Salem’s Witchcraft Heights Elementary School Named ‘School of Recognition’ by DESE

Posted on: September 25, 2023
Witchcraft Heights Elementary Named School of Recognition

Schools making significant progress since Covid-19 pandemic

VIEW: Salem Public Schools MCAS Access and Accountability Results

SALEM (Sept. 25, 2023) – The Witchcraft Heights Elementary School was among 66 schools statewide recognized for strong academic achievement, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) announced Tuesday when it released its Spring 2023 Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) and Accountability results.

Witchcraft Heights, home to students in kindergarten through grade 5, received a criterion-referenced target percentage of 82 percent, comprised of multiple years of data involving achievement, growth, high school completion, English language learning process, advanced coursework and attendance.

Per the DESE website, schools of recognition ‘demonstrate high achievement and high growth and meet or exceed standards.’

“In Salem, the decline in performance following the Covid-19 pandemic has generally halted and we are starting to see academic recovery,” said Superintendent Dr. Stephen Zrike, Jr. “While there has been important and critical progress, we still have extensive work to do to accelerate outcomes for our students.”

The success of Witchcraft Heights was among several plaudits regarding Salem Public Schools’ MCAS performance:

  • In grades 3-8, there was a two-point increase in both ELA and math MCAS achievement, as well as an overall increase in student growth in ELA and math. 
  • Six of eight schools made moderate progress towards improvement targets. Two schools – Bates Elementary School and Witchcraft Heights – met or exceeded their targets while Bentley Academy Innovation School and Carlton Innovation School made substantial progress. Collins Middle School and Salem High School made moderate progress.
  • Five of eight schools improved their accountability percentile rank, including two by double digits (Bates and Witchcraft)

Witchcraft Heights was among three North Shore-area schools recognized, along with Rockport Middle School and Lynn Woods Elementary School.

View the full list

About Salem Public Schools

Salem Public Schools is an urban public school district in Salem, Massachusetts. Salem is a small, diverse city with a proud maritime and immigrant history. Our leaders and our teachers are all passionate about education and understand the urgency of improving student achievement with equity and social-emotional needs as the lens we view all of our work through. We respect and value the racial, cultural, and linguistic diversity of our students and their families, and have a strong commitment to the Salem community. Salem Public Schools staff serve all of our students, regardless of ability or language. Salem Public Schools enrolls approximately 4,000 students across its eleven schools.