Why the SLC school board shut down its virtual elementary school

Jun 22, 2023, 3:55 PM | Updated: 7:38 pm

SALT LAKE CITY -- Homeschooling is increasing in popularity across the nation, including Utah. Inte...

Dave and Dujanovic discussed Tuesday what goes into a school district's decision to switch to remote learning. (Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY — The Salt Lake City School District board voted Tuesday to shut down Salt Lake Virtual Elementary

And it wasn’t an easy decision, Yándary Chatwin with the Salt Lake City School District told Dave and Dujanovic


Why shut the virtual elementary down?

The virtual elementary school began as a means of meeting the needs of children and families, said Chatwin. But coming out of the pandemic, those needs have changed.

“There are a lot fewer families enrolled in that program right now,” she said. When the school opened two years ago, there were more than 200 students enrolled. Now, those numbers have dwindled to under 90.

Money was an issue, too. Chatwin confirmed that a lack of funding played a large role in the board’s decision. 

“The board is committed … to being wise stewards of those tax dollars,” she explained. “The decision was not made lightly. But it was made in a very thoughtful manner.”

How does this affect parents and teachers?

Chatwin said teachers will be reassigned or transferred to different schools within the district.  

“We’re hopeful that through attrition and, you know, openings at other schools within our district, we’ll be able to keep those really talented staff on board.”

Dianne Moore, a former virtual teacher for the school district, said the virtual program was one of a kind.

Moore called into the Dave and Dujanevic show and was invited to talk more about her experience with virtual teaching. She spoke as a teacher and does not represent the school or the district. 


Moore said the parents of these students are upset. For some of them, this was one of the only options for their children to be able to go to school. For example, one student she mentioned couldn’t go to school in person because they had a heart operation. 

“They had to stay at home because they couldn’t introduce any diseases or any germs into their home,” she said. “By being online, they were able to maintain that germ-free environment.” 

Moore also expressed her appreciation for the program, saying she was able to work collaboratively with parents. Consequently, she didn’t feel as close to them when she was working in person. 

“They were able to tell me exactly what they needed help with,” she said. “If I wasn’t explaining something right, I could explain it better. So the parents felt like they were just right there with me.”

As for Moore, she isn’t sure what’s next. 

“I’m kind of in a hard spot. And I’m hoping to work that out.”

Related reading:

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Education + Schools

Students walk through campus at Utah Valley University in Orem. Student Loan payments resume in Oct...

Derrick Jones

Student loan repayments set to resume: what you need to know

The restart of student loan payments looms after a pause in March 2020, these payments are set to resume in October.

18 hours ago

Image of John A. Moran, who died Sept. 23, 2023. Moran had a passion for eye care, which led to the...

Mark Jones

John A. Moran remembered for passion for eye care

John A. Moran has died at age 91. He was the driving force behind creation of the John A. Moran Eye Center at the University of Utah.

18 hours ago

weber high school shown, PLEASANT VIEW, Utah -- The Weber High School principal placed on leave in ...

Samantha Herrera

Weber High principal retires following investigation

The announcement comes after Weber High School's principal received complaints about how she handled an investigation of her own.

1 day ago

Jordan School District (KSL-TV)...

Kate Davis

School board meeting grows heated amid talks of transgender bathrooms

A Jordan School District meeting between parents and school administrators became tense when the topic of transgender bathrooms came up.

2 days ago

teacher granite school district pay increase...

Curt Gresseth

Will teacher pay of $60,000 attract educators to Utah?

Is $60,000 the right amount to attract and retain new educators to Utah? A spokesman for a nonprofit group says it is, for now.

3 days ago

Photo credit: Granger High School Facebook page....

Mark Jones

Granger High student well on the road to recovery

A Granger High student struck by a car last week is alert and recovering, according to a social media post by the school.

4 days ago

Sponsored Articles

silhouette of a family looking over a lake with a bird in the top corner flying...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

8 Fun Activities To Do in Bear Lake Without Getting in the Water

Bear Lake offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy without having to get in the water. Catch 8 of our favorite activities.

Wellsville Mountains in the spring with a pond in the foreground...

Wasatch Property Management

Advantages of Renting Over Owning a Home

Renting allows you to enjoy luxury amenities and low maintenance without the long-term commitment and responsibilities of owning a home.

Clouds over a red rock vista in Hurricane, Utah...

Wasatch Property Management

Why Southern Utah is a Retirement Paradise

Retirement in southern Utah offers plenty of cultural and recreational opportunities. Find out all that this region has to offer.

Human hand holding a protest banner stop vaping message over a crowded street background....

Prosperous Utah Communities

Utah’s Battle to Protect Youth from Vaping Epidemic Faces New Threat as Proposed Rule Threatens Progress

Utah's strict standards of nicotine levels in vaping products are at risk, increasing health hazards associated with use. Read more about how you can advocate for a better future for Utah's youth.

Aerial photo of Bear Lake shoreline with canopies and people camped out on the beach...

Visit Bear Lake

Last-Minute Summer Vacation Planning? Check Out Bear Lake!

Bear Lake is the perfect getaway if you are last-minute summer vacation planning. Enjoy activities with your whole family at this iconic lake.

close up of rose marvel saliva blooms in purple...

Shannon Cavalero

Drought Tolerant Perennials for Utah

The best drought tolerant plants for Utah can handle high elevations, alkaline soils, excessive exposure to wind, and use of secondary water.

Why the SLC school board shut down its virtual elementary school