Watch Q&As with Salem-Keizer School Board candidates
LOCAL SCHOOLS May. 4
As Salem-Keizer emerges from the pandemic, $1.5 billion budget adds more social workers, alternative education
Each district high school would get a social worker and elementary schools would no longer share speech pathologists under a budget plan released Tuesday by Superintendent Christy Perry.
Oregon Tech faculty end strike after tentative agreement reached
LOCAL SCHOOLS May. 3
As Salem-Keizer schools resume, numbers show how many students have Covid and who’s staying home
In the weeks since Salem-Keizer middle and high schools resumed in-person classes, the district has recorded 26 cases of Covid among more than 18,000 secondary students who are back in school buildings. About 15% of students have remained in all-online classes.
Salem-Keizer budget committee begins meeting Tuesday
SALEM SCHOOLS May. 3
With ceremonial toss of dirt, Corban University starts on new sports complex
Corban University, the private university in southeast Salem, is launching construction for a new complex for track and field. Officials gathered recently for a groundbreaking ceremony.
Carlos Ruiz named West Salem High School principal
LOCAL SCHOOLS Apr. 29
Poised to graduate early, Salem high school seniors get a free quarter of college
Pandemic schedule changes meant a higher than usual share of Salem-Keizer seniors completed graduation requirements at the end of first semester this school year. Hoping to smooth the runway for those pursuing higher education, Salem-Keizer and Chemeketa administrators set up a Senior Launch program to give them a head start on college for free.
SALEM PEOPLE AND PLACES Apr. 28
Gardening helped these Salem teens cope with quarantine. Now, they’re selling plants.
The Salem-Keizer Future Farmers of America’s annual plant sale is just starting, and agriculture students are already seeing high demand. McKay High School students help prepare vegetable starts and flower baskets in the school greenhouse, with proceeds supporting club membership fees and competition travel.
AGENDA: Salem-Keizer board to hear plans for academic support, financial updates
HIGHER EDUCATION Apr. 26
Oregon Tech faculty in Salem join strike over pay raises, workload
The dental hygiene program and teaching clinic run by the Oregon Institute of Technology at Chemeketa Community College ground to a halt Monday as five faculty joined a strike with support from many of their students.
SCHOOL BOARD ELECTIONS Apr. 24
Salem-Keizer school board candidate Q&A - Zone 7 (north Salem)
Hear from school board candidates Liam Collins and María Cecilia Hinojos Pressey about their priorities for the Salem-Keizer district. Voters across the district get a say in all four races on May 18.
McNary's Erik Jespersen named Oregon Principal of the Year
SCHOOL BOARD ELECTIONS Apr. 23
Salem-Keizer School Board candidate Q&A - Zone 5 (southeast Salem)
Hear from school board candidates Karina Guzmán Ortiz, Jesse Lippold Peone and Mike Slagle about their priorities for the Salem-Keizer district. Voters across the district get a say in all four races on May 18.
LOCAL SCHOOLS Apr. 22
Salem-Keizer School Board candidate Q&A - Zone 3 (south Salem)
Hear from school board candidates Ashley Carton Cottingham and Linda Farrington about their priorities for the Salem-Keizer district. Voters across the district get a say in all four races on May 18.
Willamette University becomes latest to require Covid vaccine for students, employees
SCHOOL BOARD ELECTIONS Apr. 21
Salem-Keizer School Board candidate Q&A - Zone 1 (west Salem)
Hear from school board candidates Osvaldo Avila, Richard Riggs, Ross Swartzendruber and Kari Zohner about their priorities for the Salem-Keizer district. Voters across the district get a say in all four races on May 18.
FreeSCHOOL BOARD ELECTIONS Apr. 21
Salem-Keizer sees 11 candidates for four school board seats in heavily polarized races
Intense debates over school reopening, police in schools and racial equity have put more focus on the Salem-Keizer School Board over the past year. In the May 18 election, two slates of candidates backed by local political action committees have organized along partisan lines, while three independent candidates also seek seats.
