COVID-19 Response FAQ

COVID-19 Response FAQ
Posted on 03/16/2020
COVID FAQ

Salem Public Schools COVID-19 Response 

Frequently Asked Questions Frequently Asked Questions (SPANISH)

Based on a mandate from Governor Baker, ALL Salem Public Schools will be closed through the remainder of the school year. Here are the frequently asked questions and resources for this school closure time. This page will be updated as new information arises. We continue to be in close communication with the Salem Board of Health who update and advise us on a regular basis. Updates are available on the Board of Health website: https://www.salem.com/home/news/city-salem-covid-19-updates

Student Meals and Food Support

Starting Monday, March 16th, breakfast and lunch will be available to all children under the age of 18, regardless of which school you attend, from 9:00 am-11:00 am, Monday through Friday, at the following school locations: Bates School - side door to the cafeteria, facing the playground
Bentley Academy - gym door near the big parking lot
Carlton Innovation School - main entrance
Collins Middle School - main entrance
Horace Mann Elementary School - second floor entrance on the SHS side of the building, near the field
Saltonstall - behind the school at the cafeteria entrance by the playground
Witchcraft Elementary School - main entrance 

In addition to the school distribution, starting Monday, March 16th, breakfast and lunch will be delivered by our transportation department for pick up between 9:00 am-10:00 am to any City of Salem child under the age of 18 in the following locations:

  • 1000 Loring Towers
  • Pequot Highlands @ First St.
  • Palmer Cove Park
  • Rainbow Terrace @ 2 Rainbow Terrace
  • Salem Heights
  • Mack Park @ Tremont St. (9:45-10:15am)
  • Salem Common (9:00-9:30am)

Distribution of learning packets for Pre-K-5 are also available at these locations.

These meals will be “grab-and-go” style; packaged in convenient carrying bags by our hard-working and talented Food Services Department. Friday food distribution will include three breakfasts and three lunches. We will be practicing social distancing protocol at all of these locations, so please be patient as you wait for your meals. 

Whenever possible, please send one family member (or as few as possible) to get meals for all children in the household.

Please do not come to the site if you or any of your household members are feeling ill or have been advised to self-quarantine.

Our goal is to ensure that all Salem children have access to food during the school closure. Therefore, if you need further accommodations (health concerns, disabilities, etc.), please contact the Food Service Department at 978-740-1230 to make specific arrangements.

Special Education, Counseling and Student Support

School-based Special Education Teams will be reaching out to families of students with IEPs to discuss ways to engage with the District-Wide academic resources that will be shared with all students in the next few weeks. Should you have questions, please  email your Team Chairperson directly.     

School Adjustment Counselors and School Counselors, City Connects Coordinators, Family Engagement Facilitators and our Homeless Liaison/Foster Care Point of Contact and Director of Out of District Placements will reach out routinely to identified students and families to provide check-ins, information regarding school and community resources, and tele-support. 

If you feel your child is in crisis and needs immediate support, you can contact Lahey Behavioral Health Services @ 978-521-7777 or call 911. The contact for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-274-TALK (8255). School Mental Health support staff will be reaching out with resources and support in the days to come. At this time, any questions or concerns related to your child’s school-based counseling and psychological support may be directed to Tim Potts, Supervisor of Counseling and Psychological services, @978-587-4938 or tpotts@salemk12.org   

Community-Based Therapy Services: All of our clinical partners will be reaching out to each student/family to provide whatever level of service is most possible for the student.  All but Northshore Community Health are able to see students either in their home over the next several weeks, or in their clinics. Ellen Wingard has offered to be the contact for Northshore Community Health therapists if they need to use our school buildings for therapy.

Each agency is following the same protocol with regard to in-person contact with students and families, including asking for information on any symptoms present or student/family travel.  Additionally, each agency is working quickly to enable their clinicians to utilize Tele-behavioral Health options in the event face-to-face contact is not prudent.

Regarding PCA and Respite Care:  The NEARC anticipates that families who have PCA services will be requesting additional hours. They are waiting to hear from MassHealth about relaxing their regulations but have not (as of midday on Friday 3/13)) received any additional funding to meet this situation. If families feel they need assistance, they should contact DDS (978-927-2727) to see if they can access emergency funds. Salem Public Schools is also here to assist with connecting families with supports.  The PPS Office number is 978-740-1249 and the Executive Director can always be reached at dconnerty@salemk12.org

Out Of District Programs: Families should check with their schools for any needed clarification, or reach out to Maureen Branconnier at 978-979-6997 or mbranconnier@salemk12.org.  OOD Programs are facilitating the process of getting medications distributed back to families and providing enrichment work, similar to what we are doing here in Salem.  In addition, The following update was just announced by MassHealth: Effective March 14, 2020, MassHealth is allowing early refills and 90-day supplies of medications. Many private insurers are doing the same. Please contact your pharmacist to discuss these options. For more information please see this message from MASS Health  

The PPS Office number is 978-740-1249 and the Executive Director can always be reached at dconnerty@salemk12.org

Retrieving Medication from Schools

If you have not picked up student medication, please contact your school nurse. We respectfully request that anyone entering our schools please do so in good health. Those with fever, cough, or shortness of breath should stay at home and contact their primary care providers.

If you have any questions or concerns about picking up your child's medication, kindly contact their school nurse by email using the below email addresses.

Effective March 14, 2020, MassHealth is allowing early refills and 90-day supplies of medications. Many private insurers are doing the same. Please contact your pharmacist to discuss these options. For more information please see this link from MA Health

Devices and WiFi needs

See this link for student Chromebook retrieval

Continuity of Teaching and Learning

We recognize the disruption that the current school closure causes to your family’s regular routine and to your child’s learning.  In addition, many students may find that being out of school causes them to miss the personal connections they have built with classmates and teachers. Many students are also worried about how COVID-19 might affect their families and friends.

We are working diligently to offer our students learning and enrichment activities that can be accessed at home. These will provide opportunities for students to work within familiar online programs, to extend grade-level learning, to engage in enjoyable and creative projects, and to pay attention to their own social, emotional, and physical well-being. 

Although none of these activities are required (and none of them are credit-bearing), we ask for your support in encouraging your child to participate in order to prevent academic learning loss and to keep your child healthy and engaged. 

Please visit our remote learning site at www.SalemLearns.org

Report Cards

Report cards are delayed at this time

Cleaning and Sanitizing Efforts

We continue our cleaning procedures on an intensified level, consistent with guidelines from the Center for Disease Control and the Department of Public Health.

Deep cleaning will be taking place throughout ALL buildings over the next two weeks using EPA recommended products and methods. 

All buses used for food delivery will be disinfected every morning and before school opens again.

Field Trips, Events, and Facilities Use

Information is provided here about our postponements and cancellations. We will keep this page updated with information as it comes in.

How You Can Help at Home

It is common when schools are closed for our students to congregate in large groups. The Salem Health Department has asked us to let you know that they discourage students from doing this over the next two weeks. It is important to practice social distancing in order to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. The Salem Public Schools would like to remind our families of the importance of continuing to practice good hygiene, regular hand washing, and properly covering your coughs and sneezes.

The Salem Board of Health and our school nursing staff urgently remind all parents and children that it is imperative to follow proper protocols for personal protection for prevention, as well as to lower risk of transmission of illness to others. We appreciate your flexibility, support and understanding as we strive to meet the needs of our entire community at this critical time.

Additional Questions

If there are additional non-urgent questions you have that were not answered here, please fill out this form (https://forms.gle/MtJ5487ZTgxq9C519) and we will answer your questions as soon as we can.

For urgent questions, please call: (978)740-1212


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