Salem Public Schools Weekly Update
for School Year 2022-2023
A Note From the Superintendent
June 23, 2023
Wednesday marked the conclusion of the 2022-23 school year for students! We trust that you and your children will have a restful, rejuvenating and memorable summer break. It has been a privilege to partner with your family during the current school year. Together, we have accomplished a great deal as we worked to create a more predictable and stable experience for your children, post-Covid.
The year has been filled with many highlights - receiving an invitation to the Massachusetts School Building Authority Eligibility Program for a new facility at the Salem High School site, expanding middle/high school sports programming to include skiing, sailing and middle school volleyball; adopting new curriculum resources and experiences that ensure that students spend more time reading and responding to text, launching an artist-in-residence with nationally acclaimed musician Dee-1, SHS performing at Carnegie Hall, launching the middle school learning pilot, increasing access to field trips, establishing a tele-mental health partnership, hosting more family nights/events across schools and continuing to grow the quality and scale of our early childhood programs. These are just some of the high points from the school year and we are eager to build on these successes as we prepare to welcome your children back in August.
It is important that our work together continue during the summer months. We have created a summer learning landing page on our website where we have a wealth of learning activities for students of all ages and grades. We encourage our students to keep their minds busy and fully engaged with these high-quality resources across all content areas - math, literacy, science and social studies. These are dynamic learning opportunities (mostly online) that will help minimize the impact of learning loss over the summer. Additionally, I want to highlight our summer reading information (Grades PreK-8 and Grades 9-12) with a new and exciting challenge! Any student (all grades), who turns in a summer reading log, will be eligible to win a ride to school in a fire truck in the fall (one winner at each school)!
Finally, please note that our summer programs kickoff on July 10th. If you have any questions about these programs, please contact the office at your child’s school.
In order to maintain strong communication with you throughout the summer, we will publish one every other week, beginning Friday, July 14th. Facebook Live will be scheduled on an as needed basis until we launch the new school year.
Salem Education Foundation Teacher Award
Congratulations to Mercy Baez, grade 5 teacher at Bentley Academy Innovation School in Salem who was recently awarded this year's Margaret Voss Howard Teacher Recognition Award for her excellence in teaching, communication with families, and contributions to school culture. We are so proud of you and all you bring to our students here at Salem Public Schools.
Photo credit: Dana J. Quigley, DJQ Media LLC
The Salem ParentChild+ Program successfully graduated 16 families!
The Salem ParentChild+ Program is pleased to announce that on Saturday June 3, 2023, we had 16 children, and their parents graduate from the 2-year PC+ Program.
All our home visit sessions this year were done via a hybrid model of in-person and virtual meetings.
We were excited to have an in-person graduation ceremony complete with make your own
graduation caps, balloons, certificates for parent and child, and goodie bags.
The ParentChild+ Program is a FREE, in-home, early literacy and school readiness program for families with children 18 months - 3 years old who live in Salem.
Families are offered 92 home visits over 2 years and they acquire a free library of 46 high quality books and educational toys and 46 curricular guide sheets with tips on vocabulary building, engaging conversation, skill development, social-emotional development, imaginative play, literacy, music, and art activities.
If you would like more information on becoming a Parent Child+ family please contact Maureen Pasek-Tourville, Coordinator, at 978-998-9327 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Seeking Host Families for Middle School Students from Japan
The Salem-Ota Cultural Exchange is looking for host families for 28 middle school students coming to Salem from our Sister City in Japan from November 4-9, 2023!
The cities of Salem and Ota have enjoyed a wonderful sister-city relationship for over thirty years, having grown out of the century-old affiliation between the Peabody Essex Museum and the Ota Folk Museum. Thousands of people from both Salem and Ota have been involved over the years in this incredible program.
Through this unique relationship, hundreds of students, educators, cultural and business representatives, and municipal officials from Ota, have visited Salem. As a result, other Ota residents, as well as additional travelers from all over Japan, have also visited Salem as tourists.
Every year, residents of Salem open their homes to host Japanese student and adult “Homestay” visitors. The City, the Peabody Essex Museum, and the Salem School Department all cooperate with Salem-Ota Cultural Exchange organizers to host our sister-city visitors with tremendous hospitality. Likewise, groups of Salem residents and students are welcomed and hosted in Ota, Japan, on alternating summers.