FreeCHILD CARE IN SALEM Apr. 19
One year after pandemic closures, fewer child care providers operating in Salem
A new report from Portland State University and the Early Learning Division chronicles how pandemic changes to child care affected parents and young children across Oregon. State data shows Marion County lost 52 child care providers in the past year.
Salem-Keizer assistant superintendent Kraig Sproles takes job in Eugene
FreeLOCAL SCHOOLS Apr. 14
In violation of state policies, Salem-Keizer students won’t be given standardized tests this spring
A divided school board on Tuesday gave district administrators the go-ahead to skip Oregon tests for the second year in a row. Some board members questioned the move, but proponents argued that the tests would cut into valuable class time without providing much useful data from the unusual school year.
LOCAL SCHOOLS Apr. 14
PHOTOS: Houck, McKay welcome students back in-person
Middle and high schools across Salem and Keizer rolled out the red carpet, sometimes literally, as their youngest students returned to in-person classes Tuesday and Wednesday.
Summer program grants available to help Oregon kids catch up
LOCAL SCHOOLS Apr. 13
Marching band, red carpets and balloons for middle and high school students returning in Salem-Keizer
Sensory overload appeared to be the theme at many local schools as sixth and ninth graders returned to in-person classes Tuesday. Cheering walls of teachers and school staff greeted teenagers still waking up - but despite some nerves, most reported they were glad to be back.
Salem-Keizer board chair apologizes, says board will recognize student journalist
Salem-Keizer plans for five days per week of in-person school in fall
AGENDA: Salem-Keizer board will consider waiving state standardized tests
SCHOOL BOARD Apr. 9
Salem-Keizer School Board delays recognition of student journalist following critical coverage of school board campaigns
Board Chair Satya Chandragiri said he was concerned that recognizing senior Eddy Binford-Ross before May school board elections might appear too political. He said the concern wasn’t about the article’s content, but arose after a local socialist group shared it to endorse candidates.
PRESCHOOL IN SALEM Apr. 9
Northeast Salem parents finding new help to get their preschoolers ready to learn
Teaching Spanish-speaking parents how to help their kids learn at home is a longstanding goal at the Salem-Keizer Coalition for Equality. Their classes usually focus on elementary school students and their parents, but a flood of requests over the past year led to a new offering for 3- to 5-year-olds.
SALEM PEOPLE Apr. 7
After meandering path marked by ‘oddball invocations,' Willamette University’s “heart and soul” plans her retirement
As Willamette University’s chaplain, Karen Wood counseled grieving students, made lawyer jokes at commencement and shepherded a program to help students find a path forward after college based on their values and spirituality.
LOCAL SCHOOLS Apr. 6
With bands, balloons and ‘awkward school spirit,’ Salem high schools will welcome back students
As the Salem-Keizer School District moves forward with reopening, thousands of middle and high school students across Salem will be back in school buildings two days per week starting April 13. That’s required lots of careful planning for students, some of whom will step in the buildings for the first time.
LOCAL SCHOOLS Apr. 5
After years of work, North Salem High School will offer students a program that’ll give them a leg up with a global focus
North will become the second high school in the Salem-Keizer School District to offer an International Baccalaureate program for students, allowing them to earn college credit while pursuing high-level courses and second language proficiency. Students can earn a special diploma or pursue a career program.
OREGON SCHOOLS Apr. 1
Gov. Brown joins Woodburn students for first day back in-person
The governor visited Lincoln Elementary School, where about half the school's 640 students have opted to come back in-person four days per week, meeting a class mascot and speaking with educators about the challenges of the past year.
FreeCOMMUNITY COLLEGE Apr. 1
Chemeketa plans to resume classes in the fall, anxious if students will return
Enrollment in Oregon community colleges dropped by one fourth, with career and technical education programs particularly affected. Jessica Howard, president of Chemeketa Community College, said her school is well-poised to aid in the Salem area’s economic recovery and sees opportunity out of the chaos of the past year. Uncertainty and financial challenges remain.
