It is our mission to foster a safe and caring learning environment that celebrates individual uniqueness and promotes high expectations and critical thinking. By doing so, our students will be empowered to reach their full potential, becoming responsible members of society.
Welcome to Salem Elementary, the home of the Salem Coyotes. We are the only school in beautiful Salem Township and are part of the South Lyon Community School District. We have approximately 370 students in grades K-5. The principal of Salem Elementary School is Mr. Ryan Knapp. One of his many roles is serving as the instructional leader for 17 classroom teachers. In addition to the classroom teachers, two resource room teachers support special education students while regular education students requiring additional support in reading skills receive assistance from three Reading Recovery/Literacy Specialists. Reading Recovery is a research-based, early intervention program that helps students develop a solid foundation of reading strategies. Additional support services are provided by a speech pathologist, school psychologist, two social workers, an occupational therapist and a physical therapist. The staff also includes specialized teachers for art, music, and physical education. A media monitor supports instruction by making sure teachers and parents are aware of and have access to the many resources available in the school’s media center.
The primary goal of all members of the Salem School Community is to reach out to every student and support him/her in becoming a connected member of our community of learners. Our focus is on increasing student achievement through implementation of teaching strategies that have been identified as “best practices” by researchers in the field of education. First and foremost, we strive to give each child what he/she needs in order to learn; this is known as “differentiation of instruction.” Our teachers teach to curriculum benchmarks provided by the office of Curriculum, Instruction, Technology, and Assessment (CITA) and aligned with the content standards and benchmarks outlined in the State of Michigan Curriculum Framework.
The members of the Salem staff are not only TEACHERS, they are also LEARNERS themselves. Salem teachers spend many hours in professional development in order to stay up-to-date on the ever changing curriculum standards outlined by the Department of Education. They utilize data garnered from a variety of assessments to determine where each child needs additional support and/or enrichment. Finally, they rely on the support they can give one another by dialoguing about student work, best practices, and how to meet the needs of each and EVERY student.
Members of the Salem Elementary School Community use to complete our mission is to provide students with direct instruction on the “Habits of Mind” (HOM). HOM are life skills people need in order to be successful in all aspects of our society. This includes at home when interacting with family, friends and neighbors; at work when completing a project; at school when they face challenges in a difficult class; and, in society in general. The HOM are:
- Managing impulsivity;
- Listening to others with understanding and empathy;
- Thinking flexibly;
- Thinking about our thinking (metacognition);
- Striving for accuracy and precision;
- Questioning and posing problems;
- Applying past knowledge to new situations;
- Thinking and communicating with clarity and purpose;
- Gathering data through all senses;
- Creating, imagining, and innovating;
- Responding with wonderment and awe;
- Taking responsible risks;
- Finding humor;
- Thinking interdependently; and,
- Learning continuously.
These sixteen life skills must be taught directly, modeled, and reinforced. The South Lyon Community Schools staff makes a conscious, well planned effort to do this throughout the curriculum and across grade levels. Salem Elementary is only the first step in a systemic effort to prepare students for our ever changing society.
As you can tell, it takes an enormous amount of work to educate children; no school can do it on their own. At Salem Elementary we are fortunate to have support from both the parents of our students and the community at large. We welcome parent and community volunteers to work in classrooms, in the office, in the cafeteria, on the playground, with Student Council, and/or in clubs. On more than one occasion a parent has come forward with an idea about how he/she could contribute to the educational program at Salem; each time, implementation of the idea proved to be successful. CHEERS is a district-wide volunteer program designed to support teachers with activities both in and outside of the classroom.
The Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) at Salem is a great source of support for our students and staff. Their special activities and fundraising efforts enrich the school environment greatly. The PTO meets each month in the Media Center. Meeting dates and times are published in the Salem Scoop, Salem’s bi-monthly newsletter.
In the South Lyon Community School District, parents, staff and community members share decision making through the Shared Involvement Process (SIP). By being more inclusive of all stakeholders in the Salem Elementary community we have increased our ability to provide the best learning environment possible for our students.
Salem Elementary is located in a lovely rural setting where students, parents, and staff have created a safe, caring, and nurturing learning community. The entire Salem Elementary School Learning Community is very proud of Salem; we invite you to experience it for yourself by visiting us sometime. You can schedule a personal tour by contacting the school office or you are welcome to attend one of our special events.