Update for January 22, 2021

Salem High School

Happy Friday!

Here is what is in this week's newsletter.

  • Student Shout-Outs
  • Tri-M Music Society March Music Contest
  • Timeline for Start of Semester 2
  • Student COVID-19 Testing
  • SHS News
  • SHS Community Office Hours
  • SHS Department Updates
  • Upcoming Events
  • Weekly Reminders and Resources

Student Shout-Outs

Tri-M Music Society March Music Contest

Please fill out this questionnaire by Friday, February 5th to help out our school's Tri-M Music Honor Society for their March Music Contest!

Timeline for Start of Semester 2

Student schedules became available on Monday. Because of the need to cohort students for the start of Semester 2, the last day for students to request a change to their schedule will be on Friday, January 22. Semester 2 will begin on February 4. Please refer to the following timeline for the start of Semester 2:

  • January 22 - last day to request a schedule change
  • January 28 - cohorts finalized and communicated to families; zoom informational session 6-7 PM
  • February 2 - zoom informational session 4-5 PM
  • February 4 - start of Semester 2 and return to in-person learning for grades 10-12

Student COVID-19 Testing

In person students can participate in free, weekly COVID testing in school. Students under the age of 18 need a parent/guardian consent.

Consent form here

SHS News

Salem High News for Jan 22 2021

SHS Community Office Hours

Salem High School Students:

•Need a place to study?

•Need extra help?

•Want a change of scenery?

Pop into the Salem High Community Office, located at the Saltonstall Auditorium, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5-8pm. We would love to see you there Witches!


Boys and girls basketball opened the season with big wins over Salem Academy and are getting ready for their games tonight. Swimming and Gymnastics will open their seasons next week. Game Schedules can be found on : www.northeasternma.org. Thank you and Go Witch !!!!

Career and Technical Education

New Senior Internship Opportunity!

Salem High School is excited to share a new internship opportunity for high school seniors interested in the education field. The High School Senior Internship in Education Project provides high school seniors with the opportunity to complete paid work-based learning experiences while supporting their school and community. Educational interns will be placed, in person and virtually, within Salem Public Schools and will provide tutoring and mentoring services for younger students. Interns will participate in monthly meetings with a student organization to learn instructional strategies to utilize during their internship and the opportunity to reflect on their internship experience and learning. Funding for the program will be supported by DESE’s Connecting Activities, Commonwealth Corporation’s Youthworks program and MassHire Workforce Board.

If you are interested in learning more about internships at Salem High School, please contact Karyn King Fargo, Internship and Career Readiness Coordinator, kkingfargo@salemk12.org or call/text 781-771-0891.

College and Career Readiness Center

Financial Aid Information Session- EOC, Educational Opportunity Center, will be hosting a Financial Aid informational session in both Spanish and English for SHS families:

When: January 26th

Time: 6-7 pm

Target but all are welcome: Any Senior or Junior family interested in learning more about financial aid

Links: Spanish Zoom Link English: Zoom Link


Senior families- EOC of Northshore will be providing ONE TO ONE support for any family in need of help completing the FAFSA. Sign Up is required and completion of this registration form.

When: February 4th

Time: 5-7 pm (other dates and times are available)

Target: Any Senior Family in need to help to complete FAFSA

Information to come

Step to Create FSA ID

Video on FSA ID

If this date is not convenient please EMAIL: eoc@northshore.edu to set up an appointment

LEAP will host a Virtual Networking Night on Thursday, February 4th from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m for all students.

Would you be willing to pass along this link of the recruitment flyer (which contains the RSVP button and Zoom meeting link) to students and guidance counselors?

Event Information:

  • In general, a Networking Night provides students with the opportunity to have one-on-one and small group interactions with professionals to practice crucial workplace skills, such as communication and initiative. It also engages students in organic conversations and invites them to talk about their interests and goals.

  • Specifically, it will contribute to students in the following ways: expand social networks, strengthen professional skills, and build confidence.

Parents Supporting Parents Group - Open to ANY Caregiver

We are leaving the group topic open next week so parents have an opportunity to vent and support each other about whatever may be going on in their life. However, on Tuesday January 26th at 7:00 PM EST there will also be a kid's group offered simultaneously so that parents can truly focus on their group. This is ONLY for the Tuesday group next week. Please share with parents who have young children, especially!

