February 17, 2023
1st-8th Grades Drop Off. Thanks to some of the families who have provided feedback during our Family Stay Interviews, we will be adjusting the drop-off times for students grades 1-8 to avoid the parking lot congestion in the mornings.
Currently, families are having to wait until 8:10 time to drop their students off in the main parking lot. Beginning February 27th, students will be allowed to enter through the main office doors at 8:00 am and will go to the north cafeteria. They will be supervised by an adult until they are dismissed to go to their classrooms at 8:10. Families who drop off their child between 8:10-8:20 will have access to all normal entry locations (middle school doors, 4k kindergarten doors, etc…).
We will monitor the success of this for several weeks before we make any additional changes.
Bussing Communication. If you haven’t read the communication about our updated bussing expectations and your child(ren) rides the bus, please make sure you know that serious misconduct will not be tolerated. Students may lose the privilege of riding the bus to and from school if they are engaging in inappropriate behaviors.
I had a lovely conversation on Thursday after the communication went out with a father in the district. He helped me see that information about the consequences of behaviors that are illegal and/or dangerous could be interpreted as the only offenses that would receive a week’s bus suspension. I am so glad he and I talked because that is far from accurate.
Please note, not only have we increased our severity of responses to unexpected behaviors on the buses, we have increased them within the school. A week’s bus suspension would only be the tip of the iceberg as far as school consequences are concerned for illegal/dangerous activity. Because we want to honor the dignity of our families and their students (and because we are abiding by the law), we cannot disclose what consequences we issue to students, so I often hear things like, “The school never did anything,” or “So and so never got into trouble” from students and/or their guardians. I can assure you though that we are issuing consequences. I desire that we will see a positive change on campus and to and from school on the bus over time.
Please note, change takes time. I am not trying to excuse any future behavior problem on the bus or on our campus, but we are putting systems into place to not only recognize the students who are making positive choices every day, but penalize students who are not making positive choices.
I firmly believe that the formative years provide us with the greatest opportunity to shape life-long habits, attitudes, and behaviors. I have witnessed amazing success when we are being intentional about our praise of those students who show up every day and do their jobs at school, and when we are swiftly responding to students who are not making expected choices with severe enough consequences that they learn from their choices.
As you review the Bus Communication and our Student Handbook, know that I am working on establishing new or revamping older systems (like our PBIS programs and dances/celebrations). It will take a little time to see all of these fully implemented with fidelity in every classroom and on every bus. But we have a goal, and more importantly, a plan to make this positive change happen.
Vape Detectors. Another positive outcome of our Family Stay Interviews was the discussion about addressing vaping in some student bathrooms. A few families shared that their children have seen students vaping in the bathrooms but are afraid to be a ‘snitch’ and tell a teacher. The father I mentioned in the topic above also expressed the same issues on the phone with me.
This issue is common in many districts. We are investigating the implementation of vape detectors inside the student bathrooms so we can use the security cameras positioned in the halls when the vape detectors go off to identify the student(s) committing the offense.
Our District’s attorney assured me these are not only legal but have become common in schools because of their success rate in curbing unwanted behavior.
Salem Directory & Communication Guide. Finally, please make sure to click on the Communication Guide if you want to know who you can contact with any questions about specific areas. And, if all else fails and you don’t know who to contact, you can always reach out to the principals or me directly. We will/can help redirect you to the correct person if we aren’t the right people.
Stay Interviews. Salem Family Stay Interviews Letter
Citizens’ Advisory Committee (CAC). CAC will be canceled this month due to scheduling conflicts. It will resume in March.
Special Board Meeting- Closed Session @6:15 PM
Special Board Meeting @ 7 PM
Links to Important Items