April 5th Return to School Info/Forms

April 5th Return to School Info/Forms
Posted on 03/16/2021

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Salem Families -

At last night’s Salem School Committee meeting, we discussed the new regulations adopted by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) and their impact on the Salem Public Schools. We are excited to return our K-8 students to five full days of in-person learning effective Monday, April 5th for all families who select in-person learning. Students who choose to learn in-person will have at least a six hour and five minute a day in-person school day; school specific schedules will be released by the end of the week and PreK families will receive separate information from the Early Childhood Center. Please note that Salem High School will continue with their current hybrid and remote schedule until we finalize a plan to offer a five-day a week in-person model by the end of April. We will continue to provide remote learning for interested students and families through the end of the school year. SPS will no longer offer a hybrid model at grades K-8 beginning April 5th.  

In order to provide these learning opportunities to our students, we remain committed to the robust health and safety practices we have implemented all year, and we also continue to incorporate lessons from the evolving science as we learn more about this virus:

  • Requiring universal mask wearing for students and adults
  • Regular hand washing and disinfecting of physical spaces
  • Robust contact tracing and keeping symptomatic individuals home
  • Student and staff COVID testing to identify asymptomatic or presymptomatic cases
  • Upgrades to ventilation systems and supplemental HEPA filters in classrooms

Over the past nine weeks, Salem has seen declining case rates and positivity rates. In addition, new research on over 500,000 students and nearly 100,000 educators in Massachusetts has also confirmed the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s guidance that, when wearing masks, three feet of physical distance is sufficient. This affirms our own local public health advisory group that emphasizes the benefits of consistent, in-person learning as long as we adhere to the protocols that have been established across our schools. All of our work would not be possible without the inspiring dedication of all of our educators and staff, who are also finally all eligible for the vaccine! 

This leads us to our commitment to meet and exceed the state’s new requirement. In doing so, we will continue to encourage six feet of physical distance whenever possible (which will be the case in the majority of our elementary classes), and require six feet for meals and mask breaks. We look forward to using outside spaces whenever possible. We are excited that as part of the new schedule, we will be able to consistently offer students in-person specials. 

To simplify the process, the following default assignments will be assigned beginning April 5th based on students’ current learning model:

Current in-person students will remain in-person with the slightly extended day
hybrid students will move to full in-person instruction five days per week

Current fully remote students will remain in the fully remote model five days per week

Any family that is REQUESTING A CHANGE from the above assignment MUST complete the form for your child’s school by MONDAY, MARCH 22, 2021 or contact your school’s front office. This is the FINAL opportunity for families to change options. To request a change, please complete the form for your child’s school by MONDAY, March 22, 2021: Bates | Bentley| Carlton| Collins| Horace Mann | Saltonstall| Witchcraft Heights

Please note, if your children attend the same school, you can fill out one form for all students.  If your children attend different schools, you will need to fill out one form for each of the schools that one of your children attend.

For students in grades K-8, this will be your final choice for this school year. In order to make the detailed health, safety, and instructional plans to meet the needs of every child, families must commit to a learning model for the rest of the school year. 

If you are requesting a change for your student and you require transportation, please complete the application. Applications for transportation are posted here on our website. For questions, please contact the Salem Transportation Office at (978) 740-1138. Please note that we will be implementing DESE’s updated bus guidance that does increase the number of students who can safely ride each bus. 

We know that there are many more details to share, and look forward to continued communication with schools and families. Many of those details will depend on finalizing family choices above, so please prioritize making this decision for your family. 

If you have questions or concerns, please reach out to salemreturns@salemk12.org.

Throughout this year that has been unlike any other, you - our families - have been essential partners. Once again, we appreciate your patience, flexibility, and input as we plan for a strong conclusion to the school year.   

With gratitude,


Full Links to Forms:

Bates: https://forms.gle/zhwCeTPrXrAnArUy6 

Bentley: https://forms.gle/ZXqrEiynGi4huuGVA 

Carlton: https://forms.gle/ba8JaRnCcRMpdAfa7 

Collins: https://forms.gle/2MayMkSkStC3mR2CA 

Horace Mann: https://forms.gle/9RtKw9q2deN2tFPX7 

Saltonstall: https://forms.gle/GstRES2DxTGeZiTK8 

Witchcraft Heights: https://forms.gle/98Vi6BWCn8pViX2j7 

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