Salem Public Schools Update

News for our families

Superintendent's Message

December 10, 2021

Salem Families,

In the last few weeks, the Salem Public Schools community has experienced the loss of several students’ parents. These are tragic and untimely events for the impacted students, their friends and our staff. We know that many in our community are hurting and processing multiple emotions. As a school district, we are fortunate to have personnel dedicated to assisting our students and faculty during these difficult times. Please reach out to your child's principal or school counselor if you would like support or have additional questions.

We appreciate the outpouring of love from the entire SPS family during this difficult time. It is a strong reminder of the power of this community to unite in support of those in need. We appreciate your selfless commitment and generosity to each other as we celebrate the spirit of the holiday season.



Cone of Excellence

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 Cole Silva, New Liberty Instructional Paraprofessional. He has gone above and beyond in his support of students and staff since joining the school in June 2021. This fall, he was asked to be a co-advisor where he helps organize and prepare daily check-ins and administrative tasks with the students each day. Cole is studying to become an ML (multilingual learner) teacher and actively supports the humanities teaching team in class. He has built excellent relationships with students and is always flexible and happy to help in any way he can!

Vaccine Clinic for Ages 5-11 on Saturday, December 11th

Thank you for your patience and support as we work to provide access to the vaccine.

At this time, we have one more opportunity for the children's vaccine (ages 5-11) - This clinic is a "second dose" clinic for children (ages 5-11) only. No matter where children received their first dose, they can come to this clinic to get a second dose. The clinic is scheduled for this Saturday, 12/11, at Saltonstall Auditorium (211 Lafayette St.) from 10am-5pm. Here is the link to make an appointment, or families can walk-up:

If your child received their first dose through SPS at Saltonstall on Saturday, 11/20, then no further steps are necessary to register. You should automatically have a second dose appointment and we will see you Saturday!

If you are looking for a first dose for a child (ages 5-11), you can try walking up to the clinic from 11am-5pm, but we cannot guarantee a dose will be available. In addition, families will be on their own to find a second dose as this clinic will not have a follow-up.

Unfortunately, we do not have any more adult or booster doses for the community at this time. We know that it has become more difficult to schedule and are working with our partners, but we do not anticipate getting access to more booster doses before the holidays as of right now.

If you are still interested in access to the vaccine through Salem Public Schools and we have not yet been able to support you, please complete this short form so we know to reach out to you:

Northeast Conference Post-Season Awards - GO WITCHES!

The Northeast Conference (NEC) has announced their postseason awards and our Salem Witches are well represented! Congratulations to our five players who earned All-Conference: Jariel Del Valle, Michael Ready, Donta Roper, JeanDavis Cardenas, and Cory Grimes and our 2 players who earned All-Star status: Quinn Ryan, Alex Paulino and a BIG congratulations to our head coach Matt Bouchard for winning Coach of the Year!

Collins Middle School "Mathletes"

On any given Thursday afternoon, scholars at CMS participate in the Intermediate Math League of Eastern Massachusetts (IMLEM) practices and competitions. These mathletes solve problems in the category of Mystery, Geometry, Number Theory, Arithmetic, and Algebra that move beyond classroom instruction. But, it is because of the classroom instruction from CMS math teachers that these mathletes do compete!

Recently, CMS participated in their second meet of the season. Over 20 students arrived and formed two teams of 10 scholars with others acting as alternates. CMS is in the North Shore Cluster which includes Marblehead and Swampscott. CMS Blue took second place with a score of 90 points to Marblehead's 155. Swampscott placed third with a score of 86 points.

CMS also had two first place individual finishers within the entire cluster. Ivy Gillis took first place for the 6th graders and Justin Gambone took first place for 7th graders. Ray Nguyen took third place for the 8th graders. Congratulations to our CMS Mathletes!

Understanding K-8 report cards

Last year, Salem Public Schools undertook a project to refine our K-8 report card with the goal of improving its clarity as a tool for communicating student progress. We formed a working group of educators from across the district and consulted with our teacher, parent, and School Committee advisory groups to assist us with narrowing in on what changes made sense.
This year's K-8 report card incorporates these changes.

As report cards and conferences rollout this week, we are sharing this brief two-page explanation of some of the enhancements you should see on the K-8 report card. We hope these modifications will help students and parents/guardians access and monitor progress throughout the year.

Should you have any questions, please connect with your child's teacher or building principal who can help clarify either during conferences or at a later time.

Designing a new logo

Salem Public Schools has always relied on the City seal to represent the district, and currently uses a logo that was created for Destination Salem. It is long overdue for us to establish a unique identity that unites our 11 school communities.

During our core values work, we were able to introduce a set of themes that came directly from our community that offered inspiration to our designer for how we wanted our branding choices to feel. Using the input from the community, our design partner, Sperling Interactive, narrowed the prospective logo choices down to four.

Now we'd like to hear what YOU think. Community input will run through Friday, December 17th.

We will bring these community insights to the School Committee retreat in January where we will continue to refine our logo and a corresponding tagline for the Salem Public Schools. We look forward to seeing what the community thinks about these proposed options!


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. We do not have the option of remote instruction in the event of a closure.
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Salem Children's Charity - Needs Your Help!

On behalf of the Salem Children's Charity group, we would like to remind you of the annual Salem Children's Charity Auction on Tuesday, December 14 at 6 PM at the Hawthorne Hotel. It is by far one of the highlights of the season with a chance to catch up with friends and share some cheer. It is also the largest fundraiser for this organization that does so much for our Salem children. To make this event a success, we rely on item donations for our auction, and remain hopeful that we can count on something from the community to add to the list of items. Please contact to donate any auction items before 12-14-21.
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Saturday, Dec. 11th, 10am-3pm

77 Willson Street

Salem, MA

Schedule a meeting with Superintendent Zrike

Dr. Zrike would love the opportunity to meet with any SPS staff or SPS family who would like to do so. It could be in a park, a coffee shop, your home, or anywhere else.

If you would like to schedule some time with Dr. Zrike, please email Mindy Marino to set up a time and place.

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.
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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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