Salem Public Schools Weekly Newsletter

Posted on: December 9, 2022

Salem Public Schools Weekly Update

Salem Public Schools Weekly Update for School Year 2022-2023 ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ 
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Salem Public Schools Weekly Update
A Note From the Superintendent

December 9, 2022

SPS caregivers,

We are looking for input on our school calendars for the upcoming school year. As you may know, SPS has different calendars for high schools and innovation schools. Each year, the superintendent makes a recommendation to the School Committee at the end of January or the beginning of February. The Committee reviews the recommendation and ultimately votes to accept the calendars or a version of the calendars presented. I know that our families and staff have many thoughts about the optimal school schedule, and I am interested in hearing your perspective on what currently works and what changes you might want to see moving forward. As a reminder, we are required to have 180 days of school, and we must observe any state or federal holiday. As always, we are appreciative of your input and will be sure to consider it as we make an initial recommendation to the School Committee. Please use this form to share your comments.

Enjoy your weekend. I hear that some snow flurries may be on the way!


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 is Romario Berneche, Collins Middle School Restorative Justice Coordinator. In his first year at Collins, Mr. Berneche has quickly become a go-to person for students and staff. As the Restorative Justice Coordinator, he is continuously helping students resolve conflicts, facilitating community circles in classrooms, providing staff with guidance and feedback, and highly visible throughout Collins to help support the school.

We appreciate the positive energy, calm approach, and optimistic attitude that Mr. Berneche brings to Collins every day and he continues to a be a rockstar, difference-maker at the school! Thank you Mr. Berneche for all you do!

City to Celebrate Hanukkah Celebration

The City of Salem will hold two public celebrations of the Hanukkah season on Dec. 21 and Dec. 24, with the lighting of the menorah as well as traditional holiday latkes and sufganiyot. The entire North Shore community is invited to both events. The first event will be on Dec. 21 at noon at Lappin Park at the intersection of Essex and Washington streets. The second event will take place on Dec. 24 at 6:30 p.m. at the same location.

Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll and Rabbi Yossi Lipsker of the Chabad of the North Shore will host the 10th annual event. In the event of poor weather, the lighting will be moved inside the City Hall Annex Offices at 98 Washington Street.

Salem Education Foundation Funds 18 Grants for Schools

Salem Education Foundation has awarded almost $25,000 in 18 grants to local teachers for creative projects that will benefit over 2200 Salem children this year. Sixteen of the grants will go to district teachers and were awarded at the December 5 School Committee meeting.

Grants cover arts, STEM, literacy, social studies and leadership projects, and health and wellness. They range from a scientific study of a simulated disease outbreak to a band performance at Carnegie Hall, from a pottery wheel to a huge Special Olympics across the Salem district that involves 300 children. Last year’s successful kindergarten scavenger hunt that introduced families to almost 50 businesses and institutions across the city will continue for a second year. A partnership with Appleton Farms will introduce 250 fifth graders to farming processes and environmental impacts.

Congratulations to teachers Beth Beaulieu, Megan Bowen, Briana Bain-McNulty, Ben Chertok, Emily

Flaherty, Michelle Flewelling (2), Frank James, Alexandra Kirky, Lori Mendoza, Brenda Perez-Goodrum, Donna Ramsden, Amy Selvaggio, Jennifer Toler, Beth White, Pierce Woodward, Jon Workman, Liz Yoder.

Salem Education Foundation is a non-profit local group run by parents and other citizens. Since its

inception in 1994, SEF has provided approximately one million dollars to Salem schools. For more

information about Salem Education Foundation, go to

Food and Nutrition Update

Hello from Salem Food and Nutrition services! This month as part of the Farm to School Harvest of the month program, our featured Harvest for the month of December is Carrots! Carrots will be featured on our menus throughout this month. Fact sheets about carrots have been distributed throughout our schools to promote learning about the nutritional value of carrots. “Cinnamon Roasted Carrot Fries” will be served as a side on our menu later this month, and here is the recipe we will be using. Try making it at home!

Don’t forget SPS students receive FREE breakfast all year long! For parents with busy schedules, it can be hard to ensure that kids eat a healthy breakfast before they go to school in the morning, but that can leave kids feeling hungry when they arrive at school. That’s where our grab & go breakfast can come in! Grab & go breakfasts are packaged in individual bags for students to take as they enter the school building and are easy-to-eat breakfast foods. 

Studies show that eating breakfast can raise test scores while improving classroom attentiveness and behavior. Each meal served at breakfast in our schools meets government nutritional guidelines and standards. Schools are required to provide a breakfast meal that Includes fruit, whole-grain rich items, and low-fat or fat-free milk. Check your child’s menu to see the variety of nutritious choices available at school breakfast!

Click here to find the dates of all the SPS winter music concerts

I Have a Dream Essay Contest

In celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Salem State University and the Salem Human Rights Coalition are inviting Salem Public School students to participate in an essay writing contest!

Submit your one page essay on Dr. King’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech by Monday, December 19! A winner from elementary, middle school, and high school will be notified and invited to the SSU annual MLK convocation and luncheon with the (to be announced) keynote speaker on January 23, 2023.

Interested in visiting our sister city, Ota Japan?

Please see the letter and informational flier here for details on this exciting opportunity.


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.

Salem’s Own Toys for Tots 

The MCJROTC cadets are hosting a Toys 4 Tots drive to provide gifts for Salem families in need this Christmas. There are donation boxes located by the SHS main entrance, as one at the SHS JROTC Command Post, and the main entrances at Collins Middle School and Witchcraft Heights Elementary School. Any new, unwrapped toys (for newborns up to age 12) would be greatly appreciated. Help get these kids in need something to open Christmas morning. Please get the word out so we can make this toy drive a success!

This toy drive will end December 19th. If any family would like this support, please contact your student’s school with a total number of children, ages and gender.

kids with backpacks

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.

Salem Little League Registration

Liga pequeña de Salem Inscripción Primavera 2023

QR codes for ParentSquare

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 for more information.

Find tech support for Chromebooks, Aspen, ParentSquare and more

click here

Salem Public Schools

Where Belonging Leads to Opportunity

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29 Highland Ave.

Salem, MA 01970