Salem Public Schools Update

News for our families

Superintendent's Message

May 13, 2022

SPS Families,

Below in this newsletter, you will find the student start and end times for the upcoming school year. These times will also be posted on our website. Most schools have a similar schedule as the current year with some exceptions. In an effort to allow for more time for buses to travel between schools, we shifted some schedules so that we could more effectively tier routes. This will help ensure that students arrive at school and at home in a more timely manner even on days when delays such as weather, construction, and traffic pose a challenge. Additionally, at Bentley, we reduced the student day to 7 hours based on community feedback. We are still finalizing the Collins times as we are awaiting more information from the state funding that supports the extended day at Collins. We will have information about the Collins schedule next week.

Unfortunately, COVID cases across the state, city, and schools have recently increased. We are monitoring these numbers closely, especially with all the upcoming end of the year of events. We will keep you posted if any of our guidance or policies change. Currently, we are strongly encouraging students and staff to wear masks especially when gathered closely in groups, meetings, etc. As a reminder, high-quality masks are available in all school offices for our students and staff to use.

Thank you for your continued support and flexibility as we navigate the last month of the school year. Enjoy the warm weather weekend,


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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 our Chief of Public Relations, Liz Polay-Wettengel. Today is School Communicator Day and so it is fitting that we recognize the person that is the "glue" of a community. Over the last two years, she has done an extraordinary job of keeping us connected as a community. She provides timely, accurate, and detailed information on the happenings across SPS. She is always optimistic and finds great joy in celebrating the strengths and talents of our students and staff. Finally, she has played an instrumental role in advocating for and supporting programs that promote equity and inclusivity such as our Holocaust Symposium with the Lappin Foundation and the LQBTQ+ training with the Department of Education Safe Schools Program.

Carlton Innovation School wins the prestigious pozen prize

On Monday, the Boston Foundation and the selection committee for the Pozen Prize for Innovative Schools announced the winner in the 2022 prize competition. We are proud to let you know that Carlton Innovation School is the winner of this prestigious prize.

In principal Bethann Jellison’s remarks on Monday, she said "We believe at Carlton that all students can do anything they put their minds to, if we give them what they need. We know that our students are amazing and they deserve to be taught where they are. By providing the support and commitment to individual students daily, we see their confidence growing, students taking responsibility for their learning and lifelong learners emerging. We hope that by winning the Pozen Prize that other schools can learn from our hard work." We thank Ms. Jellison, the Carlton staff and students - the entire Carlton community.

The Carlton team led by Principal Jellison should be proud of their transformative and innovative efforts to grow a school model that is tailored to the individualized needs of students. We applaud Carlton for creating a school community that celebrates and honors that each student learns and develops at a unique pace.

Congratulations to Carlton Innovation School!

Transportation Registration for the 2022-2023 school year is open

It is that time of year to apply for bus transportation for the next school year. Links for registration with step-by-step instructions can be found on our website. If you have more than one child in the Salem Public Schools, a separate application must be submitted for each student unless you received a notification stating that your student is a current mandatory rider and was automatically enrolled for transportation for the 2022-23 school year. That student does not have to reapply. Depending on the grades and schools of your children, one may be eligible for transportation while the other may not. Please note that applications for bus transportation must be received by July 1, 2022, to be considered for bus transportation. Applications received after that date will no longer be accepted.

Massachusetts General Law Chapter 71 Section 68 requires that transportation be provided for students at no fee in grades K-6 who live more than two miles from the school which they are entitled to attend. Pursuant to Salem School Committee Policy 3601, transportation must be provided to students as per the following:

Pre-K: Not eligible

Grades K-2: Students who live 1 mile or more from school

Grades 3-5: Students who live 1.5 miles or more from school

Grade 6-12: Students who live 2 miles or more from school

**These students are considered mandatory riders

If there is excess bus capacity after routing mandatory riders, remaining seats will only be provided to:

Grades 3-6: Students who live between 1 and 1.5 miles from school

Grades 7-12: Students who live over 1.5 but less than 2 miles from school

**These students are considered non-mandatory riders

Non-mandatory riders will be assigned on a priority basis as outlined in our transportation policy: 3601 Student Transportation Services using the following criteria:

  • Economic status

  • Walkable route access

  • Younger sibling ridership

Non-mandatory applicants will be placed into the following tiers:

Tier One: Applicants meet all three of the non-mandatory rider request criteria.

Tier Two: Applicants meet two of the three non-mandatory rider request criteria.

Tier Three: Applicants meet one of the three non-mandatory rider request criteria.

Given that there is excess capacity, non-mandatory applicants in Tier One will be assigned first, then Tier 2, and lastly Tier 3. In the event that there aren't enough seats to assign all students within a tier, students will be prioritized by distance.

Any student who lives closer than 1 mile (1.0) from the school they attend is not eligible for transportation.

Busing will be provided to special education students who require it as part of their individualized education plan (IEP).

There is no longer a fee for transportation services for the 2022-23 school year. A completed application must be submitted by Friday, July 1, 2022, for any student who wasn’t automatically enrolled and wishes to ride a school bus. Applications received or incomplete after July 1, 2022, will no longer be accepted to allow proper time for processing and routing.

