Update for May 28, 2021

Salem High School

Happy Friday!

Here is what is in this week's newsletter.

  • Congratulations to the Class of 2021!
  • Student Shout-Outs
  • Seal of Biliteracy Awards Breakfast
  • High School Redesign Public Review and Comment
  • Bell Schedule Update
  • End of Year Information - Chromebook Collection, Amnesty Days, Last Day Dismissal
  • Science MCAS June 7-8
  • CDC Guidance on Vaccinations and Masks
  • Summer English Learner Academy
  • Student COVID Testing
  • SHS Community Office Hours
  • SHS Department Updates
  • Upcoming Events
  • Weekly Reminders and Resources

Congratulations to the Class of 2021!

MAJOR SHOUTOUT to the Class of 2021 for participating in the annual Week of Giving. Each day, you demonstrated such selflessness and compassion for your classmates and community. Monday's Beautify Salem High showcased your creativity and attention to detail. Tuesday's Pride Day displayed your empathy, active listening, and passion for equity. Wednesday's "Pay it Forward" Day illustrated your thoughtfulness and fun-spirited kindness. Thursday's Staff Appreciation Day exhibited your deep sense of appreciation for those who have impacted your educational experience. Friday's Mental Health Day demonstrated your willingness to choose vulnerability and seek to create spaces for others (and yourselves) to embrace yourselves wholeheartedly. Thank you so much for all of the ways you've shown up, been present, and engaged this week. We are so proud of you and excited to continue to celebrate you over the next week!
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Student Shout-Outs

Seal of Biliteracy Breakfast

On May 25, 2021, we had a breakfast to celebrate the amazing 11th and 12th graders who participated in this year’s Seal of Biliteracy.
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High School Redesign Plan Public Review and Comment

The HS Redesign Team has prepared this draft for public review and comment from now through June 9, 2021. The team is excited about the portrait of a graduate and 5 recommendations to inform the design of a guaranteed student experience across all campuses.

PUBLIC FEEDBACK: Public comments will be collected through this form.

Bell Schedule Update

Thank you for the feedback you've provided as part of our process in developing a bell schedule for the 2021-2022 school year. After considering all this feedback, the Bell Schedule Team has recommended a version of the 8-block schedule to Dr. Zrike. More details will be shared next week as we finalize additional aspects of the schedule. We appreciate all those that offered their thoughts and input. We are excited about our new schedule which will better support the needs of our student body.

End of Year Information

Amnesty Days

Amnesty Days will be held on Thursday, June 10, and Friday, June 11.

Chromebook Collection

In an effort to reset after 18 months of moving quickly to get technology into the hands of all students, Salem Public Schools will be collecting all district owned Chromebooks at the end of the school year. This will allow for repair, inventory and intentional redeployment of Chromebooks to ensure every student has access to a reliable device for the start of the next school year. We will also be retiring Chromebooks that are no longer adequately capable of supporting the digital applications used by students and replacing these with updated devices.

All SPS Chromebooks and their chargers must be back in their schools by the last day of school (June 17th). If you have students at more than one school, please feel free to return all Chromebooks to one location for your convenience. Any Chromebooks that are not returned will be disabled and unusable after the last day of school.

Chromebooks and chargers will be collected in the front lobby of the school from 7:30am-10:30am each day. Please follow the schedule below to see which day you should return your device.

June 14th: 11th grade students & any remote student

June 15th: 10th grade students & any remote student

June 16th: 9th grade students & any remote student

Please reach out to Mr. Shamus Mruk (9th & 10th grade Assistant Principal) or Ms. Lynne Mullen (11th grade assistant principal) with any questions.

Last Week of School

Monday June 14, Tuesday June 15, and Wednesday June 16 are full days of school. Thursday, June 17 is the last day of school and students will be dismissed at 12:12. We will be running a modified schedule on those days. Please stay tuned for more details.

Science MCAS June 7-8

The Biology MCAS will be administered Monday, June 7, and Tuesday, June 8. We will be running a two-hour delay schedule on those days. Busses will run at the normal times, and students who come in to school who are not testing will remain in the cafeteria or other designated space until classes commence. All freshmen are required to take the MCAS.

If you do not normally take a bus to school but need it on these days, you may ride without a bus pass. Just tell the driver that you are taking the MCAS.

CDC Guidance on Vaccinations and Masks

As you may be aware, the CDC just released guidance regarding the use of masks for vaccinated individuals. We are not making any changes to our policy at the time - anyone entering the building (students, staff, caregivers, visitors) must continue to wear a mask.

Summer English Learner Academy

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Reminder about Safety Protocols

I loved seeing all the students in the building! We have done such a great job of keeping transmission out of the school that it's easy to become complacent, but we need to continue to follow these protocols so we can keep schools open and everyone healthy.

