Special Education / Pupil Personnel Services

Dear Parents/Guardians—

Para leer esta carta en español, haga clic aquí.

June 5, 2020

I hope this letter finds you all safe and well.  The beginning of June reminds us that summer is coming, even while we continue to practice this social-distancing and continue to join zoom and google meetings. The events of recent weeks, related to both the COVID pandemic and George Floyd’s death and related protests, have been upsetting and may make it hard for some to look forward to better days ahead.  As a collective community, I know we will come together to heal, both physically and emotionally, and continue to be the Salem I know and love, only stronger and even more inclusive for all our residents, particularly our children.

While many things have changed in recent weeks, many practices in our schools will remain the same, or at least similar to, “Junes in the past”.  For example, our teachers will continue to provide remote lessons and learning opportunities right until the end of the year. You will be receiving year-end IEP progress reports from service providers either electronically or via US mail. You will be hearing from principals and teachers about how each school plans to wrap up and celebrate the completion of the school year, and you’ll hear the plans for the transition back to school year 2020-2021.  Stay tuned!

You may have heard me speak at School Committee this past Monday regarding our Special Education Extended Year Summer Programs being held remotely. This decision was made in consultation with your SEPAC, Salem’s Director of Nursing, and the Administrators from PPS who direct these special education summer programs. The health and safety of our students was the key factor in making the decision to continue remotely.  Also, many of you have reported to our staff and to the SEPAC Board that, as much as you’d like to have your children come back to their buildings for face-to-face learning and socializing with friends, the fact that those faces will need to stay 6-feet apart and wearing masks would be a deterrent to sending your students to our programs.  Please know that as we await further guidance and direction from the Department of Public Health, our staff is planning a fun and engaging summer session for those students who have extended year services outlined in their IEPs. In addition, District leaders are planning for the careful and thoughtful reopening for all of Salem’s students as soon as it is safe to do so. Until then, please be on the lookout for communication from the Special Education Summer Program Directors.  (Nancy Charest/Preschool, Jennifer Doucette-Ly/grades K-5 and Rosalie Nealon-O’Connell/grades 6-12).  They will be contacting you within the next few weeks to let you know the program teachers’ names and schedules. 

On a final note, congratulations to our graduates--to the seniors who are leaving for college and career opportunities, and the younger students who are moving from preschool to kindergarten, 5th to 6th grade and 8th-9th grade!  I remember many of our seniors from back when they first entered our school as preschoolers.  It seems like yesterday.  Their senior photos and post-graduation plans brought a huge smile to my face, a little lump in my throat, and a whole lot of warmth to my heart.  I’m am proud to have been a small part of the journey.

Stay well.  Stay safe.  Enjoy the sun!

-Deb

Deb Connerty

Executive Director of Pupil Personnel Services


Welcome to the Salem Public Schools' Pupil Personnel Service Department. The Pupil Personnel Service Department (PPS) oversees the district's large network of special education providers and services that work to ensure that each child is provided a free and appropriate education in accordance with special education law (IDEA 2004). 

This large community of professionals work together so that each child with special needs is provided a least restrictive education that fosters their ability to develop skills and utilize strengths. It is our mission to see every child with a disability thrive within their learning environment. The success of a child with special education needs relies on coordination of a variety of personnel from identification through intervention. Please explore the special education menu to learn more about the educators, processes, services, and initiatives offered to increase the educational, social, emotional, and adaptive successes of our students with special education needs. 

If you are in need of more information please call 978-740-1249, or contact a PPS staff member, so that we may direct your question or concern to the most appropriate person. Beginning January 2, 2019, the PPS office located in Ste. 115 of the Collins Middle School, will be open and staffed from 8:00am-4:00pm.

Thank you,

Deborah Connerty,
PPS Director

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