Salem Returns Update

News for our families from Salem Public Schools

A note from Steve Zrike, Superintendent


Dear Families,

I hope you are enjoying this mid-October weather and are taking advantage of it by spending time outside.

This past Tuesday evening, I presented a plan to return more students to in-person schooling at our school committee meeting. This includes a return to school for our youngest students, grades PreK-2, and a hybrid model for grade 6 at Collins Middle School. I also explained that we are in the process of evaluating our capacity to bring back our 3rd graders to full in-person schooling and are examining our options for 9th grade and High School Career Vocational-Technical Education (CVTE) students. We sent detailed information about this proposed plan in an email. We will be providing more information and presenting more finalized plans at the School Committee meeting this Monday If you have questions or feedback, please contact us at

Additionally, I wanted to share that The Department of Education (DESE) has released new guidance on the MCAS tests for this year. The full document is available here as well as the winter schedule for high schools. I know it is a lot of information, please be in touch with your student’s high school advisor if you have any questions.

Finally, I wanted to take a moment to recognize the outstanding efforts of our 11 school leaders during National Principal Month. They are dedicated, student-centered educators who are all in for the city of Salem. Please take a moment to drop them a line for their outstanding leadership!

As always, I thank you for your support and your flexibility,


October is Bully Prevention Month

It can be hard to distinguish between teasing, mean spirited behavior, and bullying behavior. In SPS, we want all students to feel welcome and safe, so we use this family friendly explanation to determine if a behavior is bullying.

When someone says or does something unintentionally hurtful and they do it once… That may be considered DISRESPECTFUL.

When someone says or does something intentionally hurtful and they do it once…. That is DISRESPECTFUL.

When someone says or does something verbally, physically, or written/electronically that intentionally hurts someone and the person who bullies continues the behavior even when told to stop, or is shown that the person being targeted is upset. And the person showing bullying behavior is like to feel stronger and want to have power over other people…That is BULLYING.

Here is a link to where a variety of resources can be found to help recognize and prevent bullying behavior.

October is also Fire Prevention Month

According to National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) the theme of Fire Prevention Week 2020 is “Serve Up Fire Safety in the Kitchen.” Cooking is the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries in the U.S. Use October to educate yourself on cooking hazards, the dangers of unattended cooking, and precautions to take to prevent cooking-related fires. Here is a link to find out more about kitchen fire prevention through NVFC.

Salem High School Satellite office

SHS has started a satellite office at 135 Lafayette Street. These off-site office hours were created to allow better access for our students and families to high school resources and will be staffed by rotating administrators and staff who attend “office hours” beginning the week of October 19th.

The SHS Family and Community Engagement Team will pilot weekly office hours at 135 Lafayette street for 3 weeks, beginning October 19th, 2020, where they will offer both afternoon and evening hours for students and families.

This location can be used as a:

  • Drop-in center
  • Community access to School leadership
  • Parent and family center for help and information
  • Internet hotspot

Please sign up for an appointment here:

The hours will be from 10-4 on Tuesdays and eventually from 6-8 in the evening on Thursdays. For more information please email Shamus Mruk, Juan Encarnacion, or Meredith Flanigan.

Student Advisory Health and Wellness webinar

The Student Advisory Council for Salem Public Schools invites grade 6-12 students to a town hall/webinar forum next Wednesday, Oct. 21st from 5-6 pm to discuss student health and wellness during the pandemic.

We will be joined by medical and mental health professionals who will answer questions and address concerns that students might have during these incredibly uncertain times. Under the leadership of our School Committee student representative, Duncan Mayer, we want to provide our students with an opportunity to get information from local health experts that is directed to their specific needs. Parents can certainly join, but we are hoping that the questions can come from students.

Please click the link below to join the webinar:

Fall Sports at Salem High School

This Fall Season is off to a great start. Cross Country, Golf, and Boys & Girls Soccer are all working hard in practice and competing at a level that will make the Salem Community proud.

All student-athletes must register online to be eligible to participate in sports. The online registration site is

Practice and game schedules can be found here.

Any questions regarding registration please contact: Scott Connolly Athletic Director

My Pride in hispanic heritage: by School Committee Member Ana Nuncio

My pride in my Hispanic heritage stems from my ancestors' determination to defy boundaries and categories in every corner of the globe. I derive great strength from their willingness to move away from conditions that made life difficult, and their readiness to give up everything in search of a better place to live.

In addition to my southern European heritage (56.8%, derived mainly from Spain, Portugal and Sardinia), I am 36.8% indigenous, with Mesoamerican and Andean ancestors in Central and South America. So being Hispanic means I proudly carry a wide range of ethnicities and cultures within me, and that the impulse to be on the move is encoded in my DNA.

Ana Nuncio was born in Mexico and raised and educated in Puerto Rico and Chicago. After a long career in educational publishing, culminating as Executive Editor of Bilingual Programs at Houghton Mifflin, she served as Manager of Community Partnerships at The House of the Seven Gables until 2018, coordinating educational and settlement programming and services for Salem’s underserved youth. She has lived in Salem for 20 years and is a member of the Salem School Committee.

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CVS Flu Clinics at Schools

A reminder about the ongoing flu clinics:

Families do not need to go to their "home" school for a vaccine. However, they must have the necessary paperwork complete with insurance information. Those forms can be found here. Vaccines will be administered by MA state licensed CVS pharmacists on a first-come, first-served basis. Masks and physical distancing are mandatory. Clinics will be held outdoors wherever possible. For remote learners, only one parent/guardian per child, please.

Questions can be directed to school nurses or Charlene Moske-Weber 978-265-4059.

Flu clinic schedule:

10/17/20 Collins Middle School 9:00-12:00

10/19/20 Witchcraft Heights 9:00-12:00

10/20/20 Saltonstall and Bentley 3:15-6:15

10/21/20 Collins Middle School 9:00-12:00

10/22/20 Early Childhood Center (ECC) 9:00-11:00 (held at Bates)

10/27/20 Salem Prep/New Liberty by appointment at Essex St. CVS (please contact the school nurse to schedule)

Connecting with Superintendent Zrike

Are you looking for a one-on-one meeting with Superintendent Zrike?

Dr. Zrike will be holding one-on-one meetings outside, distanced, and with face coverings at Salem Common by appointment on Friday's between 7:30 am-10:00 am.

Please send an email to to set up your appointment.

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Celebrating National Principal's Month!

Our principals have been there when we needed them the most, and now we have a chance to celebrate them.

October is National Principal's Month, We want to hear your best principal stories! Send photos, drawings, stories, and more to

Use your voice to honor, thank, and advocate for all our principals during National Principals Month! #ThankAPrincipal

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