Thursday, September 20, 2012
The scores were released yesterday — here are some highlights.
The Spring 2012 MCAS scores are in. With a turnaround effort in effect since Bentley was designated as a Level 4 school last year, the scores this year are of particular interest to Salem Public Schools stakeholders. Here's a breakdown of how Salem did. Stay tuned to Salem Patch for more on this topic. For complete information from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education click here. Looking at Progress The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 mandates that every student be proficient in English language arts and math by 2014. In Massachusetts, this proficiency is measured by the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS). A school must improve in proficiency each year based on adequate yearly progress (…
Tuesday, September 4, 2012
Wondering when the bus will be picking you up? Be sure to check here.
- BACK TO SCHOOL
Tuesday, September 4, 2012
The attached PDF is courtesy of Salem Public Schools.
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
The Attorney General's office announced a settlement last week.
If you're at all on the up and up on goings on in the city, you've probably heard that Salem Public Schools has reached a settlement for alleged violations having to do with public construction bids. A press release from Attorney General Martha Coakley's Office last week indicated that "beginning no later than October 2006 and continuing through December 2010, the Building Services Department of the Salem Public Schools engaged in practices that violated the public construction bidding laws for various construction and maintenance services." "This matter came to the attention of the AG’s Office through a former employee of the Salem Public Schools in the spring of 2011," according to the release. The Attorney General stated issues included…
Tuesday, June 5, 2012
K-5, K-8 —Should grade levels in the district be uniform? Weigh in here.
The Salem School Committee Monday voted in favor of creating a task force to examine grade level configurations in the district. The decision to examine grade configurations comes as a result of feedback the School Committee received after soliciting ideas from the public as part of the district's turnaround effort, according to Superintendent Dr. Stephen Russell. Should Salem have all K through 8 schools or just one school serving middle schools students? Should things remain as they are? "There were many...alternatives [to the current structure] that were discussed," Russell said. Whatever the case, the superintendent said not enough middle school aged children in the district are succeeding in the current setting. Five schools in the …
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
School Committee heatedly debates what programs work and how to get them in every school.
Before a rare packed house that remained until after 10 p.m., the School Committee voted five to two to allow the Saltonstall School to continue its popular, but controversial extended day and year programming for at least one more year. Saltonstall, for much of its 17-year existence, has operated one hour longer each day and 10 days longer into the summer. The teachers are paid 16 percent more and do 22 percent more work, according to Saltonstall Principal Julie Carter. Estimates were that Saltonstall's extended calendar costs the district an extra $100,000. That number, however, was challenged. "The extended time makes a difference. It has a positive impact," Carter said. The school committee agreed that extended time to learn was a …
Which Salem public school made the list? Find out here.
The Daily Beast/Newsweek has published a list of some of the best schools in America, and Salem is represented on its list. Salem Academy Charter School ranked number 499 on the publication's list of the country's 1,000 best public high schools. A total of 21 Massachusetts schools made the list, including Sturgis Charter Public School in Hyannis (ranked 46); Malden's Mystic Valley Regional Charter School (ranked 122); Lynnfield High School (ranked 726) and Melrose High School (ranked 832). Schools on the list were "the ones that have proven to be the most effective in turning out college-ready grads," according to the publication. The list was based on criteria ranging from school administrators to graduation rates and test scores. To …
Thursday, May 10, 2012
Mayor, superintendent address concerns raised at Monday's School Committee meeting.
Thursday, May 10, 2012
The attached letter to Salem parents was sent to Salem Patch by the Mayor's Office.
Friday, April 27, 2012
Superintendent Russell says schools are using common sense to determine if parents want to have students in uniforms; surveys are due Monday.
The school uniform survey that parents are being asked to fill out and return by Monday was not designed to be scientific, but rather to give the schools an idea of how parents feel, according to School Superintendent Stephen Russell. The survey, which went home this week with the students, asks 10 questions – in either English or Spanish. Some parents have criticized the survey as being biased in favor of uniforms. “This was an informal 'non scientific' survey designed to solicit folks' preferences/opinions on school uniforms,” Russell wrote in an email. If 51 percent or more of the responding parents at each elementary school vote in favor of having their students wear uniforms, the school principal will appoint a committee of parents …
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
The school budget season is also picking up.
The Salem School Committee last night unanimously approved its school choice policy. The policy aims to balance the socioeconomic makeup of each school by limiting the number of students who receive federally subsidized lunches. The limit in each school would be determined by the total percentage of students who receive free or reduced price lunches in the entire district. The Committee opted to give more freedom in school choice after members of the public voiced opposition to an initial plan to limit parental choice to the two schools closest to a home address. On Tuesday, the School Committee also announced it had officially applied for a grant with the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education that could bring $500…
Monday, March 26, 2012
Socioeconomic terminology is verbal judo.
Over the last few weeks, the dialogue concerning the Salem Public Schools and its problems has focused largely on "socioeconomic" issues. Not being a sociologist or an economist, I spent some time online to get a better grasp of what the term actually means. Using this term in reference to our school system's problems and the proposed solutions would seem to be a direct reference to the ratio of the haves to have-nots within the individual schools. This is a legitimate usage, but it does not really go far enough in addressing what is a major part of the Salem education equation. The problem is largely, but not solely one of language. For some reason, we can't seem to come right out and say it. There are far too many students, and parents …