Educational Institutions

Salem Academy Charter School Foundation (Salem Foundation for Service Education Inc.)

  • Salem, MA
  • www.salemacademycs.org

Mission Statement

The Salem Foundation for Service Education is a supporting organization and related party to Salem Academy Charter School. Salem Academy Charter School is a small commonwealth charter school serving the diverse population of Salem and the surrounding communities with a college preparatory program for students in grades six through twelve. As an independent public school, Salem Academy is tuition free and open to all as space allows. Through a unique integration of college preparatory classes with service to the community, the school graduates informed, articulate and proactive individuals of strong character. Salem Academy prides itself on a strong school culture defining the school as a learning community where students and adults interact with mutual respect and who collectively value the school's norms embodied in the acronym REACH - Responsible - Empathetic - Assertive - Cooperative - Honest. Salem Academy's goal is to set high standards and expectations, and to raise students' aspirations. We believe that with structure, support, and consistency, every student can become a successful learner. Our essential vision is for any student who chooses to come here, regardless of social, ethnic, or economic background, to find academic success and to develop the skills, the habits of mind, the attitudes, the strength of character, and the sense of civic responsibility to become successful in college and to become an active and constructive participant in an adult society.

Main Programs

  1. Academic Success
  2. Service Learning
  3. MMSI-APTAP
  4. Faculty and Staff
Service Areas

Self-reported

Massachusetts

Salem Academy Charter School's primary sending district is the City of Salem. 80% of the school's students are from Salem. Additional students come from East Boston, Lynn, Saugus, Peabody, Marblehead, and Beverly.

ruling year

2003

Principal Officer since 2006

Self-reported

Mr. Sean D. O'Neil

Keywords

Self-reported

Salem Academy, Salem Charter, Charter School, SACS

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Also Known As

Salem Academy Charter School

EIN

83-0368169

 Number

8563504847

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Educational Services and Schools - Other (B90)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?

Overview

Self-reported by organization

Salem Academy Charter School serves the same demographic population as the Salem Public Schools. Salem is a Level Four District; Salem High School and Collins Middle School are Level Three Schools, among the lowest 20% performing schools in the state. Salem Academy Charter School has grown from 88 students in 2004 to 340 students in 2012 and will serve its maximum allowed enrollment of 372 students in the fall of 2013. In the lottery for the current year's enrollment, there were 285candidates for 90 spaces. On average, Salem Academy students historically have scored ten points higher than Salem district students on MCAS exams in every subject at every grade level. 70% of Salem Academy juniors and seniors are enrolled in at least one Advanced Placement class. 100% of Salem Academy Charter School graduates have been accepted at two or four year colleges. Within the past year: * The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education declared Salem Academy Charter School a Level I school. * Boston Magazine ranked Salem Academy Charter School as the number one charter school among 22 Boston area charters. * The Boston Globe featured Salem Academy as one of the top MCAS performing charter schools in the Boston suburbs. * Newsweek Magazine ranked Salem Academy Charter School number 499 among ""The Top 1,000 High Schools in America"". * The Washington Post ranked Salem Academy Charter School among the top ten high schools in the state in the Post's Challenge Index. * The Governor of Massachusetts declared Salem Academy Charter School a Commended School for growth in student performance and for closing the achievement gap.

Programs

Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Program 1

Academic Success

Salem Academy Charter School's highest priority is academic achievement leading to success in college. Toward that end, Salem Academy offers a well defined curriculum, good teaching, and a school culture that supports learning. Salem Academy offers a standards based, college preparatory curriculum. Every student takes math, science, English Language Arts, history or social studies, and with few exceptions, Spanish. In addition, students take multiple electives in art, music, dance, drama, health, physical education, and technology. The school supports an extended day and an extended year. There are 195 days in the school year. Classes begin at 8:30 a.m. and continue to 4:00 p.m. followed by homework center, tutoring, and a variety of activities and athletics until 5:30 p.m. ELA, math classes, and most lab sciences are 80 minutes in length; other classes are 54 minutes. Multiple levels of each discipline and multiage groupings allow the school to respond to students' individual learning styles, levels of skill, and achievement. The curriculum is grounded in the Massachusetts Common Core Curriculum Frameworks, and student progress is purely performance based measured by internal and external assessments. Teachers hold students to high academic expectations in every classroom. Instruction is standards-based and daily objectives are derived from established benchmarks for each academic core course. In order to ensure that students master lesson objectives, standard lessons open with an introduction, include direct instruction or modeling, guided practice, and time for independent application of skills prior to conclusion of the lesson. This format may be spread over the course of more than one instructional period. Instruction in every class is supported by the use of technology. Salem Academy has invested in personal laptops for every teacher, SMART Boards in nearly every classroom, multiple laptop carts, and netbooks for our upper classmen.

