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Salamander News 11/22/2020

New Information . . . 
We are not planning on sending out a Salamander News next weekend.
Carpool Tip
On colder days, we are finding that many students have a high temperature the first time that we check because the heat in on high in the car and students are wearing winter jackets and hats. To avoid the delay of extra temperature rechecks, please consider turning down the heat a few minutes before dropping off your child, temporarily removing their hats, and temporarily unzipping their winter coats a little. 
Happy Thanksgiving! Remember Asynchronous Remote Learning Days . . . 
Monday and Tuesday are asynchronous remote learning days. Please follow the teachers' instructions about remotely joining a short morning meeting. There will be no school Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday. We hope that all of you enjoy a safe and relaxing holiday. WE are thankful for the patience and generous support of our Salem families!
Cohort 2 for Fourth and Fifth Grade Returns for In-Person Learning 11/30-12/4
What are the most important things for returning Plan B families to remember?
  1. Only students in in preschool through third grade, ECS students, and fourth and fifth graders in cohort 2 will be learning in person the week of 11/30. Families will be called to pick up any students sent on the wrong week.
  2. Students must wear a face covering  Please make sure the face covering fits and covers the nose and mouth.
  3. Students must bring a water bottle.
  4. Read the Student Accountability and Required Health Protocols. Sign and return the signature page on the first day at school.
  5. Complete the bus attestation form online before the first day of school.
  6. Plan on carpool taking longer than usual - especially in the morning. It takes time to screen the additional students.


Asynchronous Remote Learning Days for All Students on Plan B and Virtual Academy (Updated . . . again)

The remote learning (asynchronous) days below are intended to support both teachers and students in having sufficient time to fully engage and succeed in their work. The extra responsibilities and new structures are a challenge for staff, students, and families. Details on remote learning days have been changing regularly. This has been one of the more significant challenges for our administration. We appreciate your grace and patience. Teachers will have the option to hold a brief morning meeting on asynchronous learning days.   







Standard Remote Learning Days

The final two days before the winter break will be standard remote learning days like we had in the first quarter. There will be approximately 2.5 hours of live instruction and 2.5 hours of asynchronous instruction.




Book Fair Coming Soon!

This year, families can drive right up to our book fair displays in the carpool lane and be assisted by PTA volunteers! Click here for more information!


Tuesday, December 1st: 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM
Wednesday, December 2nd: 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Thursday, December 3rd: 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM


Year-Round Calendar Now Published for Second Semester

Please click here to view and print a copy of the second semester year-round calendar. Unless something changes as a result of a significant shift of families to Plan B for second semester, Salem Elementary will remain on the Single Track 4 calendar. Of course, this year everything is subject to change based on the latest news about COVID-19.


Trying to Decide Between Plan B and Virtual Academy for Second Semester?

The window to choose between Plan B and Virtual Academy will be open from December 2nd through December 9th. Mr. Evans, our principal, will be available to answer families' questions in an optional Google Meet this Tuesday (11/24) at 12:30. He will stay in the meet for as long as there are questions. Families will receive the link through Talking Points before the meeting. We cannot share the link here because it is not secure. 


Congratulations to Ms. Murdock, Our School's Nominee for the Diane Kent-Parker First-Year Teacher of the Year Award!


Previously shared news . . .
We know that many of you have questions about the return to the school building, and we have tried to share all of the information we have. We appreciate families taking the time to read everything. Staying informed is the best way you can support your child and the school. We encourage you to read through all of the information that has been previously shared. You can find everything you need below.
Decision . . . Decisions: Plan B or Virtual Academy for Second Semester?
To be clear, our school staff has no preference concerning families' choice of Plan B or Virtual Academy for second semester. However, we do want families to make an informed choice. Below are some key points to consider before you make your choice in the December 2nd-9th window:
  • This will not be school like it used to be. We will still focus on building relationships and engaging every student, but our movement, activities, and interaction will be more limited because of safety precautions.
  • Governor Cooper has approved the return of students under Plan A, which includes important safety measures, such as face coverings, social distancing, symptom screening and cleaning but does not require schools to reduce the number of children in the classroom. 
  • Social distancing will be a priority, but students and staff will not always be six feet apart. Once all students in Plan B return to school, some spaces will not be big enough to ensure six-foot social distancing. Also, there are times when six-foot social distancing would not allow the teacher to adequately supervise all students. For example, 20 students in a class with six-foot social distancing would equal a 120' line; 30 students would lead to a 180' line. There is no way to have such a long line in most classrooms, and the teacher would not be able to supervise the end  of such a line in the hallway. When social distancing is not feasible, teachers will focus on preventing students from facing each other.
  • School staff will ensure the students are wearing their face coverings at all times when they are not eating, drinking, or taking a face covering break following these guidelines.
  • If your child becomes ill at school, families will be notified and must immediately pick up their child. The child may not ride the bus or be transported by a staff member. This means that families without transportation will need to find a way to pick up their child.
  • Children may not return to school until these criteria are met. Note that the guidelines for returning to school are different depending on the circumstances.
  • The guidelines for Plan B students could change over time as guidance from political and health officials changes. Plan B could become more or less restrictive.
  • Regardless of which plan you pick for the second semester, there is a chance that your child's teacher could change as teachers are assigned to Plan B or Virtual Academy classes based on families' choices. Teacher assignments will not be considered until the end of the window for families to chose their plan for second semester. 
  • Whatever plan you pick will be your plan until the end of the year. Staffing, scheduling, and planning decisions for the second semester will be based on the number of students in Plan B and Virtual Academy. Making a choice for the second semester is the family's responsibility. The school will not be able to change your child's plan because you forgot to submit your request or changed your mind. 