Salem-Keizer adds two days to school year as ice storm makeup
LOCAL SCHOOLS Mar. 29
After Marion County lands state money, walking to school will be safer in east Salem
Marion County’s public works department recently received state funding for crosswalk and sidewalk improvements near three east Salem elementary schools: Mary Eyre, Four Corners and Auburn.
Watch Gov. Brown, Superintendent Christy Perry talk school reopening at 1 p.m.
LOCAL SCHOOLS Mar. 25
Data shows more than 80% of Salem-Keizer elementary school students opted to return in-person
About 3,000 district elementary school students were attending school all online before spring break, while 14,000 were back in the classroom. Just a few hundred students transferred to an all-online program ahead of the switch, with Latino and Asian students slightly more likely to transfer.
Pandemic relief brings more college aid for Oregon teens, young adults in foster care
LOCAL SCHOOLS Mar. 22
Oregon will allow less space between students in class, but Salem-Keizer not planning changes
State health and education officials said Monday schools can safely prevent Covid spread with three feet of space between students in most classrooms, rather than six. The change means some schools could resume full-time in-person classes. But Salem-Keizer will stick with its plan for two days per week in-person and doesn’t expect a full return until the fall.
LOCAL SCHOOLS Mar. 22
Wanted: Salem high school students who love hands-on learning
Seniors at Salem-Keizer's Career Technical Education Center resumed part-time classes last week. District programs in agriscience, culinary arts, business and robotics are seeking more students for the fall as the pandemic has pushed back their regular recruitment schedule.
Meet your Salem-Keizer School Board candidates for May 2021
Deadline approaching for Chemeketa Foundation scholarships
SALEM COMMUNITY Mar. 18
Neighborhood by neighborhood, a new project wants to change the odds for Salem's kids
After almost four decades at the helm of Catholic Community Services in Salem, Jim Seymour is leading a group that asks families to weigh on in the social problems within their own neighborhoods, starting in the Hallman area. He says the only way to reduce poverty and help kids succeed is by listening to their parents about what they need.
LOCAL SCHOOLS Mar. 17
Cowboy costumes, baby chicks mark first day back for fourth and fifth graders
About 14,000 students are now attending local elementary schools in-person part-time after the Salem-Keizer School District welcomed back older elementary school students this week.
LOCAL SCHOOLS Mar. 17
PHOTOS: Fourth and fifth graders join younger classmates in Salem-Keizer schools
Wednesday was another "first day of school" for thousands of kids across the Salem-Keizer School District as the final group of elementary school students resumed in-person classes.
SCHOOL BOARD Mar. 16
No change for May 2021 school board elections as Salem-Keizer adopts longer process for review
Voters across the Salem-Keizer School District will have a say in all four contests for school board this spring. On a 4-3 vote, school board members amended a proposal to adopt a zoned system, instead calling for gathering public input and expert advice over the next 18 months.
Willamette president to speak March 19 on "State of Higher Education"
Latest changes to Oregon's school reopening rules will have little impact in Salem
After technical glitch Tuesday, Salem-Keizer board will take up zoned elections proposal March 15
LOCAL SCHOOLS Mar. 11
Salem-Keizer ended its school resource officer program, but police will still have a scaled-back role in the district
District leaders said they're committed to law enforcement not having a "regular presence" inside schools. A Keizer police officer formerly stationed at McNary High School will continue to serve on a school district safety and threat assessment team under a contract signed in February. Discussions about the handling of child abuse investigations will be ongoing this spring.
Salem's former school resource officers will be permanently reassigned after district declines to renew contracts
LOCAL SCHOOLS Mar. 9
Salem-Keizer won't renew contracts for police in local schools
Superintendent Christy Perry told school board members Tuesday the district has decided not to renew its contracts to station 11 police officers in local schools, nearly a year after local activists began pushing for a change.
