Summaries of Funded Grants

Salem Education Foundation




Adaptive Sports

Salem Academy Reach the Beach Award to Collins teacher Michelle Flewelling for $1000

Adaptive sports are sports and outdoor recreation activities modified to promote success for each individual, regardless of their physical, behavioral, intellectual or other special needs. Under the supervision of Spaulding clinicians and adaptive sports professionals, approximately 30-40 special education students at Collins Middle School will have the opportunity to access adaptive sports along with their age level peers in games such as adaptive basketball and seated volleyball. The program will allow able-bodied students to gain disability awareness, while special needs children gain physical confidence, and all experience the benefits of teamwork, fairness, team spirit, and good sportsmanship.


Commissioned Commemoration

Rick Guttenberg Award to SHS teacher, Cyndi Napierkowski for $1000

The SHS music department will commission renowned band composer, Key Poulan, to create an original piece of music  commemorating the Salem Witch Trials. The students and music faculty will have an opportunity to provide input throughout the composing process, and students will premier the commissioned work during their 2017 season.


Guitar Heroes

The Betsey Award to Collins teacher, Benjamin Chertok for $1000

Student musicians will spend a semester exploring the fundamentals of guitar performance by choosing an artist and song that has had significant impact in the music industry. The menu of 25 musicians includes artists such as Jimi Hendrix, George Harrison, Carlos Santana, Brian May, and Eric Clapton. Through a multi-tiered course of study, students will present a variety of projects about their chosen artist, and will also apply musical knowledge and instrumental music skills to the performance of a song written by their artist.


District Wide Art Exhibit

The Salem Public Schools art teachers from grades K-12 will collaborate with each other and members of the Salem Arts Community to create a juried art exhibit of work by students in grades K to 12. Members of the Salem Arts Association will be invited to jury the exhibit, which will be held at Old Town Hall.


Percussive Percussion World Drumming

The scholars in the 8th grade at Collins will learn about at least three different cultures and their music and be able to apply that learned material as part of a performance. A few cultures that they will have the opportunity to experience are West African drumming techniques, Latin American Percussion, and Chinese New Years percussion and dance.

Relaxation/ De-stress Tools

Sensory Kits, a Relaxation Room, Yoga Activity Cards, and a Guided Mindfulness Program will be used at Salem Academy as distress tolerance for students who are experiencing challenges throughout the school day. This seed grant will build a self-sustaining program that will provide resources and training for teachers.


Rockin’ Around the Clock

Eight students at Bates and Witchcraft Elementary Schoolswill use desk-sized rockers to allow for their need for movement and sensory input, helping to increase attention, improve focus and increase a student’s availability for learning.  Results of year-long data collection, measuring increased time on task and academic growth, will be shared with the OT staff across the district, with the goal of introducing these rockers to additional students who require sensory input “around the clock”in school.

Theater for All

This grant provides a glimpse into the professional theater experience for Salem High students with intensive learning challenges and disabilities. In small groups, students will read a variety of engaging scripts including Hamilton, A Christmas Carol and more.  Students will be visited by a professional theater actor and have the opportunity to attend a live show at North Shore Music Theatre.


World Music Drumming

This grant will bring the excitement of World Music and Drumming to students in grades 3-5 at Bates Elementary School, teaching African and Latin-American cultural music stylesand promoting skills of communication, listening, cooperative teamwork and respect for others.  It engage students through an active, hands-on approach.




Hunger Around the World

Sixth grade students at Salem Academy will identify and research issues concerning lack of food and resources, and ways to contribute in a sustainable manner. The students will apply what they have learned to their community by contributing to local food shelters and other organizations that target community members in need.

Students will also explore Heifer International in Rutland, MA and investigate how the organization identifies areas of need and delivers the aid required to help with hunger issues.  Students will identify similarities to their own process.

Symposium Month

New Liberty Innovation School will use grant money from the Salem Education Foundation to support a three week project-based, experiential-learning symposium for all 45 students.  The grant pays for supplies and contracted services, such as relevant speakers.  Students will exhibit their projects at a Symposium Night, to which family members, outside partners, and members of the district administration will be invited.


Creating a Connected, Caring, Committed Community

This grant will support the work of the Cultural Competency Committee at Nathaniel Bowditch School, in its goal to build cross-cultural understanding among students, families, and staff.  Among the committee’s plans are book discussions to include teachers, parents from a variety of cultural backgrounds, and several eighth grade students.  The group plans to explore ways to create bridges between homes and school in order to improve academic achievement and continue to build a positive school climate.



NLIS Transition Program

New Liberty Innovation School Transition Program will help recent graduates stay connected to the NLIS community and receive the support and guidance they need during their "transition" year after high school. Students will meet at least four times during the school year to check in with the Transition Program supporting staff and to connect with other graduates. This program will help NLIS students continue success beyond high school.


