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The 2020 reopening plan was approved by the Salem School Board on July 14, 2020 and offered a pathway to supporting both in-school and remote learning options for parents. Plan details represent guidance at the time which may, in some cases, have been updated based on changes in circumstances, state/federal guidance, and new information.
2020 Reopening Plan
The Salem School District will reopen schools in the fall bearing in mind the safety and well-being of staff, students, and the community. For those unable or unwilling to return to school, a remote/distance learning option will be offered similar to the experience provided last spring.
Social Distancing and Masks
Social distancing is the primary challenge within the physical confines of Salem schools. While the plan encourages students and staff to maintain a six foot distance, additional protocols are called for when that amount of space is not practical. These include a requirement for all students and staff to wear masks. All desks will be spaced a minimum of three feet apart and transparent desk shields will be installed at every desk. Masks may be removed when seated at a desk.
Every classroom, common space, and office will have a hand sanitizer or hand sanitizing station available for students, staff, and visitors as needed. Opportunities will be scheduled regularly for younger students to wash hands.
The Reopening Plan provides a detailed list of additional safety protocols in all areas of school operation including transportation, food service, and building access. It also addresses student wellness and support services, contingency planning, workforce management procedures, and the remote learning alternative.
Safety protocols recommended in Salem’s reopening plan center on minimizing the potential viral spread. Our ability to keep schools open will depend on the extent that we can embrace and practice essential safety protocols such as wearing a mask, social distancing, and washing hands.
Our school year is almost three days in, and it’s wonderful to see the schools filled with students and staff again. I’ve had the opportunity to visit around the district and speak with teachers about their start and students about the back to school experience. These conversations have been different than normal but very familiar at the same time.
It feels good to be able to say that school begins in less than two weeks. I’m sure all our students feel the same tension that occurs every year, whether working remotely or returning to an in-school experience. I’m so grateful to know our region has kept the spread of this virus in such check that all options remain.
The work continues to finalize in-person and remote learning experiences. It was important to give everyone the opportunity to select an option that best meets their family’s needs. I’m confident that we’ll provide an appropriate academic program in both environments.