Salem Public Schools Update

News for our families from Salem Public Schools

A note from Steve Zrike, Superintendent

April 30, 2021

SPS families,

Next week, we will celebrate Staff Appreciation Week! We would like to thank the many talented individuals who work across the Salem Public Schools. We are grateful for all that they do on behalf of our students and families! Each day next week, Salem Public Schools will recognize our staff for their commitment to our children with a series of special recognitions.

Please take a few minutes and share a story or two about an SPS staff member who has made a difference in your life or in the life of one of our students. We will select a few stories to post on social media as a way to publicly celebrate the work and impact we have on our students. To submit, please fill out the form here.

I personally want to extend my sincere appreciation to everyone in Salem Public Schools who has worked tirelessly to help us meet the many challenges we have faced in the last year. The changes and transitions weren’t always easy, but our staff met each new challenge with grace, flexibility and a smile on their face. The team supported each other, learned new skills, and connected with our families to be sure their needs were met, all with our students’ well-being as the focus. I am proud to be a part of this amazing educational community. I look forward to the work ahead, in continued partnership with our families, to deliver the exceptional educational experience our students deserve.



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.”

The cone of excellence this week is presented to Jen Gariepy, Student Information Systems Manager. Throughout the year, Jen has worked silently behind the scenes to support schools with the multiple changes in learning approaches by ensuring that class lists and rosters are accurate in Aspen as teachers and students shift classes. Without careful scheduling, students and staff would not have access to grade books, report cards, or curriculum materials through ClassLink. Ms. Gariepy approaches her work with a smile and an outreached hand of support.

Search for Executive Principal for Salem High Schools

We'd like to thank everyone who participated in the Executive Principal candidate meetings this past week. We would love to hear your thoughts. Please use this form to share your feedback by Sunday, 5/2.

If you missed the public forums, SATV recorded them and they can be watched at the following links.

Glenn Burns

Chris Mastrangelo:

Elvis Henriquez:

We expect a decision to be made on this position next week.

MCAS 2021

Please take a moment to read Dr. Zrike's letter with important information regarding this spring's MCAS administration here.


On Monday, May 3rd at 6:00pm prior to the School Committee meeting, there will be a public hearing on the budget. You can find the full budget proposal on our website and the full information about the public hearing can be found here

Please join us and let us know your thoughts on the 2021-2022 budget.

Free School Meals Extended through Next School Year

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has extended school meal waivers through the end of the 2021-2022 school year, allowing the continuation of universal free school meals at any school district throughout the state for the rest of this school year, through the summer, and through next school year. Schools nationwide will be allowed to serve meals through USDA’s National School Lunch Program Seamless Summer Option, which is typically only available during the summer months and which allows schools to serve free meals to all children. More information is available online.

The Salem High School Drama Club presents …Stage 2 Screen, a Musical Revue

The SHS Performing Arts Department has come up with another inventive and ingenious way to share its accomplishments. The Drama Club will present its musical revue in two ways:

1. as a drive in movie experience at Salem High School, at 8 pm on April 30th, and

2. through a Zoom watch party on May 1st at 8 pm.

All performances feature songs excerpted from musicals that debuted on the stage or the big screen, from “Telephone Hour” (Bye Bye Birdie, 1961) to “It’s Time to Dance” (The Prom, 2021). Enjoy an evening of entertainment with something for everyone! The SHS Drama Club has worked tirelessly over nearly five months of rehearsing, recording, and filming to bring a theatrical experience to life. We are delighted to showcase our students’ talents, featuring solos, duets, trios, and full ensemble numbers.

Suggested donations for this event are $20 / car for the drive in, and $5 / ticket for the watch party. (Again, these are suggested donations. No one will be turned away.) You can now use your Venmo account to make payments and donations to Performing Arts events at Salem High School - @Salemmusicboosters.

To make a reservation for the drive in, (first come, first served) or to make a reservation for the watch party to get the Zoom link, e-mail

Stage 2 Screen is sponsored in part by the Salem High School Music Boosters and the Salem Rotary Club. For more information, please contact Lianne Goodwin at .


We want to remind families that the City of Salem's Emergency Order regarding masks is still in effect. More information can be found at

MASFEC Affinity Group Listening Sessions

The Massachusetts Family Engagement State Coalition, in partnership with the Statewide Family Engagement Center (MSFEC), will be host listening sessions with various Affinity groups and our Regional Family Engagement members in the first weeks of May. These listening sessions will provide families, practitioners, community organizations and other interested stakeholders an opportunity to share their current experiences related to COVID-19 and racial equity to inform plans related to family engagement. This is a great opportunity to listening to our families and community leaders their experiences during pre-pandemic/ the pandemic and post-pandemic.


Affinity Groups - The affinity group listening sessions will be offered on various dates in May. The groups will include:

· Communities of Color and Cultural Organizations

· Faith-Based Organizations

· Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning and Queer (LGBTQ) and Youth

· Families of Children with Disabilities (English)

· Listening Sessions in Different Languages (Spanish, Portuguese, Haitian Creole, Chinese, Vietnamese and Somali)

Please check the affinity group registration link to select which affinity group and time you plan to attend.

Regional Family Engagement Coalition - The listening sessions for regional family engagement coalition members will take place on Thursday, May 6th (9:00-10:00 or 3:00-4:00) and May 11th (3:00-4:00). Please check the regional coalition registration link to select which listening session you would like to attend.


This year, our SHS CTE program will offer a FREE summer exploratory program for 7th and 8th graders.

Campers will participate in activities in Auto Technology, Early Education and Care, Building Property and Maintenance, Medical Assisting, Culinary Arts, Electrical, and Internships.

There will be two opportunities: Session 1 is the week of June 21st, and session 2 is the week of June 28th. This FREE program will allow students to explore some of the CTE pathways available at SHS. More details on the program and how to sign up have been sent to families via ParentSquare.

Big picture

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.

Camp Fire Summer Camp flier

Big picture

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 for more information.

important links