School Re-opening Update

News for our families from Salem Public Schools

9/03/2020


Dear Salem Public Schools community,


We are getting close to the start of school! As a reminder, the first day of school for grades 1-12 is Monday, September 14th, and our PreK and kindergarten students start on Wednesday, September 16th. We are all hard at work getting prepared.


We had a great town hall meeting this week that is full of great information. Did you miss it? Take some time to watch it. Thanks to everyone for submitting thoughtful questions. You can find the recording of the town hall meeting here.


The big Frequently Asked Questions document is coming! We are putting together a FAQ that will be a living document we will update as the school year continues. We are finalizing this and should have it ready by next week's newsletter.

Academics Update

While we have a small subset of students that will be learning in person, we are primarily remote to start the year. Teaching and learning will be different than it was in the Spring, not your grandmother’s remote learning! It is not the crisis learning from the Spring, we are looking forward to resuming a robust and engaging full-time learning experience.



  • Teachers have been through extensive training.
  • There will be a full day of learning to meet the required annual minutes set by the Department of Education.
  • There will be grading using our current report card assessment system.
  • There will be a single sign-on to access all district online resources and common applications including our consistent learning management platforms- google classroom for grades K-5 and Schoology for grades 6-12.
  • Lessons will be about 50% live and 50% recorded. We really want your child to be fully present for the school day. However, if this is impossible for your family, you will have the opportunity to view the lesson later in the day or week.
  • Attendance will be taken every day- students will have daily expectations and work products.
  • Our unique Hub Connects experience- Utilizing outdoor spaces and small dedicated groups of ~10 students and one adult, Hub Connects creates in-person relationship building and social opportunities for every student in grades PreK-12 once per week. The goal of Hub Connects is to ensure our students feel connected to their school community while fostering a sense of belonging and fun. In-person Hub Connects will begin after the first week of school.
  • All families will have the opportunity for in-person connections with their teacher by the end of September.

Health and Safety Update

Ventilation Systems: We have conducted a full assessment of our ventilation systems at all schools with an outside, independent facilities project management firm. They are assessing what needs to be done to ensure that the systems are running as intended. At this point, we are finalizing the identification of classrooms in each building that can or cannot be used.


Protocols: We have established clear protocols in a newly designed COVID response staff handbook that includes guidance on eating, access to water, walking in hallways, arrival, dismissal, bathroom usage, cleaning, visitors, what happens if a child does not wear a mask, contact tracing, use of materials, what happens when a student/staff is symptomatic, what happens when a student/staff tests positive, and riding the bus. We will be training all staff on this protocol next week.


Protective Equipment: Staff working in person will be provided with masks, gloves, shields, and cleaning supplies. We are asking students to bring in their own masks and will have masks for those who need them.

*We are encouraging the use of outdoor spaces at schools and will be installing tents at each school.

Food and Nutrition Services


Starting on 9/14: In-person students will be provided with breakfast and lunch while they are in the school buildings.


For our remote learners, the Food Service Department will offer breakfast and lunch to be distributed on Mondays (includes breakfast and lunch for 2 days), Wednesdays (includes breakfast and lunch for 2 days), and Fridays (includes breakfast and lunch for 3 days) at the following schools: Bates, Carlton, Collins, Horace Mann, Saltonstall and Witchcraft Heights. Distribution will be between 3-4pm (changed from the 9-11 pickup time).


SPS will also be delivering breakfasts and lunches on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays to Pequot Highlands (9:30-10:00am), Rainbow Terrace (10:30-11:00am), Salem Heights (11:00-11:30am), and Loring Towers (12:00-12:30am).


