Salem Public Schools Update

News for our families from Salem Public Schools

REMINDER - TOMORROW April 2nd is Good Friday. Schools are closed.

A note from Steve Zrike, Superintendent


SPS families,

There is much excitement across SPS as we prepare to welcome many more K-8 students to full week, in-person learning on Monday. In supporting this transition, we are keenly focused on helping our students reconnect with their peers and re-familiarize themselves with the routines of school. Students thrive within the structure of a school day that provides physical and psychological safety, opportunities for multiple interactions and high levels of engagement. Thoughtfully reintroducing these structures will go a long way toward helping prepare students for a full and productive 2021-22 school year. While addressing academic gaps is essential, we know that learning can only occur if students’ social and emotional needs are met. Our children have lost so much during the pandemic and we are committed to providing them with a strong experience that allows them to thrive in the coming months.

For those that celebrate, enjoy your Easter holiday. Looking forward to Monday,


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 Rosa Saldivar who works by day in the Salem High School Connect for Success program and in the evening in the SHS Community Office at Saltonstall. She tirelessly works to ensure that students receive the social, emotional and behavioral supports they need to thrive and reconnect to their classes. She goes to unbelievable lengths to assist students in attending the Community Office so that they catch up on missing credits, receive extra tutoring in areas that they are struggling and can develop a plan to ensure that they are on track to graduate. Rosa is an amazing champion for our students!

Military Order of the World Wars (MOWW) Bronze Medal Awarded

Congratulations to Cadet Corporal Jordan Sweeney for being awarded the Military Order of the World Wars (MOWW) Bronze Medal for his leadership, contribution to the JROTC program and overall excellence!

This award is presented to an outstanding JROTC first year cadet who:

  • Excels in both military and scholastic activities during the year
  • Is in good standing in all military and scholastic courses at the time of selection and presentation of the award
  • Has indicated, by grades, extracurricular activities, individual endeavor, and a desire to serve the United States and
  • Has committed to continue in the MCJROTC program for the next school year.

Congratulations to Cadet Corporal Jordan Sweeney!

Temporary, Part-Time Lunch Monitor Positions Available

Salem Public Schools is hiring temporary, part-time lunch monitors for the remainder of this school year. Our kids would love to see your smiling faces! Minimum Qualifications:

  • High School Diploma (or equivalent)
  • Ability to work with adults and children in a positive manner
  • Ability to supervise large groups of students
  • Ability to regularly lift a minimum of 10 pounds and up to 25 pounds as necessary
  • $16.79/Hour, Part-time, Up to 2 hours per day

How to Apply

Salem Public Schools is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Transportation - Schedule/Routes Updated

Due to the schedule changes brought about by returning K-8 students to school full time, we have had to re-route all of our bus routes. A new bus pass will be given to students who ride the bus at their school this week. We ask that at the end of this week you discard any old bus passes and only use the one your child receives this week. If your child has not received a new bus pass, please contact the transportation office at 978-740-1240.

New Start/End Times

As discussed, start and end times for some schools will be shifting to accommodate the school day schedules. Some school start times shifted 5-10 minutes to ensure our transportation schedule can accommodate the increased number of daily riders. Many school end times were extended to the six-hour, five-minute day. Remote schedules will follow the same schedule as the in-person schedule unless specified for our extended day schools. The new start and end times can be found on our website.

Budget Priorities for the 21-22 School Year

Dr. Zrike recently held forums for our staff and community to hear about our strategic priorities, learn about the budget process and offer input on budget priorities for the 21-22 school year. You can view a copy of the PowerPoint presentation here.

If you were unable to participate in one of the forums but would like the chance to offer your input on budget priorities for the 21-22 school year, please take a few minutes to complete this survey. The survey will close at 5 p.m. on April 2nd. Your input is appreciated.

Keeping our community safe in a few simple steps!

Thank you for helping to keep our community safe! There are additional layers of mitigation that can help, too.

  • Sign your students up for Salem’s FREE, simple, and safe COVID-19 testing in schools. This program is for students who DO NOT have symptoms, and involves a very simple lower nasal swab test once per week. You only need to sign up once to participate for the rest of the year! Go to to sign up by clicking the link for your school.

  • We received some feedback that the consent form feels like a lot of individual information about your child (name, address, birthday, race, and ethnicity) is being collected. The information collected by Project Beacon is the required information for individual diagnostic testing. The only time it is utilized is if your child needs an individual diagnostic test as a follow-up to the pool test (should your child be in a positive pool). It is the same information that is collected at a Stop the Spread site or doctor’s office. The platform is a non-profit and the information is protected and never sold. The only time it is shared is with the Department of Public Health as required by COVID testing guidelines in the event of an individual test, but they collect it to ensure that should this happen, they are able to meet the requirements. Please reach out to or if you have any additional questions or concerns.

  • Any one in your family can get a free individual diagnostic test through the end of the school year through the city’s Stop the Spread testing:

We are still looking to hire part-time help to assist with testing on Thursdays. More details can be found here.

Reminder to keep up the health and safety protocols! We know that as many more people in our schools and our community get vaccinated, there is a feeling that we can let down our guard. This is not the case. We want to remind people that wearing face coverings, staying physically distant, not attending large gatherings unmasked, and washing our hands will help us all stay safe and healthy. The COVID-19 virus is still out there and there has been an uptick in cases throughout the Commonwealth. Please, let’s continue to be vigilant.

Call for Nominations - Teacher Recognition Award

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.

Teachers from the district schools in Marblehead and Salem, Massachusetts, are eligible. Each honoree receives an unrestricted cash award of $500. Anyone—educators, parents, students, citizens—may make a nomination.

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.

More information and the nomination form can be found here for download.

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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.

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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