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January 2021 | Vol. 7 Iss. 01




n March 13, 2020, a decision by Utah Gov. Gary Herbert started a ball rolling that affected learning in 2020 for students, their families, teachers, staff and district staff. The shutdown he announced was only to last two weeks. The two weeks turned into eight weeks or more. After a summer of preparation by the Granite School District (GSD), a new school year started with students in the classroom for four days a week. Friday is teacher prep day and student online day. It didn’t take long until schools, mostly high schools and middle/junior high schools, reached the limit of 15 COVID-19 cases and were shutting down for deep cleaning and forcing all students and teachers back into an online environment. The Salt Lake Tribune reported on Nov. 29, 2020 that “at least 72 schools in Utah have had COVID-19 outbreaks and shifted to fully or partially online in response.” Since March, students, families, teachers and districts have had to adapt, often quickly. How has this changing landscape changed learning in 2020?

Best photos of 2020

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Students “The problem is that with the switch to distance [learning] last spring and the back and forth this year, we have many students failing. And the mental issues are real, lots of depression and loneliness going on. We are focusing on putting services in place to fill these gaps,” said Sharla Bynum, Gear Up coordinator at Cottonwood High School. Among the services are additional virtual homework help provided by teachers. Promise SSL offers homework help at the Best Buy Promise SSL Teen Tech Center. Also, the Salt Lake County Library System provides homework help with live tutoring from Brainfuse. Among the services of Brainfuse, a national education organization, are real-time tutors. The library also offers at-home science experiments, math help, and ideas for physical education. American education is interaction focused—interactions between students, interactions between student and teacher, interactions between students, parents and teachers. This year, such interactions are Continued page 5

Scan Here: Interactive online edition with more photos.

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In 2020, classroom instruction was on and off. (Bill Hardesty/City Journals)

Ten ioconic signs to see

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Continued from front page complicated. In most cases, students sit further apart than usual. Often, they are behind clear plastic desk dividers. In elementary schools, students are assigned a place to sit for lunch, which is the only time they can take off their masks. Assemblies are held virtually as students are in class, which makes it hard on the cheer squad. Beyond the academics is a lack of informal interactions. Humans are social animals, especially teenagers. “Even at school, I feel isolated,” a Taylorsville high school student said. Another student waited for weeks to try out for the varsity basketball team. The tryouts kept getting moved because of a school shutdown or the governor’s ban on after-school activities. Rite of passage events such as Junior Prom or Homecoming dance were canceled or held unofficially by parents, with its own set of concerns. Yearbook Day was quite different since students couldn’t hang out in the halls writing, “Have a fun summer” or “See you in September.” Drama students’ dreams of singing and acting on the big stage weren’t realized last spring, and guidelines for this year continue to unfold. “The students, by and large, do not like virtual learning,” said a high school teacher from South Salt Lake City. “They miss being with their friends and participating in all the activities that have been canceled or altered due to COVID. Students are not allowed to attend sporting events, choir concerts and assemblies are virtual, and I project them to a single class period in my room. It’s not the same. Most have resigned themselves to the fact that this is the way it is until this thing is over, but they are not happy about it.” Families Childcare issues have the most impact on families. School provides a safe, super-


vised environment for children and youth. However, when schools shut down entirely like last March, parents had to find alternatives. Some worked from home. Some took time off as they could. Others quit their jobs. Even when schools opened in August, Friday was still an issue. Traditionally, Fridays were a short day, but now parents must find all-day childcare because students are home. Added to this is the potential problem that parents often have 24 hours or less to find childcare when they receive notice from the school that their child must quarantine for two weeks or that the school must shut down for deep cleaning. “Since school started, each child has had at least two weeks of online learning,” said Meredith Harker, mother of three school-aged sons. “I am most concerned when my sixth grader had to stay home alone. The rest of us had to go to school and work. I don’t know how parents do it with younger children.” Another issue is how children adapted to an asynchronous online environment. Asynchronous allows students to go online at their choosing, but it can also lead to procrastination. The ability to adjust is as different as each student. A socially-oriented student might get easily distracted by social media. Other students miss the interaction with teachers. Others don’t feel as challenged online. Makell Rogers, a mother of four, said her kids improved with the return of a routine—having four school days and one online. “The one day at home is still sometimes challenging for one or two of them, but most of them enjoy being able to get their schoolwork done earlier in the morning to have more time to play,” Rogers said. “Parental involvement is key,” said Harker, who is also a third-grade teacher at Calvin Smith. “I am lucky because my stu-

Plastic barriers are everywhere in 2020. (Bill Hardesty/City Journals)




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Empty classrooms were a common sight in 2020. (Unsplash)

dents are involved in the Chinese immersion program with high parental involvement. I see other teachers struggling much more.” Teachers Utah Education Association (UEA) recently surveyed teachers and found that 88% feel “overwhelmed” and “stressed.” UEA received more than 300 pages of comments that they are analyzing now. Summarizing his experience, the SSL teacher said, “It’s stressful, especially since we are usually told what to expect at the last minute, but it’s 2020, and we just have to roll with it.” In March, teachers had a few days to adjust to a different teaching environment. In a classroom setting, teachers can see students’ expressions to know if they are understanding the concepts. Teachers do their best explaining concepts with asynchronous online, but in a real sense, a teacher puts the training together and throws it over the wall hoping students get it. “I just don’t know my online students as well as those in my classroom,” Harker said. The SSL teacher spoke about problems last spring, such as not taking attendance or having due dates on assignments. He said the result was “only a few high-achieving students came to our virtual meetings,” and no due dates “led to a lot of procrastination.” He reported, “This year, during our second round of shutdown, the district fixed these issues, and I was allowed to take attendance, so I had much higher participation in

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my virtual sessions. The students all agreed that they liked it a lot better. I feel like my students ended last year behind but are on track this year with what they need to know.” At school, students see plastic partitions and directional arrows everywhere. Plastic partitions are in the office, counselors’ office, and maybe around the teacher’s desk or their desk. Students can walk only one way down hallways. Everyone is wearing a mask. Teachers can take them off while teaching word pronunciation. “Teachers are working hard to make sure all students have access to quality instruction each day,” Granite Park Junior High School Principal Chris Griffiths said. “To help teachers manage the implementation of both learning modalities, teachers have more planning time on Fridays which are now distance learning days for all students. This gives teachers opportunities to plan and work with students individually that need extra help. Our teachers are working so hard, and I am so proud of their dedication to our students.” “We love our teachers and how they help our children see their full potential and how they have made it enjoyable through these circumstances,” Rogers said. District Earlier this year, GSD reported that nearly 40% of students did not sign on, or they only signed on once between March and the end of the school year. This year, “Much better…around 4%

of distance learners are not engaging,” Ben Horsley, director of Communications and Community Outreach for GSD. Speaking about schools shutting down this year, Horsley said, “It is challenging, but not unforeseen. We knew when putting our plans together back in July that these TM dismissals would occur, which is why we are one of the few districts that required our teachers to do both in-person and distance instruction. This makes the transition between these dismissals much easier for students and staff.” One of the issues the district has worked to resolve is the digital divide. GSD purchased Chromebooks for each student. “Each Granite Park student, both faceto-face learners and distance learners, have been given a Chromebook to use this year. Our students have done an amazing job of Are you a business leader? coming to school prepared each day with At no cost, the ElevateHERTM Challenge is easy their Chromebooks. Many families have to accept and will benefit your company. been given a hotspot as well to help with internet needs,” Griffiths said. Join businesses across Utah in Horsley mentioned that while they have our mission to elevate the stature provided many mobile hotspots, there are of women’s leadership. Take the still more available. ElevateHERTM Challenge and stand with When asked to describe learning in other businesses as we pledge to elevate 2020, Horsley replied, “Unique and will women in senior leadership positions, in shape instruction for the next 20 years. Dis- boardrooms, on management teams and tance learning will become part of our seron politcal ballots. vices as there will invariably be families who need this type of instruction for many LEARN MORE: years to come.” l

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A calm cat waits for someone at the SSL Animal Shelter. Like other places, the SSL Animal Services has had to adapt to COVID restrictions, but they are open and have animals to adopt. (Bill Hardesty/City Journals) Antionette Evans and Nicoli Pittman works along 200 East cleaning up windstorm debris. SSL employees volunteered to help the Public Works department to clean up windstorm debris on city streets. (Bill Hardesty/ City Journals Senior Jessica Loyd takes a breath during the marathon 500-yard freestyle as she swam a time of 5:04.82 to take first place in February. (Travis Barton/City Journals)

The Colts play against Alta before the pandemic canceled its season. (Photo courtesy of

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Abdullah Saboon prepares his produce for sale at the Sunnyvale Farmers Market. (Bill Hardesty/City Journals)

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Cottonwood High musicians follow COVID-19 safety precautions including wearing masks, such as this trumpet player. (Amber Tuckness/Cottonwood High)

Gregory and Nicholas Bennett collect and sort donations for Souper Bowl of Caring for in-school pantries in the Granite School District. (Bill Hardesty/ City Journals)

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Senior Carson Atkinson lets loose a pitch against Spanish Fork during the Last Chance Tournament. (Travis Barton/City Journals)

