Update for March 19, 2021

Salem High School

Happy Friday!

Here is what is in this week's newsletter.

  • Student Shout-Outs
  • Teacher Conferences March 30
  • Spring 2021 MCAS
  • Salem Film Festival
  • SHS News
  • LEAP Center for Teens
  • Progress Reports
  • Appointments with Dr. Meier
  • Student COVID-19 Testing
  • SHS Community Office Hours
  • SHS Department Updates
  • Upcoming Events
  • Weekly Reminders and Resources

Student Shout-Outs

Teacher Conferences March 30

Virtual Parent/Teacher Conferences will be held on Tuesday, March 30th from 2:05-3 pm in 10-minute time slots. Teachers will make alternate arrangements via email with parents/guardians whose requests could not be accommodated. The form is open for requests until Tuesday, March 23rd. Conference appointments will be confirmed via email by end of the day on Friday, March 26th. We look forward to discussing your student(s) progress with you!

English Form

Portuguese Form

Spanish Form

Spring 2021 MCAS

We have established dates for the administration of the MCAS exams this year. Successful completion of the ELA, Math, and Science MCAS is required for students in grades 9, 10, and 11. The Spring 2021 MCAS Dates are as follows. All MCAS Exams must be given in person. There is no remote option to take this exam.

Classes of 2022 and 2023 (11th and 10th grades)

  • ELA : May 3 and 4
  • Math: May 10 and 11

Classes of 2024 (9th grade)

  • Biology: June 7 and 8

Please see the attached letter for more information.

Please use the attached form to indicate whether your student(s) will be participating in the Spring 2021 administration of the Math, ELA, or Biology MCAS exams. Please note that successful completion of these exams is a graduation requirement in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for students currently in grades 9, 10, and 11, and that if your student does not take and pass this administration, they will be required to take and pass it at a future date in order to earn a diploma. This form is only intended to gather information about participation so that we can arrange for a safe testing environment. Please complete one form for each student you have at Salem High School who is required to take the MCAS exam(s).

Survey in English

Encuesta en español

Inquérito em português

Salem Film Festival

The Salem High News is a proud Community Partner of the Salem Film Fest, New England's premiere documentary film festival. The Salem Film Fest has generously donated 50 tickets to stream films for free. Go to www.salemfilmfest.com -- and when you pick out a film, just enter the code SHS when asked. One film per customer please! See Friday's Salem High News for more coverage on the Salem Film Fest.

SHS News

Salem High News for Mar 19 2021

LEAP Center for Teens

Please see the opportunities available at the LEAP Center for Teens. LEAP is here to make sure that students feel supported with their academics, and to hold programs that help them explore things that interest them and connect them to the community. The teen center is open from 2-7 Monday through Thursday, located at 35 Congress Street.

The following are year-long programs:

Brothers for Success - a peer support group for young men. This is a place to talk about challenges, successes, and things that come up in day-to-day life.

Social Justice Initiative - A space where we talk about the injustices that exist both in the country and our community. We have had conversations about US history, racism, housing inequality, the judicial system, and the election.

Writing Club - A group that works to improve their creative and academic writing.

Tech Club - In this program students learn how to code, make graphic designs, design websites, and about STEM careers like engineering, architecture, and the medical field.

EL Street - A group for students who are learning English as a second language to improve their language skills. This year, students are working on a project in collaboration with PEM, and students in this group are paid for their participation!

You can register for the Teen Center by filling out this link, https://forms.gle/J6w9tVtEezgeZsFSA

Appointments with Dr. Meier

Do you have a question or concern? Come talk to me Tuesday afternoon! If you can't make this time slot, please feel free to email me.

Sign up here!

Student COVID-19 Testing

Remember that we offer free COVID testing to all in-person students! I encourage everyone who is attending in person to take advantage of this opportunity. It is an added layer of protection that helps us keep our schools open. If you would prefer a paper consent form, please puck one up at the nurses' office, the front desk, or Mr. Mruk or Ms. Mullen's offices on the first or second floors.

Please click here for more information.

If you are over 18, you can provide your own consent.

Students under 18 must have parent or guardian consent.

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!


Witches Winter Track started the season off with a great effort at Danvers on Tuesday. on Tuesday Volleyball played tough vs a very determined Winthrop team. Football played a very tough Swampscott team last Saturday and left it all on the field and are ready to travel to Gloucester tonight . Game Schedules can be found on : www.northeasternma.org.

The following guidelines have been developed for the remainder of the 2020/21 school year.

-Students who are failing/have Incompletes more than 50% of their courses will not be eligible to practice or participate in competitions. They will have access to support from the student study hall after school with the Athletic Department Academic Coach and the potential of reattaining eligibility mid-season.

-Students who are failing/have incompletes for up to 50% of their courses and passing the majority of their core content/graduation requirement courses will have the ability to try out and participate in practices under conditions outlined in an agreement with the Athletic Department Academic Coach to be signed by the student athlete and their parent/guardian. These students will have the ability to earn their way back into competitions once they have 2 or fewer failing/incomplete courses.

