Salem Public Schools Weekly Update
for School Year 2022-2023
A Note From the Superintendent
December 23, 2022
I want to wish you and your family the happiest and healthiest of the holiday seasons. Enjoy the opportunity to spend quality time with your family, friends and loved ones. Savor the moments to be together without the hustle and distractions that every day life presents. We look forward to seeing your amazing children return to school on Monday, January 9th (Carlton returns on January 3rd).
As the year closes, I am thrilled about Wednesday's news that we were accepted to the Massachusetts School Building Authority's construction program for a new facility at the Salem High School site. It is a once in a generation opportunity to match our community's educational goals and philosophy to a state of the art facility. We will need your ideas and thoughts as we examine grade configuration, 21st instructional program design and our values as an educational community. These are exciting times for Salem Public Schools! Looking forward to the year ahead!
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.
The final rockstar awards for the calendar year go to Bentley Academy Innovation School Kindergarten teachers Janet Garcia and Nayelis Carmona. If you're looking for high-quality, grade-level instruction, along with a healthy dose of hugs, look no further than the Dual Language kindergarten at Bentley! Janet Garcia and Nayelis Carmona have struck the balance between high academic expectations and love, care, and joy. These two teachers engage students in instruction that builds on their strengths as emergent bilinguals, create a calm learning environment, and redirect with kindness. Congratulations!
Great News for Salem Public Schools
We want to share some exciting news that will impact future generations of Salem Public Schools. Tomorrow, Wednesday, December 21st, 2022, the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) is recommending that the City of Salem be invited into the Eligibility Period for a new facility at the Salem High School site. We expect the MSBA Board to vote to accept this recommendation which will launch Salem into a comprehensive planning process for school construction over the next five to seven years. This anticipated support of the MSBA will provide the City of Salem with reimbursement for many costs associated with this project.
Salem has long advocated for this critical capital project, and now, as we look to advance our current school facilities master plan, it is imperative that this project takes place. The Salem community, including our teachers, staff, students, and their families, have long contended with a building that has neither met their needs nor offered the best possible learning environment.
This new facility presents a tremendous opportunity for us to unite as a community to design learning spaces that match our educational goals. We will engage in citywide conversations about grade configurations, instructional philosophy, and 21st-century learning. There will be multiple ways that students, staff, families, and elected officials can be involved. Please stay tuned!
DESE Letter About Vaccinations
Dear Parents and Guardians:
On December 9, 2022, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) expanded the use of updated (bivalent) COVID-19 vaccines for children ages 6 months through 5 years. Now virtually all children across the Commonwealth are eligible to get the updated vaccine.
The Department of Public Health and the Massachusetts Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics remind you to have your child vaccinated, especially in advance of upcoming holidays. The COVID-19 vaccine has been shown to be safe and effective in protecting against serious illness, hospitalization, and death.
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) is also alerting residents that flu activity is much higher than usual for this time of year – in the Commonwealth and nationally – and urging residents of all ages to also get vaccinated against influenza. DPH and AAP remind you that COVID and flu shots may be given in the same visit.
While families may feel most comfortable getting their youngest children vaccinated by their primary care provider, please note that some retail pharmacies are also able to vaccinate children ages 3 and older. More information is available at www.mass.gov/CovidVaccineyoungkids.
As a reminder: the COVID vaccine is safe, free for all, and no ID or insurance is needed to be vaccinated. Getting your family vaccinated against COVID and flu is the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones.
We appreciate your help to keep our communities safe and healthy.
Margret R. Cooke, Commissioner, Massachusetts Department of Public Health
Mary Beth Miotto, President, American Academy of Pediatrics - Massachusetts Chapter
Jeffrey C. Riley, Commissioner, Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
The SPS IT Department has been authorized by the School Committee to recycle some outdated and non-working technology. If anyone in the community is interested in any of the following items in as-is condition, please email Marc LeBlanc (email@example.com). These items will be recycled after December 29th.
- iMacs (2012 or earlier)
- Projectors (non-functional)
- Chromebooks (non-working with parts removed)
- Laserjet printers (non-working)
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.