If you have any questions, please call the Salem Public Schools Transportation Office at (978) 740-1240.

Updated 2022-2023 budget is available

The revised recommended budget to submit to the School Committee is now available to view.

Advice for the Class of 2022

Dear Seniors 2022

COVID-19 Update

As you may know, we are seeing an increase in COVID cases once again across the State of Massachusetts and here in Salem. Essex County is in the “medium” category on the CDC rating, but Salem’s case rates and wastewater data show the virus on the rise.

This increase is impacting our schools. While cases generally continue to be mild, positive cases disrupt learning and require both students and staff to remain home. As a result, we are reminding all students and staff of the option to wear a mask to protect themselves and our community. N95 and KN95 masks are more effective than surgical and cloth masks and are still available at our schools. At this time, this remains only a recommendation.

We continue to be in close touch with the Board of Health and to leverage our key mitigation strategies. In addition to the encouragement to wear masks, please review the below set of reminders with your households, as this continues to be a collective effort to keep our community as safe as possible:
  • Daily Symptom Checks: If you are symptomatic (and it is not allergies), please stay home. This is one of the most important layers of defense we have against spread.
  • Good Ventilation: Windows should be open and HEPA filters should be on to maximize air circulation in buildings.
  • Weekly COVID Checks: Rapid test at home on Sunday or Monday before returning to school, and pool test with your school (usually Tuesday or Wednesday). If you do not currently participate in testing and would like to join, go here to sign up:
  • Outdoor Meals: With the weather improving, this is a reminder, both at school and in our community, to take advantage of outdoor spaces for gathering and meals.
  • Strong Health & Hygiene: Continue to wash your hands frequently!

If students or staff are positive, please review our updated Test-to-Return guidance here. The City of Salem has provided additional rapid tests for the schools to use. If students or staff need more tests, please contact the front office of your school and we will work to make them available for you. Rapid tests are also available from the City of Salem at the City Hall Annex; full details on Salem’s testing are available here.

If you have questions about the COVID-19 virus, please reach out to your school nurse or our Director of Nursing & Health, Dr. Charlene Moske-Weber ( For questions about testing or protocols, please contact our Chief of Opportunity & Response, Chelsea Banks (

Salem Scholarship and Education Fund Logo Contest

The Salem Scholarship and Education Committee needs a new logo to use in future fundraising and publication materials. Since students and educators are often the beneficiaries of this fund, the committee thought it would be exciting to utilize the creativity we have within our schools to create a contest for Salem students to design the logo for the Fund.

The contest begins on May 10, 2022. Submissions will be accepted through June 10, 2022. The winner will be announced following the Committee's June 13th meeting.


  1. All entries must be submitted by email directly to Lynne Mullen at, for consideration and review as an official entry of the contest.
  2. Entries must be submitted as a high-resolution scan of an original work of art or in a high-resolution digital format (.jpg, .pdf, .psd)
  3. The logo must include "Salem Scholarship and Education Fund" in the design
  4. There is no fee to enter the contest.

We look forward to seeing the great art that will be submitted by our talented students.

More information on the Fund can be found at

Save the date! pride parade

The Salem Public Schools will be marching in the North Shore 2022 Pride Parade that takes place here in Salem on Saturday, June 25, 2002. We invite students, staff, and families to join us as we march to celebrate our LGBTQ+ youth, as well as their families and our staff.

We would love to show all of the North Shore and beyond that, we SUPPORT and CELEBRATE our community. In addition to marching, SPS will have a booth on the Common with giveaways and information. We could use your help in making all of this happen. If you'd like to volunteer to help out or simply want to march with us. Please fill out this form. Please note that it is not required to sign up to march, you can just show up prior to 11:45 am and join us as we set up at Shetland Park, we just want to get a sense of how many will join us.

Have questions? Send them to

For more information on the parade, please visit the North Shore Pride website.


Programming will take place between July 5th and August 4th. There are many different programming opportunities that include Special Education, Summer Academy including one specifically for multilingual students for grades PreK-K; Expanding Horizons and tutoring for 6-8 graders; and Not Yet Academy and summer work at the Community Office programs for 9-12 grades.

For more information about summer programs, contact your City Connects Coordinator (K-8) or Guidance Counselor (high school).

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Don’t forget about the STU scholarship fundraiser!

Salem Teachers Union is awarding four (4) $1000 scholarships to SPS seniors. Tickets are $10 each. We are accepting Venmo (@STUEvents), cash or checks ( For Venmo payments, please include your name, email and phone number. Upon request, we will text you a picture of your entry! Great prizes, and if you win, your ticket goes back in for another chance!

No Venmo? No problem! You can mail your check to Salem Teachers Union, 10 Colonial Road, Suite 12, Salem, MA 01970. Include your email address or phone number and we will send you a pic of your entry form!


Cafeteria Helpers $16.16/Hour, 3, 4 and 6 hour shifts

Minimum Qualifications:

High School Diploma (or equivalent)

Ability to lift a minimum of 30 pounds

Enjoy working with children

Good organizational and communication skills

Sense of pride in serving healthy, nutritious meals

How to Apply

Visit or call 978-740-1230

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.

Head Start flyer

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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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