Salem Public Schools Update
News for our families from Salem Public Schools
A note from Steve Zrike, Superintendent
Some of the earliest data (both our own and across the country) suggest that students are lagging behind in math performance. Math, as a content area, is dictated by a progression of skills and concepts that build on each other. Gaps in this learning can result in students struggling to keep pace with grade-level expectations.
As a District, we are actively planning to provide students with additional intervention and supports for the remainder of this school year, over the summer, and when we return to a more “normalized” schedule during the upcoming 2021-22 school year. ST MATH (https://www.stmath.com/) is a terrific resource that all students in grades K-5 can access through their ClassLink page on their Chromebooks). ST Math is a fun, interactive, research-based, and highly-effective tool that supports the development of students’ conceptual understanding.
As you can see later in this newsletter, I was privileged to be joined by the famous ST Math penguin, Jiji, at my Facebook Live on Wednesday (Check out the video on our SPS Facebook page). Jiji announced a districtwide competition for the month of February. The K-5 classroom (at each grade level) that solves the most puzzles during the month, will earn a dance party with Jiji. Please encourage your child to participate! We want all of our students to take full advantage of this impactful resource to hone their mathematics skills.
Have a terrific weekend,
Executive Director for Special Education Search Process
Date: February 8, 2021
Location: Zoom meeting*
Interested in applying for this position? You can find the job posting here.
*If you are interested in participating in this focus group, please email Jensen Jacobsmeyer at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her at (978) 740-1214 to reserve a spot and access the Zoom Link. There is a maximum of 30 available slots.
Mental Health Resources
COVID-19 has brought on many stressors for children and families. We understand parents are worried about their child's physical and mental health. Handhold.org is a simple resource family members can use to understand what is typical for children and when to worry about their child's behavior, and what to do next. It also contains tips, tools, and strategies that have worked for other families who are managing the increased stress of COVID 19. Also, please don't hesitate to reach out to your child's school and ask to talk to a counselor if you need more support. We are here to help!
Student COVID testing
Salem Public Schools has signed up for this, and are we are currently working on the details, so stay tuned!
The test will be a nasal swab and not saliva for our students, and we look forward to sharing more details about how it will work in the next 1-2 weeks!
Welcome Back SHS 10th-12th graders! We have COVID testing for those returning
We will be offering COVID-19 testing for our returning students. Here are the details:
- SHS students returning to hybrid learning for the first time at the start of the new semester (either on 2/4 or 2/8 depending on cohort) have the opportunity to get a free, saliva COVID test through SPS on Monday, 2/1 or Thursday, 2/4.
- Monday 2/1:
- Salem High School Lobby from 2:30-4 pm. If there is traffic from Stop the Spread, please say that you are a student going to the lobby of SHS.
- Saltonstall Auditorium from 4 pm-6 pm
- Thursday 2/4 (only for students who begin on Monday, 2/8): Saltonstall Auditorium during SHS Community Office Hours, 5-8 pm
Thank you to those of us who joined us for the Kindergarten Expo! We are excited to bring our youngest learners into our schools!
Virtual booths are available to meet and greet with principals and hear more about each school. These virtual meetings also allow you to ask questions and hear about the different programs and personalities of our elementary schools.
If you missed the Expo, you can view a recording of it here:
Access Passcode: qXq3Dx?s
This site has information about our kindergarten programs, our schools, afterschool partners, and additional resources.
Collins Middle School 5th Grade OPEN HOUSE Monthly Family Meetings
Collins Middle School is hosting monthly virtual meetings to inform families about Collins Middle School and help smooth the transition to 6th grade. Save these dates!
February 24th: Meet the 6th-grade teachers
March 31st: Special Education/ELL
April 28th: Band/Music/Theatre
May 26th: STEM/Electives/SEL
June 9th: CMS schedule and events
All meetings are at 6pm
Information for each meeting will be recorded and emailed to 5th-grade families. Any questions please contact Principal Matt Condon at email@example.com.
Race Equity Task Force Survey
The Task Force is still seeking input from community members on race equity issues. By completing the survey, we hope to gain important input that will be helpful in advancing racial equity goals for our city. I’m hoping you’ll help share your thoughts by completing the survey.
February vacation is coming soon
If you do travel beyond state lines, we ask that you follow the state travel guidelines.
ST Math February Challenge!
Dr. Zrike and Jiji challenge you and your classmates to solve as many ST Math puzzles as you can during the month of February! This is a district-wide challenge! Each grade level will compete for prizes against other similar grade levels. For example, kindergarteners compete against other kindergarten classrooms in the district. The class at every grade level that solves the most puzzles wins! Imagine, Jiji coming to your classroom, dancing with you to your favorite music, and passing out fabulous prizes! All because you did an outstanding job playing ST Math with Jiji! Ready, set, MATH!
ST Math can be found on your student's Classlink dashboard on their Chromebook.
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,” and “Great Job.”
This week’s cone of excellence is awarded to Mrs. Beth White, Kindergarten at the ECC. Mrs. White is a Kindergarten teacher at the ECC who builds relationships with her students and their families with her positive spirit and her love of teaching. Mrs. White uses creativity and resourcefulness to provide each student with a unique learning experience that best meets their individual needs. She fosters independence in her students but has also created a community of friendship and trust.
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.
A reminder about Tech Support
Just a reminder that if you need tech support for your school-issued device, please call the tech support team at 978-619-1450 or submit a ticket here. This is the most efficient way to get help with a problem with your student’s device.
If you need more information, please visit the Family Tech Support Landing Pad.
Weekly Covid-19 Dashboard
*NOTE: While students returned to in-person learning this week, zero of these cases came to school; this is a combination of reports that are a result of last week’s testing and new cases that have been identified and kept out of school. Thank you for the active work throughout our community!
Connecting with Superintendent Zrike
Are you looking for a one-on-one meeting with Superintendent Zrike?
Dr. Zrike will be holding one-on-one meetings outside, distanced, and with face coverings at Salem Common by appointment on Friday's between 7:30 am-10:00 am.
Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to set up your appointment.