South Salt Lake Police Officer Chad Leetham checks through an abandoned bag along the Jordan River Trail. (Bill Hardesty/City Journals)

January 2021 | Page 7

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South Salt Lake welcomes its newest school: Olene Walker Elementary By Bill Hardesty | Members of the Walker family join Granite School District officials, including Board of Education president Karyn Winder, to cut the ribbon for the Olene Walker Elementary school on Dec. 4. The new school at 3751 S. 900 West serves about 400 students. The school was paid for with the 2017 School Bond. A detached community center was also built to the south of the school. (Bill Hardesty/City Journals)

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January 2021 | Page 9

10 iconic signs to set your sights on in SSL By Bill Hardesty |


n the past year, South Salt Lake City has worked on revisions to the city’s sign code. One part of the code is to designate certain signs as iconic and protected them from removal. This reporter went on a hunt for iconic signs, some neon, and others not, and found at least 10 notable signs. Lisa-Michele Church of said last year, “Historic treasures should be preserved because they add beauty and fun to our lives, because they reflect the creativity and vitality of long-time family businesses, and because they remind us of earlier days when more care, effort, and personality went into a sign’s design. A unique sign became inseparable with the business’s identity and resonated with customers.” The list certainly is not inclusive and if you have another suggestion, tell us, or better yet, tell the Community Development Department. The 10 iconic signs of SSL (in no particular order): Ritz Classic Lanes Bowling Pin: The Ritz Classic Bowling Pin sign was erected in 1958 when Verne McCullough opened Ritz Classic Lanes at 2265 S. State St. The pin is 90 feet high and is known as the largest bowling pin in the nation. Initially, the middle rotated letters with “Classic” on one side and “Bowling” on the other. At the base, it advertised a coffee shop, a sports shop and 54 lanes. With 54 lanes, the Ritz Classic was the largest bowling establishment west of the Mississippi at the time. During a windstorm, the sign tipped over and damaged 20 cars at the dealership next door in 1959. The sign has undergone many changes over the years. An explosion destroyed part of the bowling alley in 1967. The owners chose to build a skating rink over the damaged lanes. The sign was changed to read “Skating” on one side. In the 1980s, the rink was removed and more lanes were added, and “Classic” replaced “Skating.” In 2015, the bowling alley was closed, and the sign soon fell into disrepair. The sign was removed in 2017. However, as part of the permitting process, SSL required the Ritz Classic Apartments builders to restore the sign. A new sign based on the old one created using LED lights instead of neon by YESCO, which built the original sign. Bonwood Bowl: Bonnie and Woodrow (Woody) White opened Bonwood Bowling in 1957. The name comes from combining their names. At the time, there were 18 lanes. The bowling craze took off, and the Whites added 10 additional lanes and a lounge in 1958. In 1972, Bonwood added 14 lanes. This addition gave Bonwood Bowing 42 lanes making it one of the largest in the state.

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The biggest bowling pin in the nation shines again along State Street. (Bill Hardesty/City Journals)

Outside of the bowling alley at 2500 S. Main is a sign with an 8-foot bowling pin and ball and “Bowl” spelled in neon letters. In 2018, an alleged drunk driver hit the sign. The White family, who owns and manages the Bonwood Bowl, decided to restore the sign rather than replace it. “The Bonwood Bowl sign is very important to the streetscape of South Salt Lake. It represents a unique and creative design that is unlike any other sign or building feature to be found there,” Church said in 2019 at the ribbon cutting for the restored sign. “Because it has been there more than 60 years, it is a familiar and iconic visual that people associate with this area of the city.” Standard Building Supply: At 220 W. 2700 South stands a large neon hammer with a direction arrow to the old home of Standard Building Supply. The hammer was installed in the ’50s or ’60s. When it was working, neon light outlined the hammer giving it a bluish hue at night. Standard Building Supply was founded in 1948. They were acquired by Sunroc Corp., a subsidiary of Clyde Companies, in 2008. In 2009, Sunroc divided its operations and created Sunroc Building Material, which changed its name to Sunpro in 2019. Town & Country Market: The old fruit neon sign still marks the Town & Country Market location at 2840 S. Main St. The sign was installed in the ’50s and still works. However, because the market isn’t open at night, the sign is off. The Town & Country Market was initially an open-door fruit market for the farmers in the valley. Dennis Michelson bought the market over 30 years ago. Now

Top: Parker Theatre marquee. Bottom: The Chinatown Gate welcomes people to the Chinatown Plaza. (Bill Hardesty/City Journals)

the market is a deli specializing in made-toorder sandwiches. Siesta Motel: A neon sign advertising the Siesta Motel, 3109 S. State St., looks to be from the 1950s. The neon portions of the sign are covered with plastic to protect it from the weather. It still lights up every night. Century Theaters: The Century 21 (aka Century 6) sign needs repair, but it reminds people of the dome theaters built around 200 East and 3300 South. The first dome theater (Century 21) opened in 1967. It had 985 seats and an 80-foot curved screen, which was the second largest in Utah. The dome ceiling was 155 high. In 1969, another dome theater (Centu-

ry 22) was built across 200 East. In a few years, the theaters fell victim to the trend of splitting large theaters. Century 22 was divided into two screens and Century 21 into three. Over the years, the theaters were not maintained well, and severe water damage forced the theaters to close. In 1998, both buildings were demolished, making way for a parking lot for the Century 16. Parker Theatre: The classic cinema marquee at the Parker Theatre, 3605 S. State St., has undergone a few changes over the years. The building was originally named the Apollo Theater and open Dec. 31, 1946. It had 500 seats. In 1963, it was renamed the

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The Spiking Tourist Lodge with its golden railroad spike is still along State Street. (Bill Hardesty/City Journals)

The fruit sign still points to the Town & Country Market on Main Street. (Bill Hardesty/City Journals)

Avalon Theater. The theater mainly showed second-run or classic films, with a hypnotist show on Saturday night. The theater was the love of Art Proctor. After closing as a movie theater, it was used mainly for concerts. Joanne and Tom Parker, founders of the Salt Lake Children’s Theatre Company, did extensive renovations in March 2012. The theater reopened as the Utah Children’s Theatre. They added to the marquee by adding “The Children’s” running vertical and “Theatre” running horizontally. Earlier this year, the theatre was renamed Parker Theatre and replaced Children’s. Busy Bee Bar & Grill: This nowclosed bar and grill, 2115 S. State St., was known for its garlic burger and the unique neon sign. The sign doesn’t light anymore, but the tubing spelling out the name harkens back to the ’50s or ’60s. Spiking Tourist Lodge: The sign at the Spiking Tourist Lodge isn’t neon anymore.

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The old Century 21 and Century 22 sign is in need of repair but still stands. (Bill Hardesty/City Journals)

The Siesta Motel sign has shined on State Street for almost 60 years. (Bill Hardesty/ City Journals)

The neon tubing was removed around 2010. But the iconic golden railroad spike is still part of the design. The motel was open around 1946, and the sign was erected around the same time. For many years, in the ’50s and ’60s, the motel’s advertising tagline was “Look for the Spike.” Chinatown Gate: The Chinatown Gate isn’t old (it was built in 2011) nor is it neon, but it is iconic because of its design and placement on State Street. The gate uses colors and architecture in the traditional Chinese style. The gate welcomes people to an Asian focused shopping center covering 5.7 acres and includes over 100,000 square feet of shopping and dining space. The Chinatown Supermarket anchors the Chinatown Plaza. It is the largest Asian grocery store in Utah with an 18-foot-long tank and fish-marketstyle presentation. l

The Standard Builders Supply still stands at 220 W. 2700 South. (Bill Hardesty/City Journals)

Bonwood Bowling renovated its sign in 2019. (Bill The Busy Bee Bar & Grill sign still remains alone Hardesty/City Journals) on State Street. (Bill Hardesty/City Journals)

January 2021 | Page 11

In 2020, Cottonwood football turned its program around thanks to its seniors


hey had already been in the program for three years, going a combined 1-29, according to head coach Casey Miller. But in 2020, ten seniors turned the Cottonwood Colts football program around, leading the Colts to

By Brian Shaw |

a 4-5 overall record. It was the most games Cottonwood has won in over a decade. But the manner in which these ten seniors stepped up will be talked about for a long time. Because instead of going for all the glory at the offensive skill positions, most of these seniors made the decision to fill up the offensive and defensive lines, added Miller. “I really think their leadership and just grit and toughness to stick it out and their selflessness was key, knowing that the younger kids will get the recognition because they were the ones who score the touchdowns,” Miller said. Wins over Carbon, Timpanogos, Providence Hall and Judge Memorial set this team apart, but in Miller’s view there was one game in particular that turned the season in a positive direction. “I really think it was the Timpanogos game where we finally played well for four full quarters and the kids saw that the can play well for an entire game and that we can get that second win,” added Miller. “We played nothing but good close games the rest of the season. They believed they had a chance from that point forward.”

What was the biggest moment?

Jadakiss Sipai (Photo courtesy Casey Miller)

Miller shared a short story about his team finding it hard to know how to celebrate the win over Timpanogos properly because in his five years of coaching at Cottonwood—three as offensive coordinator—winning games has been so rare.

