Salem Public Schools Weekly Newsletter

Posted on: April 14, 2023

Salem Public Schools Weekly Update

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Salem Public Schools Weekly Update

A Note From the Superintendent

April 14, 2023

SPS families,

I hope that your family enjoys the upcoming April vacation! The weather should be beautiful, relatively warm and dry. Our staff is looking forward to recharging for the final stretch of the school year. Please know that our schools will be closed next week except for vacation academies that we are hosting for students in grades 3-5 and high school students.

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 that we did 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!

Have a great weekend and week!


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 Salem Prep’s School Adjustment Counselor (SAC), Kaya Frechette. Ms. Frechette stepped into the SAC role this year after the launch of the school year and has gone above and beyond to provide amazing clinical support to our students and their families. She has assisted members of the Salem Prep community to find wrap-around services, book medical appointments, identify employment opportunities, and explore post-high school options. Additionally, Ms. Frechette has been willing to take on responsibilities that fall outside of her job description in order to provide Salem Prep students with the experiences they deserve. We are grateful for Ms. Frechette’s commitment and dedication!

Middle School Update

The middle school years are a time of tremendous opportunity for adolescents to find their voice, form meaningful relationships, and develop interests, knowledge and skills. As we reckon with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, including challenges with student engagement, mental health, and self-regulation, we are rethinking how best to serve our middle school students in Salem Public Schools. The district’s commitment to enhancing the middle school experience is visible in three key areas: 

  • The Reimagining Middle School Project: Launched in February 2023, an intensive community engagement process creating a “Portrait of a Middle Schooler.”

  • School-wide focus at Collins & Saltonstall: Building off of the Reimagining project, Collins and Saltonstall’s middle grades will focus on building cultures of connection and learning under the leadership of their new principals. 

Middle School Pilot – Year 2: Originally launched in August 2022 with a cohort of 43 8th graders, the Pilot will continue for a second year and will expand to include both 7th and 8th graders in 2023-2024. Some of its most successful learning experiences will also be available to all Collins students at key points during the year. Do you have a student entering grades 7 or 8 next year? Interested in the pilot? Read more below! Interested in switching between CMS and Saltonstall? Reach out to the Family Engagement Facilitator or call the Parent Information Center at 978-740-1225.

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, April 25th 3:30-4:30 pm at Collins Middle School
  • Wednesday, April 26th 6:00-7:00 pm on Zoom
  • 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:

Last Day of School – UPDATED

The last day of school has shifted to reflect the one snow day and meet the required 180 days.


K – Monday, June 12 (full day)

1-5 – Wednesday, June 14 (early release)

All other schools 

PK/K – Tuesday, June 20 (full day)

1-11 – Wednesday, June 21 (early release)

We Need Your Voice to Shape Our Next Strategic Plan

As we move into the final few months of the academic year, we are looking ahead to map out where the Salem Public Schools should go next. We are at the beginning stages of developing our next strategic plan, which will serve as our roadmap through 2026. This new plan will be driven by our mission and vision and will guide us in making future decisions on priorities, budget, staffing, and the launch of new initiatives.

To ensure that this plan reflects Salem’s current needs, priorities, and realities, we want to hear from as many of our stakeholders as possible, and that means all of you. Please share your input by completing this 15-minute survey to shape the strategic direction of Salem Public Schools (links listed below). This survey has been designed to capture your feedback on what’s working well in Salem today, what isn’t working, and what else we could do to better support our students, educators, and community. Please complete the survey by Friday, April 21, and we urge you to be honest in your responses – your candid input, feedback, and ideas will help to strengthen our plan. 

Please share these links with other parents and caregivers in your network: 

We look forward to your feedback and to using the community’s input to inform our next strategic plan. Many thanks in advance for your contributions to this necessary endeavor and for your continued efforts to support all of Salem’s children. Please reach out to the Family Engagement Facilitator at your school with any questions. 

