Donna Fritz Answers Our Question
How Do We Help Students Who Need Support?
Our school system has many students with working class parents who are either unable, or perhaps even unwilling to participate in their children’s education. Many of these children are good students who are are facing strong obstacles to their being able to take full advantage of what our schools offer. Housing, clothing, food, and and steady parental guidance, and holding jobs are some examples of these challenges.
Do our schools have programming in place to adequately serve these students, if not what more can be done?
Families and children all over the world face incredible challenges and barriers from being able to access all that their community has to offer. The Salem schools have tried to help with serving all students by providing such things as free breakfast and lunch for all. Introducing longer school days, so students can participate in additional learning time as well as fun enrichment activities such as dance, walking club, set building, and board games. We have also partnered with programs such as City Connects which looks at each individual student to evaluate and assess what specific supports they would benefit from and then connect them with those supports. All of these programs help, but for some it is not enough. We have children who are in crisis in our community. We need to increase Professional Development dedicated to understanding students with trauma histories. I would like to see additional trained staff to support students who are in crisis during the school day and I believe we should assess the need for a therapeutic educational program for the Middle School similar to the Salem Prep for high school aged students.