Jordan Poteki (Photo courtesy Casey Miller)

JJ Mitchell (Photo courtesy Casey Miller)

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“It was just them jumping in a huge pile and laughing, and actually being happy about something that has happened on a football field,” he said. “Watching the fireworks from the end zone and just looking like a group of kids so happy that their work had paid off. Nothing crazy. We haven’t won enough for them to even know how to celebrate.” But celebrate they did four times in 2020, eclipsing a lot of doubt about a football program that had to play an independent schedule because numbers at one point were so low. But thanks to these ten No 4: Mike Miller (Photo courtesy Casey Miller) No. 26: Joseph Madrigal (Photo courtesy Casey Miller) No. 28: Isaiah Marichal (Photo courtesy Casey Miller) No 52: John Congram (Photo courtesy Casey Miller) No 65: Jadakiss Sipai (Photo courtesy Casey Miller) No 68: JJ Mitchell (Photo courtesy Casey Miller) No 72: Doug Maughan (Photo courtesy Casey Miller) No 70: Jordan Poteki (Photo courtesy Casey Miller) No 81: Ethan King (Photo courtesy Casey Miller) seniors, whom the City Journals is proud to spotlight in this unique year of the Coronavirus pandemic, the Colts did more than unmask their expectations—they surpassed them all.

Doug Maughan (Photo courtesy Casey Miller)

From one who was carted off in an ambulance his junior year and coming back, to two captains who accepted getting less playing time for the betterment of the team, and others who turned their lives around through football, the Colts were a special story. Let’s meet these young men, starting with those who worked hard in the trenches to bring Cottonwood football back.

Jadakiss Sipai: Major College Interest

Coach says: “Very quiet, hard-working kid who has started since his freshman year on both sides of the ball. A 300-pound kid who is hands-down the strongest kid in the program. Takes AP classes, has a 3.4 cumulative GPA and should get a chance to play in college. This lack of recruiting due to COVID is really hurting him.” On schools recruiting Sipai: “He’s had some interest from the FCS schools from the state and some from the rocky mountain region. Things got shut down before anything got serious. There is an entire class of kids (2021) who are being hosed by the shutdown. The top 100 kids aren’t being affected, but all the kids who fill 70% of rosters are...Weber State has been in touch during the few open-periods in the last year. Montana, and some junior colleges in California specifically. The normal recruiting last spring got shut down right as we could have gotten him some interest…I’m really hoping the dead period ends and we can really push to get him a chance.”

John Congram (Photo courtesy Casey Miller)

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Jordan Poteki: Mr. Reliable

Coach says: “Jordan is the comedian of the group. Always telling jokes and making everyone laugh. He also has family ties to the program as his older brother played back in the days when Cottonwood was winning games in the late 2000s or early 2010s. He is our other big body.” On his play: “He really stepped up this year and became more consistent with his play, which really helped us out a lot. We were able to use almost exclusively seniors with a couple of juniors on the line this year, which has been much better than the last few years with multiple freshman and sophomores up there just getting beat up by older kids.” On his plans after high school: “He has some interest, no offers. Mostly junior colleges in California and Kansas.”

JJ Mitchell: Big Thinker

Coach says: “JJ is a kid who plans on being an aeronautical engineer, takes the hardest classes Cottonwood has to offer, and already has his plan for college. He is another one who has shown up every single day and has worked just as hard at football as he does at school and turned himself into a very good center and defensive end for us.” On his best game: “I can’t think of a game where he didn’t play well this entire season and was easily the best OL and DL we had this season. He knows all the blocking schemes, and exactly what he is supposed to do on every play.” On his work habits: “His hard work and his intelligence have allowed him to play OL/ DL very well even though some would argue he is ‘undersized.’ He is a kid who has turned himself into a good football player through hard work and determination.”

Isaiah Marichal (Photo courtesy Casey Miller)

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Doug Maughan: Model Student

Coach says: “Doug is the kid who has used football to learn about himself and become a more well-rounded person. He made Academic All-State this year having almost a perfect GPA for all four years of high school.” On Doug’s future: “He is a National Merit Scholarship finalist, and had never played any football before high school. He has come so far and has been a great example that you can do well in school and be at all our football requirements if you are willing to work hard.”

John Congram: Role Model

Coach says: “John is a model for the type of kids we want. He gets good grades, comes to everything, gives kids who don’t have access to a car rides to practice, and just works hard every day. I know he didn’t get as much playing time as he would’ve liked, but he always did everything asked of him for the team and was a senior captain.” On John’s importance to the program: “That [characteristic Congram has] is the commonality with all the seniors. They have meant everything to the program. Showing the younger kids that if you work hard every day like they have, eventually good things will happen.”

Isaiah Marichal: Legacy Captain

Coach says: “Isaiah is a kid who’s older brother played at Cottonwood for us four years ago when we went 0-10. He has come to absolutely everything we have done for the past four years. He is also a wrestler. He has been a captain the past two years and again is a great example to our younger kids of how to stick it out, keep coming back and work hard every day.”

Joseph Madrigal (Photo courtesy Casey Miller)

On his roles: “He played mostly offense this year and a lot of special teams. We had some new kids come out who played linebacker and he never complained about playing less defense; he just wanted to have a successful season. He just outworked everyone.”

Joseph Madrigal: Stud Stalwart

an amazing job for us the last three years. No [college] offers yet.”

Ethan King: Back In Football

Coach says: “Ethan came out this season after not playing the last three years. He heard from some of his friends that they are having fun at football and he decided to come out.” On what stood out: “He really helped us a lot by being good enough to play wide receiver and let us not have to start nothing but ninth/10th graders at that position again.” On other contributions: “He also added depth at safety, where we only have three kids who can play that position. Another hard worker who did everything we asked him to and was able to help us jump up to four wins this year.”

Coach says: “Joseph is another four-year starter. He was our leader on defense. He’s played the same position for four years and so there was nothing he hadn’t seen. He could get us in and out of the defenses we wanted and was our big bruiser of a running back.” On his ascension to team leader: “Tough kid who got beat up as a ninth and 10th grader, but was able to make his senior year one to remember.” On his future: “He is an AMES [engineer- Rocky Sarki: New To Football Coach says: “Rocky joined the team after ing and sciences academy] kid, he is already taking several University of Utah classes and I like week three…never played in his life. Just played soccer, but our weight room coach conbelieve he will continue there.” vinced him to try. He came out and did kickoffs Mike Miller: Secondary Leader and field goals. Helped us a lot.” Coach says: “Mike Miller moved here On his duties: “Kicked it deep and made from California two years ago and his life was all the field goals we kicked except the one a mess…failing all of his classes in California that got blocked because of a missed blocking and he was sent here to live with his cousin (JJ) assignment. Good kid who says he wished he to try and get him away from all the trouble he would have played all four years. We are trying was getting into back home.” to get him to get more soccer kids involved in On his ascension to team leader: “He the football program.” came to every practice his sophomore year In Sum Coach says: “They are a great group of even though he was academically ineligible. He did our study halls, and has done every- kids and they should be proud of what they accomplished this year. So many kids have quit thing we have asked of him.” On his future: “He will graduate high and not had the guts to stick it out and try to school and got to play varsity football for the make positive progress with the program. Fupast two seasons and had a few big catches ture teams owe them a lot for what they have this year and a couple of interceptions. He started.” l used football to give himself on opportunity to graduate and not fall back into trouble. He did

Mike Miller (Photo courtesy Casey Miller)

Ethan King (Photo courtesy Casey Miller)

January 2021 | Page 13

Former coach Ron McBride's foundation provides $10,000 grant to Granite Park Jr. High By Brian Shaw |


tarting in 2018, the Ron McBride Foundation entered an agreement with the Granite Education Association to provide grants to district schools in need. The association's main office just so happens to be located a few blocks from Granite Park Junior High in South Salt Lake. But during the program's first two years, Granite Park was not part of the list of growing district schools that received support from the foundation. That all changed this past summer, however, when the foundation gave a $10,000 grant to the school. "The grant was written in August," explained Kamaal Ahmad, the school's assistant principal, who added that "Ted Thackery, our instructional coach [at Granite Park] took that responsibility and did an outstanding job." In addition to writing the grant, Thackery is also in charge of Granite Park's after-school program. "We are definitely thankful for his work here at Granite Park," Ahmad added. The grant itself will be allocated primarily toward Thackery's after-school program, according to Ahmad, who said it gives Granite Park the ability to hire extra personnel as needed. Another box that will be ticked off the list with this grant is for the school to have the ability to purchase the supplies to boost the students' academic and extracurricular

needs. The objective of the grant is rather linear, said Ahmad. "Our goal is to develop our students and give them the opportunity to become the very best in their field of interest," he added. "The grant helps us to fund that." Another person without whom this grant wouldn't have been possible is Ron McBride, the foundation's namesake and legendary former Utah Utes and Weber State head football coach who just celebrated his 81st birthday recently. Coach Mac, as he's affectionately known, even took the time to appear with the kids at Granite Park alongside Ahmad who happens to be a former Weber State assistant coach under Coach Mac and was a player when McBride was an assistant coach at Kentucky. "I loved playing for [Coach Mac]. I also loved working for him at Weber State University. He was a father figure for me, and a great mentor," Ahmad said. The Ron McBride Foundation has a guiding principle that is a hallmark of its program that will be utilized at Granite Park, called the 3-2-6 It Matters! The 3-2-6 refers to the time after school from 3 to 6 p.m. that even Arnold Schwarzenegger, the famed actor and former governor of California has referred to as "the danger zone for kids." The foundation's program focuses its efforts on two pathways. In the first pathway, "the family with the high income has their child participate in after-school services or classes."