Joint Statement of LGBTQ+ Community Support

We, the undersigned community leaders of Salem, Massachusetts, want our LGBTQ+ youth and adults to know that we stand with you. We are aware of the recent uptick in violence and anti-LGBTQ+ legislation, and we want you to know that you are not alone.

We believe that everyone deserves to live their life authentically and without fear of discrimination or violence. We know that the recent events in our community and beyond may have left you feeling scared and anxious. However, we want to assure you that we will not stand idly by.

We want to thank the Salem Police Department for their swift and thorough action this past week regarding LGBTQ+ hate crimes here in Salem.

We recognize that the LGBTQ+ community is an essential part of our diverse and vibrant community in Salem. We want to ensure that you feel safe, supported, and welcomed in our schools and our city. We value your contributions to our community and appreciate the unique perspectives and experiences that you bring.

We also want to acknowledge the resilience and strength of the LGBTQ+ community. Despite the challenges and obstacles that you have faced, you continue to stand up for your rights and advocate for equality. We are inspired by your courage and determination and are committed to standing with you in solidarity.

We know that words alone may not be enough to address the systemic issues that lead to discrimination and violence against the LGBTQ+ community. That is why we are committed to taking concrete actions to promote equality and inclusion in our community. We will work tirelessly to ensure that all members of our community are treated with respect and dignity, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity, or expression.

We urge you to reach out for support if you need it. There are many resources available in our community. As community leaders, we stand with NAGLY and with ALL our community members against all forms of bigotry, discrimination, bullying, and harassment.

In closing, we want to reiterate our commitment to promoting equality, inclusion, and diversity in our community. We stand with you and will continue to work towards a more just and equitable society for all.


Congressman Seth Moulton – U.S. representative for Massachusetts’s 6th congressional district
Joan Lovely – MA State Senator, 2nd Essex
Manny Cruz – State Representative, 7th Essex (Salem) and Vice-Chair of School Committee
Robert McCarthy – Acting Mayor, Chair of School Committee
Dr. Stephen Zrike Jr. – Superintendent of Schools
Amanda Campbell – School Committee Member
Beth Anne Cornell – School Committee Member
Jeff Cohen – Salem City Councillor, Ward 5
Domingo Dominguez – Salem City Councillor, At Large
Ty Hapworth – Salem City Councillor, At Large
Mary Manning – School Committee Member
Lev McClain – Salem City Councillor, Ward 4
Alice Merkl – Salem City Councillor, At Large
Patti Morsillo – Salem City Councillor, Ward 3
Dr. Kristin Pangallo – School Committee Member
Conrad Prosniewski – Salem City Councillor, At Large
Meg Stott – Salem City Councillor, Ward 6, Council President
Andy Varela – Salem City Councillor, Ward 7
Caroline Watson-Felt – Salem City Councillor, Ward 2

Music Department Updates!

Salem Public Schools would like to wish the SHS Bands, Choruses, and Orchestra the best as they prepare to head off to NYC and their performance at the world famous Carnegie Hall! Want to catch their program right here at home? You’re in luck! The music department will present a special “trip preview” concert on Tuesday, April 25th at 7PM in the SHS Auditorium! Please join us in congratulating the students on all of their hard work and preparation!

Attention Band, Chorus, and Orchestra families! The Arts in the Evening is on Wednesday, May 3rd! Do you need assistance with transportation to/from the concert? If so, please click here to fill out a transportation need survey. Thanks!

Also a reminder that the Pops concert originally scheduled for Thursday, May 18th, has been rescheduled for Wednesday, May 17th.

In Partnership with Lappin Foundation, Salem High School Scholars Hear from Holocaust Survivors

In the IMC, Michael Gruenbaum spoke about his experiences in the Terezin camp. In the cafeteria, Dr. Hans Fisher shared his experience of being in on the SS S. Louis. Both were done in partnership with the Lappin Foundation, and open to all students enrolled in American and World Encounters II as part of their study of the Holocaust.

