Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Salem Extended Day/Year School A Source of Contention

In the past month, the Saltonstall School in Salem, a Level 2 school that runs on both an extended day and year, has become a source of contention for the Salem School Committee. Saltonstall educates 358 Salem students in grades  K-8 for an extra hour on a 190-day calendar.  In 2011, 66% of students were proficient in English Language Arts while 50% were proficient in Math; the school outperformed state level proficiency rates on 7 out of 14 MCAS exams. Despite its success, some school committee members have proposed changing the extended year calendar from 190 days to 180 days,  a school calendar similar to that of the rest of the Salem public school district, and using the funds derived from this to support summer programs at other struggling Salem schools. At the May 21 Salem school committee meeting, it was decided that Saltonstall would run on an extended calendar for another year with the proposal that the school would not be the only one with this benefit after the 2012-13 school year.

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