-Students who are failing 1-2 courses are eligible to practice and participate in competitions but must continue to check in with the Athletic Department Academic Coach in regard to their academic progress.

-Students failing no courses will have full eligibility and access to the Athletic Department Academic Coach and the student athlete study hall as needed. Study Hall will meet on Monday and Thursday in room 316 or via zoom from 2:30-4:00.

Athletic Department Academic Coach- Graeme Marcoux

Email: gmarcoux@salemk12.org

Google Voice: 978-219-4390

Thank you and Go Witch !!!!

Career and Technical Education

Congratulations to Jessica Sapozhnik, a student in our Medical Assisting program, who has been selected as the SHS MAVA Outstanding Vocational Student of the Year. Jessica was born in Lawrence MA and started attending school in Salem as an English Learner in kindergarten. Jessica has participated in cheerleading, chorus, track and field, gymnastics and drama. She has been a class officer and a member of the student council. She is bilingual, speaking fluently in both English and Russian and has earned the Seal of Biliteracy. Jessica participated in Outbreak at the Tewksbury Health museum, a 5-day summer program with a focus on public health. Jessica has also been trained to run a patient simulator which she uses as part of her training at SHS and has helped run three blood drives. In addition to completing a virtual internship at North Shore Medical Center, Jessica is completing a 160-hour onsite clinical experience working for North Shore Physicians Group. She will be pursuing a career in Nursing and Administration.

College and Career Readiness Center

Featured Scholarship:

The Ginkus/LeBlanc family is happy to offer this scholarship to a graduating senior of Salem High School. Our family values education and understands the financial demands of college. We are looking for student candidates who are hard-working and who would benefit from this scholarship. Please see attached application outline. Turn in all applications to the College and Career Center- Deadline Aptil 26th- Application

Early College Information Sessions- Potential to earn up to 30 college credits!

Join us if you are deciding whether college is right for you? Event Flyer

Tuesday: 3/23 at 6 pm- Zoom Link

Wednesday: 3/24 at 12:15pm - Zoom Link

9th Graders - Interested in take a fun class & earn college credit, Q&A Flyer


Understanding Award Letters

College Guidance Network is hosting a live event on March 24th that will cover advice on evaluating offers of admission, award letters and waitlist options to arrive at a final enrollment decision.

  • Speakers: Ashley Bennett, High School Counselor; Robert Kelchen, Professor; Caroline Boradfoot, Assistant Director of Financial Aid, University of Richmond; Eva Blanco Masias, VP for Enrollment Management, Santa Clara University; Dhruv, BU College Freshman; Keith Pentlan, Parent of a College Freshman

  • Date: Wednesday, March 24th, 2021

  • Time: 8:00 PM – 9:00 PM EST


PSAT for 9th and 10th

SHS is offering the PSAT to 9th and 10th Grade. The Collegeboard PSAT assessment will be administered on April 28th at Salem High School. The exam is free.

To ensure proper health and safety guidelines we are asking all 9th and 10th grade students to register by completing the attached form by April 1st to ensure safety guidelines.


SAT School Day: students were assigned to specific dates: either March 24th, April 13th or April 27th- All students needed to complete the google form attached in the email to be registered for the testing. Please contact Ms. Grateraux

English Learners Department

Salem High School is so proud of the 83 English Learners who took part in their Annual ACCESS Exam this week. Thank you for your perseverance during a really difficult year. It was so wonderful to see so many smiling faces!

Pupil and Personnel Services

Counseling: Social-Emotional Learning

In some of our discussions, we have been focusing on how to develop healthy relationships. Last week we talked about issues of diversity, and the need to value the individual differences we all have that make us unique. We learned the importance of taking the time to get to know others and understanding their "story" through a fun activity with potatoes. Have you ever thought much about potatoes? We hadn't either, until we were asked to get to know our own potato, give it a name and a back story, then introduce it to the class. Lots of creativity and fun came out of this activity! But did you know, in the end, these students were all able to go back and pick out their unique potato from a pile?? Just because they took the time to get to know them! If potatoes can be so unique and special, think about all of the people around us, if we just take the time!

Student Activities

IDs will still be available next week for pick up at Student Activities during lunch. Seniors are continuing their work on Senior show. Yearbooks are still on sale at Jostens.com. If you are interested in purchasing a class ring, please reach out to Mrs. Mansfield and she will send you the details on how to purchase one.

Teaching and Learning

Salem High School recognizes the added complexities that our students and families are experiencing during this pandemic. For this reason, we will honor any student's choice to opt-out of taking an AP Exam for one, any, or all their AP courses this Spring. Students who opt-out will still receive an AP designation on their transcript and the weighted GPA based on their final course grade for any AP course they are enrolled in. Ms. Amie Capodanno, Director of College and Career Services, will send out further information regarding the opt-out process. Questions regarding this option can be directed to Dr. Flores, Academic Dean.

Upcoming Events


  • 24 - Early Dismissal (12:12, Professional Development - SHS ONLY)
  • 25 - Quarter 3 Progress Reports Posted
  • 30 - Teacher Conferences 2:05-3:00

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!
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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.