Update for October 16, 2020

Salem High School

Happy Friday!

Here is what is in this week's newsletter:

  • Parent-Teacher Conferences
  • SHS Satellite Office
  • SPS Health Forum
  • Student-led Equity Group and Student Equity Internship Opportunity
  • This week's SHS News - celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month!
  • STEM Week Challenge
  • Update on Free Lunch
  • Information for Families without Internet
  • Voter Registration Information
  • SHS Department Updates
  • Upcoming Events
  • Weekly Town Hall Reminder
  • Weekly Reminders and Resources

Parent Teacher Conferences

SHS is hosting virtual Parent-Staff conferences on Monday, October 26th from 2:05-3:02 pm. Use the links below(in English, Spanish, and Portuguese) to sign up for a 10-minute time slot with the staff member you'd like to conference with (maximum of 5 conferences). The form will be open for sign-ups until Wednesday, October 21st. Staff members will reach out via email to make alternate arrangements with any parent/guardian whose conference requests could not be accommodated.

Parents/Guardians will be notified via email by Friday, October 23rd with confirmed conference times and zoom links.

Signup in English

Signup in Spanish

Signup in Portuguese

SHS Satellite Office

The SHS Family and Community Engagement Team is excited to announce the opening of an SHS Satellite Office, which will help us create better school access for our students and families. This community based office that will be staffed by rotating administrators and staff who attend “office hours” beginning the week of October 19th.

We hope to create a space that will allow us to utilize this location as a home base for planning future programming and events in the community.

  • The SHS Family and Community Engagement Team will pilot weekly office hours at 135 Lafayette street for 2 weeks, beginning October 20th 2020, where we will offer both afternoon and evening hours for students and families.

  • This location can be used as a:

  • School information center

  • Community access to the School leadership

  • Parent and family technology and school assistance center

  • Internet hotspot

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


SPS Health Forum

You are invited to a virtual Salem Public Schools Health Forum on Wednesday, October 21, from 5-6 PM. This will be facilitated by a panel that includes Superintendent Zrike, Student Advisory Council Representative Duncan Mayer, and healthcare professionals. Topics will include how the COVID-19 crisis has affected both the physical and mental health of students, families, and the community. Please find the Zoom link here; the password is 210365.

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 Equity Internship Opportunity

We are excited to announce a new student internship opportunity with Salem Public Schools. Equity Interns will lead school-wide actions and discussions regarding equity and anti-racism. This is an entry level internship, no previous experience, language levels, status or specific background is required. We are looking only for a passion for justice and willingness to learn and grow.

This paid internship is open to grades 10, 11 and 12. If you are interested in learning more or would like to apply please contact Karyn King Fargo, SHS Internship Coordinator, kkingfargo@salemk12.org or call/text 781-771-0891.

SHS News for October 16, 2020

The Salem High News presents a preview-length version of La Union Latina's 2020 SHS Hispanic Heritage video tour of Latin America!
Salem High News for Oct 16 2020

STEM Week Challenge

The challenge has been undertaken in partnership with the MASS STEM Hub, Partners in Health, IBM, and the One8 foundation. Students have been tasked with creating an app prototype that will support their communities in "Slowing the Spread" of the Coronavirus.

So far, students have been introduced to the concept of the project, they have identified what they know and need to know about the COVID-19 pandemic in order to select their area of focus for the app design. Students have narrowed their project ideas to contact tracing, testing availability and results, and mask effectiveness and availability in the city of Salem.

In the coming week, we will be analyzing COVID-19 data from the state of Massachusetts and applying that to their app design. Students will also begin the process of developing their app prototype.

Due to the remote environment, it is likely that we will be extending the project beyond the dedicated STEM week. All supports including the ability of students to get feedback from industry professionals on their app design will extend well beyond STEM week and will allow students to opportunity to create meaningful projects designed to help their communities.

Free School Meals through End of School Year

The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently announced that universal free school meals and COVID-19 meal service flexibilities (grab and go, parent pick up, etc.) have been extended through June 30, 2021. The Department encourages all students to take advantage of these meals so that children will have nutritious food and to help keep school nutrition programs running.

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)

Register to Vote: MA Deadline is Saturday, October 24th

You can register for the first time or update your registration status right here.

The deadline to register to vote is approaching quickly and if you are eligible to vote, it's a great opportunity to make sure that your voter registration status is up-to-date so you are ready to vote in the upcoming November 2020 Election.

As the largest and most diverse generation alive right now, young people have a chance to make a real impact in Massachusetts and our country if every eligible voter participates in elections. In order to make sure that you can raise your voice and cast your vote in the upcoming local, state, and federal elections, you need to be registered to vote at your current address.

