Salem Public Schools Weekly Newsletter

Posted on: February 17, 2023

Salem Public Schools Weekly Update

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Salem Public Schools Weekly Update
A Note From the Superintendent

February 17, 2023

SPS families,

We had the opportunity to conduct an after-action reflection following the hoax “swatting” threat that we received earlier this week. We assessed the ways that our response was effective and how it could be improved moving forward. We examined adherence to protocols, coordination with the Salem Police and communication with families. We are grateful for the efforts of our emergency partners, the leadership of our staff and the response of our emergency partners and, above all, the attentiveness of our students. 

In our reflection, we discussed the importance of providing more clarity to families about how we manage school emergencies. While we cannot provide all of our planning details, we think it is essential to share information about aspects of our response and the terms associated with our protocols for staff and students. Further, we thought it would be helpful to offer guidance to families about what they can do to support in the event of an emergency. Please find a newly created School Emergency Guide for Caregivers that will serve to provide more insight into our crisis preparations. We hope you find this information sheet helpfulMoving forward, we will continue to keep you updated about our safety and crisis plans. We appreciate your partnership, thoughtful questions, and ideas as we ensure the well-being and safety of our students and staff.

Finally, I want to invite you to join me in celebrating Dominican Independence Day next Friday, February 24th at 5 pm. There will be a flag raising at Lafayette Park followed by a ceremony in the Saltonstall auditorium. The Salem Public Schools serves many Dominican students and employs many Dominican staff. Dominican culture and pride is strong across our schools and city and next Friday is an important event to celebrate the 179th commemoration of the country’s independence!

I hope that your family enjoys a restful and meaningful February recess,


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 Tatiana Correia, a first year kindergarten teacher at the Saltonstall School. She brings passion, professionalism and high expectations to her students every day. She is incredibly reflective and adjusts her practice to meet the needs of her students. Ms. Correia’s greatest skill is her ability to embed social emotional learning into everything she does. Thank you for being a rockstar!

Congratulations to Dr. Rubén Carmona!

Latinos For Education announced the newly selected 2023 participants for their Latino Board Fellowship. The Fellowship will support and place 10 Latino leaders who work within and outside the education sector in Massachusetts onto governing boards of schools and education nonprofit organizations.

Congratulations to Dr. Rubén Carmona, our Executive Director of Employee, Family and Community Engagement for being selected as part of this seventh cohort!

The Fellows will participate in comprehensive training and a rigorous cultivation process to match each participant with the most appropriate local education organizations and their governing Board of Directors. Training includes a series of virtual seminars that will feature thought-provoking readings and discussions about the state of Latino education, nonprofit governance, and ways to improve diversity and inclusion in the education sector to better serve Latino communities. As a board member, the Fellows will play an important role in addressing educational inequity and influencing better educational outcomes for all children, infusing a critical Latino perspective on Board decisions.

Help the After-Prom Committee Plan a Fun Night

The After Prom Committee, led by SHS parents, is running a scratch ticket raffle to raise money for a fun and safe post-prom party at In The Game.

Purchase a $20 ticket and you could win big! 1st Prize: $1,000 in scratch tickets, 2nd Prize: $300 in scratch tickets, 3rd prize: $200 in scratch tickets. Venmo @MaryBeth-Costello to purchase tickets or email for other payment options. Want to help sell tickets? Email Donna for that too! Thank you for your support!

Salem High School Hall of Fame Committee Members Wanted!

The Salem High School Athletics Department is looking for YOU! Our Athletics department is looking for people to join a Hall of Fame committee to help recognize our athletes, past and present.

The Salem High School Athletic Hall of Fame recognizes:

  • Individuals who have demonstrated exceptional skills and talents in a particular sport
  • Coaches, teachers and other community members who have made outstanding contributions to individual sports or overall sport programs of Salem High School. 

The Salem High Hall of Fame Committee consists of 11 members that establish an ongoing and fair process for the nomination and selection of former Salem High School athletes, coaches, and other Salem School and community members who have made exceptional contributions to the Salem High School athletic program.

To establish a diverse and consistently balanced committee, terms will be staggered as follows: three (3) members will be selected for one-year terms; three members will be selected for two-year terms; and four (4) members will be selected for three-year terms. Terms will expire on June 30th of each year.

Please complete this form if you are interested in serving as a member of the Hall of Fame Committee. If you have any questions, please contact Reilly Christie at 978-265-4044 or

Learning About High School Career & Technical (CTE) Programming #CTEweek

This week our middle school students got a chance to visit with students and staff at Salem High School to learn more about the different CTE programs we have to offer. They were able to get hands-on experience in each shop and ask questions.

This week Salem Public Schools has been celebrating #CTEweek by showcasing videos from different programs throughout the week. We shared video from the Culinary, Early Education & Care, Programming & Web, Electrical, and Automotive and Marine Services programs. Miss the videos? You can see them on the home page of our website here.

Tragic Earthquake in Turkey and Syria

As many of you may be aware, on February 6th, there was a 7.8 earthquake in Turkey and Syria, resulting in the loss of an estimated 41,000 lives and the numbers continue to rise. We continue to be saddened by the devastation that has affected these countries. Our thoughts and condolences go out to everyone who has been affected, including those who have lost loved ones or have family who are affected by this tragedy. If you are able, there are well-rated charities that allow tax deductible donations such as Bridge to Turkey, Doctors Without Borders, or Turkish Philantrophy Funds. Let us continue to keep these families in our hearts.

