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The Settlement House Scoop!


In November of 2011, The House of the Seven Gables (7 Gables) responded to a Request for Proposal by the Salem Public Schools’ Superintendent, Stephen Russell, Ed. D. to lease the Gables’ Settlement House. Their desire to lease this property from the Gables stemmed from their need for a new location for the Salem Prep Program.
Russell highlighted the benefits of the Settlement House with the following bullet points:
   – “Salem Prep students will benefit from attending school in their neighborhood area.
  – The Derby St. location will be easily accessible for parents wishing to participate in and contribute to the program. 
  – The Settlement Association will receive revenues that can be used to preserve the building.
  – Joint programs that are already underway between the Gables and the Salem Public Schools will grow and prosper.”
Salem Prep is a special program for young adults up to 22 years of age. It is a highly structured, intensive, therapeutic learning environment for students with a history of social/emotional and behavioral disabilities who have experienced difficulty learning within a large public high school. There is a very high teacher to student ratio so the students have extra care and attention.
Mayor Kimberly Driscoll was a huge proponent of the  move to the Settlement House and wrote to Anita Blackaby, the Executive Director. In the letter, she expresses “…It is my hope that leasing this space will provide the Settlement House with another opportunity to positively influence adolescents through the Salem Prep program. Moreover, I think it will open the door for even greater collaboration between our City, our schools and The House of the Seven Gables.”
After much consideration, the Board of the 7 Gables agreed that Salem Prep would be a great addition to the Gables’ family and would be an additional way to pay homage to Caroline Emmerton’s original mission to support programs which serve Salem’s immigrant population.
Blackaby exclaimed, “The Gables’ museum is the first of its kind in the country dedicated to social service work, and this year we are proud to have the Salem Prep Program in operation at The Settlement House. After a year of funding several offsite youth programs around the North Shore last year, we are thrilled to have almost thirty students back onsite!”

An additional aside for our Historic Derby Street Neighborhood Association neighbors…There will be a meeting in the Seaman’s Visitor Center at 7pm, Monday, February 13th. All are welcome to come and learn about the Salem Prep program, as well as the construction and brick work that has been on-going on the Turner Street side of the Settlement House…

Thank you for your visit to the blog today. Please let us know if there are any concerns or questions you’d like addressed in this blog or at the upcoming meeting. Please leave your comment here or feel free to email:

Date: February 6, 2012

Author: sperling

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