Michael Gruenbaum (1930–2023) was born in Prague, Czechoslovakia. In 1942, he was sent to the concentration camp Theresienstadt, or Terezin, with his mother and sister, and remained there until the end of the war. He emigrated to the United States in 1950, graduated from MIT and Yale, served two years in the Army, and worked for the Boston Redevelopment Authority and Mass. Dept. of Public Works, before cofounding a consulting firm. Only weeks after Mr. Michael Gruenbaum’s talk with Salem High School scholars he passed away at 92:

Dr. Hans Fisher, PhD is a holocaust survivor and was a passenger on the SS S. Louis, a ship that left Germany in 1939 to escape escalating anti-semitism. He was also a professor at the University of Illinois.

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.

Student artwork and performances will be on display throughout several galleries at the PEM. The Student Voice Project teams from each school will be doing their presentations on Saturday, May 20th at this event, and following that, we will have a special community conversation featuring Superintendent Zrike, Matthew Rodriguez from the Equity Imperative, and SPS artist-in-residence rapper Dee-1. You won’t want to miss this!

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

Women of Science Competition 2023

The Salem High School Women of Science Team, composed of Tilda Rieder, Cora Dawson and Thais Saldivar Diaz, competed at the Twentieth Annual Women of Science Scholarship Competition at Bedford High School on Saturday, April 1. The competition involves teams of high school women competing in four science and engineering events. All events involve knowledge based in the areas of biology, chemistry, engineering, environmental science, math, and physics. Teams also had the unique opportunity to lunch and network with a woman of science mentor. The idea of creating a competition for female students only is guided by the interest to have more women enter science related fields.

The Salem Witches distinguished themselves throughout the competition. They finished sixth in the pre-engineering build event with the device they created in the new Maker Space after school, and had an overall finish of twelfth out of twenty three teams. Additionally, Salem proudly represented urban and Latinx high school students at the scholarship event.

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.

Call for Nominations DEADLINE APRIL 21st – Margaret Voss Howard Teacher Recognition Award

Do you know an exemplary teacher? Please nominate that individual for recognition.

What is the purpose of the award? Each year, The Margaret Voss Howard Teacher Recognition Award recognizes one Salem and one Marblehead teacher as representative of all the excellent, dedicated teachers in the community who make a difference to children every day.

Who is eligible? Teachers from the district schools in Marblehead and Salem, Massachusetts, are eligible.

What is the award? Each honoree receives an unrestricted cash award of $500.

Who may nominate? Anyone—educators, parents, students, community members

How do I nominate someone? Send a letter of nomination with your reasons for nominating the teacher. Please be as detailed and specific as possible. Please keep nominations confidential and do not inform individuals that they have been nominated. Nominations must be postmarked by April 21, 2023.

How are honorees selected? A committee of two administrators from each district and a representative of the Howard family reviews the nominations and selects the honorees based on the criteria below.

Criteria for selection: Candidates must have made substantial contributions to the profession, such as:

  • Exceptional or creative contributions during restrictions due to Covid-19.
  • A specific, creative project that inspired students to perform and achieve and/or contributed positively to school culture, climate, or community
  • An inspirational influence on a particular child or group of children that made a difference in their progress and achievement
  • An innovative practice that led to positive growth in a school or the district or beyond
  • A long, distinctive, and influential career in which the teacher positively impacted many children
  • Leadership among colleagues that solved problems or led to educational improvements
  • Other outstanding contributions to the profession, described in the nomination letter.

Please send your letter of nomination, along with the nomination form (English/Spanish), to (preferred) or mail to:

Teacher Recognition Award

190 Bridge Street, #2301

Salem, MA 01970

Nominations must be postmarked by April 21, 2023. For more information, email or call (978) 609-0813. The award is a fund of the Essex County Community Organization.



  • New and Unopened Diaper Packages Only
  • All Sizes Needed: Newborn to Size 6
  • Baby Wipes Welcome, too!

Collection Dates: Now – April 30, 2023

Drop-Off Locations: Salem City Hall, Salem City Hall Annex, Salem Public Library

Drop-Off Times: Regular business hours at each building

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.

Challenger League (Adaptive) Baseball / Liga de beisbol adaptado

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.