Salem Avenue Elementary School

August 20, 2006

1323 Salem Avenue Extension

Principal: Steven Wernick

Phone: 301-766-8313

Fax: 301-791-4382

TDD: 301-791-4382

Web site:

Start time: 9 a.m.

Dismissal: 3:30 p.m.

Grades: PK-5

Date of construction: 1951


Age of building: 55 years

Latest renovation: 2005-06

Size of building: 81,200 square feet

State-rated capacity: 735

Projected 2006-07 enrollment: 548

From the principal

Q. What are the biggest challenges this year?

A. A positive challenge that Salem Avenue Elementary School will face is the new horizon of space and equipment available to the staff and students after construction. The staff has been very limited in space and equipment for two years as construction continued at the school. Up until the second week of March, the majority of classrooms were doubled, averaging up to 50 students and two teachers. Teachers used several team-teaching approaches to educating in this setting. This year, all teachers will begin the year with their own classroom and supplies.

A second challenge for the students and staff will be the implementation of the new Social Studies Resources to support the voluntary state curriculum. The final challenge we will face will be preparing for the first administration of the computerized MSA testing in the science content area for fifth-grade students.

Q. What are your goals for the school year?

A. One of our immediate goals is to become an affirmed Chesapeake Coalition of Essential Schools. We have worked closely with the Chesapeake Coalition of Essential Schools for the past two years, as an exploratory school, to support the instructional strategies at Salem Avenue Elementary School. This fall we will go through the CCES affirmation process to become an affirmed CCES national school. This process will involve a three-day team visit from national CCES schools, who will survey the students, staff and parents to come to a decision if we merit national CCES status.

A second goal of the staff will be for Salem Avenue to continue growth in all areas of Maryland School Assessments in grades three through five, as well as to meet or exceed Annual Yearly Progress.

Q. What will help ensure a successful school year?

A. The new and streamlined edition of the School Improvement Plan that will support strategies and indicators for clear, focused and effective instruction within each classroom.

The continuous and unsurpassed dedication and educational drive that the staff at Salem Avenue Elementary school exhibits.

The continued dedication of our parents to support instruction and the decisions of the staff to give their children the best education accessible.

Q. What message would you like to send as the school year begins?

A. The staff at Salem Avenue Elementary School is dedicated to providing challenging learning experiences for all children of diverse backgrounds and needs in order to equip them to meet the expectations of a rapidly changing, diverse, global society. Our theme focuses us on the learning experience of every student, "Using our Mind Well." The staff has developed a schoolwide essential question to help build upon our theme and incorporates our Six Habits of Mind adopted last spring by parents, students and staff (ownership, understanding, self-direction, motivation, self-assessment and connections): How do we create a culture of using minds well in all content areas?

Q. What special projects will occur during the school year?

A. Salem Avenue Elementary School is celebrating its grand reopening Monday, Aug. 21, after two years of renovations and new construction. The 53-year-old school was completely renovated, adding a new gym, cafeteria, media center, office suite and classrooms. We are opening our doors to current students, alumni and neighbors to see the "new" Salem Avenue Elementary School from 6 to 8 p.m. Some of the planned activities include tours of the new building, meeting the current staff, as well as video and picture presentations of the renovation process. On behalf of the staff, we would be honored if you could join us for this wonderful celebration.

We will take part in the CCES national affirmation process in late fall. A team of individuals from several Nationally Affirmed CCES schools will interview staff, parents and students, as well as observe the learning experience in each classroom. At the end of the affirmation process, the team will present commendations and recommendations for further educational development and either affirm our school or recommend a subsequent visit after the recommendations are in place.

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