Parents Supporting Parents Flyer

Caregiver Meet Up/Kids Group

English Language Learners

For Teachers:

Strategies for More Participation from ELLs in a Remote/ Hybrid Class: Part Four


www.lingt.com is a SUPER easy resource to give students assignments that easily incorporate the four language domains. Students can record their answer to a question by speaking and/ or writing the answer. It’s then recorded and sent to you. Students don’t need an account to sign up. Students may be quieter in class, but this gives them a different mode to communicate their ideas verbally.

Pupil Personnel Services

The Life Skills class is reading The Not Perfect Hat Club by Jenna Ball and learning about why it's more important to try your best than to be perfect. This week they wrote stories about how pets make them feel to connect the concepts in the story to their real-life experiences.

Final Draft:

Title of your story: My Pet Cat Mistaccio

My story.

My favorite animal is cat. I like to pet the cat. Cats make me feel great and excited! My cat is a boy named Mistaccio. Cat is back and sleeps with m

Student Activities

Congratulations to the newly elected class of 2023 officers: President Neely Harrington, Vice President Fiona Salas, Secretary Isabella Cunha, and Class Treasurer Molly Mercier.

Picture days will be held on February 8, 9, 11, 12. 9th-10th grade will be on 2/8 and 2/11. 11th-12th will be 2/9 and 2/12. More information will be available as we get closer to those dates.

Teaching and Learning

'Windows of Hope'

Salem High’s Graphic Design students offer Strength and Support during Covid-19 via their Essential Question Performance Tasks. In preparation for their tasks, students looked at various artists’ response to deadly disease throughout history, starting in 165 AD and continuing up to the present Covid-19. During their research, students examined examples of artists using their skills to record the death, fear and sadness caused by devastating diseases, like the Spanish Flu in the early 20th century. Students discovered that in the 1980s, artists began to use their craft to inform the public and remember those lost to the AIDS epidemic.

Building on the legacy of previous artists to create works to inform, inspire and give comfort during difficult times, students created their own uplifting or informative posters in reaction to Covid-19. 25 different designs will be hanging in the halls of Salem High in time for the return of more students in February. This work will be shared throughout the community and on social media in hopes that the power of these graphics will offer comfort, support and kind words to our Salem Community.

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Student Supports

We’ve been highlighting how Salem High School was putting supporting our students at the very center of our efforts by committing to becoming a BARR school in the 2020-2021 school year and we described the eight core strategies that are part of the BARR Model.

But what are we going to this effort? At Salem High School we believe that connection is what matters most in this crazy time of pandemic. There is so much stress and strife going on in our students’ lives right now. We know (and research supports this idea) that the very best way to help our students achieve success is to know them, and see them, and hear them. We’re working hard to be flexible and meet our students where they are in terms of academic demands as well as supporting their physical and mental health. BARR provides a structure for us to facilitate these critical connections with our students. The work is not always easy, and the collective needs of the community can, at times feel overwhelming, but we believe that the structures of BARR are indeed making an impact in the lives of our students.

When a team talks about a student that our interventions have worked for, we typically take a moment to acknowledge the success. It is a good feeling. We expect these moments to increase in frequency as we become more immersed in the work of becoming a BARR school.

Upcoming Events


  • 18 - No School (Martin Luther King, Jr. Day)
  • 22 - Last day for schedule change requests
  • 27 - Early Release
  • 28 - Cohorts finalized and communicated to families
  • 31 - Informational session for return to school (more details to follow)


  • 2 - End of Q2
  • 4 - Return to in-person learning for 9-12 grades
  • 8 - 9th and 10th grade picture day
  • 9 - 11th and 12th grade picture day
  • 10 - Early Release
  • 11 - 9th and 10th grade picture day
  • 12 - 11th and 12th grade picture day
    Q2 Report Cards Posted
  • 15-19 - February Vacation
  • 24 - Parent Conferences 7:30-9:00 AM
  • 27 - Dominican Independence Day

Regular Reminders and Resources

Chromebooks and Headphones

All students should ensure that they are coming to school with a charged Chromebook, as well as headphones with a microphone. This includes in-person learners!

Weekly Town Hall

Tuesday, Jan. 19th, 3-5pm

This is an online event.

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Safety Protocols and Logistics for In-Person Learners

Please remember the following protocols for students coming to the building for in-person learning. This is to ensure that we are keeping all students and staff safe - this is a team effort!