Important Information About Confirmed Cases of COVID-19 on Campus

  • Families and staff will be notified when the school is notified that someone confirmed to have COVID-19 was in the school. As long as the number of COVID-19 cases in North Carolina continues to be high, there will be new cases in schools.
  • This does not necessarily mean that the virus was spread at school.
  • The impacted individual could be a student, staff member, or visitor (very limited visitors at the moment).
  • Only individuals who had close contact with someone confirmed to have COVID-19 will need to quarantine.
  • WCPSS and Wake County Public Health will work together to ensure that individuals believed to have been exposed to COVID-19 are notified. 
  • We are limited in what information we can share because of privacy laws. If you do not get a call from Wake County Public Health, there is no reason to believe that your child was in close contact with someone confirmed to have COVID-19.


 Observations From the First Day
  1. Carpool and buses went very well. Asking the required screening questions and taking everyone's temperature takes time, but families were very patient and kind. We expect that morning carpool and buses may take significantly longer starting on November 16th when we have more students attending school daily. We appreciate your patience.
  2. Students did really well with the 3 W's: Wear a cloth mask over your nose and mouth. Wait 6 feet apart. Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer. If your child's mask does not stay over his/her nose on its own, please adjust the straps this evening so it does.
  3. Remember to check your cohort to make sure that you are sending your children on the right week. Please call the office at (919) 363-2865 if you are not sure. 
  4. Remember that all Plan B students need to attend school in their assigned weeks. It is not an option to continue learning virtually when your cohort is at school. All families will have the option to choose Plan A/B/C or Virtual Academy for the second semester when the selection window is open between December 2nd and 9th.  
  5. If you have not already completed the Student Accountability and Required Health Protocols form and the bus attestation form mentioned below, please complete them right away.
  6. Families are being given temporary carpool tags when they first pick up at school in the afternoon. Permanent carpool tags have been ordered and will be given out when they arrive.
  7. Please remember to bring your device and charger daily. 
New Carpool Procedures
This year we have a new and improved carpool system. Each student will be issued a number and a tag with this number to hang in your car. We will begin the year with temporary tags (numbers on a notecard) until our order of tags with our school logo arrive. We will replace the notecards at that time. Please watch our health and safety video to see what carpool will look like. 
Guidance for Plan B Families . . . 
Returning to School Guide for Plan B Families
We are excited to start welcoming our Plan B students back to campus! Please click here to access the Salem Elementary Returning to School Guide for Plan B Families. A Google Slide presentation will open automatically. The presentation is long and very detailed, but we encourage you to read through everything carefully to ensure that your family has a successful transition back to school. 
Cohort Calendars
Please click here to access the Plan B cohort calendars. Click the correct tab at the bottom for your child's cohort.

Information for Plan B and Virtual Academy Families . . . 


Materials Pickup

All Plan B students will receive their second quarter materials when they come to school for their first day of in-person learning. 


Any Virtual Academy families who did not pick up their materials on the designated days should call the school at (919) 363-2865 to arrange a pickup time. 


Updated Master Schedule for Both Plan B and Virtual Academy

Some minor revisions may still be necessary, but here is the updated master schedule, effective October 26th. 


Upcoming Dates

11/23-11/24: Asynchronous remote learning days for all Plan B and Virtual Academy students.

11/24, 12:30 PM: Google Meet with Principal Evans to answer questions about Plan B and Virtual Academy for the second semester

11/30: Plan B Cohort 2 attends in person for 4-5

12/2: Asynchronous remote learning day for all Plan B and Virtual Academy students.

12/2-12/9: Application window to change your child's registration between Plan B and Virtual Academy

12/7: Plan B Cohort 3 attends in person for 4-5

12/14: Plan B Cohort 1 attends in person for 4-5

12/16: Asynchronous remote learning day for all Plan B and Virtual Academy students.

12/21-12/22: Standard (2.5 hours live/2.5 hours asynchronous) remote learning days for all Plan B and Virtual Academy students.

12/23-01/22: Winter break and trackout