Salem-Keizer School District wants your input on how it communicates
LOCAL SCHOOLS Mar. 8
Proposed overhaul of Salem-Keizer school board elections could mean more local campaigns
The board will vote Tuesday on a proposal that would elect its members by zones rather than across the district. Proponents say it would reduce election costs and lead to a more diverse school board. Most board members say they're supportive of the idea, but the timing is likely to be a sticking point.
Free Mar. 5
Salem-Keizer to host parent forums about resuming in-person middle, high school
LOCAL SCHOOLS Mar. 5
Brown orders Oregon public schools to resume in-person classes by April 19
The announcement comes as Salem-Keizer School District leaders said middle and high school students will have in-person classes two days per week starting April 13. The governor's announcement won't change the district's timeline.
SALEM ECONOMY Mar. 5
COLUMN: Where the good jobs in the Salem area are and how much education is needed to get them
Despite the economic downturn, there will continue to be in-demand occupations. While many only require a high-school diploma, getting a college degree is likely to pay off.
WOU will return to majority in-person classes for fall
Oregon Department of Human Services gets federal grant to help wildfire survivors
LOCAL SCHOOLS Mar. 3
PHOTOS: In Salem, a second "first day of school" as in-person classes resume
From desks in taped rectangles to hand sanitizer stations, here's what elementary school looks like now in Salem.
LOCAL SCHOOLS Mar. 2
Salem’s youngest kids head back to in-person classes
Tuesday morning had the feel of a first day of school, with lines of eager teachers greeting parents dropping off students for in-person classes across the Salem-Keizer School District. For many kindergarteners, it was their first time inside a school building.
LOCAL SCHOOLS Mar. 1
A year into online school, more of Salem’s youngest students are struggling to read
New Salem-Keizer data shows that the number of second graders considered “high risk” for being off track to read proficiently has increased slightly. Gaps are bigger for native Spanish speakers, Black and Pacific Islander students and those receiving special education services.
High school sports matches begin in Salem this week
LOCAL SCHOOLS Feb. 28
PHOTOS: What elementary school will look like as Salem students return March 2
Colorful bulletin boards at Hallman Elementary School remind students about mask wearing, and drinking fountains are taped off. Here's what your student can expect to see when they return to class.
LOCAL SCHOOLS Feb. 26
Teachers prepare to welcome Salem’s youngest students back to classrooms
On March 2, more than 4,000 local kindergarten and first graders will be returning to in-person classes in Salem-Keizer schools. The week before meant a flurry of activity for educators as they prepared lessons, reviewed safety protocols and redecorated classrooms.
Chemeketa board approves tuition increase for 2021-22
NAACP to host March 2 discussion on proposal to zone Salem-Keizer School Board elections
South Salem senior named Oregon student journalist of the year
Salem teachers file labor grievance over pay for extra work hours
Indoor dining will return to Salem as region sees fewer Covid cases
AGENDA: Salem-Keizer School Board to be briefed on school reopening, academic progress
SALEM AREA NONPROFITS Feb. 23
Private music lessons are expensive. This Salem nonprofit is making them easier for teens to access.
Junior Kevin Flores gets weekly violin lessons through Salem’s Music Lessons Project, helping him hone his skills for orchestra competitions as he works on a difficult Mozart concerto. The project helps hundreds of students afford music lessons each year.
LOCAL SCHOOLS Feb. 19
PHOTOS: New additions in progress at McKay, South Salem high schools
Two Salem high schools are in the middle of significant renovations scheduled to finish in time for a new school year in the fall. They're among 25 schools in the Salem-Keizer district that will be renovated this year.
LOCAL SCHOOLS Feb. 19
Salem-Keizer on schedule for massive construction push with 25 schools set for renovations this year
Local voters approved nearly $620 million in bonds in 2018 to fund projects modernizing every school in the district. With extra earnings through grants and bond sales, schools are now expected to get nearly $700 million of work without costing taxpayers more.
