Category: General Team Info

Club for Kids Who Like to Read and Compete

Dear Parents,

First, here’s to hoping that the first weekend of your summer vacation was a good one!

Second, I had a quick announcement that I wanted you to be aware of: I am starting a Battle of the Books reading club for Track 4 students of all grade levels.

Meetings will be held two days a week during Spartan Time and occasionally after school.

For those of you who don’t know, Battle of the Books is a state wide reading competition where teams of kids from different schools compete against one another to "show what they know" about a collection of books chosen by the state’s media specialist association. We will have an "in-house" competition first — and the team who wins will advance to a county competition held in the spring.

The club is a GREAT option for kids who love to read and love to compete.

If this sounds like something your kid would enjoy, encourage them to come find me at the beginning of the year.

And if they want to get a head start on the competition, point them to this list of books.

Let me know if you have any questions,

Bill Ferriter

Thank You for Sharing Your Kids With Us!

Dear Parents,

I just wanted you to know that today was a beautiful day here at school.

I loved watching all of your kids get recognized for different accomplishments this year — whether that was for their character or for making the Honor Roll or for being an accomplished speller or geographer or band student. Their smiles and pride and joy — for themselves and for one another — left me with a warm heart.

What was even more amazing was our Team Talent Show. Your children have SUCH an incredible range of talent and courage — singing or playing or dancing or telling jokes in front of their peers is a HUGE risk for middle schoolers. I was also super proud of the kids in our audience — who showed respect for every act, who were genuinely impressed by their peers, and who gave huge rounds of applause for every performer.

Don’t get me wrong: I wasn’t surprised. I’m never surprised by your kids.

They are truly remarkable in every way — and that comes from a guy who is stingy with complements!

But I was overjoyed. And fulfilled. And proud of who they are.

Thank you for sharing such an amazing group with us. They are a reflection of your efforts as parents and I’m incredibly grateful.


Bill Ferriter

Fourth Quarter Honors Assembly

Dear Parents,

I’m not sure if I’ve advertised it yet, but we are having a fourth quarter Honors Assembly next week!

Here are the details:

Wednesday June 27th
9:00 – 10:00
Salem Middle School Auditorium

If your child is receiving a special award from a core teacher, we have already notified you directly via email or via letter home. We do NOT notify parents of Honor Roll students, though — there’s just too many of them!

You can find out if your child is on the Honor Roll by looking it up in PowerSchools.

Let me know if you have any questions,

Bill Ferriter

Schedule of Events – Testing and Last Week of School

Dear Parents,

As we begin the sprint to the end of the school year, I wanted to share with you the dates of some of our important upcoming events:

Testing Schedule:

Monday June 18th — Math EOG

Tuesday, June 19th — Reading EOG

Wednesday, June 20th — No testing for sixth grade

Thursday, June 21st — Social Studies Final Exam

Friday, June 22nd — Science Final Exam

Monday June 25 — Retakes for absent students

Last Week Events:

Wednesday June 27th:

9:00-10:00 – Honors Assembly in the Auditorium

10:00-11:50 – Talent Show in the Auditorium

Thursday June 28th:

12:30-1:20: Yearbook Signing

Friday June 29th:

8:30 – 10:00 : Kickball Game

10:00 – 11:30 : Quiz Bowl

11:45 – 12:45 : Pizza Lunch/Movie

Let me know if you have any questions,

Bill Ferriter

Plea for Tissues!

Dear Parents,

We have an emergency request: We are completely out of tissues here at school!

Your kids have been BURNING through them — It must be allergy season for sure.

If you can send in a box to help us, it would be much appreciated.

Thanks in advance,

Bill Ferriter

A Big Fundraiser Thank You!

Dear Parents,

Now that I’ve had the time to dig MOST of the colored powder out of my nose and ears, I wanted to send you a personal thank you for all that you did to help support our PTA’s color battle fundraiser!

The final total raised by the Gnomes students was $5,865.

That’s an absolutely stunning number. My thoughts all along was that we would raise around $1,000. To see your kids crush that number was incredible.

All of the proceeds from the fund raiser go straight to the PTA — who uses it to invest in our school. One tangible example of how your kids will benefit: As seventh graders, they will have a Poet in Residence named Mr. Shabazz who will coach them in poetry during their seventh grade year. It is an experience that has been a part of the Salem Middle School experience for almost 15 years — and it is an experience we wouldn’t be able to provide if it weren’t for your support of the PTA.

