Salem Public Schools Update

News for our families

Superintendent's Message

April 8, 2022

SPS families,

On Monday evening, the School Committee voted to endorse our new district logo, tagline and, most importantly our core values. We are incredibly excited to share the culmination of months of surveys, forums, revisions and iterations of the foundational beliefs that we hold sacred as an organization. These ideals define who we are, what we stand for and the lens through which strategic decisions will be made moving forward. Thank you for all of the input you have provided to us.

During the process, nine themes surfaced that we were able to incorporate into the three values that ultimately emerged. Moving forward, the Salem Public Schools will be anchored by the following beliefs:

  • Belonging - We believe all members of our community are valued and that our relationships are built on empathy and respect.

  • Equity - We believe in promoting social justice to ensure an inclusive school community where all members are empowered and engaged.

  • Opportunity - We believe all students should receive a personalized experience to achieve academic success, find joy in their learning, and have multiple choices for their post-secondary plans.

We are excited to roll out this new updated look for our district, partnered with new core values that reflect who we are as a district today. Thank you to Destination Salem for the use of their logo over the years.



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You're A Rock Star!

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 rock star is Ms. Elizabeth Heppner, the Board Certified Behavior Analyst at ECC. Elizabeth has many students on her caseload, but never hesitates to take on extra duties and support all students as needed. Her first question each morning is always - “How can I help today?” We are fortunate to have Elizabeth on the SPS team!

Proposed Transportation Policy Changes

The School Committee has a series of important proposed changes to the SPS transportation policy before them for consideration which would take effect at the beginning of the 2022-2023 school year, if approved.

This new policy has been read into the meeting twice and committee members are asking for feedback from families before the final reading and before any change is voted on and implemented. The third reading of this policy and vote to implement will occur on Monday, May 2nd.

We urge you to ask any questions, get clarification, and share your thoughts about these proposed changes with the School Committee members. Contact information for School Committee members, links to the current policy, and the proposed policy can be found here on our website.

Also, during Superintendent Zrike's Facebook Live next week on Wednesday, April 13th at 5 pm, we will discuss proposed adjustments to the transportation policy.

At-home rapid tests for April Break

Salem Public Schools, with support from the City of Salem and State of Massachusetts, will again be providing rapid tests for every student and staff member in the district over April vacation. Tests will be distributed on Wednesday and Thursday next week. The box will have two tests. The first can be used at your discretion - before a large gathering or travel, or on Sunday, April 17th to keep with the regular weekly testing. The second is to be used on Sunday, April 24th or the morning of Monday, April 25th before returning to school. Instructions can be found here. If you have questions, please email Thank you for helping to keep our community safe!

High School Career fair

Salem High School, New Liberty Innovation School, and Salem Prep High School juniors and seniors will be “Hunting for Success” which is the theme of the first annual SHS Career Fair sponsored by the Career and Technical Education (CTE) and Internship Programs on Thursday, April 14. The fair will feature a scavenger hunt complete with prizes and interactive activities to enable students to explore careers and practice their professional communication skills. Over fifty leaders from Salem’s business, nonprofit and government organizations will be attending including State Representative Paul F. Tucker, Salem Hospital, PEM, Laborers Local 22, Groom Construction, Root the Hawthorne Hotel, and members of the Salem Chamber of Commerce.

Pictured here are SHS students learning about state-of-the-art heating and cooling options for energy efficiency at a recent networking event.

Celebrate Assistant Principal Week!

Salem Public Schools has a crew of incredible Assistant Principals. Thank you for being the backbone of our schools and for always supporting our young people in every way possible. Happy Assistant Principals' Week.
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SAT for Juniors

SAT - April 26, 2022

SATs for Juniors - Salem High will be administering the In School SAT on Tuesday, April 26th for all juniors. This test is FREE to all SHS scholars! Please arrive at school on time and to prepare for the test by linking your College Board Account to Khan Academy for testing practice. For more information go to or see your counselor in C3 for assistance.

Child Tax Credit

Most people need to file a federal tax return before Monday, April 18 in order to receive their full Child Tax Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit this year. Free help is available to file tax returns, and families can learn more at


Do you know an exemplary teacher from Salem or Marblehead?

Please nominate that individual for recognition.

What is the purpose of the award? Each year, The Margaret Voss Howard Teacher Recognition Award recognizes one Marblehead teacher and one Salem teacher as representative of all the excellent, dedicated teachers in the community who make a difference to children every day.

Who is eligible? Teachers from the district schools in Marblehead and Salem, Massachusetts, are eligible.

What is the award? Each honoree receives an unrestricted cash award of $500.

Who may nominate? Anyone—educators, parents, students, citizens—may make a nomination..

How do I nominate someone? Send a letter of nomination with your reasons for nominating the teacher. Please be as detailed and specific as possible. Please keep nominations confidential and do not inform individuals that they have been nominated. Nominations must be postmarked by April 30.

Find more information here.

Last day of school

With our two snow days and our one wellness day, the last day of school is currently Friday, June 17th (June 15th for our Pre-K and Kindergarten students). For Carlton Innovation School the last day will be June 23rd (June 17th for Kindergarten families) given that June 20th is a holiday for Juneteenth). Please know that this is subject to change depending on the weather over the coming months.

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.

Want to participate in a school supply drive for our schools and save 10% on your purchase at Timeless Life Treasures? See this flyer for more information.

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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 for more information.

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