Salem Public Schools Weekly Update
for School Year 2022-2023
A Note From the Superintendent
March 3, 2023
The middle school years are a time of tremendous opportunity for adolescents to find their voice, form meaningful relationships, and develop interests, knowledge and skills. Over the last two years, I have received significant feedback from staff, students and families that we must work to enhance the middle school experience across the Salem Public Schools. We have seen that the pandemic has fueled tremendous anxiety, depression and isolation among our students, but particularly those in grades 5-8. We see students struggling with academics, attendance and self-regulation. As students have returned to school full-time, there is a level of disengagement and apathy towards school that is concerning and requires a call to action. At the start of the school year, we launched an 8th grade middle school pilot to explore new and different approaches to middle school teaching and learning. Parents had the opportunity to opt into this opportunity for their child and we are learning a great deal about creating a more student centered, relevant and hands-on learning experience for our students.
In response to these observations, Salem Public Schools is exploring the purpose of middle school in these changing and challenging times. We have launched a deliberate, fast-paced, and inclusive process to articulate a “Portrait of a Middle Schooler” with as many voices and perspectives as possible to help set the vision (and pathway forward) for middle school in the Salem Public Schools. To this end, we have established:
A Reimagining Middle School Task Force: An intentionally diverse, representative, and inclusive team that will share leadership in designing and conducting an inclusive process to set the vision for middle school. Led by Chelsea Banks from the Salem Public Schools and our partners from WPS (Winthrop Park School, a small, Massachusetts-based non-profit), this group is responsible for the design, engagement, and synthesis of the process. With bi-weekly check-ins and pulling in team members for consultation and help as needed, this team is responsible for the success of the work.
An Educator Design Team - a small, nimble group of educators and leaders who will provide input for the vision, participate in shared learning to imagine what is possible, and develop high-level recommendations to help SPS move towards our shared vision over the next 1-3 years.
As part of the work of the task force, there will be two additional ways for the public to participate in this intentional and inclusive engagement. There will be public design sessions to incorporate as broad and inclusive a set of voices as possible. The output of these sessions will then be brought back to the task force to inform the ultimate deliverables. Additionally, we plan to use surveys and input tools to receive feedback at different intervals. Look out for task force members at upcoming community events to share your voice, and reach out to Chelsea (email@example.com) if you would like to share ideas!
Please stay tuned for future opportunities to share your voice at upcoming community events.
Enjoy the weekend,
And the winner is……
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 rockstar award goes to the entire Carlton School staff for their flexibility, professionalism and profound care for students and each other during yesterday's unexpected evacuation. You acted as a cohesive team while remaining calm, positive and consistently sporting a smile. Our students and families are fortunate to be part of such a supportive community! THANK YOU!
Spotlight on Salem Public Schools
Watch the first episode of SATV's Spotlight on Salem Public Schools with Superintendent Zrike here.
SALEM HIGH SCHOOL RECEIVES $327,947.50 GRANT FROM COMMONWEALTH CORPORATION
Salem High School has been awarded $327,947.50 in grants from Commonwealth Corporation's Career Technical Initiative (CTI). The grant is part of the $3,223,710 awarded to various organizations all over Massachusetts in the final “year-end” funding announcement for FY2022. The CTI grants aim to provide training opportunities for young people and adults to address skill gaps in high-demand sectors, such as healthcare, technology, and manufacturing.
Salem High School will use this grant to further expand its career and technical education (CTE) programs and to purchase needed equipment and supporting technologies. This includes expanding courses in automotive technology and building and property maintenance specifically for adult learners who will be able to take advantage of these opportunities in the evenings..
Salem High School will begin CTE training courses for adult learners in July of 2023. If you are interested in learning more about the program, please get in touch with the CTE Adult Learning Program Coordinator, Gabriel Yeager, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Good attendance habits pay off! Attending more school days increases a child's academic success, improves their chances to earn a high school diploma and a college degree, and cultivates good work habits, so they can earn higher pay in their careers. Additionally, regular attendance fosters a classroom community between teachers and children. 80% of success is showing up!