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Former Utah Utes football coach Ron McBride provided a $10,000 grant to Granite Park Jr. High. (Photo courtesy Ron McBride Foundation)

In the foundation's other pathway—which is the one many Granite Park Jr. High students must take according to one South Salt Lake City official—it "does not include parent(s) as they: work excessive hours, can’t pay for a “membership,” can’t transport their child to activities, or struggle to meet the nutrition needs of their children." l



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January 2021 Cherie Wood, Mayor 801-464-6757

South Salt Lake City Council Members LeAnne Huff, District 1 801-440-8510 Corey Thomas, District 2 801-755-8015 Sharla Bynum, District 3 801-803-4127 Portia Mila, District 4 801-792-0912 L. Shane Siwik, District 5 801-548-7953 Natalie Pinkney, At-Large 385-775-4980 Ray deWolfe, At-Large 801-347-6939

City Offices

BY APPOINTMENT 801-483-6000 220 East Morris Ave SSL, UT 84115 Animal Service 801-483-6024 Building Permits 801-483-6005 Business Licensing 801-483-6063 Code Enforcement 801-464-6712 Fire Administration 801-483-6043 Justice Court 801-483-6072 Police Admin 801-412-3606 Promise 801-483-6057 Public Works 801-483-6045 Recreation 801-412-3217 Utility Billing 801-483-6074 Emergencies 911 Police/Fire Dispatch 801-840-4000

2021 Moving Forward – This is the Year! One year ago, I began my New Year’s newsletter message in this exact way. Who would have anticipated the challenges ahead? One year later, I cannot help but reflect on the contrast of that hopefulness and reality that we know currently. Moving forward is our goal, I know that we can do hard things and do what is needed for the greater good in South Salt Lake. So, Mayor Cherie Wood once again, “This is the year!” 2021 is to be a big year for South Salt Lake and I share this optimism for the many good things ahead. In early December we sent out an “Our Next Move” General Plan postcard with an invitation to take an online survey. Our General Plan asks us to set goals for planning, economic development, and community improvements and then strategize how to reach them. Many goals from the 2009 General Plan are now on-the-ground realities, such as the new downtown and Creative Industries Zone, the S-Line streetcar, new high-

quality housing, and a thriving economy. We have arrived here with the support, enthusiasm, investment, and participation from many of you. With this new General Plan, we are setting our sights on the future. Transparency is a must in building the community we want to be. Keeping you informed and having opportunities to be included in the ongoing conversations is key to our success. I am fortunate to work with professionals who can state the facts, give a balanced assessment of the pros and cons, and consider the needs of various stakeholders. We also work hard to share information—with the press, through social media, our website, in this newsletter, through personal contact, and public notices. The most important ingredient, still, is you. Be sure to speak up, listen and learn about the issues, and help shape the future. As our city grows, change is always certain. Our priorities may shift, markets rise and fall, and there are always curveballs (ahem, 2020). My commitment is that I am always listening and I am your advocate. I believe that our city’s future is ultimately tied to the success of every single person in it. In 2021, please join me in making a difference as we plan our next move. Visit to contribute your ideas.

City News SSL City Council Meetings Meetings likely electronic only, visit for info. Wednesday, January 13, 7 p.m. Wednesday, January 27, 7 p.m

SSL City Planning Commission Meetings Thursday, January 7, 7 p.m. Thursday, January 21, 7 p.m. NOTICE: All meetings are subject to postponement, cancellation or live stream only. Check for updates.

Holiday Closures South Salt Lake City Offices will be closed New Year’s Day Friday, Jan. 1, and Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Monday, Jan. 18.

CITY COUNCIL CORNER “Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.” –Henry Ford ‘Tis the month to set goals and look to the future. Personally, I’m hoping 2021 is a kinder, gentler year for us all. But as a community, it’s time for South Salt Lake to set goals that will guide us into the future using a General Plan. A General Plan is the framework to address important issues of land-use, development, transportation, housing, and open space over the next 20 years. It relies on community input to create a vision with goals that lead to an actionable plan. Our last General Plan was completed in 2009 and I’m proud to say that through collaborative efforts with all stakeholders we’ve accomplished most of those goals. As we ring in the New Year, let’s celebrate five big highlights. 1. To improve educational opportunities. When I started on the City Council in 2013, we had five afterschool community centers. Now we have fourteen! Promise SSL is a gamechanger for our youth and their families. 2. Plan experiences that celebrate art, design, and diversity. With the SSL Arts Council came the Mural Fest which was a first in Utah, and then came CraftoberFest. Two of my favorite new traditions.

Sharla Bynum, City Council Chair, District 3 3. Improve our City’s walkability and bike-ability. Trails were connected, bike lanes added to our streets, and zoning was modified to encourage safer and more walk and bike-friendly neighborhoods. 4. Expand public transit as a catalyst for redevelopment. When SSL partnered with other entities, including UTA, FTA and Salt Lake City to build the S-Line streetcar, housing and businesses naturally followed. 5. Increase the number of city residents and homeowners. New home developments like Riverfront and Granite, plus infill projects like Plymouth townhomes have allowed us to grow and welcome many new neighbors. What’s our next move? Much of 2020 was spent focusing on state and federal political issues, but your local government has more impact on your day to day life. I encourage you to get involved and start by taking the General Plan Survey. Be sure to share your perspective and help us shape our future at: —or— To request a mail-in survey: 801-214-0791 Note: Opinions expressed here may not be representative of all Members of the City Council.

South Salt Lake City Council Action Report Summary

Full agendas, minutes, handouts and video recorded meetings available at:

Garbage and Recycling Pickup There are no garbage delays in January. Have your cans out on your typical pickup day by 7 a.m.

Holiday Tree Curbside Pickup Natural Christmas trees will be picked up and composted for FREE starting Monday, January 11 thru Thursday, January 14. Trees will be collected the same day as your usual garbage day.

Date Agenda Item 11/18/20 Appointments by the Mayor

Subject Appointments of Clarissa Williams, Maryanna Southey and Laura Vernon to the Planning Commission

Action Approved

Next Step No Further Action

11/18/20 Meeting Schedule Discussion 12/2/20 Citizen Review Board Discussion

City Code 2.08.050 – Change the required meetings of the City Council from two to one per month. Aligns with State Code Further Discussion by the Council regarding the creation of a Citizen Review Board in South Salt Lake

Moved to Unfinished Business for December 2 Moved to Unfinished Business at a future Council meeting TBD

Further Discussion Further Discussion


Meeting Schedule Discussion

An Ordinance amending section 2.08.050 of the South Salt Lake City Code to Conform City Ordinance with State Law


No Further Action


Annual City Council Meeting Schedule Bike Appropriation Resolution

Annual 2021 City Council Meeting Schedule discussion

Moved to Unfinished Business for December 9 A Resolution granting permission for the South Salt Lake Police Dept. Moved to Unfinished Business for to Appropriate certain property in its possession to public interest use December 9

Further Discussion Further Discussion

Naming of City Park Resolution

A Resolution naming a City Park for Ida and Laurie Bickley

Further Discussion

12/2/20 12/2/20

Moved to Unfinished Business for December 9

Removing Snow and Ice Can Prevent Slips and Falls While our Public Works Department is hard at work keeping the streets clear of snow and ice, here are a few things you can do to help out and prevent injury from potential slips and falls. The owners of businesses and residences are responsible for removing snow and ice from the sidewalks in front of their building, as well as parking lots. Snow should be removed the same day it falls, or by 10 a.m. the next day if snow falls into the late evening. A sprinkle of rock salt along sidewalks or on places that tend to ice over is a good idea as well. When shoveling your drive or walk, shovel the snow away from the road and onto your property. Clear the area by the road on the left side of your driveway, as this creates a good spot for plows to unload their snow.

For more info about CIty road maintenance topics, visit the website:

Public Safety To Serve and Protect In 2020 we learned to navigate through the COVID-19 guidelines and orders to stay safe and adapt as first responders. Amidst this, the South Salt Lake Police Department continued our hard work on significant felony cases. Many have inquired, here is the most up to date information on three 2020 cases. On June 8, 2020 SSLPD responded to 600 West and 3300 South (Golf the Round) on a reported vandalism. It was determined a female suspect, Brittney Mae Miloshevsky (29), who was located at the scene had driven her vehicle through a fence and into the pond with her sleeping toddler secured in a car seat. Rescue efforts by officers recovered the toddler. The toddler was transported to Primary Children’s Hospital in critical condition and later died. The suspect was booked into jail and is being charged with Child Abuse Homicide (F1), DUI (MA). Miloshevsky had her last court proceeding on December 18, 2020. On September 2, 2020 SSLPD responded to 2880 South 200 East #2, on a report of a stabbing. The suspect, Edward Jay Kennedy, made spontaneous statements claiming to have stabbed the victim. Officers began life-saving measures. Medical responded to the scene and took over medical care, but later pronounced the victim deceased. The suspect was arrested and booked into jail on Murder (F1) and Possession of a Weapon by a Restricted Person (F3). Kennedy had his last scheduled court proceeding on December 28, 2020. On September 27, 2020 the SSLPD responded to 300 West Ironwood Drive on a deceased, badly beaten, and partially clothed female located in a parking lot. Investigation led to the arrest of suspect, Jovanie Silva on Aggravated Murder (F1). Silva has his next court proceeding on January 25, 2021.

