Salem Public Schools Weekly Update
for School Year 2022-2023
A Note From the Superintendent
September 9, 2022
This week we welcomed our youngest learners to the Salem Public Schools - almost five hundred 3, 4 and 5 year olds. We are so excited that this year our Pre-K programs are full at the start of the school year and we have over 100 Kindergarteners (more than a 1/3 of the class) who participated in Pre-K programming in the Salem Public Schools!
As we close the second week of school, I want to reiterate how important it is that students attend school every day and on time so that we maximize learning time with them. Although we recognize that illness and emergency may cause a student to be absent periodically, we hope these situations are more limited in the upcoming school year. Absences and tardies negatively affect your child’s academic performance, as well as their ability to make positive connections with peers and school staff. A chronically absent student (missing more than 18 or more school days in a year) is much less likely to be on grade level and thus significantly more likely to drop out or not graduate from high school in 4 years.
A few key reminders:
Please send your children to school on time every day unless they are sick or experience any symptoms related to COVID-19 (e.g. fever of 100 or above, cough, shortness of breath).
Please notify your child's school about planned absences and bring documentation of excused absences to school within 3 days of the absence. In the case of routine medical/dental appointments within Essex County, we expect students to be in school before or after the appointment. We want your children in school for as much time as possible.
Please communicate regularly with your child's school/teachers and plan to make-up for missed time and school work due to illness.
Please reserve excused absences for emergencies or extraordinary circumstances (such as illness, bereavement or religious holidays). Note that family vacations are not considered excused.
If your family and child face specific attendance challenges, our staff is available to partner with you to find appropriate support. We know that attendance issues can stem from anxiety, concerns with bullying, transportation issues and/or a previous trauma. We stand ready to work alongside you to ensure your child's success in school this year.
Have a great weekend!
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 award goes to Brad Maloon, City Connects Coordinator at Collins. He continues to be the "glue" at the school, connected to all students and staff. Mr. Maloon has been working diligently to greet and welcome many new students and families to Collins. He is always warm, kind, positive and enthusiastic to ensure that our new students feel embraced by their new school. Additionally, he is supporting the onboarding of a new colleague - dedicating extensive time to ensure that they have a smooth transition to the Collins community. Thanks for all you do Mr. Maloon!
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.
Schools will be hosting a back-to-school night for parents and caregivers on the following dates/times. More information will be provided directly from your child's school.
Last year, Carlton School worked with Julie Barry of the Salem Arts Council to write a grant to update the mural at Curtis Park. We received the grant and were able to get Bruce Orr to come and work with our E2 students in creating a mural that represented the Carlton School values and the community as a whole.The mural was completed in June with the help of all Carlton students and their families. We are thankful to the Salem Arts Council, Julie Barry, and Bruce Orr for making this beautiful mural at our school playground.
Protecting Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) Cards and Benefits:
Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA) clients have been the target of benefit theft through skimming, in which thieves put a device on a store’s card-swiping machine to copy card information. To protect clients from skimming, DTA is requiring cardholders in locations with a high incidence of skimming (Eastern Massachusetts) to set a new PIN to use their EBT over the next few weeks and is encouraging all clients to change their PIN regularly. Cardholders can change their PIN through automated steps by calling the number on the back of their card, as outlined in this flyer. More information and steps on how to change a PIN are available at Mass.gov/ProtectYourEBT and Mass.gov/ProtejaSuEBT.
BUS TRANSPORTATION INFORMATION
Student bus information for the 2022-2023 school year is available on the Aspen Family Portal. Please log into the Aspen Family Portal (https://ma-salem.myfollett.com/aspen/logon.do) to view your student's bus information. After logging in, click on the family tab on the top to view your student's bus information. The routes for each school are also posted on the website. Please visit this page on our website (https://salemk12.org/families/transportation/bus-routes-information/) for instructions on how to view bus information in Aspen and to view the bus routes for each school.
Many changes have been made to original bus routes in order to address and improve routing challenges. The most up-to-date bus routes can be found on our website here. Some Important Reminders:
Many changes have been made to original bus routes in order to address and improve routing challenges. The most up-to-date bus routes can be found on our website here.
Some Important Reminders:
Students must arrive at bus stops 10 minutes before scheduled stop times and wait up to 10 minutes after to allow for fluctuations in traffic around the city. If the bus still has not arrived 10 minutes after the stop time, families may call NRT Dispatch at 781-598-8780, Ext. 5. If you cannot get through to dispatch, please call the transportation office at 978-740-1240.
Please keep in mind that during the first few weeks of school the call volume for dispatch and the transportation office is extremely high so you might not get through to someone immediately. We will do our best to assist all families. There is also an adjustment period for transportation during the first few weeks of school while we straighten out all routes, stops, times, traffic, and other issues. During this period, transportation requests such as changes and additions take longer than usual to be processed.
Kindergarten and 1st Grade students cannot get off the bus without a parent or guardian present in the afternoon. If a guardian isn't present, the student will be returned to their school and will have to be picked up there. 2nd Grade - 12th grade students are responsible for getting off at their assigned stops. Please make sure your student knows where their stop is and how to get home from there.
Students should have already received their bus pass at school. After the initial adjustment period, bus passes will be enforced and students will not be able to ride the bus without a pass.
Students who receive specialized door-to-door transportation should also be ready for the bus 10 minutes before the scheduled time. If the student does not come out when the bus arrives, the driver will honk and wait up to 3 minutes. After this time the bus must leave and continue the route.
Please read the Transportation Handbook for all information regarding bussing for the 2022-2023 school year. (https://docs.google.com/document/d/1RGVRGuEjw_14rO67CMBFjyRDrGD1R023UwijPLhzg-I/edit?usp=sharing)
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.
This year, Salem Public Schools has a goal of lowering our chronic absenteeism to 21%, but we’ll need your help to make this possible. School attendance has a huge impact on your child’s success. We want to make sure every child is in class, every day.
We realize some absences are unavoidable. Please keep in mind that when a child is chronically absent (2 or more days a month or 18 days over the school year), they can fall far behind in what they learn. Excused and unexcused absences both mean missing classroom learning time and absences can add up.
We are here to help. Please let us know how we can best support you and your child so that they can show up for school on time, every day.
In partnership with the City of Salem Traffic and Parking department, we have a new map of recommended walking routes for our K-8 schools. Just click on the school you wish to have walking directions to, and the map will display a few different safe routes.
Walking to school is a great way to start the day! We are looking forward to seeing you all next week!
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