Salem Public Schools Update

News for our families from Salem Public Schools

A note from Steve Zrike, Superintendent

May 28, 2021


SPS families,

I hope you all enjoy the extended Memorial Day weekend as we welcome the unofficial start to summer! On Wednesday, June 2nd, we will celebrate Pride Day across the Salem Public Schools. We are asking our entire community to show their support of the LGBTQ+ students, staff and caregivers in Salem by wearing rainbow attire or the colors that encompass the progress flag. It is important that our LGBTQ+ community knows that they are seen, heard and recognized as part of our commitment to inclusivity in SPS. Please join us in celebrating our first annual Pride Day in SPS!


Additionally, I wanted to make families aware that we are planning to open new pre-Kindergarten classrooms for the upcoming school year. Using additional COVID-19 relief dollars that we have received, we intend to expand full school day learning options for 4 year-olds who live in Salem. These programs would be free and serve students 5 days a week for the duration of the school year. As you can imagine, this could necessitate changes to aspects of our current programming at the Salem Early Childhood Center in order to create an equitable experience for our youngest learners.


Through this process, we are actively coordinating with our outstanding community partners so that we are thoughtful about our growth. We hope to have additional information to share with the community in the coming weeks including the locations, enrollment process and specific details about the program. We are excited to collaborate with our community partners to launch this effort to offer universal, quality preschool programming across the City of Salem.


Best,

Steve

Cone of Excellence Award

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. Melinda Tetreault, 6th grade ELA teacher at Collins Middle School. In a visit to her classroom this week, one of her students, Dayanara, told Dr. Zrike that Ms. Tetreault has inspired her to pursue a career in teaching. She explained that she has developed a passion and love of writing in Ms. Tetreault's class this year and wants to emulate her instructional approach when she becomes an educator. This is an amazing testament to Ms. Tetreault's gifts as a teacher!

SALEM PUBLIC SCHOOLS CELEBRATES PRIDE

June is Pride month. “Pride” originated in the late 1960s as a celebration of the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots in New York City. For much of history, LGBTQ+ individuals were silenced and excluded from society because queerness was seen as a source of shame. To counter that idea, “Pride” emerged as a way to live without fear or shame and celebrate LGBTQ+ people and their identities.


Salem Public Schools are celebrating Pride in a number of ways, in and out of our classrooms. On Wednesday, June 2nd, the Pride progress flag will be raised at all schools. We are also asking our staff and our students to wear something rainbow to show support for the LGBTQ+ community in our schools and in our community. June 7-11 is also Pride Week at Collins Middle School. Salem Public Schools are a proud ally to the LGBTQ+ community.

End of Year events general guidelines

We are looking forward to many end-of-year events throughout the district. We have set up some general guidelines for attending those events in regards to distancing and masking.


Outside events: All seats will be set at 3 feet apart. Students and vaccinated adults do not have to wear a mask to the event, but we ask all unvaccinated adults to please wear a mask.


Inside events: ALL students and adults will have to wear a mask. We will set chairs 6 feet apart and have guests in the same household sit together.


Enjoy the end-of-year festivities… safely!

Get vaccinated!

We encourage everyone ages 12 and over to get vaccinated! At this time, we are only planning to do the second shot clinic on June 5th, and highly encouraging our community to go to the many options right here in Salem to get your vaccine. CVS and Walgreens in Salem have appointments available daily. The clinic at SSU’s O’Keefe Center is now taking walk-ups! It is open next week Tuesday and Thursday 3-6pm. https://bit.ly/SSU-VaccineClinic


Please email salemreturns@salemk12.org if you are having any difficulty identifying vaccination options.

Bus Transportation for the 2021-2022 School Year

Applications for bus transportation for the 2021-2022 school year went out on Monday. This application must be completed for all riders. If you have more than one child in the Salem Public Schools, you may receive more than one packet, and a separate application must be submitted for each student. All bus applications must be returned to the Transportation Office by June 1, 2021, with a deposit (If applicable) of $100.00 per rider.

Emergency Broadband Benefit Program:

The Emergency Broadband Benefit Program is a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) program that provides a temporary discount on monthly broadband bills for qualifying low-income households. Eligible households can receive:

  • Up to a $50/month discount on their broadband service and associated equipment rentals
  • Up to a $75/month discount if their household is on qualifying Tribal lands
  • A one-time discount of up to $100 for a laptop, tablet, or desktop computer (with a co-payment of more than $10 but less than $50)
Only one monthly service discount and one device discount is allowed per household. Households can begin applying for and enrolling in the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program on Wednesday, May 12. The program will end when the fund runs out of money or six months after the Department of Health and Human Services declares an end to the COVID-19 health emergency, whichever is sooner.

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.


Garnish for Good!

Camp Fire Summer Camp flier

Information about Summer Camp with the Boys and Girls Club

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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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