Salem Witches Institute
Salem Witches Institute is a wizarding school located just outside of Salem, Massachusetts. The school resides in a forested area, hidden from muggles. It is a co-ed institution for young witches and wizards aged 12-18. It is the most prestigous magical school in America, so it is considered a great honor for students to attend. Started as a finishing school for young ladies studying magic, the school now houses both genders and has a strong focus on culture and arts.
Location and History
Founding the School
Beginning in 1692, Salem, Massachusetts and its surrounding towns were subject to an important period of wizarding history, the Salem witch trials. Over 150 people were accused of witchcraft, considered a very dangerous attribute at that time. The cause for such a sudden muggle interest in witchcraft is unknown, but it was indeed strong in that area. Witches and wizard had to be careful to hide their abilities. Any show of magic, no matter how minor, was cause for a person to be dragged in front of a court judge. Some victims were hanged, others burned at the stake, and others simply died while in jail. It was a bleak time for the wizarding community and fortunately it did not last long. By May of 1693 the outcries of opposers, including families of the victims, convinced the courts to cease their arrests.
After these trials ended, witches were slow to re-begin practice of their magic. One witch by the name of Martha Alden was enraged by the trials due to her husband being accused and hanged. She was proud of her magical blood and insisted that witches should be allowed to practice in peace. She purchased an abandoned home and it surrounding farmland in the woods just outside of Salem in 1695. Along with a few other witches in the town, she began what is now known as Salem Witches Institute. The school began in the small house but soon grew to suit the growing population. Though in the beginning the school was available for witches only, as of 1914 wizards are also enrolled.
Building and Grounds
Salem Witches Institute lies on a large plot of green farmland surrounded by forest on all sides. One dirt driveway connects the school with a nearby road. The entrance at the road is marked by an iron gate with a sign that reads "Martha Alden's School for Girls." The campus of Salem Witches Institute consists of a main building along with surrounding smaller buildings. The grounds are well cared for by the long time groundskeeper. On either side of the main building there sits a large willow tree surrounded by a lush garden of flowers. Small gardens of similar flower surround each of the other buildings.
In 1865, all the buildings were updated in the Victorian fashion. They are all painted a clean white with olive green accents. The main building features large bay windows on either side and more intricate details than the other buildings. The main building is three stories tall and decorated in a simple and elegant fashion. It features the Dining Hall and Social Rooms on the first floor, Professors and Headmistress' office on the second floor, and the private residences of professors on the third floor.
There are 5 surrounding buildings, each two floors and assigned a name relavant to it's location on the campus or it's purpose for the institute.
- The North Building: History of Magic, Defense Against the Dark Arts, Ancient Runes.
The South Building: Transfiguration, Charms, Muggle Studies.
The East Building: Potions, Astronomy, Arithmancy.
The South Building: Herbology, Care of Magical Creatures.
Assembly and Arts Building: Theatre, Painting, Dance, and Music. This building features an attached auditorium, ballroom, and gallery for exhibitions and performances.
Students reside in three dormitory buildings according to their Fellowship. These dormitories are located to the right of the main building. Each is two stories with the bottom floor serving as a common lounge and the top floor containing bedrooms. Each student shares a room with one other student.
Students are divided into years by age, with the youngest students starting their first term at age twelve, and graduating at age seventeen or eighteen after completing seven full years of education. Required lessons start at first year, and others are optional after the third year.
The academy has most of the core subjects of other magical institutes, with the addition of four artistic courses. Students must choose one of these courses to study throughout their time at school. In the third year students may choose to take on an additional arts course or select an alternative one to study for the remaining years.
History of Magic
Defence against the Dark Arts
After their third year at Salem, students may drop one of their core classes (not including arts) and add one or two classes from the following list:
- Ancient Runes
Care of Magical Creatures
Quidditch Club - This club gathers to practice their skills and play against each other, and occasionall versus other schools. Salem is one of the few American schools to have Quidditch instead of Quodpot, as it is believed to be the "classier" sport.
Young Ladies Gardening Club
Wizard Chess Club
Students begin at Salem Witches Institute at the age of 12 and continue until they have complete seven academic years. During their stay, each student is sorted into one of the three Fellowships following an interview the headmistress.
The Fellowships are:
- Rose Fellowship: Values courage, nerve, and ambition. They are represented by the color red and a rose.
Lotus Fellowship: Values honesty, loyalty, and hard work. They are represented by the color white and a lotus flower.
Ivy Fellowship: Values cunning, intellect, and creativity. They are represented by the color green and an ivy leaf.
At the beginning of each year, one 7th year student from each Fellowship is chosen to act as Head Girl. Note that this was until recently an all-girls school, thus the feminine title. If a male student is chosen from his fellowship, he is referred to as Head Boy.
Students may earn merits and demerits during their time at Salem. Those students with the most points at the end of each year are given a special treat chosen by the headmistress.
Ladies' Uniforms consist of:
- A pleated plaid grey skirt
A white buttoned dress shirt with their Fellowship emblem on the lapel.
Gray or black dress shoes.
Gentlemens' Uniforms consist of:
- Grey dress pants.
A white buttoned shirt.
A black tie with their Fellowship emblem.
Grey or Black Loafers.
All young witches and wizards are also issued a standard black cloak with matching black pointed hat for indoor affairs, and a thicker olive colored cloak for outdoors and school trips.
Students are issued these items upon admission to the school.