Remember that the full list of our safety protocols is in every weekly newsletter (below), but here's a quick reminder:

  • Masks have to be worn at all times (unless you are alone in the room, or while eating - but put it back on when you're done).
  • ONLY masks that loop over both ears and do not have a valve are acceptable. Gaiters, bandannas, and masks that have a valve cannot be worn. We will give you a mask if you forget yours or if you come wearing one of the non-approved styles.
  • You should be checking into your seat using the seat tracker at the start of each class and lunch period. This helps us contact trace if necessary.
  • Make sure you wipe down your desk at the end of each class.

Student COVID Testing

STUDENT COVID TESTING has been moved! Come see us, socially distanced of course, to get your COVID nasal swab testing done. We will be seeing all students over 18, anyone under 18 whose parents have consented them for testing, or if you're not sure- email us and we will check your consent status. Nurse Rebecca or Nurse Kaitlyn.

Feel free to stop by between classes, during your lunch block, or email us to schedule a specific time.

We do ask that you DO NOT come down in large groups with your friends, as we will not be able to accommodate you all at appropriate distances.

We're excited to see you all back safely and healthy!

Nurse Rebecca & Nurse Kait

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!


The Softball and Baseball teams had great wins over Salem Academy this week. Track competed under the lights vs Winthrop Wednesday night. Volleyball had 2 hard fought matches vs Lowell Catholic this week. With the great weather both boys and girls tennis teams have been outside working on their game. Boys and girls Lacrosse had double headers vs Gloucester and Beverly this week. Game Schedules can be found on : www.northeasternma.org.

Thank you and Go Witch !!!!

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

-Students who are failing/have Incompletes in 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

CTE Still Going Strong

Shown in photo:

Dylan Huntley-Carpentry

Josiah Grindle-Building Property and Maintenance

Kevin Ramos-Culinary Arts

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College and Career Readiness Center


Need help with your post-graduate plans? We have two support drop-in times set up for you to meet with a school counselor or a representative from North Shore Community College and the EOC, Educational Opportunity Center.

When: June 8th and 10th from 12 to 2pm

Where: SHS College and Career Center

If you did not receive the Adams Scholarship and would like to be considered for

The Stanley Z. Koplik Certificate of Mastery with Distinction, which provides a credit toward tuition at Massachusetts public colleges and universities, the deadline to submit has been extended to July 1st. More information.

Please see the attached application and new qualifications. Application


College Prep Workshop

What to get a head start on college applications? Join us for a College Prep Workshop.

Choose a day: Signup here: https://forms.gle/TxY8vav6TZ2y9hdN8

When: June 8th- 5-7

Where: Community Office- Saltonstall School


When: June 11th- 2-4

Where: SHS IMC


2021 MassSTAR Conference: Massachusetts Youth Leadership Foundation, is hosting their annual MassSTAR Citizenship Conference virtually on Saturday, June 12 and Sunday, June 13 from 10:00 AM-3:00 PM for current sophomores across the state of Massachusetts. Through an immersive virtual two-day conference experience, delegates will receive leadership training and personal development with the aim of promoting their understanding of what it means to be an active and engaged citizen.

Register through MYL website at https://massyouthleadership.org

Summer AP STEM & English Bridge Program:

The Department contracts with Mass Insight to run the statewide Advanced Placement STEM and English program to increase access to and performance in AP courses for underrepresented students. The Summer AP STEM & English Bridge Program helps students bridge gaps between their previous courses and their 2021-2022 AP courses and builds a foundation for success in the AP courses. These free virtual courses will be taught by experienced AP teachers from across the country and are open to all Massachusetts public school students, including charter school students. The program will run two one-week sessions beginning Monday, July 26. For more information on course schedules and registration, visit http://www.massinsight.org/2021-summer-bridge/.

LEAP for Education

Check out what's going on!

Summer Internship!


Attached is a Google Document that will be updated almost daily with all of the opportunities we have in our community. LOOK HERE


Picture: SHS intern, Ethan Dwyer and Executive Director of Salem Access TV, Patrick Kennedy

Patrick Kennedy, Executive Director at Salem Access TV had this to say about SATV intern Ethan Dwyer, "Ethan did a wonderful job as a Salem High School intern at Salem Access Television. His positive and upbeat attitude made him a pleasure to have working at our organization."

Many thanks to Patrick for being an outstanding community partner for the SHS Internship Program. And all the best to Ethan as he graduates and continues toward his goal of studying communications at Salem State University.

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On Monday, during the Senior Signing, four cadets came together to present national and Marine Corps colors. Cadet Cpl Sweeney, Cadet Lcpl Fatal, Cadet PFT Vassel and Cadet Theriault came together and formed a Color Guard Team and executed very well, with limited rehearsal hours. They displayed determination, drive, attention to detail and overall professionalism.

The MCROTC will continue to sharpen our skills to represent Salem High School in upcoming events where the Color Guard will perform. Always looking for more cadets to join our ranks!

Student Activities

Next week is senior week. Seniors will be enjoying In the Game, Sunsets, Softball, Prom and Graduation.

Upcoming Events


  • 31 - Memorial Day


  • 4 - Graduation
  • 10-11 - Amnesty Days
  • 17 - Last Day of School

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!

Salem High School In-Person/Remote Learning Schedule: Spring 2021

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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.

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.