Salem Public Schools Update

News for our families

Superintendent's Message

December 3, 2021


SPS community,


We have all been profoundly impacted by the recent tragedy in the Oxford, MI schools. It is hard to comprehend the senseless violence and devastating loss of human life. When such an incident occurs, it is important for us to examine whether we are taking all the necessary precautions to ensure the safety of students and staff in our schools. While there is always more work to do, we are pleased to share that there is a strong partnership between the Salem Public Schools, Salem Police Department and Salem Fire Department.


Below you will find a series of proactive steps we have taken with our district-wide safety committee. This team meets monthly to receive training, initiate district-wide and school-based safety procedures/policies and collaborate with the City of Salem's emergency personnel. The team is composed of staff from each school, central office personnel and representatives from local police and fire. The team has spent the last year taking the following proactive steps:

  • Strengthening school-based crisis teams with representation from across the school;

  • Refining school emergency plans;

  • Training on how to respond to a school intruder (ALICE);

  • Reviewing school reunification locations;

  • Examining protocols for visitors across schools;

  • Enhancing the safety/security at the entrance of our buildings by installing new cameras and intercom systems;

  • Installing a keyless entry system that allows access control security by utilizing a card reader.


Moving forward, we are committed to building on these efforts by:

  • Urging community members to report any threats (verbal, online, etc.) that might compromise school, student and/or staff safety to school counselors/leadership and/or the Salem Police Department. We will take all of these threats seriously to ensure the safety of all our students and staff.

  • Installing additional cameras inside and outside our buildings;

  • Enhancing and expanding our internal and external communication systems;

  • Conducting unannounced security audits to examine the implementation of our safety procedures at each school.

These aforementioned efforts and the regular communication between students, families, staff and public safety are essential in protecting our schools. While we can never eliminate risk entirely, we will exhaust every avenue to maximize security. We are committed to working together to ensure that our schools are safe and inclusive learning environments where all students feel welcomed.


I would be remiss if I did not underscore the most valuable deterrent we have when addressing the potential for school violence. We must continue to emphasize establishing meaningful relationships with the students and families we serve. We have extensive counseling, mental health resources, and social/emotional support that we can offer our students when they are struggling for any reason. If you have any concerns about your child’s emotional well being, we strongly encourage you to reach out to your child’s school or the district’s student support team as soon as possible for help at (978) 740-1225 or studentsupport@salemk12.org.


Please do not hesitate to reach out to any of us if you have additional questions, concerns or ideas about emergency planning efforts.



Best,

Steve

Cone of Excellence

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 construction cone that displays the words: “Awesome,” “Well Done,” or “Great Job.”


This week's Cone of Excellence goes to Ms. Emily Consolati, a second grade teacher at WHES. Emily embodies the goal of creating an inclusive environment by finding ways that engage and motivate every child. Ms. Consolati will never give up on her students, and she walks into every challenge with thoughtful solutions. She is a positive force in the WHES community and her smile and drive to have all her children succeed is most deserving of this recognition.

Congratulations to our John and Abigail Adams 2021 Scholarship Winners

The John and Abigail Adams Scholarship is a merit-based program that provides a credit toward tuition for up to eight semesters of undergraduate education at a Massachusetts state college or university. For this scholarship, merit is based on student scores on the 10th grade Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) test.


Congratulations to the following New Liberty Innovation School students:

Ashley Avila

Megan Glidden

Ruby Michaud

Jade Michaud

Automated Absence Notifications

On Monday, December 6th, the Salem Public Schools will return to our practice of sending parents automated text messages/phone calls/emails when a student is absent UNLESS we have been notified by the parent/guardian. These robocalls will allow for all parents/guardians to be notified in a more timely manner whenever a student is out.


If your child is going to be absent from school, including quarantines, please call the school’s attendance line to report the absence. If you do receive a robocall that you believe to be in error, please call the school’s main office to follow up.


Please keep in mind that while we continue to encourage safe COVID practices in our schools, we want to emphasize the importance of regular school attendance as the most important factor in your child’s academic success.


If you have any questions or concerns about your child’s attendance, please contact your child’s school and ask to speak to an administrator or nurse.

