Dear Salt Lake City School District Families and Community,
We welcome Dr. Martin W. Bates, who this week was named Acting Superintendent of the Salt Lake City School District. He will serve in this role while the Board of Education works to identify and hire a new superintendent.
After more than thirty years in teaching, Dr. Martin W. Bates retired in 2021. Initially a teacher of special education and mathematics, he later held various administrative positions in schools and districts, his last 11 years as superintendent of the Granite School District. After Superintendent Gadson’s departure, Dr. Bates agreed to come out of retirement and serve as the acting superintendent of the Salt Lake City School District while the school board works to identify and hire a new superintendent.
Dr. Bates is a proud Highland High School Ram (he can still sing the school song in full). He and his wife, Donna, are the parents of eight children, all of whom are graduates of the Salt Lake City School District.
At its Tuesday night meeting, the Salt Lake City School Board voted unanimously to appoint Dr. Martin W. Bates as acting superintendent of the Salt Lake City School District. He will serve in this role while the Board of Education works to identify and hire a new superintendent.
After holding its second public hearing, the Commission approved changes to tuition fees. Fee changes include increasing travel fees to ensure all students have their own bed when participating in overnight trips. Other minor fee changes have been made. They can be found by view the fee schedule on the district website.
- The Council heard a district multi-level support system report (MTSS), a program focused on addressing and improving student behavior and increasing long-term student success. This year, the district hired four Behavior Support Specialists, for a total of 8, and a Safe Schools Specialist. Specialists advise schools on how to implement effective MTSS strategies.
- The second report was a review of the neighborhood sustainability plan. The review included updates on projects such as the LED lighting upgrade in our schools, the installation of solar panels in several schools, and the construction of a new district office building. By June 2023, changes and improvements in the district will result in a 24% reduction in carbon emissions. It’s the same as taking 2,000 cars off the roads in Utah.
- The third report focused on changes to school improvement plans which are created each year by our schools. The changes are being made to address issues that arose during a recent Title I audit.
- The board considered a proposal to raise the salaries of Utah High School Activities Association coaches and leaders. A market comparison showed that the current district salary for these positions is generally below market levels. The proposal outlined possible ways to increase these salaries and how to pay for the increases. The School Board will continue to review this proposal and put it on the agenda for a future meeting.
- School safety was the topic of the next discussion. Over the past several months, the district has been able to use state funding to implement several school safety projects, including fencing around the Horizonte Instruction and Training Center, additional cameras in schools, upgraded security rooms and vaping sensors. Other possible future school safety projects the district is exploring include:
- weapons detectors,
- class key fobs and upgraded class locks, and
- Tinted windows for elementary schools and colleges.
Feasibility study meetings
Work is progressing on feasibility studies currently being conducted for Highland High School and West High School. Feasibility studies are conducted by architects who will provide expert advice on school building and community needs, give the district insight into cost estimates, ensure we are meeting student needs, and take take into account priorities such as energy efficiency.
The next public meeting of West High will take place on Wednesday, November 9and the next meeting for Highland High will take place on Thursday, November 10. Both meetings will begin at 6 p.m. and will be held at the respective school libraries. A Spanish translation will be available during the meetings. We can provide translation into other languages upon request. Please call (801) 578-8378 to request translation into a language other than Spanish.
For those unable to attend the meetings, they will be streamed live on our YouTube channel in English and Spanish. You can also provide comments here for Highland High School and here for West High School.
Salt Lake City School District School Resource Officer/Community Report
The Salt Lake City School District, in conjunction with the Salt Lake City Corporation, has completed the 2021-2022 Oversight Committee Report for School Citations related to our School Resource Officer Program. School Resource Officers are Salt Lake City Police Department officers who are responsible for helping support our schools. This annual report is provided pursuant to the Memorandum of Understanding between the District and the Salt Lake City Police Department. The Oversight Committee reviews school arrests and officer responses to assess effectiveness, identify areas for improvement, and ensure actions are consistent with the goals and objectives of the Memorandum of Understanding.
Through our combined efforts, school citations have dropped from 488 in the 2013-2014 school year to 23 in the 2021-2022 school year. We continue to emphasize positive contact between agents and students through ongoing training with school resource officers and school administrators.
New COVID-19 reminders
To help contain a possible fall and winter surge of COVID-19, the CDC and FDA have granted emergency use authorization for updated COVID-19 boosters targeting the new omicron strain, the dominant strain in the Salt Lake County and the United States.
Who can get the updated and FREE COVID-19 boosters?
- People 18 and older are eligible for a single dose of the updated Moderna booster If it’s been at least two months since they completed the primary vaccination or received the most recent booster dose with any booster.
- People 12 years and older are eligible for a single dose of the updated Pfizer-BioNTech booster If it’s been at least two months since they completed the primary vaccination or received the most recent booster dose with any booster.
Appointments to get the updated COVID-19 reminder at Salt Lake County Health Department clinics, free of charge, are now available. To make an appointment, go SaltLakeHealth.org or call 385-468-7468. An updated COVID-19 reminder may also be available through your local pharmacy Where health care provider.
A list of COVID-19 vaccination clinics in Salt Lake County is available on the Salt Lake County Health Department website.