We know a lot of students recently moved for distance learning. If you need to register for the first time or you moved since you last registered, you can update your registration right here. If you have a MA State issued ID or Driver License: you are eligible to register completely online. If you do NOT have a state issued ID or license: complete the online form above, and follow the steps to print out the registration and mail it in to your local clerk's office. Once registered, or re-registered, you will receive a voter registration card in the mail confirming your registration status within a few weeks.

Already registered? Pledge to Vote Safely here to find out more about upcoming elections, including how to vote safely by mail. The options for schools are tailored to higher education, so feel free to select “other” or none” at the bottom there.

Want to help get out the vote this Fall? MASSPIRG Students are working this Fall to make sure every student gets the chance to update their registration and turns out on Election Day. They have volunteer and internship opportunities available to help with that. Sign up to learn more.


Girls and Boys soccer each had huge wins over the Salem Academy this week, Golf and Cross Country continue to work hard in practice and are competing at a level that will make the Salem Community proud. 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 !!!!

College and Career Readiness Center


FAFSA Day Massachusetts is planning to host 7 open FAFSA Day virtual sessions (5 in English and 2 in Spanish), one per month from October - February. Registration Required: https://masfaa.org/fafsaday/

  • Sessions will be scheduled for 90 minutes and will include a brief presentation and Q&A.

  • The Q&A will be the bulk of the session and will have at least 2 "FAFSA experts" as panelists to help answer questions.

  • Prior to their session, registered students/families will receive an email with a checklist and instructions on how to come prepared to FAFSA DAY

  • All sessions will be recorded:

    • Wednesday, October 21, 7:00pm (using the platform GoToWebinar)

    • Thursday, November 12, 6:30pm *in Spanish* (using the platform Zoom and continuing with that for the rest)

    • Sunday, November 15, 2:00pm

    • Monday, December 14, 12:00pm

    • Sunday, January 10, 2:00pm

    • Sunday, February 7, 2:00pm *in Spanish*

    • Thursday, February 11, 7:00pm

College Rep Visits- Register in Naviance

Monday: 10/19

  • Univ of Rhode Island: 12:15 pm

Tuesday: 10/20

  • Lesley University: 12:15 pm

Wednesday: 10/21

  • Syracuse University: 12:15 pm

  • Emmanuel College: 1:00pm

Thursday: 10/22

  • Bryant University: 12:15 pm

Senior Information Night:

Here are the slides from our Senior Parent Information Night if you were not able to join us.

Presentation Slides

Espanol presentation


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!

ELL Department

This coming week, on Thursday, Oct. 22, at 6:30, we are hosting our first District-wide ELL Family Night! This is a great opportunity for parents/guardians of our English Learners to meet one another, and build a community of mutual support.

You are invited to a Virtual Family Night for parents of students learning English as a second language. Any parent or guardian of an English Language Learner is invited to attend!

The Virtual Family Night will take place on Thursday, October 22 at 6:30pm on Zoom. Come share the challenges you face and your good ideas with other families!

Zoom link: tinyurl.com/salemel

To join by phone, call: +1-301-715-8592 then press 98338160001#

Together we can!

Pupil Personnel Services

The Special Education Department welcomes the newest member to the TEAM.

Michelle Heller- Leo delivered healthy Joshua Henry Leo on 10/10/20 weighing in at 7 pounds 15.4 ounces.

Baby and mom are doing great!! Congratulations Michelle!

Student Supports

Salem High School is putting supporting our students at the very center of our efforts by committing to becoming a BARR school in the 2020-2021 school year. BARR stands for Building Assets Reducing Risks and is a school wide structure of organization that is proven by research to improve the educational outcome for all students. Check out this short video that describes what it means to be a BARR school and identifies some of the goals we hope to attain as a result of our efforts.

In the coming weeks we will highlight how each of the eight core BARR strategies are at work at Salem High School.

The BARR Model: How it works

Teaching and Learning

In her efforts to help SHS become a more anti-racist organization, Librarian Joanne O'Keefe is conducting a diversity audit of our print collection, a first step toward ensuring that, as we reimagine the SHS learning commons, we are creating an inclusive and welcoming space, and thoughtfully developing literary and informational text collections that honor the racial, cultural, and linguistic diversity of our learning community, and support the intellectual curiosity and social and emotional growth and wellness of our students.

Upcoming Events


  • 21 - 12:12 Dismissal (District-Wide Professional Development)
    Q1 Progress Reports Posted
  • 22 - 6:30 District ELL Night
  • 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. 20th, 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.
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.