Superintendent's Newsletter - May 20, 2021
Dear Salt Lake City School District community,
This week, I announced the district’s plan to leave the face mask requirement in place in district schools through the end of the 2020-21 school year. The last day of school is Monday, June 7.
We’ve come too far to let go of proven safety practices like mask-wearing with just a few days left in the school year. While we’ve been able to offer vaccinations to our educators, staff, and some of our students, very few of our students have been vaccinated thus far. The risk is too great, especially when we consider those in our school communities with pre-existing health conditions or who have family members at home who are high risk for contracting COVID-19. The last thing we want to do is increase the risk in our city just as school is about to let out for the summer.
The Salt Lake City School District has made decisions all year based on science and sound guidance from public health experts. This weekend, the CDC issued a clarification to explain that despite the general recommendation that fully vaccinated individuals may safely forego wearing masks in many settings, K-12 schools should continue to require masks in schools and to continue practicing COVID-19 safety protocols through the end of the 2020-21 school year. Our district will leave current mask requirements in place through the end of the school year, per the recommendation of the CDC and local health experts.
We are grateful for the diligence with which students, families, and staff have adhered to COVID safety protocols this school year and ask for your continued support during the last week of school to continue keeping our school communities safe. Since our last week of school begins on Monday, June 7, and the last day of school is Monday, June 7, our ask is to stick with us and wear your masks for one more day.
We encourage all who are eligible to pursue opportunities to receive the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible. Visit the state Coronavirus website to find a vaccination location near you.
COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic
The Utah Department of Environmental Quality is hosting a free COVID-19 vaccination clinic in its office parking lot (195 N. 1950 W. - south parking lot). The clinic will be held on Thursday, May 27, 3-7 p.m. Vaccinations will be available for anyone ages 12 and up. There will also be live music, food trucks, and more. Pre-registration is not necessary, but it is encouraged. You can pre-register at http://getmyshot.utah.gov/mobile.
New Details for Graduation Ceremonies Held at the Huntsman Center
We’ve been meeting with officials from the Huntsman Center over the past few weeks, and we have more details to share with our families from East, Highland, Horizonte, and West.
- Tickets will be required to attend the graduation ceremonies. Each student will only be allowed four guests. Highland, East, and West will use electronic tickets administered via Eventbrite. Families will receive an invitation to register for four tickets. Once registered, they will receive tickets electronically and will need to show their electronic tickets at the Huntsman Center. Students can also print hard copies of their electronic tickets at school.
- Horizonte will distribute physical tickets to their students and families.
- There are only 160 seats on the floor of the Huntsman Center. Each school will hold a lottery to select 160 students from all those who would like to sit on the floor. The rest of the students will sit in the arena in sections X and Y. All students will walk across the stage, regardless of where they are seated during the ceremony.
- Programs will be electronic only this year (no paper programs). Programs will be sent to students via email, and QR codes will be posted at the arena for guests to access the programs.
- Students will enter the arena from the east side. Guests will enter from the west. The Huntsman Center will require face masks both inside and outside the arena, and guests will be seated keeping social distancing in mind. Huntsman Center staff will be on hand to escort guests to their seats, similar to seating for a university sporting event.
- Flower leis are allowed this year.
- Only four guests are allowed to attend with each student. No extra guests will be allowed, even outside the Huntsman Center. Please do not congregate outside the arena or invite additional guests to wait outside.
- The graduations held at the Huntsman Center will be live-streamed on the district’s YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/slcschools. (Innovations Early College High School will also live-stream their graduation ceremony on the district YouTube channel.)
For graduation details for the Salt Lake Center for Science Education, Innovations Early College High School, and the Salt Lake School for the Performing Arts, please visit our Graduation Information and Guidelines webpage, or reach out directly to the school if you have any questions.
Salt Lake City School District is offering a variety of summer learning opportunities designed to help students catch up or move forward in their academic learning and to provide fun, hands-on activities to engage students' curiosity. Summer learning opportunities are available for students in all grades. An overview of our various programs, and links to pages with more information, can be found on the district website.
- May 26, 2021 – Community food distribution at the Rose Park Community Learning Center
- May 27, 2021 – Milk distribution at the Glendale Community Learning Center and food distribution at the Liberty Community Learning Center
- June 1, 2021 – Board of Education meeting
- June 2-4, 2021 – High school graduations (see calendar for specific dates and times for each school)
- June 7, 2021 – Last day of classes
Salt Lake City School District