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About the Nathaniel Bowditch School

Students / Grades: 498 students, K - 8


Named for Salem's "Native Son," a navigator, astronomer, mathematician and linguist in the late 1700s until his death in 1838, the school opened in 2001. It originally opened as the Federal Street School in 1989.

School Theme: Learning through Literacy and Languages

The Nathaniel Bowditch School is a K-8 school dedicated to helping students achieve academic excellence and to fostering mutual respect, personal responsibility and social awareness. Developing a high level of literacy in a technological era and knowing how to read, write, speak and understand language well are critical to the success of all students in school and beyond. Learning a second language early offers students cognitive, social and cultural benefits and deepens their understanding of their first language.


Classroom computers, computer lab, Internet access in all classrooms, Library / Media Center, Computer Technology specialist.

Support Services:       

         o Bilingual parent outreach staff
         o Reading specialist and literacy support staff
         o English as a Second Language (ESL)
         o Spanish as a Second Language (SSL)
         o Bilingual Counselor

Education Programs
Dual-Language Program:

The goal of our English-Spanish Program is to build bilingual and bi-literate students. Students learn to develop their primary language and acquire a second language while learning in all content areas. In our 18 dual-language classrooms, students whose first languages are English or Spanish read, write and study content in both languages.

Classic Education Program:

Through developmentally appropriate curriculum activities, materials and strategies, students work at their individual developmental level. All students in grades K - 5 participate in a Spanish FLES (Foreign Language in Elementary Schools) program. Students in the sixth through eighth grades take a Spanish world language class.


   * Developmental reading and writing instruction (First Steps)
   * Extended periods of direct literacy instruction (Four Blocks)
   * Framework-based science
   * University of Chicago Everyday Math in K - 6
   * Literacy based language instruction

Academic Excellence:    

The Nathaniel Bowditch School is dedicated to creating an atmosphere that gives students a sense of the value of literacy, different languages and cultures, and encourages a love of learning. Parents, teachers, administrators and support staff work together for high academic achievement, providing a rigorous curriculum, innovative instruction, and support to all children.

   * State-of-the-art facility with 27 classrooms in grades K - 8
   * Two classrooms at each grade level, K - 8, in the dual-language program
   * One classroom at each grade level, K - 5, in the classic education program

What makes Nathaniel Bowditch School a special place?

   * Only K - 8 school in Salem
   * Learning a second language early
   * Active parent involvement
   * Principal and faculty with international and cross-cultural experience