Of note, real police and detective work is time consuming, and nothing like an hour long, then “case closed” TV episode. All our officers are trained in basic investigation and interview techniques to elicit pertinent information related to a case. The first officer on scene is to arrive safely, ensure scene safety, arrange Police Chief for medical assistance, apprehend any Jack Carruth suspects, secure the crime scene and call for additional resources as needed. In homicide investigations, crime scene investigators and detectives are called out to the scene due to the nature of the crime and their respective different duties and responsibilities. Detectives assess and manage the scene, document the scene, canvass the area, and notify the next of kin. Once the officers have probable cause to support criminal charges, a suspect is arrested. The investigative process is comprehensive and requires meticulous care to document and collect all evidence. Criminal proceedings can take several months and in some cases, years. The officers of the SSLPD work tirelessly and are dedicated to upholding the highest level of professional standards while serving the community. I can attest that we are committed to enforcement of laws to protect life and property, while also respecting individual rights. I commend the hard work of officers in these particular cases and the many others handled each day.

Happy and Safe 2021 It has been a year since the first COVID case was reported in the United States on January 21, 2020. Not only have we faced the pandemic, but we also witnessed a 5.7 earthquake and hurricane-force winds. South Salt Lake has demonstrated how resilient we are. We have been able to recover quite quickly from these events. However, the COVID-19 virus is still with us as we continue to navigate through cold and flu season. Because some of the symptoms of flu and COVID-19 are similar, it may be hard to tell the difference based on symptoms alone, and testing may be needed to help confirm a diagnosis. Flu and COVID-19 share many characteristics, but there are some key differences between the two. If you are experiencing flu-like symptoms, please distance yourself from others and seek a COVID test.

During these cold months, we will be spending more time indoors, so I would like to share some winter fire safety tips with you. WINTERIZE YOUR HOME: • Install weather stripping • Replace/Install insulation • Check windows • Insulate water lines along exterior walls • Clean out gutters • Repair roof leaks

Emergency Pack Checklist for Kids Have your children create their own bug-out emergency personal backpack. Have them include things like their favorite book or stuffed animal. These familiar things will help keep them comfortable during a time away from home due to an emergency. Change of clothes Non-perishable food items Blanket Books Favorite toy Paper, pencils and crayons

Join us for a Citywide Neighborhood Watch Zoom Meeting January 7, 2021, 7:00 p.m. Visit for link

Join us for a Mens’ Homeless Resource Center Neighborhood Meeting Via Zoom January 20, 2021 3:30 p.m. Visit for link

Fire Chief Terry Addison

Did you know that house fires occur more in winter than in any other season? Heating equipment is involved in 1 out of 7 reported house fires and half of all heating-related fires that occur in winter. When using any portable heating equipment, keep anything that can burn at least 3-feet from any heat source such as fireplaces, wood stoves, radiators, or space heaters. Install carbon monoxide detectors and test them monthly, and only plug one heating appliance into an electrical outlet. Never use an extension cord with a heat-producing appliance. If an extension cord is needed, have an electrician install additional outlets where you need them. Additionally, have your heating system professionally serviced to make sure it’s clean and working properly. Above all, be ready to check on family and neighbors who could be at risk for cold-weather hazards; and have a wonderful, safe January and a Happy New Year.

The South Salt Lake Police Athletic and Activities League (PAL) in partnership with Salt Lake Institute of Culinary Education (SLICE), donates several meals a week to families in need. If you are interested in nominating a family to receive one of these professionally prepared meals, call Officer Chase Hermansen at 801-412-3642.

Business & Development WHAT IS THE PLANNING COMMISSION? The South Salt Lake Planning Commission is a locally appointed municipal committee that makes recommendations to the City Council regarding any changes to the South Salt Lake General Plan, small area plans, zoning ordinances and proposed developments. They offer insights and advice that impacts the current and future success of development in South Salt Lake. Planning Commission members are appointed by the Mayo serve four year terms and given advice and consent from the City Council. The commission consists of seven commissioners and two alternates. Planning Commission members represent each of the seven SSL Council Districts. If you are interested in serving on the Planning Commission, please contact Alexandra White for more information at

2021 Planning Commission Schedule The Planning Commission holds regular meetings on the FIRST and THIRD THURSDAY of each month, unless otherwise noted. For January 2021, meetings will be held on Thursday, January 7 and 21, meeting agendas and information is available on the city website at

Welcome New and Re-Appointed Planning Commissioners!! Clarissa Williams Clarissa Williams was appointed by Mayor Wood and confirmed by the City Council on November 18, 2020 to serve on the Planning Commission as an alternate. Commissioner Williams represents District 5.

New Park to Visit on Warmer Winter Days Sunny winter days are the perfect time to visit a park. Bickley Park has something for everyone and activities to keep you warm and social. Bring your own ping pong paddles/balls or cornhole bean bags and challenge a friend to a game. Warm up with a soccer ball or futsal ball on the sport court (sorry, pickleballers, the net is down for the winter). Play a little tune on the musical equipment. Or, tackle the playground—there is something for every age and ability. Ida and Laurie Bickley Park is just north of the Columbus Senior Center building at 2530 South 500 East. If the weather warrants, to keep fit mentally and physically and have a blast, we encourage you to go visit one of our many other city parks, strut your mutt over to the Lions Park dog run (361 E. Robert Ave), download the MURAL FEST map ( and go at it, or stroll down to the Jordan River trail. Just remember that we have many wonderful things that we can do safely and are very close to home.

Liz Gabbitas Liz Gabbitas was appointed by Mayor Wood and confirmed by the City Council on December 9, 2020 to serve on the Planning Commission as an alternate. Commissioner Gabbitas represents District 3. Mary Anna Southey Mary Anna Southey was originally appointed in February 2019 as a Planning Commission alternate. On November 18, 2020, Commissioner Southey was appointed by Mayor Wood and confirmed by the City Council to serve as a regular Planning Commissioner. Commissioner Southey represents District 4. Laura Vernon Laura Vernon has served on the Planning Commission for four years and has served as the Chair of the Planning Commission for the last two. On November 18, 2020, Chair Vernon was re-appointed by Mayor Wood and confirmed by the City Council to serve as a regular Planning Commissioner. Chair Vernon represents District 4.

Farewell and Thank You for Your Service! Susan Dickstein We wish to thank Susan Dickstein who served on the Planning Commission for four years. Her dedication as a member is much appreciated. Susan is a long time resident and is actively involved in many community groups. Through her professional career as a realtor, Susan also advocates for good development in South Salt Lake.

Community Happenings Hey Fido! It’s “Walk and Train Your Pet” Month

January means it is national “Walk and Train Your Pet” month. When it comes to getting the dog outside for a walk, things can get tricky if Fido is not properly trained. Animal experts encourage walking your dog daily and use of proper training tools. Remember that all pets should be on a leash when walking, which includes all city parks and open spaces. If your dog likes to drag you, then getting the proper training and walking tools is a must. Items like a no-pull harness and gentle leaders are going to be your best friend. Introduce these new tools to your pet slowly and with a lot of positive reinforcement (treats and “good dog” responses). Start slowly by taking your pup on a leash around the house and work your way out into the world. These tools are designed to make dogs concentrate on the walk and not on the world around them. If their minds are on the walk they will tire more quickly and be more likely to be content at home--a tired dog is a good dog. For those of you who have cats that you want to allow outdoors, we encourage training with a cat harness and walking with the cat. If the cat is absolutely not ok with a harness a “catio” (fenced in patio for cats) is a good alternative to allow a cat outside time. Spending quality time with our pets outside after months of home meetings and home school is a great way to start the New Year and keep any fitness resolutions. Happy New Year—Best for you and your pets in 2021! —South Salt Lake Animal Services

HELPFUL COMMUNITY RESOURCES United Way 2-1-1: By simply dialing 2-1-1, callers are connected to community resources such as assistance with paying rent and utilities, food, or mental health and medical services. Rent Relief: Utah Community Action: Applicants can call 801-3592444 to find out if they’re eligible. Peer-to-Peer Support Groups through NAMI Utah: There is no need to register for support groups, for more information call 801-3239900 or visit

Interfaith Holiday Virtual Concert Without being able to assemble in-person, in December members of our community sent personal musical performances for a celebratory compilation video of, “Auld Lang Syne.” And you better not pout if you missed it, because you can watch and enjoy this performance at your leisure at

To pre-register visit: and select Youth Sports Registration We are currently assessing access to gym space and the ability to safely run a basketball program this winter. The format will most likely include small skills clinics, with the possibility of games.

