Update for October 30, 2020

Salem High School

Happy Halloween!

Here is what is in this week's newsletter:

  • National Merit Commendation Winners
  • No School November 2-6
  • Homework for November Break
  • Update on Hybrid Schedule Beginning November 16
  • SHS Satellite Office - Closed November Break
  • This week's SHS News
  • SHS Clubs - Schedule and Contact Info
  • SHS Department Updates
  • Upcoming Events
  • Weekly Town Hall Reminder
  • Weekly Reminders and Resources

National Merit Commendation Winners

We are pleased to present Duncan Mayer, Dwight Mayer, and Christin Napierkowski with a National Merit Letter of Commendation. About 34,000 Commended Students throughout the nation are being recognized for their exceptional academic promise. Although they will not continue in the 2021 competition for National Merit Scholarship awards, Commended Students placed among the top 50,000 scorers of more than 1.5 million students who entered the 2021 competition by taking the 2019 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT). Those being named Commended Students have demonstrated potential for academic success. These students represent a valuable national resource; recognizing their accomplishments, as well as the key role their schools play in their academic development, is vital to the advancement of educational excellence in our nation. We hope that this recognition will help broaden their educational opportunities and encourage them as they continue their pursuit of academic success.

No School November 2-6

Please remember that there is no school next week. Enjoy your time off.

Homework Week of November 2

In the interest of giving students and staff a much-needed break next week, new homework will not be assigned next week. The only exception is for AP classes, where teachers may assign light work that does not count as a summative assessment. Students are still responsible for turning in prior assignments that may still be missing.

Update on Hybrid Schedule for November 16 (Cohort Assignments, Advisory Day, Red/White Day Rotation)

Cohort Assignments

Cohort assignments for returning 9th graders were sent out today. I'll be following up by November 6 with a detailed bell schedule for in-person and remote learning.

Advisory Day

Thank you to the staff, students, and family members who took our survey regarding a potential change to the day of Advisory from Friday to Wednesday. Based on this feedback, Advisory will be moved to WEDNESDAY beginning November 16 and will be fully remote.

Red/White Day Rotation

Thank you to the staff, students, and family members who took our survey regarding a potential change to the proposed switch of the Red and White Day rotation which was scheduled to take place at the start of Quarter 2. Based on this feedback, we will be MAINTAINING the current Red/White Day rotation for the duration of our hybrid and remote learning this year.

SHS Satellite Office Hours

Just a reminder that the SHS Satellite Office will not be open this week. We will be reopening on November 10 and are planning to offer expanded hours!

Salem High News for October 30, 2020

Salem High News for Oct 30 2020

SHS Club Schedule and Contacts

Please see the schedule of currently running clubs below. Contact the club advisor directly if you're interested!


Boys and Girls soccer had close games vs Glousester and are ready (weather permitting) for their game vs Swampscott today. Our Cross Country team has off from competition this week but is practicing hard to get ready for their meets vs Salem Charter and Gloucester next week. The Witches Golf Team had another great week with wins over Bishop Fenwick and Saugus. Best of luck to Ethan Doyle as he will be competing in the NSHGA Massachusetts Championships this Sunday at Shaker Hills Country Club in Ayer, Mass. Please remember that all student-athletes must register online to be eligible to participate. The online registration site is : www.familyid.com . Game Schedules can be found on : www.northeasternma.org. Thank you and Go Witch !!!!

College and Career Readiness Center

ALL Students:

The SHS Virtual Calming Room is live! I have published it and it is viewable by parents/students/anyone who wants to see it.

Here is the link: https://sites.google.com/learn.salemk12.org/shsvirtualcalmingroom/home?authuser=1

LEAP for Education:

Join the Teen Center Monday-Thursday 2:30 to 4:30 for in person tutoring. See flyer!



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Student Activities

This year is like no other we have faced, beyond just reimagining the academics we must develop a whole new way of student activities, student involvement and celebrating school spirit. With that said, it is more important than ever to include student voice and leadership as we create new student experiences. Thus far we have successfully initiated many clubs as well as held class elections for the junior and senior class. (Sophomores and Freshmen you are next) We want to CONGRATULATE Senior officers: Val Christoforos-President, Fiona Bautista-Vice President, Hannah Justo- Secretary, Nadia Castellanos- Treasurer, Miles Payson and Fraysha Rodney Guerrero Officers at Large. As well as our Junior Officers: Hawa Hamidou Tabayi- President, Emily Mercanti - Vice President, Anna Cantone -Secretary, Cassadi O'Leary- Treasurer, and Officer-At-Large Jimena Pueyo.

Student Supports

Over the past several weeks 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. This means that we will be working to embrace the eight core strategies that are part of the BARR Model. This week we’re highlighting the second strategy “Provide Professional Development for teachers, counselors, and administrators.”

In early September the entire faculty of Salem High school participated in two day of professional development facilitated by BARR trainers. It was an active and energizing endeavor that was described by one participant as, “the best facilitated virtual training I have ever attended.” In this training, we worked through the strategies and began the process of understanding how this model would impact Salem High School. These full day trainings will happen before the next two school years as well.

In addition to these trainings, we have been engaging weekly with a BARR coach who works with the program coordinator at the school to ensure that we are implementing the model with fidelity so that our students are able to realize the full impact of the approach, and we have been participating in Professional Learning Communities where we are able to connect with other schools from around the country and share best practices and collaboratively solve implementation problems that might arise.

While we are feeling good about our work thus far, the technical support that come with being a BARR school has been and will remain invaluable as we work to become even better at supporting our students.

Teaching and Learning

Students have found ways to demonstrate proficiency in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) in our remote learning environment, while also connecting with our overarching Essential Question, "How can we make the Salem Community better in a Post-COVID world?" This goal of this project was for students to remember and understand the unit circle, and is brought to us by freshman Leena Sarhan, whose theme was good health and well-being.

Upcoming Events


  • 2-6 - No School for Students
  • 11 - NO SCHOOL - Veteran's Day
  • 18 - 12:12 Dismissal (SHS Professional Development)
  • 19 - End of Q1
  • 25 - Half Day - Thanksgiving Break
  • 26-27 - NO SCHOOL - Thanksgiving Break
  • 30 - Q1 Report Cards Posted

Weekly Town Hall

There will be no weekly town hall this week due to the November Break. See you on November 10!

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.

COVID Testing

Free COVID-19 testing in Salem through the Commonwealth’s “Stop the Spread” program has been extended through at least January 15, 2021. For details, please visit www.salem.com/stopthespread. Current locations and hours will be maintained through at least October 31, 2020. Any changes to locations and hours for after that date will be announced as they are determined and updated at www.salem.com/stopthespread.