Many thanks also to the sea of 6-4 parents that I saw helping with color battle last Thursday! It was a great time for our kids that also wouldn’t be possible without your willingness to volunteer.

With gratitude,

Bill Ferriter

Honors Assembly on Friday!

Dear Parents,

Just a quick heads up to let you know that our third quarter honors assembly will happen this Friday — April 27th — from 9:00-10:00.

We will HOPEFULLY be in the auditorium, but we haven’t nailed that space down yet. If we aren’t in the auditorium, we will be in the cafeteria.

Parents of students receiving special awards will be notified directly via email or phone call. Parents of students receiving honor roll certificates won’t be notified directly — you can check your child’s honor roll status in PowerSchool.

Hope this helps,

Bill Ferriter

Please Consider Participating in the Annual PTA Fundraiser

Dear Parents,

First, I hope you’ve had a remarkable track out!  Mine has been restful and rewarding all the way around.

Second, our PTA is holding its annual fundraiser right now.  This year, it is a Color Battle:




We will have a short kickoff assembly on Thursday designed to share details with your students about the fund raiser.  

You can also find the information sheet for the fundraiser here.

Finally, here are the important details:

  • Color Battle will happen for our students during electives on April 25th.
  • To participate in Color Battle, students will need to raise at least $30 in donations.
  • More donations give students more color for the battle and access to additional prizes/rewards.
  • Donations can be made online.  Students will all get an access code to create a donation page on Thursday.  We will set those up in science class.
  • Cash/check donations can also be sent into school.

I REALLY hope that you will help your students to get involved in the fundraiser.

The fact of the matter is that schools are almost always underfunded.  The resources that the PTA raises provide us with access to all kinds of learning opportunities that we’d never be able to provide otherwise.  For example, the PTA recently sponsored a Poet in Residence for seventh grade, an Artist in Residence for eighth grade and a theatrical presentation for the sixth grade.

Let me know if you have any questions,

Bill Ferriter


Field Trip is ON. Dress Warm and Stay Dry!

Dear Parents,

After checking the weather a million times in the last 48 hours, we’ve decided that our field trip is ON.

It looks like we will have about a 30 percent chance of rain during the time that we are at Bond Park.  Temperatures will hover in the upper forties:

What that means for your child is dress for the weather.  Wear warm clothes.  Find a jacket that can resist rain.  Wear shoes that will stay dry in wet grass — or pack an extra pair of shoes and socks.  Bring an umbrella in case we get caught in stray showers.

If you have any questions, you can contact me quickest by text message.  You can find my phone number here.

Hope this helps,

Bill Ferriter






A Conversation to Have With Your Kid / National School Walkout Day

Dear Parents,

Many of you may already know that there is a National School Walkout Day planned for March 14th. Students around the country are planning to walk out — both in memory of the students who died in recent school shootings and as an attempt to raise awareness about school safety issues.

Here at Salem Middle School, a group of eighth grade students have been working to plan a walkout for our campus. They have been thoughtful in their planning and have had their plans reviewed and approved by our administration. They are also working to advertise the event both in social media spaces that your students may be a part of and through posters hanging in the hallways of our building.

Here are the details:

(1). The walkout will begin at 10:00 AM on March 14th and will last for 17 minutes. Students will gather outside for moments of silence and speeches that are planned and delivered by student leaders. When the event is over, participating students will return to their classrooms.

(2). Students who choose to participate in the event have to sign up in advance in the Student Services office.

(3). Regular classes will not, however, be cancelled as a result of the event. Teachers will continue to teach their lessons even after participating students have left the room. That’s because this is not an official school event. Students who do not participate will just continue with their lessons in their regular classrooms with their teachers.

(4). Administration and other school personnel will be present to make sure that participating students are safe and acting respectfully.

(5). School staff members are deliberately remaining neutral. They are not encouraging students to attend the walkout OR preventing students from attending either.

I would ask that you sit down with your child at some point this weekend and decide whether or not you want them to participate. If your child chooses to participate, please encourage them to treat the moment with the respect that it deserves.

My hope is that all of the 6-4 students who decide to participate will use the event as something more than a chance to get out of class for twenty minutes! If they do, it could be a really powerful learning experience. If not, it just ends up being wasted time. Most of that will be determined by the conversations, coaching and expectations that you set with your child when discussing whether or not you are willing to let them participate.

Let me know if you have any questions.

Bill Ferriter