Promise SSL Promise SSL Adds the Clubhouse-to-Careers C2C Program

SSL teenagers have been back in the Best Buy Teen Tech Center (BBTTC) this past fall with a new vigor for educational and creative activities. Some favorite activities at the Teen Tech Center have included sewing and painting! They’ve also enjoyed learning to code, graphic design software, and other offered entrepreneurship activities. In addition, the Teen Tech Center recently added the Clubhouse-to-Careers (C2C) Pathways program. This program is specifically dedicated to helping youth prepare for desired career paths (such as business, computer science, medical, graphic design, public service). In 2021, and based upon their career preference, many participating teens are focusing and seeking paid business internships in our community during the summer months. The C2C program is made up of 12 youth who are between 16-21 years old and have qualified for the internship program by spending the time to learn the technical and professional skills that they will need in the workplace. This Spring they will be working on a pre-internship project to further prepare for potential summer internships. We ask our community and local business owners on behalf of our C2C students to help them land an internship and help start their career. If you are aware of any paid internship opportunities or are interested in developing one, please reach out to Tate Grimshaw at 385377-4891 or email, We are proud to share with you the energy, hard work and dedication displayed by the youth at the Best Buy Teen Tech Center, and look forward to a fantastic year ahead for each of them.

You are NOT

ALONE 1 in 5 U.S. adults experience mental illness

Millions of people are affected by mental illness each year. Across the country, many people just like you work, perform, create, compete, laugh, love and inspire every day.

1 in 25 1 in 25 U.S. adults experience serious mental illness



of youth (6-17 years) experience a mental health disorder


Personality Disorder 1% Schizophrenia 1% Borderline Dual 4%Diagnosis 3% Bipolar Disorder

19% of all adults 15% of Asian adults 16% of black adults of Hispanic or 17% Latinx adults 20% of white adults American Indian or 22% ofAlaska Native adults of adults who report 27% mixed/multiracial lesbian, gay and 37% ofbisexual adults

19% Anxiety Disorders

7% Depression 1% Obsessive Compulsive Disorder 4% Post-traumatic Stress Disorder WAYS TO REACH OUT AND GET HELP

Talk with a health care professional

Call the NAMI HelpLine at 800-950-NAMI (6264)

Data from CDC, NIMH and other select sources. Find citations for this resource at

Connect with friends and family

Join a support group

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Students aren’t lingering outside of Cottonwood High on a school day in late November as the school closed for the second time this fall in an effort to reduce COVID-19 transmission. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

Schools flip-flop learning methods to keep providing instruction to students By Julie Slama |


didn’t know what to expect,” recalled a Canyons School District parent after his first child’s school changed to virtual learning after positive COVID-19 cases reached a 1% limit for the school. “But it hasn’t been too bad,” continued Marc Hone, even as his three oldest children who attend three different schools all were learning online in late November, following health guidelines to temporarily close their schools. “We rely on Canvas (online learning platform), teacher emails and frequently look at the schools’ websites to ensure they’re getting their assignments done.” This has been a different experience from last spring when all schools were suddenly put on soft closure for the rest of the school year following Gov. Gary Herbert’s mandate in response to the pandemic. With four of his five kids then in school, it was a scramble to meet with teachers who held Zoom meetings at the same time and having limited devices, he said. “It was a disaster last March, just terrible. We were strapped to devices and it was too much screen time. Some classes, it was hard to get on the livestream,” he said. “Now teachers are better prepared, each student is given a Chromebook from school and we’re OK as long as the internet holds up.” A Granite School District parent, who only agreed to speak anonymously, said when her two high school students at the same school have flipped to virtual learning, each child has had different experiences.

Page 22 | January 2021

For her freshman, there has been tears and stress keeping up with a 4.0 grade-point average, but her child has been able to do it. “She’ll work in front of the computer for six hours, take a break and then, do some more. I asked, ‘Aren’t you done?’ And she said, ‘Well, that was my schoolwork and now, I’m doing my homework.’ And she’ll be there for more hours. This is too much. I think that the quantity needs to be lessened, but the quality needs to remain,” she said. Her other high schooler, a 4.0 GPA junior, has seen a total disruption in academics, his mother said. “There’s been a lack of consistency with live instruction and support from some teachers,” she said. “He’s kind of crushed academically because of the stress and everything that goes with it. He’s not sure now that he wants to go to college; kids are starting to lose sight and lose hope. It’s proving to be really, really difficult.” Throughout Canyons, Granite, Jordan and Murray school districts, several schools, most commonly secondary schools, had transitioned to remote learning up to three times since school opened in August. Each time, in-person teachers flip-flopped their teaching platforms to online. Most districts are following Salt Lake County’s health guideline of closing schools for two weeks following an outbreak of 15 positive cases at the schools. Canyons Board of Education set a 1% positive case threshold to trigger a closure. Many students and family fear the disruptions in educa-

tion with inconsistent learning when students or teachers are in quarantine or isolation or when entire schools flip-flop. Alta High senior Coleman Hone, who is also taking classes at Canyons Technical Education Center, said the uncertainty of his schedule has been hard. “I come home from my morning at CTEC to learn that Alta is online,” he said. “This isn’t what I’ve grown up with all my life. It’s just inconsistent learning and it throws me off.” His principal, Brian McGill, said it’s been challenging for his school community. “It’s really, really difficult on teachers and our kids,” he said. “Students need stability. Some kids quarantined one, two and three times in six weeks just by sitting next to kids who tested positive. It’s hard on kids to stay up on studies and hard on our teachers preparing for all eight classes online.” In the 12 weeks since school opened, Alta has flipped to virtual learning three times. “School became unmanageable with so many teachers and staff out. It became a challenge to find substitutes and run school,” McGill said, adding 80% of administrators’ time was contact tracing. Granger High also has flip-flopped three times. “While we are becoming more efficient in our use of technology in attempting to engage students, it is still difficult,” Principal David Dunn said. “Establishing a set schedule for teaching and having students log on has been much

S outh Salt Lake City Journal

more effective in getting students to engage. We set deadlines, but we work with students individually according to their needs.” However, he added, “First term, we did see an increase in students getting ‘F’ grades. A support system has been put into place to try and help those students get caught up.” Cottonwood High flip-flopped twice, sent teams to students’ homes to support students, and has seen improvement in student learning—after implementing ideas from other schools, including a set schedule. “We found that with our students, and it was toward the end of the first quarter, our participation was terrible,” Principal Terri Roylance said. “Kids just did not follow up at home. I ended up mailing all first quarter report cards home to the families with on the back side a little infographic and letter from me saying why did we fail so many kids and it’s because kids did not engage whatsoever. Not all, but many.” Brighton, like many schools when they flip, learned online teaching is more effective with a schedule. “The first time, we didn’t require synchronous learning, but instead, let student set their own pace,” Principal Tom Sherwood said. “We learned that they’d procrastinate through the roof, had other concerns at home which made it hard to focus, had troubles with bandwidth, and other issues. It sounded great, but it didn’t work out that way.” At Murray High, Principal Scott Wihongi said that transition to online learning needs to find a balance. “Teachers continue to explore how much is too much when it comes to fully online learning,” he said, adding that the school flipped to virtual twice before December. “They Middle school student Jack Whitaker gets on Zoom to follow along with his Indian Hills teacher in what seemed to him as “non-stop Zoom meetings” are finding that they have to scale back work a little more during his online school day. (Photo courtesy of Karla-Ann Whitaker) since it takes students longer to do it in the home setting.” Hillcrest High School math teacher Matt Snyder said his teachers,” she said. “It’s been a pain in the butt. We’ve Brighton’s Sherwood agrees: “What’s missing is all that when his school flipped around Thanksgiving, they had had tech issues and called the school, we’ve needed differ- that makes high school fun and draws kids in—after-school a schedule for a sense of accountability. ent links to have him connect with his classes, his grades socials and clubs, wearing school colors to football games, “Students need a structure to be successful; it improves have declined. He needs to be self-motivated and stay off his belonging to a school community and buying in to that culproductivity,” he said, adding that the last Wednesday on- phone, but it’s hard. I know teachers are trying and we need ture.” line, only two of his 95 students during the day were ab- to do what is safe, but it’s a tough adjustment.” At Alta, McGill said keeping students and staff motivatsent—about the same as a winter day in a non-COVID-19 She said that as a single mother who is working and ed has been challenging. year. “Students learn better with interaction. I usually greet going to school full-time herself, she relies on him to watch “The magic and beauty of what a comprehensive high students when they come into my classroom, so I make sure his younger siblings, and that isn’t always taken into account school can bring is taking a hit,” he said. “It is also heartI do that when I see them log on. It adds some personality with how much longer it takes to do homework online. breaking when students practice and rehearse for upcoming and helps them from feeling so isolated, but if someone were Jack supports his mother’s assessment. performances, only to find out that they are postponed or to come by my classroom and see me just talking without “It’s terrible; it’s non-stop Zoom meetings and teachers canceled.” anyone here, they’d think I was crazy. It’s strange to be here can only help so much when they’re there and I’m at home Murray’s Wihongi agrees the school year looks differall alone teaching.” on my own,” he said, adding that he has asked for more ex- ent. The transition to virtual learning was not what Hillcrest planation with math in an email or the next Zoom call, but “Missing this year is the overall energy and spirit norsophomore Campbell Hone expected. then he’s also waiting for those to happen. “It’s definitely mally associated with our high schools. Our classrooms and “I thought I could sleep in, but there’s a schedule and a slowing down the progression of learning.” hallways are less busy; our activities and assemblies can’t procedure to take attendance; I can’t wear PJs and we have Indian Hills seventh-grader Addison Hone agrees: “I move forward as normal, so it definitely takes the wind out to have our (Chromebook) camera on,” he said. “Even so, I can’t stop by after school to ask a question to a teacher. I of the sails, so to speak,” he said. don’t feel as connected to other students and my teachers; have to email or ask in a Zoom call and hope there’s not a Teachers and administrators are finding positive outthe class discussions online don’t give off the same intense glitch.” comes to the changes of education this year. learning vibe. I don’t want to miss out on my education, but While she appreciates the efforts her teachers have In the classroom, Hillcrest’s Snyder said students are it’s hard to sit in front of a screen.” made, Addison said, “It’s a lot harder to be interactive. They communicating better. While some students are self-motivated and disciplined can’t see if your hand is up. It seems like there’s a lot more “There’s been phenomenal eye contact with me as to learn online, Murray’s Wihongi points out: “In-person work with less instruction.” masks are forcing eye contact—and better communication. learning is much preferable in many areas because of that Engagement and a sense of belonging is what is missing They say what they need to say. Students following the direct support, connection and structure. Some students are this year, administrators said. health guidelines and mask mandates has exceeded my exclearly struggling without that.” “It’s hard when we’re not in-person to engage,” Moun- pectations. They’re treating me and others around them who Administrators and parents say students are missing ed- tain Creek Middle School Assistant Principal Tim Brooks may be terrified to be here with care and respect,” he said. ucation in a social environment. said. “We are not sure where students are, what they’re doMurray High’s Wihongi looks to the future of education. “Students want to learn in school, have access to ing, what’s going on, and we can’t see their expressions as “Our method of curriculum delivery and access will be teachers and discussions face-to-face with their classmates. teachers walk the aisles. We try to overcome that with having a huge silver lining to this. We’ll have more options for stuLearning alone is not the same,” Brighton Principal Sher- cameras on, but it’s still hard. We don’t have the same as- dents to access their education and all of our teachers will wood said. semblies and talent shows; teachers can’t give them high- be able to blend online and in-person instruction much more That’s what parent Karla-Ann Whitaker said about her fives. It’s like giving kids a Snickers and saying eat it, but proficiently,” he said, adding that, “Snow days will become son, Jack, who was learning online while Indian Hills Mid- you can’t take off the wrapper. We’ve all been learning to online learning days. But what remains clear, though, is that dle flipped in late November. be more appreciative, become more patient, get creative and in-person learning is the most effective method of learning, “He misses his friends, flirting with girls and seeing have humor during this time.” hands down.” l