  • Arrival/Dismissal procedures

    • Arrival - All students enter through the main doors. Masks must be worn and students must sanitize their hands with hand sanitizer when they enter.

    • Dismissal - Students taking the bus or getting picked up will exit through the main entrance. Students who are walking or drive themselves to school will exit through the “auto doors.”

  • Travel between classes

    • The main hallways have clearly marked travel “lanes;” smaller hallways and stairwells have been designated and marked as one way.

  • Assigned seating charts in every class

    • Classroom teachers will create a seating chart for each period.

    • Desks in common areas will be assigned an identifier and students will complete a Google form with the date, period, location, and desk number.

  • Bathroom usage and distancing enforcement

    • Only one student will be permitted out of the classroom at a time.

    • Reduced occupancy has been identified for each bathroom to allow for physical distancing.

    • Markers have been placed outside of bathrooms to allow for physical distancing.

    • Bathroom monitor is present at each bathroom to ensure that safety protocols are followed.

    • Electronic passes will be used instead of paper passes to reduce the chance of transmission.

    • Bathrooms will not be open during passing periods. Students may only use the bathroom during class time.

  • Lunch

    • Students will be assigned to a lunchroom.

    • Lunches will be grab and go.

    • Students will wipe desks and chairs before passing to next class.

  • Signing in and out of a classroom

    • Electronic passes will be used instead of paper passes to reduce the chance of transmission.

  • Safety procedures

    • Masks will be worn at all times except when eating. Gaiters, bandanas, and masks with valves may not be worn.

    • Physical distancing will be maintained in all spaces.

    • Students will wipe down their desks and chairs before passing to the next class.

    • Bathrooms will be disinfected by custodial staff four times per day.

  • Nurses

    • Students will not be allowed to go to the nurses’ office this year.

    • Nurses will go to the students’ classroom for any medical needs.

Problems with Internet?

Are you having problems with, or do you have no Internet? Salem Public Schools is still actively working to help families connect. If you're having problems, please contact:

Shamus Mruk for 9th, 10th, grade and the Newcomer Academy (smruk@salemk12.org)

Lynne Mullen for 11th, 12th, and the Bridge Academy (lmullen@salemk12.org)

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School Reopening FAQ

As a helpful resource, I am linking to the Salem Returns School Reopening FAQ here.

Expectations for Synchronous and Asynchronous Learning

Below is a guideline of what you should expect in terms of synchronous ("live") versus asynchronous ("independent") learning:

Teachers will record the direct instruction of the synchronous (live) portion of their lessons and upload them to Schoology, allowing students the flexibility to access the lessons at their convenience. The expectation is that the majority of synchronous lessons will be recorded so that students can access the learning in the future.

At least 50% of each lesson should be synchronous so that students have the opportunity to interact in real-time with their teacher and peers to support their learning. At Salem High School, we have determined that the beginning of each lesson will be synchronous.

Posted student assignments include a total of 2 hrs worth of learning activities such as: watching instructional videos, accessing resources posted by the teacher, and completing assignments.

Class assignments, updates, and feedback will be posted on Schoology by end of day each Friday for the following week.

Transportation Protocols

The Salem Public Schools transportation department, and all transportation contractors used by Salem Public Schools, will follow the DESE released on July 22nd, 2020. This section refers specifically to in district transportation, however, the procedures will be followed for out of district transportation, as well.

The bus riding experience will be different this year than it has been in the past. While “big buses” usually have a capacity of around 72, because students will be required to sit one student per seat, alternating window and aisle seats, only 24 students will be able to be on a school bus at one time. Transporting the same number of students at the same time as in previous school years would therefore take three times as many buses. This is a challenge all school districts are facing, compounded by a lead time of six to eight months for acquiring new school buses, and a nationwide school bus driver shortage. To mitigate these challenges, SPS has requested that only people who have no other way to get to school fill out an application for transportation. While the reduced usage will help, we anticipate staggering bus times and providing before and after school supervision, as routes will have to be doubled in order to accommodate all students. This will depend on the school schedule and final ridership.

Core health and safety practices

Several core practices will support safe school bus operations this fall:

  • Masks: All staff and students on the bus, regardless of age, are required to wear masks at all times. Exemptions for students due to medical and/or behavioral reasons – and associated protocols – are further described later in this guidance.

  • Distance: Students should be seated no more than one student per bench, alternating sides for each row, which allows students to maintain approximately 3 feet of physical distance. Children from the same household may sit together and in closer proximity (e.g., two students per bench). See diagram above.