As a district, we are looking to engage the community in our mission to promote positive school attendance. You may receive a phone call from a SPS staff on March 9, 2023 between 6-8pm. We hope to reach as many families as possible and look forward to your input on identifying barriers to school attendance.
Help Our CTE Students Get Real-World Experience
SHS seeks to engage with local businesses and industries to provide opportunities to place high school seniors in positions that allow for real-world experiences that are complementary to their classroom education.
You can help create opportunities for our students to grow their careers and leadership capabilities within the community via work-based experience. We are seeking your partnership in placing at least one or more qualified students in your organization. You will have the opportunity to interview our qualified students as well as review their resumes and other pertinent information.
If you are unable to employ students, we would still like to partner for potential job shadowing opportunities, site visits, and classroom presentations. To learn more about work-based experiences, please contact Mario Sousa at email@example.com
Bates Principal Named
We're pleased to share that Mrs. Susan Faria-Smith has been appointed as the principal of Bates Elementary School, effective July 1st.
Mrs. Faria-Smith has served as the assistant principal at Bates for almost two years as part of a distinguished, twenty-three-year career as a public school educator. Before coming to Bates, Mrs. Faria-Smith was the science coach at Horace Mann in Salem for four years and, before that, was a STEM specialist and fourth-grade teacher in the Beverly Public Schools. Mrs. Faria-Smith holds a BSBA in marketing from Merrimack College, a Masters in elementary education from Lesley University and Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies in Educational Leadership from Salem State University. Mrs. Faria-Smith is a proud mother of two who enjoys cheering her children on at their many extracurricular activities.
Mrs. Faria-Smith is proud to be the first female principal in the school’s history. She is excited to deepen connections with the students, staff, and families that make Bates a special school. Mrs. Faria-Smith is a fluent Portuguese speaker with a strong instructional lens and a deep commitment to ensuring that students and families feel connected to their learning community. These talents and skills will serve her well in her new role.
With this announcement being made well in advance of the end of the school year, there will be ample time for Mrs. Faria-Smith and Mr. Softic to work closely together to ensure a smooth leadership transition. I am grateful to all who participated in the interview and search process for our new leader. Congratulations to Mrs. Faria-Smith on her new appointment!
Salem Public Schools Celebrates National School Breakfast Week
During National School Breakfast Week (March 6-10), schools will offer special breakfast menus, activities, and raffles! Every day a student participates in school breakfast they will be entered in a weekly raffle to win a variety of prizes (ranging from school t-shirts/sweatpants, squishmallows, school supplies and stress toys). The more days a student participates in school breakfast the more entries they will receive: students that eat breakfast more often will be more likely to win a prize! Raffles will take place on Fridays.
In addition, a new breakfast item will be launched on March 8th: a delicious sweet- glazed pull-apart pastry! This pastry follows USDA Child Nutrition Program specifications: made in the USA in a peanut- and tree-nut free facility, the pull-apart pastry is 240 calories and contains a minimum of 2 grams of fiber & 4 grams of protein. Importantly, total sugars do not exceed 8g per serving. We are looking forward to the launch of this item and know the students will love it.
To culminate School Breakfast Week on March 10, a celebration will be held in the Salem High School 1st floor cafeteria at 7:15am during breakfast time, co-hosted with Project Bread. Freebies such as pencil cases, highlighters, stickers and bookmarks will also be given to students attending breakfast on the 10th.
Lastly we will be running a district wide contest next week for National School Breakfast Week. Throughout the week, we will track the percentage of students taking breakfast each morning. The school with the highest average participation throughout the week will have to have the principals & teachers wear a silly hat on the following Friday 3/17.
The NSBW campaign theme, “DIG IN to School Breakfast,” reminds the entire school community that healthy school breakfast provides an energizing start to the day for students. Busy weekday mornings make it a challenge for many families to find time for a healthy breakfast. To ensure that students are fueled for learning every school day, Salem Public Schools serves daily nutritious breakfasts as grab & go meals, breakfast in the classroom and classic breakfast is served in school cafeterias. All Breakfast that are served are complete with fruit and low-fat or fat-free milk. Breakfast is served throughout Salem Public Schools at the following times:
7:30am at Salem High School, Horace Mann, Bentley and Bates.
