Salem Public Schools Weekly Newsletter

Posted on: April 28, 2023

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Salem Public Schools Weekly Update

A Note From the Superintendent

April 28, 2023

SPS Families,

I hope you had a well-timed and enjoyable April break with your children. We are back in full swing this week as we begin the final two months of the school year. On Wednesday evening, Salem’s very own musicians performed at Carnegie Hall and brought the house down! We are so proud of our students and staff who showcased their talents on the world’s greatest stage.

Next week is busy in the Salem Public Schools as we present our FY24 budget to the School Committee on Thursday evening, May 4th, at 7 pm at Collins Middle School. We will share a recommended funding plan for the upcoming school year with the Committee for their consideration.

On Monday, May 1st, at City Hall at 6pm, there will be a joint convening of the School Committee and the Salem City Council to appoint a new member to fill the position recently vacated by Jim Fleming.

Finally, on Monday, May 8th at 7pm we will have a public budget hearing in the chambers at Collins Middle School where anyone from the community can provide their perspective, suggestions, and ideas about our budget.

On Monday, we will also share the process for requesting transportation for the upcoming school year. We will ask all mandatory and non-mandatory riders to complete an application (regardless of whether a child receives transportation during the current school year). More information appears below. Additionally, we will release the start and end times for our schools for the 2023-2024 school year next week. We anticipate that not much will change from the existing schedule.

Please enjoy your weekend as we finish out the month of April!


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 rockstar award this week goes to Accounts Payable Clerk Ms. Camila Salazar. Ms. Salazar is always available to support secretaries and clerks. She has developed tools and resources that are clear, accessible and focused on the end user. She is organized, conscientious, patient and incredibly responsive to the needs of schools and departments. Thank you to Ms. Salazar for being such a positive addition to our Finance and Operation team.

Transportation for the 2023-2024 School Year. Important info!

Transportation Applications for the 2023-2024 school year will open on Monday, May 1, 2023, in the Aspen Family Portal. The Transportation Department will send information to families with instructions on how to apply on Monday, so please check your email, text messages, and ParentSquare notifications. All students who wish to ride the bus for the 2023-2024 school year must submit an application, even if the student currently rides the bus or is considered a mandatory rider. A completed application must be submitted by Saturday, July 1, 2023. Applications received after July 1, 2023, will not be accepted except in extenuating circumstances to allow proper time for processing and routing.

If you have any questions, please call the Salem Public Schools Transportation Office at (978) 740-1240.

Middle School Pilot Program for SY23-24

The pilot is a small learning community inside Collins Middle School, focused on three main goals for students: connection, empowerment, and growth. Key features include:

  • Community partnerships & off-campus learning: The pilot integrates community-based learning and field trips into the core experience with trips up to every week.
  • Personalized learning and project-based learning: Math and ELA are designed to have more personalized pacing while science & social studies focus on hands-on, project-based learning and place-based learning.
  • Design Studio: The pilot uses collaborative challenges to integrate creativity and design thinking into learning.

Do you have a student entering grades 7 or 8 next year? Click here to learn more: REGISTER for an informational meeting:

  • Tuesday, May 2nd 5:30-6:30 pm on Zoom
  • Thursday, May 4th 5:00-6:00 pm at Saltonstall

If you know you are interested, complete the lottery opt-in form by May 10th:

Summer Programming

We have received inquiries and questions about summer school programming in the Salem Public Schools and in collaboration with our community partners. We are pleased to share that we will have approximately the same number of summer programming seats as last summer when we offered a record number of seats for SPS students. Our school-based teams are currently working to sign-up students that would benefit most from the summer offerings. Historically, this happens before we open up the programming more widely. That being said, if you are interested in learning more about our Salem Public Schools or community offerings, please reach out to the City Connects coordinators at each K-8 school and the guidance departments at our three high school campuses. We want as many of our students to be connected to citywide programs as possible!

Executive Director of Special Education Announcement

For those that may have missed the announcement when shared on Facebook – I am pleased to announce that Mrs. Jen Doucette-Ly (current elementary special education director and 504 coordinator) was confirmed for the position of Executive Director of Special Education by the School Committee at its April 3rd meeting. Ms. Doucette-Ly has extensive special education experience across multiple positions, grade levels and programs and is well versed in our special education student performance, financial and programmatic outcomes.