Category

Education, General/Other

Population(s) Served

Children and Youth (infants - 19 years.)

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

Hispanics

Budget

$2,500,000.00

Program 2

Service Learning

Service Learning allows students to apply their learning in context. Students spend 100 hours of school time each year on service learning projects. Younger students participate in thematically oriented teams while older students pursue independent or small group projects of their own design. Through the Five Step Process students identify an issue, research the issue, develop a strategy for addressing the issue, implement the strategy, and evaluate the results. Each year the sixth grade focuses on housing and food. Their service learning experiences are woven into the curriculum and include a Hunger Banquet, a partnership with Heifer International, and a visit to a farm. The seventh and eighth grades choose their projects within a theme, and ninth and tenth grade students choose a mini-project each quarter. This allows the students to learn how to research and solve problems before completing an independent service learning project and thesis in eleventh and twelfth grade.

Category

Education, General/Other

Population(s) Served

Children and Youth (infants - 19 years.)

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

Hispanics

Budget

$4,000.00

Program 3

MMSI-APTAP

Salem Academy is participating in the Massachusetts Math and Science Initiative Advanced Placement Training and Award Program (APTAP). The Commonwealth of Massachusetts, in partnership with Mass Insight Education and Research Institute, secured one of the first grants from the National Math and Science Initiative, Inc. (NMSI) for this program. The goal is to increase student enrollment in mathematics, science and English AP courses, as well as to improve student performance as reflected by an increase in the number of qualifying scores. The program provides extensive training for AP and Pre-AP teachers, establishes AP lead teachers, demands additional student preparation, and provides performance-based financial incentives for students and teachers. It focuses on teacher and student support, vertical teaming, open enrollment, and incentives. The program increases the number of students taking AP exams, and expands access to traditionally under-represented students.

Category

Education, General/Other

Population(s) Served

Youth/Adolescents only (14 - 19 years)

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

Hispanics

Budget

$10,000.00

Program 4

Faculty and Staff

Salem Academy Charter School believes that the adult professional staff members are at the core of the school's success. Salem Academy seeks teachers who have expertise in their subject matter, who care deeply about young people and believe in their students' ability to succeed, who are team players, and who have an entrepreneurial spirit that supports determination, persistence, and creativity in their efforts to create a highly personalized education for every student. Multiple levels of delegated authority empower teachers to have a voice in the daily life of the school and to effect change. The staff is not unionized; contracts are for one year at a time; professional development programming is continuous throughout the school year, and the school employs a clearly defined teacher evaluation system. The student teacher ratio is 10:1. One hundred percent of teachers are highly qualified by NCLB standards; 67% have advanced degrees; average teaching experience is 8 years.

Category

Education, General/Other

Population(s) Served

Children and Youth (infants - 19 years.)

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

Hispanics

Budget

$2,500,000.00

Service Areas

Self-reported

Massachusetts

Salem Academy Charter School's primary sending district is the City of Salem. 80% of the school's students are from Salem. Additional students come from East Boston, Lynn, Saugus, Peabody, Marblehead, and Beverly.

