Dear Salem City Schools,

As announced previously, Monday (3/16/2020) is a non-school day.  Please expect a number of communications on Monday (both general/division-wide messages and school/employee group specific messages) with plans and details for Tuesday (3/17/2020).

Monday will be “deep clean and planning day” for 12 month employees.  It will be an opportunity for our terrific custodial staff to clean freely with minimal interruptions…part of our plan to have everything in order to welcome all employees back to the buildings on Tuesday.

Our truly dedicated food service staff already have a plan to prepare over 2000 meals for delivery on Tuesday as our amazing bus drivers will use the elementary bus routes to ensure that every student at every stop has a meal, free of charge.  Instructional Assistants will be essential in assisting with the deliveries and schedules will be created to help align staff with the attendance zones and student they know inasmuch as possible.

Obviously, Monday will be needed to publish bus routes and approximate delivery times and a host of other schedules.  Similarly, Principals and Supervisors will have more detailed meeting schedules and action plans ready for Tuesday for our teachers as they continue to develop instructional approaches for remote delivery of instruction.

A school division is a truly complex operation.  For this reason, the Superintendent cannot anticipate or communicate all of the many different moving parts and pieces.  Please be attentive to communications that you receive and patient in getting questions answered.  Please also expect that new information and new ideas will be generated out of necessity and some answers and approaches will change.

While my email inbox is overflowing and my response to many matters will be very delayed, I do see subject lines and names of employees, community partners, and students offering to help!  The weeks ahead will indeed require a great deal from a great many, but it is surely inspirational to see the best coming out in so many people so soon!.  I am sure that we will encounter some less inspiring conduct too, but I will endeavor to be encouraged whenever possible and to be forgiving and understanding whenever necessary.

Lastly, please take care of yourselves and your families. Self-care is essential if we are to help care for our community.  If you are ill, you are strictly prohibited from reporting to work.  With nearly 600 employees there will be many unique circumstances…your principals and supervisors will remain your primary contacts and you can expect a new, dedicated portion of the employee website to help establish guidelines and provide answers to frequently asked questions by the end of next week.

Bless you and thank you all,