Mrs. Doucette-Ly began her career in Salem as a therapeutic paraprofessional at Salem Prep. She then spent seven years as a special education teacher building the Academic Support Intensive program and as the department head at Salem High School. After gaining valuable experience in these roles, she transitioned to a leadership position as a Special Education Administrator at Bates Elementary School. Her expertise and leadership skills were further expanded when she became the Elementary Special Education Director and District 504 Coordinator. 

It should also be noted that Mrs. Doucette-Ly co-founded the successful SHS food and clothing pantry. Additionally, Mrs. Doucette-Ly facilitated the summer book drive to put new books in the hands of students at SHS and Bates. Finally, Mrs. Doucette-Ly, is a long-time instructor for the SHS Marching Band and the winter guard. 

Ms. Doucette-Ly is ready to lead the bold work of moving SPS from an organization focused on compliance to one that is focused on creating an inclusive and high-quality experience for our students with disabilities. 

SEE ME: A Celebration of Salem Public Schools Students at the Peabody Essex Museum

Join the community for a celebration of Salem students at the Peabody Essex Museum from May 19-22!

“SEE ME” is an initiative through the Salem Public Schools Office of Public Relations that captures the district’s core values of belonging, equity, and opportunity through the expression of student voices. This public exhibition at a world-renowned museum aims to share elements of how the young people of Salem see their history and how their cultures have shaped them. It explores how they see themselves walking through the world in the present and how they can influence the future.

“SEE ME” is a multiday pop-up exhibition featuring artwork from Salem students in grades K-12. This celebration of student works includes drawings, paintings, photography, poetry, dance, video and more. Works will be displayed throughout the museum.

Join us for these special events on Saturday, May 20th:

10:30 am -12:00 pm – Morse Auditorium

Salem Student Voice Project Summit: “Raising the Volume of Student Voice”

Salem Public Schools has taken on the challenge of social inequity by forming a partnership with the nonprofit Equity Imperative. This partnership led to the creation of the Student Voice Project, an effort to amplify students’ concerns and help them take action to address them.

1:30-2:45pm – Morse Auditorium

“Leveraging the Power of Student Identity and Voice to Transform School Culture” Fireside Chat with Superintendent Dr. Stephen Zrike Jr, SPS Artist-in-Residence & Hip-Hop Performer, Dee-1, Equity Imperative Co-Founder and Director of the Student Voice Project, Judith Diaz-Rodriguez. Opening remarks from Lt. Governor Kim Driscoll.

Salem residents and SPS staff get in FREE! Come celebrate the incredible talent of Salem Public Schools students with us in May.

2023-2024 School Budget Hearing

The Salem School Committee will hold a public hearing on the Salem Public Schools’ FY24 budget for school year 23-24 on Monday, May 8, 2023 at 7:00 p.m.

This meeting will be held at Collins Middle School in School Committee Chambers, 29 Highland Ave., Rm. 227.

This meeting is open to all.

Calendars for the 2023-2024 School Year can be found here

$3000 in Art School Scholarship Awards from Salem Arts Association

Salem Arts Scholarships are awarded each spring to Class of 2023 graduates attending any Massachusetts North Shore school and is pursuing arts education either through a university program or accredited art school in the fall following their graduation in 2023.

Three Scholarship awards will be offered in 2023

Creative Collective Innovation Award: Award of $1000 to a graduate who demonstrates creative innovation in visual arts, performance, and multi-media.

Ellen Hardy Memorial Scholarship: Award of $1000 to a graduate who demonstrates creative achievement in visual arts, performance, or multi-media.

Paula Beaulieu Memorial Scholarship: Award of $1000 to a graduate who demonstrates creative achievement in the visual arts.

Applications Due Monday, May 1, 2023

Angela’s Preschool and Daycare

We are excited to announce that Angela’s Preschool and Daycare is now open at Salem High School! Our preschool and daycare facility is dedicated to providing a safe, nurturing, and stimulating environment for your child’s growth and development. Enroll your child now by contacting 978-335-1413

We understand the importance of quality care and education for your child, which is why our experienced staff is committed to providing personalized attention to each child in our care. Our curriculum focuses on social, emotional, physical, and cognitive development to ensure your child a well-rounded and ready for their next educational journey.

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.

Free Smoke Alarms & Installation / Alarmas de humo gratuitas

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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 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

Where Belonging Leads to Opportunity

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29 Highland Ave.

Salem, MA 01970

Salem Public School District is committed to maintaining a work and learning environment free from discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, pregnancy, gender identity, sexual orientation, marital/civil union status, ancestry, place of birth, age, citizenship status, veteran status, political affiliation, genetic information or disability, as defined and required by state and federal laws.