Vol. 18 Issue 7 --- Weekly Updates for Salem Academy
End of Quarter - Friday, October 29th: First quarter closes at the end of the month, and students and families and students can continually check Rediker for updated grades as we approach that date. Families and students are encouraged to reach out to teachers directly with any questions about current grades.
MCAS Update: Salem Academy has received individual score reports for students who took the statewide MCAS test at SACS in 2021. We will be mailing home score reports along with a letter from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). Results show that many more students had gaps in their knowledge of math and, to a lesser extent, English language arts, compared to students in the same grades before the COVID-19 pandemic, and fewer students meet or exceeded grade level expectations. The state did not administer MCAS tests in spring 2020, near the start of the pandemic, so the most recent year to compare with this year’s scores is 2019.
Families of students who were in grades 3-8 in the spring should keep in mind that those students were given shorter than usual tests, which can cause individual student performance to vary more than usual as compared to previous years. These variations even out as groups of students are aggregated, but the difference is worth keeping in mind when viewing individual results. Families should also remember that MCAS results are only one measure of their child's growth and achievement.
Due to the disruption caused by the pandemic, and following a vote by the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education in June, DESE is not issuing new accountability determinations for districts and schools this year. (Accountability designations take into account MCAS scores, MCAS growth, graduation rates, attendance, and other measures.) Districts and schools will retain the accountability designation they had before the pandemic, and DESE will resume making accountability designations in 2022.
- In October, 9th and 10th graders will be engaging in the first round of Achievement Network (ANet) interim tests for English (Tuesday 10/12) and Math (Tuesday 10/19). In an effort to best target student needs, especially in returning from an inconsistent year and a half of schooling, these assessments will enable our team to both match interventions for students and accelerate learning for students. Interim tests are not graded and will occur at two other times this year. Please ensure students are in attendance for full days on the noted test dates.
11th Grade - PSAT in October
- On Tuesday, October 26th, all 11th graders will be engaging in the PSAT in preparation for the SAT this coming spring. Salem Academy pays for both tests during a student’s junior year. As juniors, PSAT scores also lead to college scholarship opportunities. Students will be dismissed in the early afternoon after testing is complete. It is extremely important that all juniors are in attendance on this day.
12th Grade - SAT in October
- On Thursday, October 28th, all 12th graders will be engaging in the SAT, a college entrance exam. Even if students tested already, they should plan to retest in order to maximize scores prior to college application deadlines. While many colleges are moving to test optional applications, the SAT score is still an important factor to potentially include, depending on the school and a student’s individual application. College counselors will work closely with students to determine the best approach on applications after SAT scores are received in November. Salem Academy fully pays for the October test, and students will be dismissed in the early afternoon after testing is complete. It is extremely important that all seniors are in attendance on this day.
Upcoming Tests in October:
All Lower School students will be taking their ELA ANet Interim Assessments next week on Wed (10/13) and Thurs (10/14) and Math ANet Interim Assessments the following week on Wed (10/20) and Thurs (10/21). The ANet exams are used as an internal data point to determine where students are in regard to their progress within each given curriculum. Additionally, the ANet Interims are used as practice opportunities to prepare students for their MCAS exams and the end of each school year.
Oct. 11th- Indigenous Peoples Day, No School
Oct. 13th- LS ELA ANET 1 & Steel Root Scholarship Info Session for Juniors
Oct. 15th- Senior Photos
Oct. 19th- SEPAC Meeting @ 6:PM
News and Notes
Wellness Weekend is back!
In just over a week, we’d like to welcome all to join the fun. We know that pursuing physical activity is one of the best ways to stay healthy and exercising can be more fun with others! Come along and join us as we recruit friends and family for Salem Academy’s 2021 Wellness Weekend. This event has something for everyone from running a 5K (on your own) to joining our community for a "Sunrise Celebration"! We invite you to REACH for your own goals by picking the event that’s right for you!
Wellness Weekend, kicked off by REACH the Beach, marks our first major fundraisers of the year for the Annual Fund. Last year we raised over $10,000, even without including a Reach the Beach event – we rock! Our fundraising success was made possible in part by Wellness Weekend participants creating their own fundraising pages and sharing with their friends and networks! A huge THANK YOU to all of you who helped us REACH that total.
