Salem Public Schools Weekly Update
for School Year 2022-2023
A Note From the Superintendent
September 23, 2022
In our efforts to accelerate student learning following the profound impact of the pandemic, one of the most important tools we are using is the STAR assessments from Kindergarten-grade 10. These are assessments in literacy and math that provide us valuable information about how your child is performing. The tests are adaptive, meaning that they adjust to each answer your child provides. For instance, if your child correctly answers a question, the next question is more difficult and vice versa if they answer the question incorrectly. These assessments take little time from learning as they are quickly administered and provide valid data about a student's growth, achievement and national percentile comparison in a particular content area.
Teachers and school staff can reliably use this information to adjust their practice and approach to provide students with additional interventions or more accelerated learning opportunities. It allows our talented staff to individualize learning for your child by targeting areas that will help them to keep growing. The research-based assessment is given three times a year across SPS, but staff can opt to more frequently use the tool to ensure that their instructional approach is working with a student or a group of students. Caregivers can partner with us by reminding their child that they can not fail. Taking the test will simply help their teacher know how to best meet their learning needs. Families should feel free to request information from a teacher about their child's STAR performance so they might better understand their child's progress and how to best support their learning at home. As we enter our second year of using this tool, we know that it will prove instrumental as we work to individualize instruction for each child across SPS.
Finally, happy new year to the members of the SPS Jewish community. Rosh Hashanah begins at sunset on Sunday and concludes at sunset on Tuesday, September 27th. We wish you a sweet and abundant new year!
And the winner is……
At Salem Public Schools, we are recognizing one staff member a week who exemplifies our core values of celebrating differences, facilitating collaboration, fostering innovation, creating equity and access, growing all students, and upholding high standards for all. We are surprising a deserving SPS team member with a rock star trophy.
This week's rockstar is Lacey Allen, a teacher in the therapeutic support program at Bates School. Lacey is consistently pushing students with high expectations to reach their full potential. Lacey strategically implements opportunities to develop social, emotional and academic skills in every lesson. Lacey and her students created "Bates Kindness Rocks" as a way to share and spread kindness in the Salem community. These painted rocks with inspiring messages can be found in every neighborhood in Salem. Lacey goes above and beyond to create equitable and inclusive activities for all students. She is a rockstar!
2022-23 COVID ABSENCE PROCEDURE
We all hope that this year has fewer COVID interruptions, but it is inevitable that there will be some as the virus is still out there. Therefore, we recognize that being explicit about how we will support students in instances of prolonged absences is really important. With this in mind, we have outlined this procedure that will guide response and follow-up across our schools for students who must isolate due to COVID for 5+ days. Family members and caregivers are encouraged to reach out to their child's school to report absences and to check-in once the student returns to school. Please reference the student handbook for guidance on reporting absences. We hope this procedure will assist students with staying on track with their school work in the event that they must isolate for COVID at any point during the school year.
Adjustments to Specialized Transportation Routes
We would like to let families know that we have received an unusually high number of specialized transportation requests since the beginning of the school year which has impacted current routes. We've had to redo the routes in order to accommodate all new requests and make current routes more efficient. We will be doing dry runs and making final adjustments next week and plan to start new routes on Monday 10/3. Parents will be notified of any changes to their bus information.
Instrumental Music Program - Sign Up Information
Recently, students in grade 4 attended a demonstration of musical instruments at their school. Band and Orchestra is offered free of charge in all schools twice a week during the school day. Students can choose one of the following instruments: flute, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, trombone, percussion, violin, viola and cello.
If interested, you'll need to register your child by scanning the barcode and also get an instrument. Students are highly encouraged to rent an instrument. Rental Information can be found by visiting www.davidfrenchmusic.com. For those with financial need, there are some instruments available to borrow from the school on a limited basis. David French Music will host a rental night for your convenience on:
September 28th - 6:00-8:00 pm
Saltonstall School Auditorium at
211 Lafayette St., Salem, MA 01970
Students choosing to play the violin, viola or cello must attend this to be properly sized by our string
teacher. If you have any questions, please contact us in the Music Department at 978-740-1136
Back-to-school forms must be filled out for each student by October 1st. These forms give schools and our nurses current info about your student's health needs, permission to administer over-the-counter medications, provides emergency contacts, as well as verification of addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, and more. Information about how to fill out these important forms can be found here: https://bit.ly/SPS2022forms
Wind for Future Generations: Opportunities for Students & Community Members of All Ages
October 6th 2022 @ 7:00pm on Zoom
Come hear about local youth experiences with KidWind and learn ways kids & teachers can get excited, learn & prepare for future jobs in the offshore wind industry. Free for all. Traducción al español disponible.
Pre-register at tinyurl.com/studentwind
● Salem Alliance for the Environment (www.salemsafe.org)
● Clean Water Action (www.cwa.org)
● Old Bedford Village Corp.
Please join us for a vaccine clinic at Saltonstall on Saturday, October 1st from 9:00am-1:00pm. Everyone who gets vaccinated will receive a $25 gift card.
• Pfizer, Moderna, and J&J vaccines available
• The vaccine is FREE
• ID and Health Insurance are NOT required
• First doses, second doses, and boosters available
Pre-registration is available here.
NEW SPLIT ENTRANCES FOR CENTRAL OFFICE AND COLLINS MIDDLE SCHOOL
By Wednesday, September 7th, the central administrative offices housed at Collins Middle School will have a separate entrance. The main entrance for CMS students, CMS staff and CMS families only will remain in the center, rear of the building. All other SPS staff and visitors for the central administrative offices will now use the new central office entrance, located on the Jackson St. side of the building, closest to Highland Ave. See picture below. We appreciate your cooperation and patience as we may redirect you to the proper entrance depending on the nature of your visit.
Salem September Days at Museum of Science - Free Admission for Salem Residents
During the month of September*, residents of Salem, MA with proof of residence (driver’s license, school ID, etc.) may explore the Museum of Science for FREE, thanks to the generous funding by the Read Family Charitable Trust. In addition to free entry to the Exhibit Halls, Salem residents will also be able to see Planetarium and Omni Theater shows for free during their visit. Additionally, groups visiting the Museum on either Saturday, September 10 or Saturday, September 24, will receive a food voucher for use in the Museum’s café that day.
This will be the ninth year of this remarkably successful and unique program, and we hope that you can take advantage of this opportunity to visit the Museum and experience the many new and iconic exhibits, shows, and programs offered daily.
Can’t make it to the Museum during the month? No problem! We are planning to bring the Museum of Science to Salem! Visit us at the Salem Farmers' Market on Thursday, September 1 and Thursday, September 15 where we will be conducting a fun drop-in activity. And we won’t leave you empty-handed — take home an Engineering is Elementary Try It! Kit, that includes all the materials you need to complete the mini-design challenge, with instructions in English and Spanish.
We hope to see Salem residents in September!
* The Museum will be closed on Tuesday, September 6 and Tuesday September 20.
The Virtual Backpack
Welcome to the Virtual Backpack. This is a space where we will place items that in the past may have been a flyer in your student's backpack from friends and partners to SPS.
Download the ParentSquare app today!
A reminder that ParentSquare is the district platform for communication. You will receive communication from the district, your school, and your student's classroom all in one space. You can communicate 1-to-1 with teachers, sign up for parent-teacher conferences, and more.
This is how our school and teachers communicate with families districtwide. Please be sure you are receiving messages from ParentSquare. If need support downloading the app or receiving messages, please contact your school's front office. You can visit www.parentsquare.com for more information.