Salem Public News weekly Newsletter

Posted on: April 7, 2023

Salem Public Schools Weekly Update

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Salem Public Schools Weekly Update

A Note From the Superintendent

April 7, 2023

SPS families/caregivers,

I hope that you are enjoying the start of April and the early signs of Spring. I want to wish all of our families who are in the midst of celebrating Passover, Easter and Ramadan, a happy, reflective and meaningful holiday season.

I also wanted to share a new opportunity with families to connect with and learn more about our school district. In my two plus years in Salem, I am repeatedly asked about the middle and high school experience across SPS. In an effort to share more information about the programs and opportunities available, we are interested in meeting with groups of parents who want to have a conversation about the secondary experience. Along with our middle and high school leaders, I am eager to come to homes, parks, playgrounds, community centers, restaurants and churches to break bread with families and talk about schooling in Salem.

We would ask that you gather your friends and neighbors and invite us to these places to informally discuss educational philosophy, curriculum, electives, discipline, afterschool programs, etc. We would be honored to have the opportunity to share our thoughts and to learn from you. We believe this to be a critical step to continue to strengthen our relationship with the Salem community, build trust and improve two-way communication with our stakeholders. If you are interested in hosting an event, please do not hesitate to reach out to my assistant, Mindy Marino by emailing mmarino@salemk12.org or calling (978) 740-1212. We are looking forward to having the opportunity to get to know you better. Please consider organizing an event!

Best,

Steve


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.


During paraprofessional and school-related personnel recognition week, the rockstar award goes to Collins paraeducator, Maureen Hagen. Ms. Hagen has a wonderfully positive and encouraging demeanor with the students with whom she works. She is always flexible, reliable and eager to support the individualized needs of students in any way that she can. Finally, she goes to great lengths to foster strong and lasting relationships with even the most disengaged students. She is a gift to Collins Middle School!


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. 


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 a possible special guest that you won’t want to miss.


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



Salem Rotary Scholarship – Application Deadline is April 14!

The Salem Rotary Club provides scholarships for students who are pursuing further education after high school. Much of the club’s fundraising during the year (such as the calendar raffle and auction gala) goes to supporting this endeavor. We wish all applicants the best of luck and success in their future studies.


Applicants must be a resident of Salem, Massachusetts. Applicants for the Salem Rotary scholarships may not be the child, grandchild, niece, nephew, great niece, or great nephew (this includes adoptive or step relationship) of any current member of Salem Rotary, or any person that has been a member of Salem Rotary within the past five years.

These scholarships are available to grade 12 high school and trade school students pursuing college or a vocational trade school. Online applications will be accepted through April 14, 2023.


Phase 2 MassHealth Redetermination

Starting April 1, 2023, MassHealth will begin the eligibility redetermination process, renewing all 2.3M members over the following 12 months. This will generally be the first time members are at risk of losing their coverage since February 2020. In preparation for this effort, MassHealth has increased staffing significantly to handle a greater volume of calls and applications, improved our systems to automatically renew as many members’ coverage as possible, and is working in close collaboration with health plans, providers, and other stakeholders. Even with this preparation, we understand that this may be difficult for members. 

MassHealth is sharing the Phase 2 Redeterminations Outreach Toolkit  to help educate members and make sure they are prepared and know how to complete their renewal. This toolkit includes key messages as well as downloadable flyers, posters, and other materials in 9 languages. This toolkit also includes materials for specific populations, such as children and families, members experiencing homelessness, or members with disabilities. We are also excited to share the MassHealth Renewal Help Guide, a new resource for individuals who interact with members. You can learn more about the upcoming redeterminations process at mass.gov/masshealthrenew.


SHS Hosts Special Education Information Night for Rising 9th Graders

Current grade 8 students and families are invited to SHS’ Special Education Information Night on April 12th from 6-7:30. Come meet SHS staff and learn about programming. More information can be found using these links. English / Spanish / Portuguese


Notes from the Kitchen

Let’s get ready for Summer! It’s now April, and summer is approaching quickly! Salem Food and Nutrition Services is hard at work putting together our summer programming for this year. We are planning meals to be served, the summer kickoff event, and activities to include at our sites throughout the summer. This year we want the summer sites to be a place where kids can come to eat, socialize and have fun without parents having to worry about any additional cost! We are launching a survey for the Salem community to learn more about what our community would like to see at these sites and also locations and times that would work best for meals to be served and activities to be held. We greatly appreciate the community’s participation in this survey, as this will lead us all to a successful and fun summer. Take the survey here.


This survey is open to anyone in the community, including parents, students and local businesses. We want as much feedback as we can get. All questions are optional so if you would just like to share a suggestion or recommend a partnership, just skip to the second question and leave your contact information! We are also looking for student/parent volunteers to help run activities throughout the summer, so please leave your contact information in the survey if you are interested!


Call for Nominations for the 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 howardteacheraward@yahoo.com (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 howardteacheraward@yahoo.com or call (978) 609-0813. The award is a fund of the Essex County Community Organization.



DIAPER DRIVE

PLEASE CONSIDER HELPING FAMILIES IN OUR COMMUNITY WITH A DONATION

  • 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


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 www.parentsquare.com 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

 

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