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A letter from the Board

February 6, 2023

Dear Valley Inquiry Families,

The VICS Governing Board has voted to return, at the end of the 2022-23 school year, to a K-5 format. This difficult decision was not made lightly, as it impacts every family—regardless of whether they have a student currently enrolled in our Middle Years Program—as well as our hard-working staff.

As the only International Baccalaureate elementary school in Salem, Valley Inquiry has a history of providing an educational experience which cannot be found elsewhere. When we set forth to provide an IB middle school experience, it was with that same goal in mind. We asked students and teachers to adapt to difficult, crowded conditions while we finalized details for a construction project aimed at housing our Middle Years Program.

For the past year and a half, the pressure of those crowded conditions has been borne with commendable patience. Meanwhile, ballooning construction estimates pushed what was originally deemed to be an affordable project into one requiring loan payments substantial enough to cripple our ability to hire and retain teachers and support staff for many years to come--not to mention putting financial pressure to increase classroom sizes.

Ultimately, we faced a question of whether to sacrifice the quality of education current and future VICS students would receive during the many years of loan repayment for the sake of holding on to the dream of an IB middle school.

Your students' educations are too important to every member of the Governing Board to consider such a sacrifice. We would rather accept the burden of failing to complete the expansion than try to justify anything less than a top quality educational experience. For those families who will now have difficult decisions to make about their children's future enrollment, we apologize and request your forgiveness that we are unable to continue offering a Middle Years Program.

There are still important decisions to be made. VICS Governing Board meetings are open to the public, and you are welcome to come and share your experiences and concerns with us. We certainly wish all of you the very best, and will continue doing our best to guide this school toward maintaining excellence in education.


Ken, Slough, BJ Foster, James Carter, ​Kyle McSmith, ​Cami Menager, Mathew Reyonolds, Terry Rohse

VICS Governing Board

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