If you are interested in hosting an Ota student this November, please contact Marlene Warner (email@example.com) or Kathleen Salas (firstname.lastname@example.org), co-presidents of the Salem-Ota Cultural Exchange.
Summer brings opportunities to spend time with friends and family and enjoy the outdoors. We hope that you and your student will also continue to read to develop a love of books and learning new things.
Here are summer reading suggestions created by the American Library Association for students in Grades PreK-8 that will help you and your student select books together. As always, we suggest that you follow your child’s lead and choose books and topics that interest them.
For grades 9-12, we've elected to use the MA Teen Choice Book nominees, which is a list of 21 books curated by public and school librarians. The titles are available in limited quantity in the SHS library, copies will be available at the Salem Public Library, and starting on July 1st, Sora will have the ebook and audiobook versions available with no wait times for all members of the MLS ebook collection. More information about these reading selections can be found here.
Summer P-EBT Benefits
Massachusetts has received federal approval to continue Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) benefits covering school year 2022 – 2023 and summer 2023. This is the last round of school year and summer P-EBT food benefits following the end of the federal public health emergency on May 11.
Eligible K-12 families will receive a retroactive P-EBT payment on June 25 for COVID-19-related school absences that occurred September 2022 through May 11, 2023. Amounts depend on the number of COVID-19-related excused absences accrued in a month as reported by school districts:
- 1-5 absences: $25 a month per student
- 6-15 absences: $82 a month per student
- 16+ absences: $147 a month per student
In addition, an estimated 475,000 school-age children and their families will receive $120 per student in one Summer P-EBT payment on July 25.
Families will continue to receive P-EBT on the same card they did in the past. Households who lost their P-EBT card can request a replacement card. Newly eligible students will receive P-EBT benefits on their EBT card if they receive DTA benefits or will be mailed a P-EBT card if they do not receive DTA benefits.
Back to School for the 2023-2024 School Year
Grade 9 students begin on August 28th
Grades 1-8 and grades 10-12 begin on August 29th.
Pre-K and K begin on September 5th
CARLTON P2+ begins on August 28th and P1 begins on August 31st.
School calendars can be found here. Scroll down the page until you see the calendar icons similar to the one shown here.
Stay tuned for information about our big back-to-school picnic on August 23rd, which will take place at Saltonstall this year.
It's time for summer break! We hope everyone had a great school year. Salem Food and Nutrition Services will be running our FREE meal service program again this year at multiple locations throughout the city. We will be offering breakfast, lunch, and dinner. FREE summer meals will be available to students 18 and under at our open-site locations. No registration or ID is required to participate!
The program will launch with our kick-off event at Mary Jane Lee Park on July 6th, 2023 from 4 PM - 6 PM. The event will have a DJ, giveaways, prizes, and of course FREE meals! Free adult meals will be provided as well at the kick-off by our partnership with Root. We will be offering fun activities at our Mary Jane Lee Park location this year run by student helpers. Activities include lawn games, arts and crafts, and sports! Take a look at the summer site locations and meal times!
Transportation for the 2023-2024 School Year - Important info!
Transportation applications for the 2023-2024 school year opened on Monday, May 1, 2023, in the Aspen family portal. The Transportation Department sent information to families with instructions on how to apply, so please check your email, text messages, and ParentSquare notifications.
All students who wish to ride the bus for the 2023-2024 school year must submit an application, even if the student currently rides the bus or is considered a mandatory rider. A completed application must be submitted by Saturday, July 1, 2023. Applications received after July 1, 2023, will not be accepted except in extenuating circumstances to allow proper time for processing and routing.
If you have any questions, please call the Salem Public Schools Transportation Office at
Angela's Preschool and Daycare
We are excited to announce that Angela's Preschool and Daycare is now open at Salem High School! Our preschool and daycare facility is dedicated to providing a safe, nurturing, and stimulating environment for your child's growth and development. Enroll your child now by contacting 978-335-1413
We understand the importance of quality care and education for your child, which is why our experienced staff is committed to providing personalized attention to each child in our care. Our curriculum focuses on social, emotional, physical, and cognitive development to ensure your child a well-rounded and ready for their next educational journey.
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.
Salem, MA 01970
Salem Public School District is committed to maintaining a work and learning environment free from discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, pregnancy, gender identity, sexual orientation, marital/civil union status, ancestry, place of birth, age, citizenship status, veteran status, political affiliation, genetic information or disability, as defined and required by state and federal laws.