Funding Needs

A. Capacity Building Salem Academy Charter School has achieved measurable results with limited funds and facilities largely due to the entrepreneurial spirit, energy, and dedication of a talented and selfless staff. As the school has grown from the ""start-up"" stage to become an established and respected institution, it can no longer depend on the largess of its employees to ensure sustainability. Salem Academy needs funds to accommodate the increase from 340 to 372 students. It needs funds to employ more learning specialists to work closely with students ensuring the support that each child needs to reach the goals of a personal student success plan. It needs funds to reward talented teachers and to become competitive in the educational marketplace for teachers and leaders alike. It needs funds to employ support personnel who will enable teachers to do what they do best and not lose time and energy to mundane tasks. And it needs funds to expand the schools facilities and equip the facilities properly ensuring the school's ability to provide an environment that supports the school's mission. These are capacity building needs enhancing the school's ability to realize its goals and become sustainable. In the current year's budget, the gap between state funded tuition and the actual cost per student is $1,500. B. Professional Development In keeping with the school's founding philosophy of research based best practices in education, Salem Academy Charter School is committed to ongoing professional development programming for its teachers and administrators. The school sponsors a five day orientation / training session for new staff every summer followed by another five days of professional development activities for the entire staff before classes begin in late August. While classes are in session until 4:00 pm Monday through Thursday, classes end at 2:00 pm on Friday every week, and the faculty engages in a two hour professional development workshop every Friday afternoon throughout the school year. Periodically, the school supports a team based approach to professional development enabling members of an academic department or a task force to take class time off for an of campus workshop. In addition, five half days are scheduled each year for focused professional development workshops, and the year concludes with a full day of programming typically the last weekday of June. In recent years, Salem Academy has brought specialists and consultants to the school for targeted programs on service learning, standards based instruction and assessment, and English language learner instruction. Salem Academy engages the Achievement Network consulting firm to support teachers in using data to inform curriculum design and instructional strategies. Salem Academy also supports faculty participation in workshops, conferences, and graduate courses to the degree possible, and the school maintains membership in the Salem State University Collaborative Project, a source of excellent and timely training sessions on a variety of subjects including especially the effective application of technology in teaching. The current budget for this program is $42,000; however, only $20,000 is allocated in the school's state funded budget and the remaining $22,000 is dependant each year on philanthropic support. C. Service Learning Service learning is an essential element of the school's mission. Student engagement in service learning enhances students' understandings of academic content by practical application, addresses the school's mission based goal of character development, provides opportunities for teamwork and leadership, and contributes to the long term goal of citizenship. The service learning program is administered by the Head of School and implemented by the entire teaching staff. Service learning programming, approximately 100 hours a year, is scheduled into the 195 day school year. Selected half days and full days are devoted to service learning. An effective service learning program for a team of 18 to 20 students is equivalent to another course for a teacher. This increases the average teaching load from four classes to five for most teachers in addition to their Connections (homeroom) classes and supervisory responsibilities, and it adds an element of responsibility where many teachers feel a lack of expertise. Salem Academy seeks to improve the service learning program by designating a person who would take on the administrative leadership as a significant percentage of his or job description. In addition, the service learning program by its nature depends on partnerships with community based organizations, and so a goal for this program is to transfer the prime responsibility for planning, implementation, and student engagement from the classroom teachers to specialists who represent the participating community organizations. A budget to support these improvements in the program would be in the range of $60,000. D. Facilities Salem Academy Charter School leases a 35,000 square foot facility in Shetland Park, an industrial / commercial complex on Salem Harbor. Recently renovated, the school building is modest but well equipped for the current student population with sufficient classrooms, laboratories, offices, a learning common (library/technology center), and cafeteria. As the school's enrollment grows, however, more space will be needed for additional classrooms and particularly for studios that will support art, music, dance, and drama programs. The most urgent need, however, is for a gymnasium. As the school has grown, particularly from a middle school to a full middle school and high school, the athletic and physical education programs have grown, and the school has had ever increasing needs for gymnasium space. For the first few years, students walked a mile to the Salem YMCA to use a gym there, but that facility is no longer available. More recently, Salem Academy has enjoyed a relationship with the Salem Boys' and Girls' Club a short, two block walk from the school, and students have been able to use the gym there until 2:00 pm each day when the Club needs the space for its own programs. This has accommodated Salem Academy's physical education program but has forced the basketball teams to travel to nearby towns for rented gym space. Now, the Boys' and Girls' Club's facility is at risk of renovation for another purpose, and Salem Academy is searching for new options. Fortunately, additional space contiguous to Salem Academy's current building is available for potential expansion. In the near term, Salem Academy's facilities priority is to build a new gymnasium, most likely in the currently available space or elsewhere on the Shetland Park grounds. Further expansion of the school building space would then follow after the gymnasium as the school's enrollment grows. The estimated cost of a new gymnasium is $2.5 million. As a charter school in an area targeted for economic development, Salem Academy is eligible for favorable tax exempt bond financing and so the school's need now, at minimum, is for the first 10% of that cost, $250,000.

Accreditations

Massachusetts Department of Early and Secondary Education (Mass DESE)

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Financials

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SALEM FOUNDATION FOR SERVICE EDUCATION INC
Fiscal year: Jan 01-Dec 31

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Salem Academy Charter School Foundation (Salem Foundation for Service Education Inc.)

Leadership

NEED MORE INFO ON THIS NONPROFIT?

Free: Gain immediate access to the following:
  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2015, 2014 and 2013
  • Board Chair, Board Co-Chair and Board Members
  • Access to the GuideStar Community
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Principal Officer

Mr. Sean D. O'Neil

BIO

Sean O'Neil is Executive Director of Salem Academy Charter School. Mr. O'Neil holds a BS in Business Administration from Rider University and a Master of Arts in Teaching English from the University of Notre Dame. He has held a variety of teaching and administrative positions in independent and charter public schools including teacher, Development Director , and Assistant Headmaster at Lawrence Academy at Groton, Headmaster of the Chapel hill Chauncy Hall School in Waltham, Development Director at Cambridge School of Weston, and Executive Director of the Cape Cod Lighthouse Charter School.

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Mr. Peter Copelas

Peter's laundry

Term: Jan 2013 - Dec 2013

BOARD LEADERSHIP PRACTICES

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BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?


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CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?


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ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?


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BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?


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BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?