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January 2021 | Page 23

Senior-laden Cottonwood volleyball team bows out at state By Brian Shaw |


oing into the 2020 season, Cottonwood High School head volleyball coach Rae Mulitalo said she didn't know what to expect from her team. She knew her Cottonwood Colts would be experienced—not necessarily in volleyball though. "A lot of my girls don’t play club volleyball, most are actually basketball players," Mulitalo said. "If I could get them to play and train volleyball in the off season, we could have a strong squad." Most of her players specialized in putting a round ball into a hoop and that was OK with her—in fact, she thought it was kind of awesome. But she always believed that if they started taking volleyball a bit more serious, they could be a force to be reckoned with in that too. The regular season kind of went like she thought it might, as the Colts (5-11) reeled off four straight losses to open this pandemic season then started finding its groove and won three of the next four. By the time October struck, you could not take Cottonwood for granted if you were a region foe. It was a tough out for anyone, as Hillcrest and Highland found out when they lost. The Colts took rival Murray to the brink in a fiveset slugfest and nearly knocked off mighty East to end the month, heading into the state tournament. A solid region record of five wins gave Cottonwood a decent seeding and a winnable state tournament opener at 21-8 Box Elder. But the Colts dropped the first set 25-15 at Box

Elder and proceeded to lose the next two sets 25-14 and 25-10 to wrap up a good season by all accounts. For Cottonwood, senior Gladyz Fakaosiula was the glue that held the team together. The team captain led the Colts in kills (73) and served up 11 aces, a teambest. The 5-foot-9 outside hitter also topped the team in digs with 109 and had 89 receptions. Junior middle blocker Shae Sorensen was the defensive stalwart for Cottonwood. Standing at 5-foot-9 as well, Sorensen was the top Colt in blocks with 35. The other big contributor was senior right setter Melekoloa Vaitai, who had a whopping 75 assists. The Colts will say goodbye to nine of its 14 varsity players, but will welcome back several who were juniors this year and bring in several other underclassmen who played significant junior varsity minutes, according to Mulitalo. "My sophomores and JV play really well together,” she said, “so these next few years can be very rewarding if they continue to work hard."

The Colts volleyball team graduates nine of its 14 volleyball players but will welcome back several who were juniors this year and bring in several other underclassmen who played significant junior varsity minutes. (Pixabay)


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Ski resorts open with COVID-19 protections in place By Tavia Dutson |


s Utahns enter a new season during the COVID-19 pandemic, they can turn to the mountains for a safe place to recreate. Although resorts up Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons were forced to close early during the spring of the 2019-20 season, they have been working tirelessly to provide locals with a safe 2020-21 season. Ski resorts started planning for this season as soon as they shut down in mid-March but have had to adjust those plans as the COVID-19 epidemic progressed. As the rest of the state adjusted to each new mandate as it came, resorts were charged with predicting how current protocols would affect a season that was still months away. “We had to wait for so many pieces to fall into place, and there were so many things that we just couldn’t see from that far out. The conversation has been ongoing throughout the year,” said Sara Huey, communications manager for Solitude Mountain Resort. Utah resorts were tasked with altering their operations to fit this unprecedented season, but they were not without help. Many Utah resorts have ties to ski resorts all over the world. By looking to resorts in Australia and South America, they were able to see how resorts in the Southern hemisphere dealt with their winter season. The southern hemisphere gets the majority of their snowfall from June to December. “We looked to see what they were doing, what worked for them, what didn’t work,” said Andria Huskinson, communications manager for Alta Ski Resort. These foreign ties have been helpful in winter planning, but the camaraderie among the resorts in the Cottonwood canyons is what will keep the resorts open with the ever-changing nature of this season. “Utah is such a unique environment for operating a ski resort because we really do all have each other’s backs,” Huey said. “We work together really closely when it comes to the nitty gritty of day-to-day operations and sharing insight on what’s working, new ideas, and things like that.” Although there will likely be changes in state mandates and protocols throughout the winter, ski resorts have proven to be flexible. Resorts with summer operations have already been adjusting throughout the summer while allowing guests. Changes to expect In accordance with state laws, all four ski resorts in the Cottonwoods (Alta, Brighton, Solitude and Snowbird) will be requiring face coverings inside restaurants and lodges and outside when a distance of 6 feet cannot be maintained. Although neck gaiters are allowed, skiers are encouraged to fold their gaiters or double up to ensure safety. Physical distancing will be maintained at resorts in high traffic areas. To keep social distancing in lift lines, Alta Ski Resort has coined

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Skiers ride the chair lift on Opening Day at Solitude after months away. (Photo Credit Eric Schramm and Solitude Mountain Resort)

a new term. “In our lift lanes we have what we call ghost lanes. There will be a line for skiers separated by an empty line,” Huskinson said. “And naturally your skis in front and back keep you separated.” Many resorts have used the pandemic to update their technology. Upgrades that have been passed over due to budget restraints are suddenly in high demand. Snowbird has added a new app that helps determine wait times on ski lifts and Solitude has added touchless pay for parking. “We are often limited by budget, which we balance with need. The pandemic shifted that balance and suddenly we anticipated a demand among our guests. In order to mitigate transmission, we needed to prioritize these changes,” Huey said. Resorts are combining these new technologies with data they have collected through the years. Solitude looked to statistics to determine how to keep their resort at capacity. Solitude has ended same day lift ticket sales so that they can use their estimates to stay under capacity. The pandemic has demanded these changes, but many of the initiatives will have long-lasting positive effects. “Ultimately, I think our efforts to address the pinch points through arrival where people are necessarily concentrated will contribute to a more streamlined experience even years down the road,” Huey said. Although restaurants on the slopes are only operating at half capacity, guests still have many of the same options. Alta Ski Resort has even added two more grab and go food

trucks in each of their parking lots to spread out guests while still offering an array of options. Restaurants will be unavailable as “warming spots” this winter and resorts are encouraging skiers to use their cars to warm up and take a break during the day. As far as travel to and from resorts, the Utah Department of Transportation will be working closely with the resorts and the Unified Police Department to keep roadways safe as they have in years past. For information on road conditions, visit What looks the same In these unprecedented times, skiers can rest easy knowing their favorite resorts will look largely the same. Resorts are committed to providing the same top-tier experience that Utah skiing is known for. The nature of skiing as a physically distanced sport has allowed ski resorts to make small modifications to their operations that ultimately keep people doing what they love. “Passholders should expect an experience that is pretty familiar to them. They should be able to arrive, park and head to the lift as usual,” Huey said. Many resorts are still offering lessons to those looking to learn a new skill. Alta Ski Resort is only allowing private lessons, but they will look very similar to past years. Solitude is offering group lessons to ages 7+ and have only omitted the lunchtime gathering to limit time spent inside. Something that will always stay the same is the terrain. The Cottonwood canyons have near limitless space for skiers and snowboarders to explore. Being out on the mountain will

