Education will hold its second public hearing on school fees for the 2022-23 school year on Tuesday, March 15, at 7 p.m. The meeting will be held at the District Administration Building, 440 East 100 South, Salt Lake City, UT 84111. You can find more information and a complete listing of the proposed fee changes on the district website.
If you wish to comment on the proposed fee changes for the 2022-23 school year, you do not need to sign up ahead of time. Please be at the District Administration Building at or before 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 15. The Board President will open the public hearing and call for comments from the audience.
Virtual Middle School Program for 2022-23
Clayton Middle School will be the home of the district's virtual middle school program for online students, starting in the 2022-23 school year. Students can begin enrolling for the new school year on April 4, 2022.
Students will have access to a basic middle school program.
A full year of
- Language Arts
- Social Studies
A half-year of
- CCA/Digital Studies (8th grade)
- Art (7th or 8th grade)
- PE (7th or 8th grade)
- Health (7th grade)
*As the virtual school grows, more electives will be offered.
The online middle school program will be a synchronous schedule with live instruction and increased time with teachers. Students will follow the same bell schedule as Clayton and use Canvas as a platform for learning and submitting assignments. As needed, Clayton will provide students with the devices and access to internet services. More information is available in the News section of our district website.
A Zoom parent meeting before open enrollment is scheduled for March 22, at 5:30 pm. Interested families should plan on attending. To receive a Zoom invite to the meeting, please fill out this form by clicking here, or email Clayton’s registrar at firstname.lastname@example.org.