Salem Public Schools' Weekly Update
A Message from the Superintendent
September 29, 2023
The Salem High School Building Committee convened for the first time on Monday, September 25th. The construction of the new high school is years away, but I came away from this meeting energized after seeing the passion for this project from each member – passion for our city and for our schools. Our committee members – many with children in the district, many with experience working in schools, and many with experience designing and building schools – are participating because each wants to make this happen. It is a very exciting time!
It was important to establish the purpose of our committee and to collectively identify the reasons why a new high school is necessary. The Building Committee will serve for the duration of the project and will advise the city and School Committee from the feasibility design phase all the way through construction. The Committee will serve as the point of contact for all individuals and community groups for all questions and concerns regarding the project. Additionally, they will engage and communicate with stakeholders through the planning and construction process. The project is very much in its infancy and there is extensive planning and engagement that will occur over the coming years.
We also want to share that the SHS Building Committee website was launched this week to keep all stakeholders apprised of the developments. It will be maintained and updated throughout the entirety of the project. Our second meeting is already on the calendar – Thursday, Nov. 30 – at which time we’ll discuss our master facility plan. To find out more, the following links are available:
Enjoy the weekend,
And the Rockstar Award 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.
The rock star award goes to Ms. Elaine Bombaci who has recently transitioned to a new role as the School Nurse Case Coordinator in the district. As the longtime nurse at both WHES and Bates, Ms. Bombaci has been a trusted member of our district community for more than two decades. In her new role, she is working with new families by helping them meet the medical requirements for school enrollment and find primary medical care in the community. With her resourcefulness, creativity, and dedication, Ms. Bombaci has already helped many members of the community to feel welcomed and at home here in Salem. She is an invaluable member of our nursing team who has long been a mentor and resource for her nursing colleagues and we are thrilled she has taken on this new challenge.
Last Call! Back-to-School Forms Due TOMORROW!
It is essential for your child’s well-being and education that we have accurate and complete information about them in our schools. We appreciate your time and attention so that we can keep your child safe, healthy, and thriving in school, meet any of their unique needs, ensure timely communication with you at home, and keep you informed and updated about all that is happening in our schools.
Please complete these forms FOR EACH CHILD ENROLLED by OCTOBER 1st.
Should you have any questions regarding the content of the forms or need assistance with the forms, please contact your school nurse or school front office. All forms are accessed in the same way you access report cards through Aspen. You can find step-by-step instructions to help you navigate these forms here. The Aspen Family Portal information guides can be found in English, in Spanish, and in Portuguese.
For technical assistance, please contact the IT Department by submitting a technical assistance ticket through this link or by calling the Technical Help Desk at: 978-619-1450. Please note, the technical Help Desk hours are Monday-Friday between 7a-4p.
Trimester and Quarter Dates for 2023-24
Free Webinar for Parents -Wednesday, Oct. 4: Addressing School-Related Anxiety
Paint Night Fundraiser at Salem Prep High School
Massachusetts State Seal of Biliteracy
We are pleased to inform you of Salem Public School’s participation in the Massachusetts State Seal of Biliteracy for the 2023-2024 School Year. Salem has been participating in the Seal of Biliteracy since 2018, and we are currently in our 6th year of participation! The Seal of Biliteracy is offered to any senior who demonstrates proficiency in English and any other language, whether they speak or sign the language other than English at home or learned it at school or in the community. The State Seal of Biliteracy aims to:
Encourage students to study and master languages;
Certify attainment of biliteracy skills;
Recognize the value of language diversity;
Provide employers with a method of identifying people with language and biliteracy skills;
Provide universities with a method to recognize and give credit to applicants for attainment of high-level skills in languages;
Prepare students with skills that will benefit them in the labor market and global society; and
Strengthen intergroup communication and honor the multiple cultures and languages in a community.
In order to earn the Massachusetts State Seal of Biliteracy, students must:
Demonstrate a high level of proficiency in English by earning a score of 472 or higher on the Grade 10 ELA MCAS,
Demonstrate a high level of proficiency in a world language by attaining a minimum score equivalent to Intermediate-High on an assessment approved by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, and
Satisfy all other graduation requirements.
The Seal of Biliteracy with Distinction is available to students who:
Earn a score of 501 or higher on the Grade 10 ELA MCAS
Demonstrate a proficiency level of Advanced Low or higher on a Department-approved assessment, and
Satisfy all other graduation requirements.
We will be administering the proficiency testing in the language your child speaks or signs for graduating seniors who elect to participate in the Seal of Biliteracy, as well as for all 8th graders for their own award and for proper placement in high school, from April 8th-12th, 2024. Informational sessions will be given during class time to all students in grades 8 and 12 to encourage them to sign up to take the exam.
We look forward to honoring the language expertise and diversity in our district through this initiative. If you have any further questions, please contact André Fonseca at email@example.com.
Download the ParentSquare app
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 the primary communication platform for all Salem Public Schools. All messages and alerts come through ParentSquare and the app makes 1-to-1 communication with your student's teachers and signing up for guardian/student conferences a breeze. If you are not receiving messages from ParentSquare or if you are having trouble, contact your school's front office. You can visit www.parentsquare.com for more information.