Food Service Updates

Hello from Food Services! The menus for February 27th – March 3rd are now live on our menu site. Here is the link:

A delicious and sweet glazed pull-apart pastry will be introduced to our menus on 3/8 during National School Breakfast week! We are looking forward to the launch of this item and know that students throughout our schools will love it. Be on the lookout for more exciting plans, events and activities that we have for National School Breakfast week coming soon! 

On Friday 2/10 a taste test was held at Collins Middle School to try Liliana’s Sloppy Joe. Students sampled the recipe and voted if they “liked it” “loved it” or just “tried it ” The majority of the results were that they loved it! Due to the great results of this taste test, the Sloppy Joe recipe will be featured on our menus as soon as possible!

Try the recipe at home:

Liliana’s Sloppy Joes

Ingredients: 1 lb. ground beef, 1.5 tsp baking soda, 1 Tb water, salt and pepper, 1 diced bell pepper, 1 diced red onion, 2 Tb cooking oil, 12 oz tomato sauce, ¾ cup ketchup, 2 Tb brown sugar, 2 tsp garlic granules, 2 Tb Worcestershire sauce, 1 Tb yellow mustard, 1 tsp chili powder, buns 6-8, shredded lettuce


  • sprinkle beef with baking soda and water, mix well and rest for 15 mins

  • Heat oil in a pan and sauté peppers and onions until beginning to soften, 3-5 mins.

  • Add meat and use potato masher or wooden spoon to break up meat into smaller and smaller chunks.

  • Season with a little salt and pepper. Let brown, then stir.

  • Mix tomato sauce, ketchup, brown sugar, garlic, Worcestershire, mustard, and chili powder together before adding to the pan.

  • Stir sauce and meat/vegetable mix together and bring to a simmer then lower heat and let cook for 10-20 minutes until sauce tightens.

  • Serve on a bun plain or with a crunchy contrast like shredded lettuce, pickles, or cabbage slaw.

Valentine’s Day Fun

We hope everyone had a LOVEly Valentine’s Day, especially these kiddos in Ms. Carey’s class at the ECC.

kids forming a heart with their hands

2023-2024 Budget Forums

It’s budget season for Salem Public Schools! 

Did you miss the in-person budget forum? That’s ok, we have a virtual session coming up!

Each year, Salem Public Schools submits a budget to the School Committee and the City Council for approval. We believe that a budget is a reflection of our community’s values and that it is important that we hear from families and community members about how we should be thinking about and prioritizing funding for the next school year.

Please join Superintendent Stephen Zrike and Assistant Superintendent for Finance and Operations, Elizabeth Pauley for a conversation about what the budget priorities should be. Join us online on February 28th, from 6:30-8:00. Please come with your thoughts about the programs and initiatives that should be prioritized in the year ahead. Please use this form to register to receive the link.

Protect against COVID-19 and Get Gift Cards During February Vacation

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health is offering free, family-friendly “Get Boosted” clinics where anyone ages 6 months and up can get a COVID-19 vaccine or updated booster. The clinics offer the updated “bivalent” COVID-19 booster, which is approved for everyone ages 6 months and older.

The updated booster gives the best protection against the Omicron variant and its subvariants, currently the most prevalent strains of COVID-19 in the United States.

As part of a special promotion, Massachusetts residents who get vaccinated (first dose, second dose, or booster) at participating Get Boosted clinics will receive a $75 gift card, while supplies last.

Staying up to date on vaccines, including boosters, is the most effective way to prevent serious illness, hospitalization, and death from COVID-19. While vaccine protection goes down over time, boosters make the vaccine work better. Boosters help keep you safe from COVID-19, even if you’ve already had it.

To find additional clinics near you that are giving out the $75 gift cards, go to Only clinics on the Get Boosted webpage are giving out the $75 gift cards, while supplies last. If you have questions or need help finding a clinic, you can call 211 (or 1-877-211-6277) and press 1.

MassHealth Families, it’s time to renew!

Families with MassHealth need to renew their coverage this year. Coverage protections put in place during the pandemic will end soon, and MassHealth will return to standard annual eligibility renewal processes. Please take the following steps if your family has MassHealth coverage:

  • Update contact information – make sure MassHealth has your most up-to-date address, phone number, and email so that they do not miss important information and notices about what else is needed.
  • Report household changes to make sure MassHealth knows about any changes in your household, like a new job, address, changes to income, disability status, or pregnancy.

More information is available on the MassHealth’s Redetermination website

Reminder: Extra COVID Food Funds for Families Ending March 2

Recent action by the federal government will end the extra COVID Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits created during the pandemic to help individuals and families buy food. Massachusetts households will receive their last extra COVID SNAP payment on March 2. The Department of Transitional Assistance has launched a new website,, to help residents plan for the end of these temporary federal benefits. Over the next several months, individuals and families should examine any optional expenses that may increase their normal SNAP benefits.


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.

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.

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

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Salem Public Schools

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Salem, MA 01970