29 Highland Avenue
Salem, Massachusetts 01970
Map of Collins Middle School
Phone:  978-740-1193
Fax:  978-740-1183
Web Site:


6th - 8th
Enrollment:  700
Setting:  Not provided
District:  Salem Public Schools

Welcome to Collins Middle School!
Collins Middle School in Salem, Massachusetts contains approximately 700 students in grades 6 through 8. The school is divided into two wharfs (houses) with three grade level clusters in each wharf. Students are scheduled into three large learning blocks a day, two academic and one specialist block. The specialist blocks include art, music, physical education, and technology education. Other programs include English Language Learners (ELL), world language (French and Spanish), R.E.A.C.H. (diversion and mainstream), learning skills and life skills classes. The Collins school day begins at 8:20 a.m. and ends at 2:45 p.m.

Wharfs: All students and teachers at Collins are assigned to one of two wharfs within the school. Forrester and Ingersoll Wharfs are named after their namesakes in Salem's maritime history.

Once students are assigned to a wharf when they enter Collins, they remain in that wharf. This allows the students and teachers time to establish relationships, and determine the best path to individual learning and growth. Collins has 90-100 students in each grade per wharf, and these groups are called clusters.

Clusters: The school is organized into clusters of teachers where students spend most of their day. Each cluster has language arts/social studies teachers, math/science teachers, a world language teacher and special education teachers, and in some cases an ELL teacher. Students also attend specialists classes for subjects such as art, music, physical education, and technology education. Specialist teachers are assigned to individual wharfs for grades 6 and 7, with the exception of the instrumental music teacher who works with both wharfs. Grade 8 students may select their specialist classes from any specialist teaching cross-wharf.

The clusters are located in common areas and the Collins schedule has three blocks a day. Two blocks are approximately two hours long, and the third is a specialist block which is 80 minutes long. Teachers may modify the daily schedule to allow for special programs or field trips.

The cluster plan allows students and teachers to build better working and learning relationships. Specialists and cluster teachers meet together often to discuss student progress and how to best meet educational needs. Some students work even more closely with their teachers in a "self-contained" class. These classes typically have a ratio of 15 to 18 students to one teacher, who guides those students in all four academic subject areas. These classes attend specialists lessons with other students in their clusters.