7:40am and again at 8:00am at Collins
8:00am at Saltonstall
8:15am at witchcraft
Carlton serves breakfast in the classroom at the start of the school day
Students, teachers and families can follow along National School Breakfast Week through Salem Food & Nutrition services social media pages @spsfoodandnutrition and the hashtag #NSBW23
Earning While Learning!
Salem 10th-12th graders are invited to apply for KidWind Academy, a week-long summer program (July 23-28) to learn about offshore wind and the career opportunities it offers. The program is free, and students earn $100/day for their participation (total: $500). The program takes place at Mass Maritime Institute; students live in the dorms while taking classes, engaging in hands-on activities, hearing from guest speakers, and taking field trips to wind facilities. Housing, food, transportation all included at no cost to participants. Learn more: www.kidwindacademy.org.
PLEASE CONSIDER HELPING FAMILIES IN OUR COMMUNITY WITH A DONATION
- New and Unopened Diaper Packages Only
- All Sizes Needed: Newborn to Size 6
- Baby Wipes Welcome, too!
Collection Dates: Now - April 30, 2023
Drop-Off Locations: Salem City Hall, Salem City Hall Annex, Salem Public Library
Drop-Off Times: Regular business hours at each building
Help the After-Prom Committee Plan a Fun Night
The After Prom Committee, led by SHS parents, is running a scratch ticket raffle to raise money for a fun and safe post-prom party at In The Game.
Purchase a $20 ticket and you could win big! 1st Prize: $1,000 in scratch tickets, 2nd Prize: $300 in scratch tickets, 3rd prize: $200 in scratch tickets. Venmo @MaryBeth-Costello to purchase tickets or email DonnaFritz44@gmail.com for other payment options. Want to help sell tickets? Email Donna for that too! Thank you for your support!
Salem High School Hall of Fame Committee Members Wanted!
The Salem High School Athletics Department is looking for YOU! Our Athletics department is looking for people to join a Hall of Fame committee to help recognize our athletes, past and present.
The Salem High School Athletic Hall of Fame recognizes:
- Individuals who have demonstrated exceptional skills and talents in a particular sport
- Coaches, teachers and other community members who have made outstanding contributions to individual sports or overall sport programs of Salem High School.
The Salem High Hall of Fame Committee consists of 11 members that establish an ongoing and fair process for the nomination and selection of former Salem High School athletes, coaches, and other Salem School and community members who have made exceptional contributions to the Salem High School athletic program.
To establish a diverse and consistently balanced committee, terms will be staggered as follows: three (3) members will be selected for one-year terms; three members will be selected for two-year terms; and four (4) members will be selected for three-year terms. Terms will expire on June 30th of each year.
Please complete this form if you are interested in serving as a member of the Hall of Fame Committee. If you have any questions, please contact Reilly Christie at 978-265-4044 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
2023-2024 Budget Forum - RESCHEDULED TO MARCH 7 from 7-8:30 p.m.
It's budget season for Salem Public Schools!
Did you miss the in-person budget forum? That's ok, we have a virtual session coming up!
Each year, Salem Public Schools submits a budget to the School Committee and the City Council for approval. We believe that a budget is a reflection of our community's values and that it is important that we hear from families and community members about how we should be thinking about and prioritizing funding for the next school year.
Please join Superintendent Stephen Zrike and Assistant Superintendent for Finance and Operations, Elizabeth Pauley for a conversation about what the budget priorities should be. Join us online on March 7, from 7:00-8:30. Please come with your thoughts about the programs and initiatives that should be prioritized in the year ahead. Please use this form to register to receive the link.
SCHOOL CLOSURES OR DELAYS DUE TO INCLEMENT WEATHER
As winter approaches, we want to remind staff and families to be sure we have current contact information to reach you in the event that we have a cancellation or delay. Notifications will go out through ParentSquare via automated phone call, text, and email. It will also be posted on our website as well as social media and local TV channels. We do not have the option of remote instruction in the event of a closure.
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 our school and teachers communicate with families districtwide. Please be sure you are receiving messages from ParentSquare. If need support downloading the app or receiving messages, please contact your school's front office. You can visit www.parentsquare.com for more information.