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  • Writer's pictureLaura Tavares

Boston Globe Op-ed highlights Community Innovation in Salem, MA

Updated: Jan 31

We are excited to share this op-ed from today’s Boston Globe, "Learning to Love School: A Blueprint for Student Engagement.” Authored by Salem Superintendent of Schools Dr. Steve Zrike and philanthropist Dr. Gerald Chan, the piece spotlights our successful experiment to transform learning in Salem, MA. 


Launched in 2022 in partnership with the WPS Institute, Salem’s pilot middle school program addresses chronic absenteeism, declining student engagement, and lackluster academic growth by designing a school experience that students truly enjoy. By May 2023, a 50% drop in absenteeism and improved test results showcased its success. In the op-ed, Dr. Chan and Dr. Zrike challenge conventional learning models, advocating for flexible schedules, real world relevance, and community engagement. They emphasize the crucial role of partnerships and call on the community to reimagine education together. 


At WPS, we’re proud to be a key partner of Salem Public Schools, and we’re grateful to the many other community organizations who are collaborating with us to create more engaging and meaningful learning opportunities for young people.


Read the article, and learn more about WPS's work on our webpage!




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