Principal's Message

Dear Students, Families, and Friends,

Welcome back and happy new year! I hope everyone had a fun and relaxing winter break! Here are some exciting and important items to start the year (and decade) off:

We would like to welcome Mr. John Webster as our new PE Instructor. Many of our students already know Mr. Webster from substituting in their classrooms. We feel fortunate to have someone who is already connected to our school, and he will be a terrific addition as a regular member of our staff.

Science Fair is on January 8th and 9th.  Ms. Bonner has been working hard to get everything ready- from assisting with students’ projects to organizing the judges. What a great opportunity for learning!  The Science Fair Open House for families will be on Thursday the 9th from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM. We hope to see you there.

The winter weather will be pouring it on and here are some friendly reminders. Our street/driveway (aka “The Luge”) leading into school is tricky to navigate when it is snowy and icy. For these days, All Wheel Drive (AWD) is highly recommended as well as winter/all-season tires. Salt Lake City School District does their best to keep it clear, but the weather can change quickly. Please, take this into consideration when planning for pick-up and drop-off.

This time of year means we are also in the “Inversion Season”. Here is a brief summary to help explain the policy surrounding this issue.  Air quality is monitored at for current conditions. We do this before school and then right before recesses throughout the day. It is updated hourly. In the mornings, I will put up the indoor sign when it is orange or red. When it is orange, students with respiratory symptoms and sensitive students need to stay in. In the mornings, it may be tricky for all parents to check, so I have all students line up inside on those days. I realize that not all students fall into this category but I worry that the students who do, will go outside unwittingly.  We do Go Noodle activities in the gym and students can hang out with friends. Sometimes we put a Pixar Short. This is only for a short wait until the first bell rings.

For Red, everyone stays in. Recess, before school, etc.

During the day, we announce over the intercom the conditions when the air quality is orange or red. Otherwise, the conditions are safe to go out and we don't make the announcement. If you have concerns that go beyond the recommendations or your child doe not have a health plan then we need to be notified. We will accommodate.

For students who do stay in during recess, they can play board games, read, hang with a friend… These students with health plans are welcome to bring in books and games for this time.  At this point we do have some recess times covered for gym use and an extra, empty classroom so kids can move around more. We are working on getting more coverage for this, and we want everyone to get exercise, play, and movement. If you have further questions or concerns, please reach out to me.

Our kiln is up and running and some great items have already been fired. Look for more on the way!

We have a couple of days off this month. On Monday the 20th is MLK Day and on Friday the 31st is a Professional Development day for faculty so it will be a non-student day as well.

From now till the end of the school year is a great time of learning in elementary education. Currently, students are about half-way through their grade level and they understand very well our high expectations of them. We will be challenging them further and expecting their best. Thank you for all your support. The Indian Hills community is the most engaged and caring community around, and I feel so lucky to be a part of it!


Best Regards,


Tom Luthy

Principal, Indian Hills Elementary


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