In addition, the Salem Food Pantry will continue to offer groceries at the following locations and times:


  • Monday afternoon: Bates School, Carlton School, Saltonstall School, & Witchcraft Heights (time tbd)
  • Wednesdays: Salem State University & Rainbow Terrace (10am-12pm)
  • Fridays: Loring Towers, Pequot Highlands, Salem Heights (9-10 am)
  • Saturdays (twice monthly): Espacio/Palmer Cove (10am-12pm)


If a family is struggling with access to meals, they should reach out to the Food Service Dept. 978-740-1230, djeffers@salemk12.org, iperrin@salemk12.org

Flu Vaccine

As a reminder, all students are required per an order by the Governor’s office to receive a flu vaccine prior to December 31st. We will be working to make these vaccines available at our schools throughout the Fall.

Family Technical Training Opportunities

Families who would like to learn more about the learning platforms their students will be using (Schoology and Google Classroom) will have training opportunities available to them. The training dates scheduled so far are:


  • Bates - Sept 9th 6:30
  • Bentley Academy Innovation School - Sept 8th 6:30
  • Carlton Innovation School - Sept 10th 6:30
  • Collins Middle School - Sept 9th 6:00
  • Horace Mann - Sept 9th 5:30
  • Salem High School - Sept 9th 3:00 + 6:00
  • Salem Prep - Sept 10th 6:00
  • Saltonstall - Sept 10th 5:00 + 6:00
  • Witchcraft Heights Elementary School - Sept 8th 5:30


You should expect to receive an email from your principal with more information and a Zoom link to participate.

Technical Help and Chromebooks

Our bi-lingual tech help desk phone line is live! You can reach the help desk at 978-619-1450 for assistance


If you are a family with a critical need for a Chromebook to start the school year, please fill out this form to let us know.


If you have a Chromebook from the school from last school year that either doesn't work or needs some repair, please fill out this form so we can assign a technician to help you.


If you have further questions, please contact Marc Leblanc mleblanc@salemk12.org.

Parent Technical Ambassadors

"Parent Tech Ambassadors" are bilingual individuals in our community that have a technical background who will be running in-person tech training for all Salem Public Schools families. More details to come, so stay tuned.

School Supplies

This year, most students will be learning at home instead of at school. We want to ensure that students have what they need to be successful. Families may choose to purchase their own supplies from the list below or, if needed, they can receive a supply kit from their child’s school. School supply lists can be found here.


*Information to come regarding getting supplies from your individual school

Partner Supports for Childcare

Salem Public Schools is working to expand options for those families who are struggling with a lack of childcare. Please understand that the community does not have enough spaces to support every child and we are working to prioritize those most in need.


Community partners will operate Hub Extensions in our school buildings for groups of 13
students. These Hub Extensions will be licensed by The Department of Early Education and Care and those enrolled would be eligible for vouchers. The school district is also subsidizing programming in an effort to keep costs down. Payment will be on a sliding scale depending on eligibility and need.


These Hubs will support remote learning during school day hours and provide after school enrichment activities during after school time. All SPS cleaning and safety protocols will be followed.


Current options are outlined below and may be subject to change as we move forward.

The Salem YMCA will operate Hub Extensions at Bentley, Bates, Horace Mann, Carlton, Witchcraft and their main site. To put your name on a waitlist or to find out more contact

Libby Trejo at trejol@northshoreymca.org, 781-990-7085


The Boys & Girls Club will operate a Hub Extension at Saltonstall as well as two Hub Extensions for elementary school students from any school operating at Collins.

Please contact Barbara Marino bmarino@bgcgs.org or call 978 744 0915


Campfire of the Northshore will operate two Hub Extensions for elementary school students from any school operating at Collins. To inquire about participation please contact

Mary Cole at mcole@campfirenorthshore.org or 781-732-0223


LEAP for Education will operate Hub Extensions at Collins Middle School and Salem High School beginning in October. To inquire about participation please contact Teen Center Coordinator, Vicki Tzortzis at vtzortzis@leap4ed.org

Thank you to all of our families who have always been critical partners to ensure student success, and are being called upon now more than ever. We appreciate you and are here to support you.

Have a safe and happy weekend