Washington Academy, founded in 1780, later becoming Salem Central School, was among the first secondary schools in New York State. Maintaining quality educational programs has always been given a high priority. The district's buildings retain the charm of its early architecture and unique beginning.
The district has a stable enrollment of 900 students, K-12, on one central campus. This includes approximately 50 students from the neighboring town of Rupert who are enrolled in the secondary level program as part of a unique relationship with the state of Vermont. The 425 students in the elementary school are served by 22 classroom teachers as well as full-time professional personnel in the areas of art, music, physical education, and library science.
The K-6 structure offers both multiage and traditional classes as well as a departmentalized approach in sixth grade. Also programs in Latin (grades 5 & 6), Reading Recovery (grade 1), and mentoring help to illustrate the emphasis placed on preparing students to become successful lifelong learners in a competitive society.
Salem's Washington Academy is comprised of grades 7-12 and strives to meet the needs of non-college and college bound students. More than seventy five percent of the student body typically chooses to pursue post secondary education. Others seek added skills training, enter the job market, or enlist in the military.
Thirty-five teachers serve approximately 450 students in academic, occupational, fine arts, and special education areas. Instruction in a second language (French and Spanish) begins in the seventh grade. Highlighting an excellent agricultural program is an on-site greenhouse in the high school courtyard. Expanded computer lab facilities provide students with the opportunity to develop this important technological skill. In addition, Advanced Placement English, History and Calculus are available to students in their junior and senior years as well as a science research course. Also through a NYS and federal grant, students in grades 7-12 are able to participate in a service learning program. Typically, students have logged in well over 5000 hours while completing service learning activities throughout our school and local community during each of the past five years.