SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

July 16, 2013

Saltonstall year cut

School Committee votes 4-3 for 180-day schedule

SALEM — After nearly two decades, a key piece of the “break-the-mold” Saltonstall School got broken last night.

The School Committee voted 4-3 to end the 190-day, extended-year schedule at Saltonstall, one of the hallmarks of the K-8 school since its founding in 1996.

Mayor Kim Driscoll called the vote “a colossal mistake.”

The mayor, who is also the school board chairwoman and a Saltonstall parent, said she feared the vote would be a “real momentum killer” at a time when the Salem public schools are in the midst of a turnaround effort after getting a Level 4 designation from the state for low scores on the high-profile MCAS exams.

The majority of the board, however, strongly disagreed during a meeting at Salem High School before an audience of about 80.

The four who voted to end the longer schedule — Jim Fleming, Brendan Walsh, Janet Crane and Nate Bryant — insisted that only one piece of the innovative school model was being eliminated. They said the school system could not justify spending the estimated $150,000 the program costs when Saltonstall does not have measurably better MCAS scores and when funds are needed at schools with more low-income children and greater overall needs.

“This is not the dismantling of Saltonstall,” insisted Fleming, who made the motion to shift Saltonstall to the 180-day schedule used at other city schools.

“You’re going to lose 10 days,” Fleming said. “You’re not going to lose multi-age classrooms” or the extended-day program or teaching according to an educational philosophy of multiple intelligences.

Saltonstall students go to school an hour longer every day, are grouped for two years with the same teacher and, up until now, have gone to school through the month of July.

Bryant, who was seen as the swing vote, stuck to the stand he took last month.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News

AP Video
Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors Raw: Funeral for Man Who Died in NYPD Custody Migrants Back in Honduras After US Deports Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return Raw: ISS Cargo Ship Launches in Kazakhstan Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme Former NTSB Official: FAA Ban 'prudent' EPA Gets Hip With Kardashian Tweet Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in the Netherlands Biden Decries Voting Restrictions in NAACP Talk Broncos Owner Steps Down Due to Alzheimer's US, UN Push Shuttle Diplomacy in Mideast Trump: DC Hotel Will Be Among World's Best Plane Crashes in Taiwan, Dozens Feared Dead Republicans Hold a Hearing on IRS Lost Emails Raw: Mourners Gather As MH17 Bodies Transported Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-free Travel Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Disabled Veterans Memorial Nearing Completion
Comments Tracker