SPS clinic Second COVID-19 vaccination dose information

Thank you to all the families who are supporting the health & safety of our schools, our community, and your families by helping students get vaccinated!

If you or your student received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine from one of our clinics, we have 2nd dose information for you.

2nd Dose Appointments: If you or your child received your first dose on 11/13 at Saltonstall, you are automatically signed up for the second dose. Please try to arrive between 9am-12noon close to the time of your original appointment. You do not need to sign up, 2nd doses are walk-in!

We will also have Pfizer boosters for ages18+ available Saturday at Saltonstall. This clinic is full and no first doses or second doses that were received at outside locations are available.

If your child already received their first dose at their school during the week, they already have (Carlton & Bentley) or will receive their second dose at the same time and place next week. No actions are required for this to happen:


  • Bates - Tuesday 12/7 from 7:30-9:00am
  • Saltonstall - Wednesday 12/8 from 12:30-2:00pm
  • Friday, 12/10:
  • Horace Mann - 7:30-9:00am
  • Witchcraft - 8:00-11:00am
  • Salem High - 9:00-10:00am
  • Collins - 1:00-5:00pm --> We are working to confirm whether we will have additional adult booster appointments (Pfizer only) available!
  • Saturday, 12/11 @ Saltonstall - We are working to confirm and believe we will have more appointments and walk-up options available!

If you have questions or need support getting a vaccine, please reach out to Chelsea Banks (cbanks@salemk12.org).

SAFE SCHOOLS FOR LGBTQ+ STUDENTS, STAFF, AND FAMILIES

In our quest for equity and inclusion for all students, this Monday at the School Committee meeting, Jeff Perrotti and Landon Callahan will be joining us from the DESE Safe Schools program. The Safe Schools Program for LGBTQ students provides training, technical assistance, and professional development to school administrators and staff on topics related to gender identity, sexual orientation, and school climate. They will join us to help anchor us in this work and will give a presentation about what that support and guidance looks like for Salem Public Schools. To help them prepare for this meeting, we ask that you take a moment to provide thoughts or ask questions so the Safe Schools team can directly speak about our own community. Please join us on Monday at 7pm.

Calling All 8th Graders! Salem High School Expo!

Please join us for the Salem High School Future Student Night!

Salem High School will be showcasing the many pathways you can take at Salem High School. SHS staff will be traveling to each school during the day next week to introduce all 8th graders to the great academics, activities, and programs available to them at SHS.


We invite families to come to see what Salem High School has to offer on Tuesday, December 7th from 6:00-8:00pm at Salem High School. You and your 8th grader will have the chance to travel through different stations that will be set up to meet with groups of students who will share information about the high school experiences at Salem High! SHS faculty will be available to answer any questions at each station.


Come see all that Salem High School has to offer!

SHS Family Night - You're Invited!


Join Salem High School Adjustment Counselors to

learn about community and school resources


Thursday, 12/9/21

6:00PM-7:30PM


Saltonstall Elementary School

211 Lafayette Street


Light Refreshments! DOOR PRIZES!

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SCHOOL CLOSURES OR DELAYS DUE TO INCLEMENT WEATHER

As winter approaches, we want to remind staff and families to be sure we have current contact information to reach you in the event that we have a cancellation or delay. Notifications will go out through ParentSquare via automated phone call, text, and email. We do not have the option of remote instruction in the event of a closure.

COVID-19 and Flu Vaccination Resources

Need more information or have questions about the Covid-19 vaccine?


The Department of Public Health has the following communication resources available about COVID-19 and flu vaccinations:

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SALEM MUSIC BOOSTERS' 23RD ANNUAL CRAFTS FAIR & HOLIDAY BAZAAR

Saturday, Dec. 11th, 10am-3pm

77 Willson Street

Salem, MA

Schedule a meeting with Superintendent Zrike

Dr. Zrike would love the opportunity to meet with any SPS staff or SPS family who would like to do so. It could be in a park, a coffee shop, your home, or anywhere else.


If you would like to schedule some time with Dr. Zrike, please email Mindy Marino to set up a time and place.

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.
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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 the schools will communicate with families districtwide going forward. Please be sure you are receiving messages from ParentSquare. If you are having trouble, contact your school's front office. You can visit www.parentsquare.com for more information.

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