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Nathaniel Bowditch School

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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
Language Enrichment 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 language enrichment 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 language enrichment 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