Salem Returns Update

News for our families from Salem Public Schools

A note from Steve Zrike, Superintendent


Dear Families,

Welcome back to the 2020-21 school year! While this is an unusual start to a school year, it has been impressive to watch how educators, students, and families have collaborated to make remote learning work. The first week of school coincides with the start of Hispanic Heritage month across the Unites States which extends from September 15th to October 15th. During this month, the Salem Public Schools will be celebrating the cultural heritage, diverse histories and contributions of Hispanic and Latinx people to our city and country. Currently, in the Salem Public Schools, almost 45% of our students and many staff members identify as Hispanic or Latino/a/x. This month’s celebration values their experiences and reinforces two of our core District values of honoring differences and promoting access and equity for all members of our community.

We will be asking our staff to spend time recognizing and highlighting the linguistic, historical and cultural richness of Latinos/as/x as part of student learning throughout the school year. We also ask our families to share images along with words describing what Hispanic heritage means to them. Please email your images to so that we can share with the entire SPS community. We appreciate your partnership as we embrace the diversity the makes our city a special place to live and work.

I'd also like to extend a L'Shanah Tovah, or Happy New Year, to our Jewish staff and families. May you have a sweet and healthy new year this Rosh Hashanah.

Thank you for your continued support,

Steve Zrike, Superintendent

Back to School Student Information Forms - now online!

As with every start to the school year, we have back-to-school forms that need to be completed so we have accurate and complete information about your student in our schools. This also helps us to ensure timely communication with you at home, meet health and wellness needs, and keep you informed and updated about all that is happening in our schools.

This year, we are happy to announce that our school forms can be completed online! You can find this information in your email or visit our website at to find your school forms. If you prefer to complete a paper form, those can be provided to you at your school office.

Please complete ONE OF EACH FORM PER ENROLLED CHILD using the appropriate links for the school where your student attends. We ask that all families complete these forms as soon as possible so that our schools will have the most updated information on file for your child(ren).

Salem Public Schools Family and Student Handbook

This handbook contains important information that every Salem Public Schools student and family should know, including COVID-19 related health and safety information, the Salem Public Schools Code of Conduct and Discipline Policy, Attendance Policy and Procedures, Anti-Bullying Policy and Procedures, Student Dress Code, Responsibilities for Use of Technology, and more.

If you are unable to access the SPS FAMILY AND STUDENT HANDBOOK electronically, please contact your school to request a printed copy. Translations in Spanish and Portuguese are available upon request. Should you need the document translated into another language, please notify your school front office.

It is the responsibility of each parent/guardian to read and understand the provisions contained within the family and student handbook and to discuss them with your child to ensure that they understand.

In addition to the SPS Family and Student Handbook, each school has their own student handbook, which is available on each school's website. Additional School Committee policies should also be reviewed which can be found in the School Committee Policy Manual.

How is attendance taken during remote learning?

We know that remote learning presents unique challenges and we thank our families for being incredible partners to support students’ learning. We wanted to share more information about what attendance will look like during remote learning this fall, and how we are focusing on multiple measures of engagement over a simplistic view of whether or not a student was “present.”

Attendance in our Remote Learning Model is defined as evidence of “engaging with the assigned material” on a daily basis. Evidence of daily attendance for each remote learning course (or class period) will be measured by the student’s participation in a combination of in at least two of the following ways (including, but not limited to):

  • Submission of daily assignments
  • Submission of formative checks for understanding
  • Completion of longer-term assignments by due dates
  • Participation in online discussions
  • Participation in small group instruction
  • Meeting with teacher during office hours
  • Class participation during the scheduled class time
  • Student participation during scheduled related services
  • Phone call with the teacher or related services provider

Attendance for each scheduled day of learning will be determined based on each students’ participation levels in each of his/her assigned courses or class periods. Students will be given the entire day to engage with remote learning content. In addition, no student will be marked absent for remote learning as a result of not having a device. Teachers will record attendance each morning for the previous day to give students time to complete the requirements during any given day.

It is expected that parents/guardians shall, to the maximum extent possible, ensure that their child actively participates in remote learning. If a student will not be able to participate in any learning activities that day, a parent/guardian should call the school to report the absence to the school secretary. The absence will be considered excused.

The student will receive an unexcused absence when:

  • They do not participate in any part of the learning activities for the day,
  • The student’s parent/guardian does not contact the school to report the absence.

We are aware that all family and student circumstances may vary, especially during these unprecedented circumstances. Parents/Guardians are encouraged to contact their child’s teacher(s) about any issues related to remote learning that may be affecting student engagement and attendance.

Kindergarten on Salem Access Television!

As we work out the kinks with device distribution for our youngest learners, we have partnered with Salem Access Television (SATV) to provide Kindergarten classes on Comcast channel 15 throughout the week. These classes will be aired from 8:30 am-11:00 am every morning. Tune in for morning meeting and more!

Families Helping Families In-Person Technology Support


Do you need help understanding your student's learning platforms? Join these in-person sessions in both Spanish and English to gain tech support from parents and community members.

WHEN: Monday-Friday

WEEK OF September 21st

WEEK OF September 28th

WEEK OF October 5th

TIME: 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm


Links your student needs for school

We hope that the first week of school has been successful for you. We know that technical difficulties happen, whether it is with the teacher, the student, or the technology itself, we hope we can get the wrinkles ironed out quickly. You should expect to hear from your teachers on a regular basis to keep you informed on schedules and learning opportunities such as Hubs and small group meetings. If you have not heard from your school, please contact them immediately.

We know that there are many questions about how to successfully use all of the technology to make remote learning work. The following sections aim to summarize where to go and what to do as you navigate the remote learning platforms:

ClassLink: ClassLink is the homepage for all Salem Public School Chromebooks where students will find all the programs they need for remote learning without needing separate links, passwords, or logins (with a few exceptions). This is where students should go to start their day. For instructions on how to get there, click here. (Spanish)

Zoom: Zoom is how classes will meet together using video. Class Zoom links are found in Google Classroom or Schoology. For instructions on how to use Zoom, go here. (Spanish)

Google Classroom: This is where preK-5 students will find all of the information from their teachers for their classes with all assignments, schedules, notifications, and other information. Follow this link (Spanish) to explore google classroom. If you can’t find your “classroom,” please contact your teacher!

Schoology: This is where grade 6-12 students will find all of the information from their teachers for their classes with all assignments, schedules, notifications, and other information. Follow this link (Spanish) to explore Schoology. If you can’t find your “course,” please contact your teacher!

If you need help, please contact your classroom teacher.

Frequently Asked Questions

We know that families still have many questions about this unique start to the school year. We have created a frequently asked questions (FAQ) document that will be continuously updated as we advance through this school year.

Please take a look and if you still have a question that was not addressed, please send it to

Still have an urgent need for a device or internet service?

If you still need a Chromebook or have an urgent need for internet access, our bi-lingual tech help desk phone line is live! You can reach the help desk at 978-619-1450 for assistance.

If you have further questions, please contact Marc Leblanc

Did you miss our High Hopes video? We hope it brings you and your family joy as we get going with the 2020-2021 school year. Watch below.

Salem has High Hopes for the 2020-2021 School year

Welcome Back To School!

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