Update for October 2, 2020

Salem High School

Happy Friday!

Here is what is in this week's newsletter:

  • Voting Rights Panel
  • Hub:Connects
  • Salem High News
  • Athletics Department Updates
  • Updates from the College and Career Readiness Center
  • Updates from Pupil Personnel Services
  • Upcoming Events
  • Weekly Town Hall Reminder
  • Salem High School "Zorms"
  • Link to Salem Returns School Reopening FAQ
  • Expectations for Synchronous and Asynchronous Lessons
  • Transportation Protocols
  • COVID Testing for Salem residents and individuals who work in Salem

Voting Rights Panel October 7

October 7 12:45-2:00

Join us for a panel discussion and Q&A about voting rights and issues today with community leaders:

* Kim Driscoll, Mayor of Salem * * Matthew Allen, ACLU *

* Ana Nuncio, Salem League of Women Voters *

Register Here: https://forms.gle/yBw6sNFvrncpgeog8 (Open to students & families of Salem High School and our Salem Community)

Zoom link will be sent via email 24 hours prior to event.


Hub Connects starts IN PERSON on Monday! If you're participating, you should have received information this week. We're looking forward to seeing you and making connections!
Salem High News for Oct 2 2020

Athletics Department

Welcome back Witches !!!!

Hope everyone is staying safe and well. This Fall Season we are excited to announce that we will have Cross Country, Golf and Boys & Girls Soccer. All student-athletes must register online to be eligible to participate. The online registration site is : www.familyid.com .

We have taken precautions that we feel will keep all our student-athletes safe and be able to have a Great Fall Season.

Practice and Game Schedules can be found on www.northeasternma.org.

Any questions regarding registration please contact :

Scott Connolly Athletic Director sconnolly@salemk12.org


Natalie Thelen Athletics Clerk : nthelen@salemk12.org

Thank you,

Scott Connolly

Director of Athletics

Salem Public Schools

College and Career Readiness Center


College Representative Visits are still happening (only virtually)! Log into Naviance and on the College page, see College Visits and sign up accordingly. The representative has attached a Virtual Visit Link for the Date and Time of the visit.

Here are the colleges that are visiting next week:

Monday, 10/5-

  • Brown University- 12:15 pm

Tuesday, 10/6

  • Fitchburg State University- 12:15pm

Wednesday, 10/7

  • Johnson & Wales, Providence- 12:15pm

  • NUNY College of Owego- 1:00pm

Thursday, 10/8

  • University of New Haven- 12:15pm

Friday, 10/9

  • Wheaton College- 12:15pm

Virtual College Fair:

There is an upcoming Virtual College Fair and College Panel for 9 Massachusetts State Universities on October 7th and 8th.

The Virtual College Fair is Wednesday, October 7, 2020 at 7:00 PM until 8:30 PM : Registration to College Fair (Day 1)

The College Panel is Thursday, October 8, 2020 at 7:00 PM until 8:30 PM :Registration to College Panel (Day 2).

The participating colleges are listed below as well as an email that has additional information.

Financial Aid Episode -

College Guidance Network- Wednesday, Oct 7th, 7pm- Click to Register

Money Matters: College Affordability and Financial Aid 101

BSCP College Readiness Workshops- HELD WEEKLY- Click to Review Workshops

SENIOR Information Night- October 15th- Presentation and live Q & A- 6:30pm

Pupil Personnel Services

October 2nd, 2020

News from the PPS Department at SHS

Special Education hit the ground running on September 14th, 2020. With a variety of learning options available, staff had prepared for in-person and remote learning for our Tier 1 students. Flexibility and patience have been the observed throughout our department, with our dedicated staff doing their very best to ease family’s frustration with the internet connections, finding the correct links and learning in the new normal.

Some highlights from our department:

Sharing latinx folk tales during literacy time, and using multimedia tools for students participating asynchronously to be part of the conversation as well:


Staff literally meeting students where they are located in order to set them up on Schoology. Locations have included out front of SHS, students’ backyards and driveways. Whatever it took to engage as many students as possible.

Our committed Para-Professionals attended Professional Development to learn more about making connections with all students and how those connections can support students through rough times. They enjoyed a webinar featuring Dr. Adolph Brown and then shared experiences with how their actions have positively impacted their students.


Dr. Adolph Brown, chair of the Department of Psychology at Hampton University, forcefully demonstrates how teachers and school staff influence the adult success of every student. National Education Association's Joint Conference on Concerns of Minorities and Women -- Washington, DC -- June 29, 2012

The biggest highlight of all is that our full-time in-building special education staff hasn’t lost their sense of humor or enthusiasm for teaching!!!!

Upcoming Events


  • 12 - NO SCHOOL - Indigenous Peoples' Day
  • 13 - Q1 Mid Quarter
  • 15 - Senior College Information Night
  • 21 - 12:12 Dismissal (District-Wide Professional Development) Q1 Progress Reports Posted
  • 26 - Parent Conferences (VIRTUAL) 2:05-3:00


  • 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

Tuesday, Oct. 6th, 3-5pm

This is an online event.

Please join me for my weekly town hall this Tuesday! To make it easier for you to get to, I am including my Zoom link here.

Senior College Information Night

Thursday, Oct. 15th, 6:30pm

This is an online event.

Presentation and Live Q+A

More details to follow!

Big picture

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.

Example bus diagram:

Bus Model: 71-passenger bus

Max. capacity with physical distancing requirements: 23 passengers (32% full capacity)

Seat map configuration:

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 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

Here is the most recent information regarding COVID testing in Salem:

  • Salem residents and workers can receive free COVID-19 testing as part of the state’s “Stop the Spread” initiative. Testing will be offered six days a week August 17th through October 31st via drive-through or walk-up outside of Salem High School at 77 Willson Street. Testing days and hours are as follows:

    • Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
    • Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. except for Saturday, September 26th, which will take place from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

    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 36 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.

    In the event of sustained inclement weather testing may be temporarily suspended or even cancelled for the day, depending on the severity of the weather.

    If you have been tested and have not received your results within 36 hours, or have additional questions, please call 617-745-2100, extension 513.

    This testing replaces the previously announced Salem Coronavirus Awareness Network (SCAN) tests. SCAN testing dates will be rescheduled to dates later this fall with precise details being announced in the coming weeks.