Peaceful Playgrounds

Peaceful Playgrounds is a recess program that promotes positive social interactions on the playground, prevents bullying, and ultimately enhances learning, as students are able to work cooperatively in the classroom. This seed grant will build a self-sustaining program that will provide resources and training for teachers who supervise recess. It will benefit all grade 6 to 8 students at Salem Academy Charter School.


Pete the Cat: Positive Behavior Intervention and Support and Community Engagement

Pete the Cat is a fictional book character, who teaches the students at the ECC about safety, kindness and how to be ready for the school day. The grant funds book sets and engaging CDs to further support this program on Positive Behavior Intervention and Support.

Vocational Retail Bonanza

School Store Refurbishment is a project for students with moderate to severe disabilities preparing for transition to life after high school. Students will design and implement the school store’s current aesthetics away from a classroom dynamic to an actual retail environment. As a result students will participate in a realistic work simulation while gaining transferable work skills for competitive employment.


Witch Mix is a new after school social club, intended tobe accessible to all students within the student body, including special education students in sub separate programs. The intention is to create weekly social mixers between diverse groups of students from the school community, including a group of student leaders to help organize and facilitate, a core group of attendees who want to develop social skills and make connections with others in their school, and visiting groups that can share skills and interests as well as meet new peers. The grant funds materials to facilitate the mixers including board games and art supplies, that can be used in some of our break out group activities and for special events.



Development of Culturally Diverse Literary and Informational Text Collections to Support SPS English Language Learners in Grades 6-12 and Foster Multicultural Education

This is a collaborative grant to establish a district-wide collection of books targeted to meet the needs of English language learners (ELLs) in grades 6-12.  It will provide immediate access to high-quality and engaging fiction titles and relevant informational text, in languages that more accurately reflect the rich diversity of our student population, as well as English-language titles that foster the multicultural education of all middle and high school students.


Race and Ethnicity Conversations

This grant will enlarge the English Language Arts and English Language Development classroom libraries at Salem Academy with leveled reading materials that specifically focus on race and ethnicity. This initiative will spark the interest of students in discovering a love for reading and developing a strong positive identity with characters who are like themselves. Books may be borrowed throughout the year. In particular, they relate to the unit on Teaching Tolerance.

Textbooks for Salem’s Next Leaders Mentoring Program

The program is a collaboration between Salem Sate University Commonwealth Honors Program and Salem High School that provides structured weekly mentoring for Salem High School students at Salem State University. It fosters academic success and personal development for 9th-11th graders, as well as support for dual enrollment in college classes. In addition to weekly mentoring, students engage in workshops and classes to strengthen leadership skills an and college readiness. This grant provides textbooks for the high school students.




Butterflies Abound!

Grade 4/5 students at Carlton will build two enclosures to house butterflies and then observe each stage of the butterfly life cycle. One enclosure will be located in a common area of the school so that all students can learn from it and one will reside in the science classroom to use during specific standards-based lessons.

Place-Based Life Cycle Explorations

Third grade students from the five elementary schools with science coaches (Bates, HMLS, NBS, Saltonstall, and WHES) will learn about the life cycles of a variety of local salt marsh and ocean organisms. The lead educator from Salem Sound Coastwatch will collaborate with Salem Public Schools (SPS) science coaches, who will then work with classroom teachers to implement an in-class and field experience for students at each school, followed by  a boat trip that will deepen students’ understanding of life cycles and of our local ocean ecosystem.


Rivers Rock

Grade 4/5 Carlton students will interact and care for a functional river ecosystem.The grant will go toward the purchase of one or more 30 gallon river tanks and the organisms that can be sustained within them.  


The Farm School

Fifth grade students of Carlton Elementary will have the opportunity to live life on a functioning farm for 2 ½ days, where they will experience agriculture, life science, and physical science.  They will participate in chores and farm activities, and learn how important natural resources are to a sustainable future.



Building a Sustainable Civilization

Fifth graders at Nathaniel Bowditch School will create a sustainable civilization by building an 8 by 6 foot model and connecting all their science and social studies to the model, including studies of ecosystems, the water cycle, and various times and topics in American history, among other units of study.  Students will think like an indigenous person, an explorer, an engineer, a politician, an architect, a farmer, and a voting citizen.


Learning about the Holocaust

After reading Night by Elie Wiesel and several other stories, poems, and articles about the Holocaust, three classes of grade eight students will meet Julie Masis author of the book, My Grandfather Stole a Shoe. Ms. Masis will tell the story of her grandfather and of other survivors stories from the Obodovka ghetto in the Ukraine, and she will also describe her process as she researched and wrote this book.

Play to Learn: Fun With Social Studies

Funding for this project will provide materials and literature to be used to foster play based learning opportunities in the area of social studies and social emotional learning for Horace Mann kindergarten students. Materials will provide opportunities in pretend play with dress-up materials, puppets and building blocks for units about helpers in our community. Literature will provide whole group read aloud experiences in social emotional learning and community building, as well as our National Symbol.