Salem Public Schools Update

News for our families from Salem Public Schools

A note from Steve Zrike, Superintendent

May 07, 2021

SPS Families,

I want to close this week with a final shoutout to our staff during our week of appreciation. It is important that we continue to recognize the most dedicated staff in the Commonwealth all year long. I know that the greatest gifts to our educators are the simple notes and emails of appreciation they receive from our families and students. These stories are rewarding reminders of the transformative impact that our staff has on the lives of our children. Please keep letting them know the powerful and meaningful influence they have on the life trajectory and developmental growth of your child.

I also want to take a moment to wish all the mothers in the Salem Public Schools’ community a Happy Mothers' Day! We are forever indebted to you for your constant encouragement, enduring support and infinite love. You are the anchor of our families and our community, inspiring us to excel and thrive every day.

Enjoy the weekend,


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 being awarded to... our entire staff.

In a year like no other, and during a week that we are celebrating the contributions of all of our staff, I could not choose just one person to honor. It is all of you collectively who have continuously been celebrating differences, facilitating collaboration, fostering innovation, creating equity and access, growing all students, and upholding high standards, the very tenets of this award. Thank you all for your dedication and hard work.


This week, DESE announced the semi-finalists for Teacher of the Year. We are proud to announce that Marta Garcia, EL teacher at Witchcraft Heights Elementary School was awarded this honor along with 10 other teachers in the state. In recognition, on Wednesday morning Mayor Kim Driscoll, Superintendent Steve Zrike, Principal Leanne Smith, and Director of English Learning and Bilingual Education Rebecca Westlake surprised Marta Garcia in her classroom with flowers and a presentation of the official City of Salem seal.

Marta, we are so proud of you and thrilled you are being recognized for this honor and are so grateful for your dedication to the students and families here in Salem!

FREE covid-19 vaccination clinic next weekend

SPS is excited to announce we have been approved to offer a free COVID vaccination clinic next weekend - Saturday, May 15th from 10am to 2pm at the Saltonstall Auditorium (211 Lafayette)! The clinic will be run by Curative, the state partner who runs the Danvers vaccination site, and the clinic will offer only Pfizer vaccines. Those who participate will be signed up to receive the second dose on Saturday, June 5th at Saltonstall.

The Pfizer vaccine is already approved for everyone ages 16 and over. This is particularly exciting because the FDA is potentially announcing approval of the Pfizer vaccine for children ages 12 and over as early as next week (see this CNN article), in time for the clinic!

Click here to reserve your spot to get your shot on Saturday (, May 15th! At this time, please only reserve a spot for those 16 and over. We will reach back out to invite you to sign up those 12-15 if the approval goes through.

The clinic will be open to the Salem public, including SPS staff and their families, and students who are eligible and do not attend Salem Public Schools. For anyone under age 18, a parent or guardian MUST be present to sign the paperwork at the clinic. All paperwork is filled out on site. Vaccines are available to anyone eligible, and health insurance and ID are not required!

Salem is also excited to be launching a regional vaccination clinic at Salem State University’s O’Keefe Center which will also administer the Pfizer vaccine. If Saltonstall doesn’t work for you, please see this press release from the City.

The vaccine represents a critical step for us to keep our community safe, and we hope that we will have families come to get vaccinated together! We are working on bringing some fun treats and options for those who participate, including snacks and coffee/water while you wait. For further questions about the vaccine, we recommend reaching out to your health care provider. We are excited to help facilitate the process to make it as convenient and easy as possible. We highly encourage all families to consider the vaccine, and we leave the individual decisions up to you, your family, and your doctors.

If you have specific questions, please reach out to or your school nurse.

SY 2021-2022 Calendars are out!

The new approved school calendars are out.

Please note that the first day of school is August 31st for most schools. Carlton's first day is September 2nd.


Our Parent Information Center has returned to pre-COVID hours of operation. The office is open Monday through Wednesday 8-4, Thursday 8-6, and Friday 8-1. Please call 978-740-1225 for an appointment or with any questions.

Staff Appreciation Week

This week we have been celebrating our staff. We have the hardest working staff in all of Massachusetts and while we hope we honor them all year round, we have been giving them special treats this week. From treat baskets, to gift card giveaways and classroom takeovers, to a whole host of Salem businesses who have offered discounts this week and beyond. We are proud of all of our staff every day.

Today is also “School Lunch Hero” Day so let's also celebrate our hard-working food services team.

Summer Programming

If you tuned into the School Committee meeting this week, you were able to get a look at what we are doing for summer programming. Not only do we have camps running at our schools to build on social-emotional health, build academic strength, and strengthen relationships, but there are community partner organizations offering camp sessions as well. We have programs for our youngest students, English learners, a free CTE camp for 7th and 8th-grade students, and camps to support our high school students. All grade levels have something to offer.

If you are interested in finding out more about what might be available for your child, please contact the City Connects coordinator or school counselor in your school to find out more.

Bus Transportation for the 2021-2022 School Year

Applications for bus transportation for the 2021-2022 school year will be going 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.

Big picture


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


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

Information about Summer Camp with the Boys and Girls Club

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