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Superintendent's Newsletter - October 14, 2021

Dear Salt Lake City School District families and community, 

I want to thank you for making a difference for our children. There is so much forward momentum when we engage one another with civility. I expect you to hold me and all district staff accountable for keeping the “main thing, the main thing,” which is our children. I love hearing from you. Your perspectives, feedback, and reflections have helped prime my knowledge and understanding of where we have been and where you would like to see our district as we strive to provide a world-class learning experience for our children. Your hopes and dreams and those of our students will be one of the levers that provide clear direction for the work we do and the decisions we make. Your active partnership is valued. 

As we work to strengthen our Salt Lake City School District village, please know that quality, courteous, and effective customer service is an essential component of my vision. While it might sound corny or even cliché, I believe in providing service with a smile. The late great Muhammad Ali said, “The service you do for others is the rent you pay for your room here on Earth.” This is one of my principal beliefs, and I know it will come to define our district.  

The immortal Marvin Gaye asked the rhetorical question, “What’s going on?” I am hopeful that our answer will be our village, a sense of community, goodwill, and togetherness, our children, service, and working to ensure the collective success of our Salt Lake City School District.  

I send out a call to all who want to contribute to the success our district is destined to achieve by supporting our schools. All Salt Lake City schools can benefit from volunteers, charitable giving to help with staff recognition and appreciation initiatives, and support for our neediest children and families. We need you, business owners, financial institutions, clergy leaders, non-profits, etc. PTAs can help by adopting sister schools. It takes a village, and I am calling upon our village. 

As I close, I would be remiss if I did not mention that we need substitute teachers, food service workers, paraprofessionals, and bus drivers. If you or someone you know is willing to serve our children by filling one of the positions mentioned above, apply or encourage them to apply at    

We are all in this together! 


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

Superintendent’s Listening and Learning Tour 

Superintendent Dr. Timothy Gadson will be hosting a series of town hall meetings during his Superintendent’s Listening and Learning Tour. This tour will consist of seven meetings, one in each Board of Education precinct. In the meetings, Dr. Gadson and his staff will answer questions and concerns that have been gathered during a recent community survey, and people attending the meetings can submit written comments or questions as well. 

You are welcome to attend any of these meetings, even if you do not live in the corresponding precinct. Each meeting will run from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. 

  • October 21 – Precinct 6 - Clayton Middle School (1470 S. 1900 E.)
  • October 28 – Precinct 1 - Northwest Middle School (1730 W. 1700 N.) 
  • November 4 – Precinct 7 - Hillside Middle School (1825 S. Nevada St.) 
  • November 9 – Precinct 5 - Liberty Elementary (1085 S. Roberta St.) 
  • November 11 – Precinct 3 - Washington Elementary (420 N. 200 W.) 
  • November 18 – Precinct 4 - SLCSE-Bryant (40 S. 800 E.) 
  • December 2 – Precinct 2 - Glendale Middle School (1430 W. Andrew Ave.) 

Emerson Elementary Is A National Blue Ribbon School 

Emerson Elementary School has been named a 2021 National Blue Ribbon School! The coveted National Blue Ribbon Schools award affirms the hard work of educators, families, and communities in creating safe and welcoming schools where students master challenging and engaging content. Emerson was recognized in the Exemplary High Performing School Category, meaning the school is among the state’s highest performing schools as measured by state assessments or nationally normed tests. 

TikTok Challenges 

As you may know, many schools across the country, including some in Salt Lake City, had bathrooms damaged as part of a challenge issued on TikTok during September. The result was costly for the district and ultimately for taxpayers like you. Unfortunately, it seems this trend of destructive TikTok challenges is continuing, with several similar challenges this month and in the next few months. It is reported that these challenges include smacking a teacher or school staff member, destroying school signs, causing disruption to cafeterias, and other disruptive and destructive behavior.  

Parents, please speak with your child(ren) about these actions and their potential harm. Students who are found participating in activities such as the ones mentioned above will face discipline, including possible suspension up to expulsion from school. Police may be involved, and criminal charges will be filed if warranted. Reparations for any damage may be required. We ask that you help your child(ren) understand that their actions now can impact their future. 

October is National Principals Month 

National Principals Month honors school principals for their significant impact on the success and well-being of our students. The past year and a half has ushered in some hard days, yet our principals in Salt Lake City School District have persisted as beacons of light in their communities. Not only have they gone above and beyond to ensure their students’ academic success, they have also worked tirelessly to protect the health and safety of every person in their learning communities. Please join us in celebrating and thanking our principals this month.