Your continued support and participation create a foundation for community building and deepens our school’s resources. Our teachers and staff exceed expectations all year long and our students then follow their lead. Let’s keep them all going by showing them we’re by their sides – this year we’re setting our goal at $15,000!
Donation Link: https://sacs.kindful.com/sacs-wellness-weekend-2021
Registration Link: https://sacs.kindful.com/e/wellness-weekend-2021
Student Fundraising Accounts
All students at Salem Academy have a student account. Deposits to these accounts can only be made through school-sponsored fundraisers. Accounts can be used to pay for field trips, events, and Salem Academy gear. Upon graduation or transfer to another school, any remaining funds will belong to Salem Academy as the funds were raised on behalf of the school for school-related purposes, not for personal use.
This year our first fundraiser for students is the SFC Calendar Fundraiser in November (stay tuned for more information). This is an important event for students 100% of their sales go directly into their Student Accounts and can be saved or used for school purposes such as field trips, athletic expenses or damaged items, graduation expenses, SACS gear and clothing, and future field trips. Any money in the account rolls over to the next school year as long as the student is enrolled at SACS and money can be transferred to siblings or other family members.
A representative from a local Cybersecurity company will be sharing a scholarship opportunity with interested juniors on November 13th at 3 pm. See Ms. Lassen or email Mlassen@salemacademycs.org for more details and to sign up.
8th Grade Service Learning Survey
8th Grade students are engaged in some community research to help identify potential needs within Salem. Students will choose one of the issues identified for a service-learning project where they will try to help address that issue. Please consider participating and supporting their efforts below. While this form will collect email addresses all information is confidential, but not private. People are limited to one (1) response. Thank you!
Click here for the monthly menus!
Dear Families - due to national shortages of food and packaging materials, labor shortage and vendor delivery delays and cancellations, our menus are subject to change based on availability. Please know that our team is working hard to provide meals every day, adjust on the fly, and provide updates about menu changes as soon as possible. We may need to make quick menu substitutions based upon what we have on hand, but we are trying our best to make comparable changes wherever possible. Thank you for your continued support and patience. Please stick with us through this challenging time! - Salem Academy Food and Nutrition Department
Even though your student is currently receiving Free meals at school, you are highly encouraged to submit an application. The application status of families was what the government used to issue the Pandemic EBT cards. In addition, there are additional benefits to meal status including waiver of college application fees, bus fees and possibly other community related benefits. The application takes just a few minutes to complete and may have great benefits. Please fill one out at lunchapp.com.
Community Resources and Opportunities
A coalition of non-profit organizations has created FindYourFunds.org to help eligible families get thousands of dollars in federal tax credits (like the Child Tax Credit) and stimulus payments, even if the families do not usually owe or file taxes. Outreach materials are available in 11 languages.
American Rescue Plan in Salem
Transparent, thoughtful, and strategic plan for Salem's federal COVID-19 relief
Earlier this year Congress passed the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), a far-reaching COVID recovery measure proposed by the Biden-Harris administration. This $1.9 trillion measure provides direct financial relief to Americans, assistance to businesses, and aid to states, counties, and municipalities.
The City of Salem will receive approximately $35 million in these relief funds over the course of the next two years. All of the funding must be expended by December 31, 2024. The broadly acceptable categories of use include costs incurred to:
- Respond to the COVID-19 public health emergency or its negative economic impacts, including assistance to households, small businesses, and nonprofits, or aid to impacted industries such as tourism, travel, and hospitality;
- Pay workers providing essential work during the COVID-19 public health emergency;
- Provide government services to the extent of the reduction in revenue to the City due to the COVID-19 public health emergency in the most recent full fiscal year; and
- Make necessary investments in water, sewer, or broadband infrastructure.
There are no shortage of capital needs and this aid will provide an opportunity to plan and leverage resources for the benefit of everyone in our community. Please take time to complete the ARPA survey.
ONWARD Staff Training!
Staff met with Thaly Germain, our Onward consultant who led an amazing diversity, equity and inclusion PD for our staff!
Last Friday's Service-Learning day allowed for a variety of activities from research and classroom based work in the Upper School to data collection in the field with the Lower School!
Last night, the Salem Academy Players participated in the annual Haunted Happenings "reverse parade" which was held this year in lieu of the traditional rolling parade. Students and staff alike had a wonderful time showing the city and its guests what Salem Academy is all about!