  • Ventilation: Keep windows open at all times during operation, unless not possible due to extreme weather conditions.

  • Seat assignments: Students should be assigned to a single bus and a particular seat.

  • Hand Hygiene: Students and staff will use hand sanitizer upon entering the bus. Dispensers will be at the entrance to the bus within view of the driver or monitor.

The guidelines for families and children taking the bus are as follows:

  • Parents or guardians of students will be asked to do a wellness check on their children before they leave the house to ensure that they are symptom free.

  • If a child has any of the symptoms mentioned above, they must be kept at home. The family should also contact their health care provider.

  • All students will be required to wear a face mask while waiting at the bus stop and for the duration of the bus ride. There are no exceptions to this requirement on the “big buses.” Families with students with disabilities should check with their child’s Special Education Team Chairperson if an exception is needed for door-to-door transportation.

  • Students must be reminded to maintain 6ft physical distancing from other students at bus stops.

  • Once the bus arrives at the bus stop, the children will board the bus one by one. The monitor will instruct them to sanitize their hands.

  • The monitor will also observe the student to ensure that they are not exhibiting any of the symptoms of COVID-19. If possible, an adult should wait with the student at the bus stop in case they need to be sent home. If that is not possible, and a student is displaying symptoms on the bus, the driver will alert dispatch, who will alert the school. The symptomatic student will be the last student to leave the bus, and will be isolated with the school nurse as soon as they get to school.

  • Students will be assigned seats, starting from the back to the front, and will be asked to board the bus in that order.

  • Students will sit one student per seat, alternating between window and aisle seats.

  • Once the bus arrives at the assigned school, the students will exit the bus one by one from front to back.

  • The bus will be cleaned and disinfected after every load of students.

In order to protect all students and staff, students who do not wear masks, or who remove them during the bus ride, will be addressed by the bus monitor. If the mask is still not worn, the child will conference with a counselor and/or administrator. If the child refuses to wear the mask, families will be contacted, and a solution will be agreed upon, including up to loss of bus riding privileges.

Guidelines for Families who are Transporting their Own Child

It is essential for all families to follow all arrival and dismissal procedures. If you are dropping off your child at the high school, please use the outer driveway (not the one closest to the building, which is designated for busses and emergency vehicles). ONLY the main entrance will be open for student entry. Students will be required to don their mask before exiting the vehicle, and families must complete the daily self-screening before dropping their child at school. Drivers must stay in their cars the entire time. If a parent or guardian needs to enter the school, they must park their car and enter the main entrance only. Everyone who enters the building must wear a mask.

Stop the Spread COVID Testing

Massachusetts residents can receive free COVID-19 testing as part of the state’s “Stop the Spread” initiative.

Testing in Salem is available via a drive-through outside of Salem High School, 77 Wilson Street, on the following days and hours: Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays 4pm-8pm; Saturdays 10am-3pm. You can pre-register by clicking this link to speed up the testing process; pre-registration is not required. On weekdays, do not arrive at the High School site prior to 3:00 p.m. due to school dismissal traffic. Please be aware that during testing at this site, the line may be temporarily closed to new vehicles when traffic reaches Willson Street; the queue will be reopened to new vehicles once the line clears enough to allow more cars to enter. If the line is temporarily closed when you arrive, return in 15-30 minutes to see if it has opened back up again.

Testing is also be offered via walk-up inside at Old Town Hall, 32 Derby Square, on the following days and hours: Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesadys 9am-2pm; Thursdays 1pm-6pm; Fridays 9am-1pm. You can pre-register by clicking this link to speed up the testing process; pre-registration is not required.

Testing will not take place on holidays. No proof of insurance or citizenship is necessary. Testing is via nasal swab, administered by EMTs from Fallon Ambulance, and processed via RT PCR at the Broad Institute Laboratory. Test results are returned, whether positive or negative, to the resident within 48 hours. You do not need to be symptomatic, quarantining, or have been in proximity to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 in order to receive this testing. If you have been tested and have not received your results within 48 hours, or have additional questions, please call 617-745-2100, extension 513.

Residents can also receive free COVID-19 testing at any of the Stop the Spread sites throughout the Commonwealth. For a complete list of Stop the Spread testing sites in Massachusetts, please visit www.mass.gov/stopthespread.