How Do I Enroll My Child in the Salem Public Schools?

Submit a complete kindergarten assignment application to Parent Information Center. An assignment application is enclosed along with an addressed return envelope. Enrollment is a four-step process:

Step 1

Complete all forms and required documents in the kindergarten registration packet including the Kindergarten assignment application with your three school preferences. Turn it in to the Parent Information Center (PIC). If you wish to have your child considered for placement in the Bentley Academy Charter School Lottery, please check the “Opt In” box on the registration form.

Step 2

The PIC will assign your child to a school based upon the criteria from the district’s student assignment policy.

Step 3

Upon receipt of your child’s assignment, which will be sent in the mail, please confirm acceptance of the assignment by sending the confirmation form back to PIC.

Step 4

You and your child must attend Kindergarten screening

What Documents Do I Need to Submit with my Application?

  • Proof of address (two of the following documents are required): Lease or mortgage statement in parent’s/guardian’s name: current electric, gas, cable, water, or telephone bill (landline) in parent’s/guardian’s name.
    If you do not have any utilities under your name and you reside with a family member or friend: You will need to submit a notarized letter from the person you live with and 2 utility bills under that person’s name.
  • Parent’s photo ID
  • Proof of Child’s Age (One of the following documents): Child’s birth certificate (original or certified copy), Passport, I-94 Card or Resident Alien Card
  • Immunization Records Please provide your child’s most recent physical examination and immunizations.
  • Educational Plan (IEP) or 504 Plan, if applicable

How Do I Choose a School for my Child?

Kindergarten tours will be held after the Early Childhood Expo for all elementary schools. We strongly encourage parents to visit schools to learn more about our programs.

Sign up at the Early Childhood Expo or call the schools you would like to visit to set up an appointment.

Bates Elementary School (K-5)
Principal Gavin Softic
53 Liberty Hill Avenue
978-740-1250
Horace Mann Lab School (K-5)
Principal Scarlett Grandt
79 Willson Street
978-740-1290
Bentley Academy Charter School
(K-5)
Principal Liz Rogers
25 Memorial Drive
978-740-1260
Saltonstall School (K-8)
Principal Michael Lister
211 Lafayette Street
978-740-1297
Carlton Innovation School (K-5)
Principal Bethann Jellison
10 Skerry Street
978-740-1280
Witchcraft Heights Elementary School
(K-5)
Principal Sue Carmona
1 Frederick Street
978-740-1270

What is the Application Deadline

In order to take advantage of the sibling preference criteria, you must submit your application by February 20th.

Application deadlines for the 2022-2023 school year will be coming soon!

Assignments will be made on the basis of the information you provide on the application. Every effort will be made to assign your child to one of your top choices of school.

No assignment application will be processed without the required documents.


More Frequently Asked Questions

How will Kindergarten Assignments be made?

Students entering Salem Public Schools are assigned according to our Student Assignment Policy. A copy of this policy is available on the district website (see School Committee Policy Manual, Policy #5103). This policy allows parents to have options for requesting the schools their children may attend. Programmatic placements, sibling preference, socioeconomic status, and proximity are prioritized.

How will Parents be Notified?

Parents will be notified by mail of their child’s school assignment by the assignment deadline.

Please do not call the Parent Information Center or schools regarding kindergarten assignments before the notification dates.

Will my Child be able to Ride the Bus?

Transportation will be provided if you meet the distance criteria determined by the School Committee’s transportation policy. Students in grades K-2 who live one or more miles away from school qualify for free transportation.

For questions regarding transportation please contact the Transportation Department at (978) 740-1138.

When is Kindergarten Screening?

Kindergarten screening will take place at your child’s assigned elementary school starting at the end of June. Parents will be notified of their child’s appointment by the school staff.

What if my Child has a Medical Condition?

If your child has a health condition such as asthma, diabetes, allergy to food or bees, seizure disorder, cystic fibrosis, bleeding disorder or other health issues, please contact the nurse at your assigned school to advise her of his/her needs and plan for care. Questions or concerns can be directed to the nurse at the school that your child is assigned to or Director of Nurses Dawn Marie DeVaux, MSN, RN-BC, CARN at 978-825-5500, fax # 978-740-1137.

How Many Students are Enrolled in Salem’s Kindergarten Classes?

Class sizes have averaged 18 to 20 students. Classes are staffed by a full-time teacher and a part-time paraprofessional.

Which School is Best for my Child?

There is no “one best school” and each child’s learning needs are unique. Each of our schools has their own theme, character, and opportunities to offer your child.  We are proud to offer many great choices of elementary schools in Salem. We encourage you to learn more about all of our schools and the choices available to you by reviewing the school profiles, visiting school websites and signing up for a tour.

What are the Chances my Child will be Assigned to our First Choice School?

The chances vary depending upon the school requested, meeting the registration deadlines, and the criteria outlined in the student assignment policy, including the proximity of your home to the school(s) you requested.

Are the Odds Better if I only Request One School (Instead of Three)?

No. We encourage parents to list three different school choices.  If only one choice is listed and there is no space available, your child will be administratively assigned. By identifying more than one choice, you increase your chances of having your child attend a school of your choosing.

Do Parents Always Receive One of their Three School Choices?

On average, we have been able to provide 90% of our kindergarten parents with one of their three school choices. In situations where this is not possible, parents will be contacted and given options of available seats in other schools. Under these circumstances parents may also request that they be put on a specific school’s “waiting list” should seats become available.

How Realistic is it to think I may get my Waiting List Request Granted?

As people move and/or change plans, seats do open up making it possible to assign students from the waiting list. On average this happens approximately 60% of the time, however, sometimes there is a long wait and uncertainty that accompanies this part of the process. There are no guarantees. Students on waiting lists are processed using the same criteria in the district’s student assignment policy.