Award Year: 2022

The Birches Academy of Academics and Art Chartered Public School

419 South Broadway
Salem, NH, 03079-4323

(603) 458-6399

Mr. Christopher Smith, Principal at time of Nomination

Charter School

State Chartered Public School District

School Website

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School Social Media

Mission

To provide a top quality elementary and middle school education through the lens of arts integration. Through our staff and curriculum, we offer an environment that embraces the natural diversity of learning styles and supports the social, emotional and physical needs of our students.

Student Demographics
  • Black/African American: 1%
  • White: 86%
  • Hispanic: 6%
  • Asian: 4%
  • Two or more races: 2%
Application
Birches Academy robotics coming together for initial work session.

Birches Academy robotics coming together for initial work session.

The Birches Academy of Academics and Art is a STEAM focused chartered public school that meets children where they are. Since its founding in 2012, the Birches Academy has served students from many communities in New Hampshire. Originally an Arts-integrated school, in 2022 the Birches Academy changed its focus to STEAM in order to reflect the inclusion of 3D printing, robotics, and other science and engineering projects which had become part of instruction. The Arts continue to be an area of focus and strength.

The Birches Academy celebrates each student for who they are and what they offer. One way we accomplish this is through our House system. All of our students and staff are sorted into houses which meet once a month to talk about ways of helping the community and to discuss any challenges they may be facing. While this obviously affords opportunities for older students to mentor the younger students, it also offers staff a way to help create social capital for students who may be struggling socially. Students can be awarded "points" for exhibiting pro-social attributes and these points are tallied at the end of each week at the all-school, student-led assembly.

The inclusion of stakeholder groups has also been a factor in the success of the Birches Academy. Designated volunteers lead after-school groups and help with educational field trips, while parents volunteer in classrooms, and demonstrate their work expertise for the students. We can do more together than the combined total of our individual efforts.