Free Feb. 18
Salem-Keizer cancels school Friday, Feb. 19
Salem-Keizer cancels school for Thursday, Feb. 18; district offices open
Free Feb. 17
Salem-Keizer schools will resume grab-and-go meals Thursday
Free Feb. 16
Salem-Keizer cancels school for Wednesday. Feb. 17
Free Feb. 16
McKay High School teachers plan to hand out food at noon, need donations
Free Feb. 15
No school for Salem-Keizer students Tuesday; grab-and-go meals suspended
LOCAL SCHOOLS Feb. 12
PHOTOS: Classes go outside as high school construction students build Salem home
Construction is on for seniors in Salem-Keizer's Career Technical Education Center residential construction program. They're working on a three bedroom home in northeast Salem.
SALEM COMMUNITY Feb. 11
After stolen yurts upended its expansion plans, a Salem school gets some unexpected good news
Kaleidoscope Community School had purchased four yurts, insulated tents used in central Asia, to expand its growing school. The coverings for the yurts were stolen in January. But this week it received a donation from behind bars.
LOCAL SCHOOLS Feb. 11
The pandemic closed high schools, but these Salem students still get to do their final project: build a house.
Every year, seniors in Salem-Keizer’s residential construction program finish their studies by building a house that’s sold to a local family. Despite smaller groups and shorter work schedules, they’re on track to finish by graduation.
LOCAL SCHOOLS Feb. 10
Elementary school will be in-person five hours per day, two days per week under Salem-Keizer reopening plan
After nearly a year, thousands of Salem students will be returning to the classroom starting March 2. But schools will look very different, and not everyone is cheering the reopening.
Governor says school football can resume in Oregon, but Salem will need to offer testing
LOCAL SCHOOLS Feb. 9
As Leanette Mabinton becomes Salem-Keizer School Board’s first student advisor, she hopes adults will be open to learning
Two years ago, 15-year-old Leanette Mabinton pushed the Salem-Keizer School Board to do more for students at overcrowded McKay High School. Now a senior, she has a new job: advising a board that's been a magnet for public controversy.
LOCAL SCHOOLS Feb. 8
Fall enrollment down 4.5% in Salem-Keizer as more families opt for homeschooling
Thousands of Oregon families opted not to send their kids to public school this year, fueling a statewide enrollment drop. Salem-Keizer reported about 1,900 fewer students in the fall of 2020 compared to 2019.
AGENDA: Salem-Keizer board could change the way its members are elected
LOCAL SCHOOLS Feb. 4
Kindergarten, first graders heading back to Salem-Keizer schools March 2
District leaders released a plan Thursday to resume in-person elementary school classes in Oregon’s second-largest school district in the early weeks of March, bringing thousands of kids back into schools after nearly a year of online classes.
Back-to-school questions? Oregon schools chief, epidemiologist available for Wednesday Q&A
SALEM COMMUNITY Feb. 1
A trailer stolen in the middle of the night upends school's expansion plan
Kaleidoscope Community School has been growing since it was founded in 2015. The school has been able to stay open serving families with essential workers. It had plans to serve more families using yurts. But thieves had other plans.
COMMUNITY COLLEGE Feb. 1
New diesel mechanic program at Chemeketa aims to put students in hard-to-fill jobs
Five years in the making, Chemeketa's newest career program launched in January with nine students. They're learning the basics of rebuilding and maintaining diesel engines on trucks, school buses, ambulances and more.
West Salem singers join voices in haunting ode to the power of song
LOCAL SCHOOLS Jan. 28
With desks in lunchroom and temperature scanners, Blanchet Catholic students back on campus
As Oregon's largest school districts mull reopening plans, some Salem-area private schools are already holding in-person classes. Blanchet Catholic School began this week, alternating middle and high school students.
LOCAL SCHOOLS Jan. 21
With fewer requirements and a disrupted senior year, Class of 2020 posts graduation records in Oregon, Salem
Because of the pandemic, Oregon waived some graduation requirements and ended senior year in April for students already passing classes needed to graduate. State and local officials said years of sustained work, rather than those changes, accounts for higher graduation rates.