This is our second year at Salem. Last year was good, but I am rating this below average because: 1) I feel that ensuring consistent teacher quality across grades is critical to student success; 2) leadership, namely principal, presence is important to show to the parents and kids. My son, my youngest child, is a 2nd grader and has the least communicative teacher I have ever encountered. Nothing is posted to the blackboard, she does not send home any newsletter, any emails or any other documentation about what is going on at the school or in the classroom. I have yet to see a homework or test grade. During orientation, it was abundantly clear that she did not know how to use a computer. I have now requested a conference in writing, by email, and by phone and have not heard back at all. I have sent an email to the principal and have not yet received a reply. Twice my son has come home with rips in his shirt because he has been chased down on the playground by the girls. If the situation were reversed, he would be in significant trouble. I have tried to tell him that this is a great learning experience but we are really discounting this year, at this point.
Nothing special about this school. I must admit I haven't been to any others but it is just so-so...testing appears to be the most important thing for the administration as is technology. If you are into that kind of thing than you'd be happy. The administrations main goal seems to be smartboards and iPads. Our test scores are good but that is all they are taught. They say science is in the curriculum but I'm not so sure. Playground is substandard with kids not having grass, balls, goals, or fields to play on. There are old playground structures which are falling apart. The playgrounds are frequented by the neighborhood flocks of geese making it their toilet. There is limited shade.
Salem Elementary is an outstanding school! The teachers and staff are very dedicated to their students and really enjoy their jobs. The administration is incredibly charismatic and knows the children and their families by name. All staff members are friendly and provide a nurturing, loving and safe school environment each and every day. The school is committed to making sure each student is successful both academically and socially. Both of our daughters have flourished at Salem and love attending school because of the expectations and environment that the staff provides.
We thought this was a wonderful school. There were a few things that could have been stronger, but overall it was a great experience for both of my children.
If your kid is gifted and wants to learn more and faster, you will be most likely disappointed, as that's highly discouraged at Salem and no infrastructures for such. I had to transfer my kid to a magnet school despite almost 2 hrs on bus daily. The school's preference for mediocracy has shown in its declining tesst scores and ranking.
Academics seem pretty good here, but there are lots of good schools in this area. I give an average rating because when it comes to being progressive, Salem Elementary is below average. The school is very much about test scores and not so much about turning out well-rounded conscientious human beings. A 5-star school accomplishes both. The school does not make an effort to be a leader. They do not recycle. They don't have a wellness committee, nor are they interested in starting one. The teachers feed the kids junk food in the classroom very often, including using candy and Froot Loops for kindergarten math, and giving junk food as a reward for good behavior/work, even though this is explicitly against school board policy. They do not offer any foreign language courses at all.
We looked at public and private schools throughout the area and as soon as a spot opened up at Salem Elementary, we jumped on it for our son. The quality of instruction there is far and above what our peers are paying tens of thousands of dollars for at private schools. Where the district fails, parents step in and make up the difference, whether it's funding for more smartboards or volunteering to provide more work with gifted students in math and science. Parent volunteers really make this place tick. When testing end of grade testing preparations made it difficult for teachers to find enough time to support a science fair, a parent stepped in and made it happen as an extra curricular. When the number of students involved in AG swelled, parents stepped in to work with those students in math. The school's Scrabble club (started by the librarian) produced 2 national champions. The school had a month long educational effort around space which culminated in a live Q&A session with astronauts aboard the International Space Station.
Both our daughter (who is now a middle schooler) and our son, both who are special needs children absolutely love(d) Salem Elementary. The staff all the way from the principle down to the teachers and support staff really care about the children. They go above and beyond to make sure each gets a good education and support when they need it.
We had an awful experience at Salem Elementary. We moved from the Bay Area (CA) and settled near this school based on this website and reviews. We found it to be true that the students who are ahead are made to sit around until the rest of their peers catch up. This isn't a "gifted student" dynamic, but one that is true for all students who excel in any subject. We lasted 3 weeks in the school before transferring to a private school. Our daughter was telling us that she no longer liked school. By the way, the very attentive and caring administration called me weeks later and said "We've noticed your daughter has missed the last 25 days of school. Is there anything that we should know about?". We had officially removed her from the school when we left.
My daughter came from a catholic school in western pa and I thought the adjustment would be difficult for her. She is thriving at Salem. Her school work improved and she is learning so much more than when she was in catholic school. I would highly recommend salem to any parent coming down from the north to our school district!
Salem has been letting down its younger gifted students for at least 3 years now. Parents of students who are ahead of grade level are told by most teachers (there are a couple of exceptions) to 'slow them down and bring them in line with their peers.' This not only exhibits a complete lack of understanding about how to educate gifted kids, but it sends the children and their parents the wrong message (ask yourself -- what is a kindergartener who has been leveled by the school as reading at a 2nd grade level actually learning when she is told she must participate in basic phonics lessons with her classmates?) If you are planning on sending a gifted student to Salem, please make sure you get them tested to proove it -- you will need it to work through the system which encourages mediocrity and conformity instead of excellence.
Salem was the perfect place for our child with autism. The staff is very caring. IEP/Special Ed resources are excellent. We left another Wake Co school after being very disappointed in their inability to cope with our child. Both our kids are flourshing at Salem.
I agree with the above reviews. The school is excellent. The principal is very caring and willing to work with you. Parents are very involved as well.
Salem Elementary is a top notch school! Salem has the most board certified teachers of any elementary school in Wake County, at this time. All the teachers, general ed, special ed, and accelerated teachers are caring and want all kids to succeed. The staff is approachable and are proactive. The principal and assistant principal are involved and hard working. They know all kids by name! Overall, a wonderful school and a great learning environment.
Salem is a wonderful school! The staff takes great pride in working with the students and truley cares about each one. Ms. Williad, the principal, knows each kid and is always apporachable. The resources available to the kids are amazing! i would highly recommend this school!
This school is wonderful! Very friendly and 'in tune' with the children of all ages.
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The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.
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