feel just as it always has. Many resorts doubt they will reach the capacities set this year because of the vast area. Resorts like Solitude and Alta have been limited in past years by their parking ability, so veteran skiers can expect similar resort availability this year. Check websites for updated information As the ski resorts stay flexible and continue updating to meet state guidelines, they ask that skiers keep an eye on their websites and social media channels. With all the changes, it is best to stay informed before heading up for a day on the mountain. “We’re telling people to know before you go. We’re really encouraging people to check the website before they even get in the car to come up,” Huskinson said. All Utah resort websites have up-to-date info on what they are doing to combat the COVID-19 epidemic. For resorts like Alta that limit parking, they will use their website to give estimates on when parking will fill up. Knowing before you go will help skiers stay safe while providing them with more information than ever. Lastly, ski resorts ask that guests be patient with employees and other skiers. As this is a new experience for everyone, there will likely be small hiccups along the way. “We are doing our best to communicate clearly what people can expect,” Huey said. “We need to be nimble and we need to anticipate that change is likely. We just ask that people be patient with that process.” l

January 2021 | Page 27

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1. MOVIES: In how many movies did Sean Connery play the character James Bond? 2. ADVERTISING SLOGANS: What product is touted as “the fabric of our lives”? 3. GENERAL KNOWLEDGE: How many laps do drivers have to complete in the Indianapolis 500 race? 4. HISTORY: How many Pyramids of Giza (Eqypt) were constructed? 5. MUSIC: Which pop song repeats the chorus, “Why can’t you see? You belong with me”? 6. LITERATURE: What kind of novel is written in a series of letters? 7. MEASUREMENTS: How many cups are in 1 pint? 8. MYTHOLOGY: What is the home of the Greek gods? 9. ANATOMY: How much of the adult human body is made up of water? 10. GEOGRAPHY: What is the most densely populated continent on Earth? Trivia Test Answerst 1. Seven; 2. Cotton; 3. 200; 4. Three; 5. “You Belong With Me” by Taylor Swift; 6. Epistolary; 7. 2 cups; 8. Olympus; 9. About 60%; 10. Asia

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January 2021 | Page 29

Salt Lake County concludes budget process with no tax increase

Aimee Winder Newton Salt Lake County Council | District 3

With the final approval of the 2021 Salt Lake County budget drawing near, I wanted to share some of the proactive steps we have taken as your County Council to tighten up spending. In June, because of concerns surrounding revenue impacts from COVID-19, we scoured our budget to find as many cuts as possible – leading to a massive $77 million budget reduction. Because of all the cuts we made in June, and because sales tax revenue did not fall as much as we anticipated, we ultimately had a fairly uneventful budget season. As we strive to be as fiscally prudent as possible, one of our top priorities is maintaining our AAA bond rating. We are one of only 27 counties in the entire nation with this highest-achievable bond rating. Keeping this bond rating results in much lower interest rates on bonds and loans. Here are some key principles I have always prioritized during the budget process, this year included. First and foremost, tax dollars don’t “belong” to the county. The funds are yours. Taxpayers entrust the county, or any government for that matter, with a portion of their hard-earned money because they expect that entity to pro-

vide essential services for society to function. There is no amount of tax dollars that is too small to be scrutinized. That is why I push back aggressively anytime I hear someone flippantly say, “It’s only x dollars… so we shouldn’t worry about it.” Any expenditure, whether it is $10 or $10 million, should be reviewed, and if it can’t be fully justified to the taxpayers, it should be cut. Second, I believe that all government functions should be viewed in two different categories: “need to have” and “nice to have.” The “need to have” list obviously includes things that are statutorily required of the county to perform, think constitutionally mandated services such as criminal justice and election administration. I also consider public safety to be in the “need to have” category, since keeping our residents safe is a core function of government. However, just because they are essential does not mean they are above scrutiny, because efficiencies can still be found. The “nice to have” list includes quality of life services the county provides, as well as any other program or initiative that can easily be described as a benefit to county residents, but

not necessarily considered essential. Libraries and open space some of the things in this category. The separation of these two categories demonstrates the same principle that every family in our county goes through in their annual budgets. They strive to live within their means and focus on essential family expenditures sometimes at the expense of luxuries. Lastly, I review each aspect of our budget and ask, “Is this the proper role of county government?” I’ve said many times that government can’t and shouldn’t be all things to all people. There are many programs or services that are better suited to other government entities, nonprofits, or the private sector. Particularly in a tight budget year, it’s important to review each program, service, or expenditure and ask that question again and again. I’m confident that these principles are the essence of good budgeting and fiscal discipline, and I will always advocate for this approach any time government is entrusted with taxpayer dollars. You can rest assured that for 2021, Salt Lake County has a balanced budget with no tax increase.

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Making the grade


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When my kids were little, I did a bit of substitute teaching. After I accidentally threw an encyclopedia and flipped a desk over, I realized teaching elementary school probably wasn’t for me. Teachers are comprised of strong stuff. The molten lava that flows through their veins gives them courage and an unbreakable gaze. A skeleton made of graphene (200 times stronger than steel) keeps them steady and protects their hearts. And those hearts beat a consistent tempo that opens doors to new worlds and encourages students to find their own rhythm. But teachers are exhausted. I attended Viewmont Elementary during the 1900s, where teachers were the top of the food chain. I worshiped the good ones, feared the difficult ones, and loathed the mean ones. I remember the “trip” our kindergarten class took to Hawaii where we ate coconut and learned the hula. And the teacher who caught us eating snowballs, so she melted snow to show us the dirt and grime. (I haven’t eaten a snowball in more than 45 years.) Or the teacher who shamed me for not knowing the word “chandelier.” School was where I learned



social skills. Okay, I learned them poorly, but I did learn some. I interacted with people my age where we talked about our favorite TV shows, what we had for dinner and whether my crush winked at me or had a tic. Today, students feel lost. My 8-year-old grandson started the school year online, changed to in-person learning, then went back online. He might enjoy hanging out with his mom, grandma, and little demon of a sister, but he misses his friends. Imagine trying to learn long division on a Zoom call. I couldn’t even learn it in person. Or imagine




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strating unprecedented resilience. Many kids are failing this year, but are they really? Can you fail when a global pandemic changes the rules? When teachers adapt daily to shifting conditions? Can you fail when parents work full-time jobs at home while staying on top of online assignments and hybrid schedules? Teachers are a mighty mix of educator/guidance counselor/ cheerleader/cruise director, and this year their creativity and patience has been tested. It brings to mind my husband’s favorite quote, “Looks like I picked the wrong [year] to stop sniffing glue.” This is a thank you to the teachers who work with my grandchildren. The teachers who are innovative and kind. The teachers who show up like a boss and get to work. This is also a thank you to the students who have proven to be flexible and strong. They’re all doing the best they can as they watch adults try to figure everything out. Maybe we write this school year off; maybe it’s not the year to learn geometry or teach Latin. Perhaps it’s the year we value kindness, connection, and self-care for everyone involved. I promise, there’ll be much less encyclopedia throwing and desk flipping.


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January 2021 | Vol. 7 Iss. 01




n March 13, 2020, a decision by Utah Gov. Gary Herbert started a ball rolling that affected learning in 2020 for students, their families, teachers, staff and district staff. The shutdown he announced was only to last two weeks. The two weeks turned into eight weeks or more. After a summer of preparation by the Granite School District (GSD), a new school year started with students in the classroom for four days a week. Friday is teacher prep day and student online day. It didn’t take long until schools, mostly high schools and middle/junior high schools, reached the limit of 15 COVID-19 cases and were shutting down for deep cleaning and forcing all students and teachers back into an online environment. The Salt Lake Tribune reported on Nov. 29, 2020 that “at least 72 schools in Utah have had COVID-19 outbreaks and shifted to fully or partially online in response.” Since March, students, families, teachers and districts have had to adapt, often quickly. How has this changing landscape changed learning in 2020?

Best photos of 2020

Local Postal Customer ECRWSS

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Students “The problem is that with the switch to distance [learning] last spring and the back and forth this year, we have many students failing. And the mental issues are real, lots of depression and loneliness going on. We are focusing on putting services in place to fill these gaps,” said Sharla Bynum, Gear Up coordinator at Cottonwood High School. Among the services are additional virtual homework help provided by teachers. Promise SSL offers homework help at the Best Buy Promise SSL Teen Tech Center. Also, the Salt Lake County Library System provides homework help with live tutoring from Brainfuse. Among the services of Brainfuse, a national education organization, are real-time tutors. The library also offers at-home science experiments, math help, and ideas for physical education. American education is interaction focused—interactions between students, interactions between student and teacher, interactions between students, parents and teachers. This year, such interactions are Continued page 5

Scan Here: Interactive online edition with more photos.

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In 2020, classroom instruction was on and off. (Bill Hardesty/City Journals)

Ten iconic signs to see

Thank You

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