SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

June 21, 2012

Salem schools to get $1.5 million in grants for turnaround

Bethany Bray
The Salem News

SALEM —

The public schools will receive nearly $500,000 a year for the next three years to fund turnaround efforts to improve student achievement.

The city is one of nine districts in the state selected for federal school redesign grants.

Salem schools have focused on district-wide improvement since Bentley Elementary was declared a Level 4 "underperforming" school by state education officials last fall, based on its history of scores on the MCAS exam. Soon after, the entire district was declared Level 4.

Salem submitted its final grant application to the DESE in April, opting to adopt the state's "transformation" turnaround model, which means Principal Renata McFarland will remain in charge of the Bentley School.

The federal grant money will fund an extended school day, new staff, curriculum initiatives, support services for special education and English as a Second Language students, and expanded after-school programming.

For full coverage, see tomorrow's Salem News.