Update for October 23, 2020

Salem High School

Happy Friday!

Here is what is in this week's newsletter:

  • Parent-Teacher Conferences
  • SPS Health Forum
  • Powerpoint presentation on SHS Schedule
    • SHS Satellite Office
    • This week's SHS News
    • SHS Clubs - Schedule and Contact Info
    • SHS Department Updates
    • Upcoming Events
    • Weekly Town Hall Reminder
    • Weekly Reminders and Resources

    Parent Teacher Conferences

    Virtual Parent-Staff conferences on Monday, October 26th from 2:05-3:02 pm. You will receive a notification today with your confirmed conference times and teacher Zoom links. Staff members will reach out via email to make alternate arrangements with any parent/guardian whose conference requests could not be accommodated.

    SPS Health Forum

    Were you unable to attend the SPS Health Forum this Wednesday? Here is a list of mental health tips that was shared!

    SHS Hybrid Schedule and 9th Grade Return to School

    If you were unable to attend either of our two informational sessions on the new hybrid schedule, you can access the PowerPoint below.

    Families in the Class of 2024: Please indicate your decision for returning to school using this form - no later than 8 AM on Monday, October 23!

    SHS Satellite Office Hours

    We are pleased to report that the Salem High School Community Office opened this past week. We have already had a number of students visit the office in order to access support in connecting with their classes. This office represents the commitment of Salem High School and its staff to do whatever it takes to support our students and families.

    Our office, at 135 Lafayette Street in the community room, will be staffed and open again next week on Tuesday, October 27th from 10am to 5pm and Thursday, October 29th from 6pm to 8pm. We encourage students and families to join us during those times if they need technical support, assistance in connecting with their classes, academic support, help with accessing counseling or social services or just to connect with us and ask questions. Please sign up using the link below to book a time, and we look forward to seeing you there, all are welcome!

    Please sign up for a time to come and meet us. https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c0d4cafa82aabffc07-salem

    If you are unable to access the sign up link, please call or email a member of the Community Engagement Team in order to book an appointment.

    • Juan Encarnacion - Family Engagement Facilitator (781) 771-6660 (English and Spanish speaker). jencarnacion@salemk12.org
    • Meredith Flanagan - 9th Grade Student Adjustment Counselor (978) 998-0452 (English and Spanish speaker). mflanagan@salemk12.org

    • Shamus Mruk - Assistant Principal for the 9th and 10th Grades and the Newcomer Program (978) 888-7634 (English only) smruk@salemk12.org


    SHS Student Equity Group

    The SHS Student Equity Group is a student-led initiative to help further Salem High School's commitment to becoming an anti-racist organization. If you are a student who wants to engage in conversations and work around race, equity, and how to effect change in your school, please attend our next meeting, Wednesday October 28 from 12:45-2:00. The zoom link can be found here.

    SHS News for October 16, 2020

    Salem High News for Oct 23 2020

    SHS Club Schedule and Contacts

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


    The Witches Golf Team had a great week with wins over Beverly and Peabody. Boys and Girls soccer lost close games to Danvers and are ready for their game vs Saugus today and our Cross Country team has been practicing hard all week to get ready for their meet with Swampscott tomorrow. 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 !!!!

    Career and Technical Education

    Salem High School will be partnering with North Shore Physicians group (NSPG). Five Medical Assisting students will be interviewed by December and then onboarded in January for an internship/externship experience. Students will complete 160 hours in the spring with the goal of them becoming employees. This experience will not only get our students ready for a job but will also better prepare them for the Medical Assisting exam (CCMA). For students that attend postsecondary institutions NSPG has offered to hire them per diem on school vacations and during the summer. The CTE department is very excited about this new and wonderful opportunity for our students.

    College and Career Readiness Center


    Senior Workshop- counselors are reaching out to students for small group meetings to start preparing for post-secondary plans.

    Here is the workshop for those who missed their invite: Senior Workshop #1

    College Rep Visits- Register in Naviance

    Monday: 10/26

    • North Shore Community College: 12:15 pm

    Tuesday: 10/27

    • Dean College: 12:15 pm

    Wednesday: 10/28

    • Western New England Univ: 12:15 pm

    • Bard College: 1:00pm

    Thursday: 10/22

    • City University's of New York (CUNY): 12:15 pm

    Friday 10/30

    • Saint Anslem College: 12:15pm

    Senior Parent Information night:

    If you were not able to attend out Senior Information Night- here are the video and slides in both English and Spanish:

    Video in English

    Slides in English

    Video in Spanish

    Slides in Spanish

    College Guidance Network next episode:

    How to Manage the Pressure of College Admissions- College Fit and Family Stress

    Wednesday: Oct 28 at 7-8pm Register Here

    JUNIORS- LEAP for Education is looking to recruit SHS juniors for the College Success Program! Check out this Flyer for more information!

    ALL FAMILIES resource

    BIPOC- Black, Indigenous and People of Color) Parent Support Group added!!! Mondays at 7:00 PM EST. This information is also in the flyer above. However, if you have families that would benefit from the BIPOC group in particular please share directly with them.

    BIPOC Group Flyer


    Advisory Workshops: Both 9th and 10th

    Be on the look out for an email from your School Counselor-

    We will be sharing the Schoology access code and Zoom Link information for the first College and Career Center workshop!- So FUN!

    Pupil Personnel Services

    We have another baby!!

    Brigitte Brennan, OT, delivered Ellie Grace Brennan on October 14, 2020

    Congratulations to Brigitte and her family!!!

    Student Supports

    Last week we identified that 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 first strategy “Focus on the whole student”.

    By consciously acknowledging and actively thinking about the students who are in our classes through a lens of strengths, we are better able to understand that our students are complex beings with a myriad of needs. When we as teachers understand that we must truly know our students in order to teach them, we are more effective at what we do. Through the BARR Model when we are talk about our students, we’re searching for the hook. This is the relationship that we can leverage to help our students move toward better success academically, socially, and emotionally. For some students is an activity, for some it’s friends, and for others it’s an adult in the building.

    Thinking about our students as full beings as opposed to academic task doers, we position our school to be better able to support our students' success at becoming a better human.

    Teaching and Learning

    On October 19, Social Studies Instructional Coach Joseph Hicks served as a panelist focused on the need to include content that has cultural relevance and supports students in building essential skills that provide a foundation to engage with complex topics inside and out of the classroom. It was an opportunity to share how SHS is thinking about this work in Salem; particularly, to the unique way that we are approaching the design of our World History I course.

    Upcoming Events


    • 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. 27th, 3-5pm

    135 Lafayette Street

    Salem, MA

    Please join me for my weekly town hall this Tuesday! I'll be at our NEW Satellite Office on Tuesdays from now on! You can sign up for an in-person meeting here, or you can still join me virtually at my Zoom link here. If you're not able to make it during this time, just let me know and we can set up a meeting.

    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)

    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

    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.