Latest Updates

January 22:  Secondary Hybrid Implementation Plan Update

Today marked the deadline for families to make instructional learning model selections.  The majority of secondary families have responded and selected the ‘In-Person, Hybrid Learning’ model.  Due to the number of secondary students currently planning on returning to in-person instruction, we are actively planning for a four-cohort (A, B, C, D) schedule model.

The original four-cohort schedule model shared with our community is currently under evaluation.  Adjustments are being made to accommodate staff, student, and family feedback.  The final four-cohort schedule model will be shared with families next week and presented to the School Board Feb. 1.   

When does in-person learning begin?

We are committed to, and planning for, multiple start dates dependent on current guidance and COVID-19 metrics.  This multiple ‘entry-point concept’ allows staff and families to plan for various dates of return based on disease metrics that guide our decisions.  Given this concept, junior high students would start Feb. 16 and high school students would start March 2.  If the district determines that the COVID-19 metrics or other factors do not support a return on those dates, the next entry point date becomes the new start date.


Entry Point 1

Entry Point 2

Entry Point 3

Entry Point 4

Grades 7-9
(Includes EJH 6th grade)

Feb. 16

March 16

March 30

April 20

Grades 10-12

March 2

March 23

April 6

April 27


Communication and engagement remain key elements in our planning.  Please link below for additional resources and/or assistance. 


January 21: Corrected Link

CORRECTION:  The 4-minute virtual walk-through link below was not working properly in our Jan. 20 message. 

 Please link here to view a 4-minute virtual walk-through explaining the details of possible schedule variations for secondary students.

January 20: Reminder:  Select Instructional Model by 5 p.m. Jan. 22

By now, secondary families should have received an email with information to select their child’s instructional model for the remainder of the school year as we plan to return secondary students.  For those who have already made an instructional model selection, thank you.  If you haven’t already done so, please select your child’s instructional model by 5 p.m. on Jan. 22.  If responses are not received by this deadline, students will default to the ‘Remote, Full-time Continuous (Distance) Learning’ model. 

Thank you in advance for your participation as we work together to reopen schools.    


     • Schedule variation information:  Variations will occur based on the number of students returning.  The number of students selecting ‘In-Person Hybrid Learning’ will be a key factor in planning for the number of cohort groups.  This 4-minute virtual walk-through explains the details of possible schedule variations. 

     • Newly published and updated Q&A

     • Return-to-School Playbook outlining all health and safety requirements

     • Contact us with questions or assistance

January 15: Secondary Survey

Action Required:  Select your child’s instructional model by Jan. 22, 5 p.m.

In our Jan. 8 message to secondary families, we told families that we would soon need to know their child’s plan on accessing learning.  In continuing to prepare for a safe return of secondary students to in-person learning, a critical component is knowing how many students to expect onsite so we can accurately plan – and meet – state health and safety requirements.  

Please select your child’s instructional model  by Jan. 22.  The instructional model you select will stay in effect for the remainder of the school year.

     • In-Person:  Hybrid Learning (onsite at least one half-day per week)

     • Remote:  Full-Time Continuous Learning (not onsite, full-time remote)

The number of students selecting ‘In-Person Hybrid Learning’ will be a key factor in planning for the number of cohort groups.

Information continues to evolve based on the feedback we receive.  Since our last message, we received feedback from hundreds of families.  As such, possible schedule variations have changed from our previous communication.  Please link here to view possible schedule variations based on the number of students returning.  In addition, parent inquiries over the last week has resulted in a Q&A that families can reference here.  

Our goal is to provide you with the information you need to select your child’s instructional model. Instructional model selections are required from all secondary families by Jan. 22.  

Thank you in advance for partnering with us as we plan for a safe return to school for secondary students.  Please contact us with questions or if you need additional assistance.

January 8:  Planning for Secondary Continues

Based on the new guidance for schools recently issued by the Department of Health, we continue to plan for a safe return of secondary students in a hybrid schedule.  We are hopeful for an early second semester return date based on COVID-19 case counts in the community. 

Planning for safe in-person instruction and abiding by health and safety requirements is complex and requires thoughtful planning and communication.  Variations of hybrid schedules may occur based on the number of students returning. 

Students are currently receiving the same instruction, remotely.  As we plan for the return of students in a hybrid instructional model, here is what you need to know:

  •  • We will soon ask families for their child’s plan on accessing learning; onsite (hybrid) versus remote (distance learning). We realize that your ability to make an informed decision is based on a variety of information.  This email contains links to important information to keep you appropriately informed. 
  •  • Hybrid schedule variations may occur based on the number of students returning.  Link here to view hybrid schedule variations.
  •  • Full-time Continuous (Distance) Learning 2.0 has always, and continues to be, an option for students.  Link here to compare CDL 2.0 and Hybrid Instructional Models
  • • It’s important you feel supported in your decision to return your child back to school.  Link here to submit questions or feedback.

As we reopen schools for all students, everyone has a shared responsibility in mitigating COVID-19 transmission in schools.  The updated PSD Reopening Playbook outlines health and safety requirements and expectations. 

January 6: Reopening Dates Announced for Elementary Schools

All elementary students enrolled in the hybrid instructional model will return to campus incrementally over the next few weeks. 

New guidance for schools recently issued by the Department of Health will allow us to return students in groups of 15 or less based on health and safety protocols in schools.  On the following dates, students will begin receiving in-person instruction 2 days per week on the Board-approved A/B schedule:

     • Jan. 12:  Grades K-1 (previously announced)
Jan. 26:  Grades 2-3
Feb. 9:  Grades 4-6 (does not include 6th graders at EJH)

Upcoming Schedule Changes:  Extending in-person learning for our most vulnerable learners is a top focus. As such, increasing the in-person learning schedule for students served in Special Education, Self-Contained programs and Grades K-1 will be phased in as follows:  

     Grades K-1
     Jan. 12 – 2 days per week
     Jan. 26 – 4 days per week (Tues. - Fri.)
     Feb. 16 – 5 days per week (preliminary)

Special Education, Self-Contained Programs
Jan. 12 – 4 days per week (Tues. - Fri.)
Feb. 16 – 5 days per week (preliminary)

Our ability to move forward with in-person instruction is complex and requires consideration of the risk of transmission versus the benefits of in-person learning.  Based on the demonstrated success of current health and safety protocols and in alignment with the new guidelines, we will continue to plan for a safe return of secondary students in a hybrid schedule during second semester.

Everyone has a shared responsibility in mitigating COVID-19 transmission in schools.  The updated PSD Reopening Playbook outlines health and safety requirements and expectations as we reopen schools. 

December 16: New Guidance for PSD Reopening

This afternoon, Governor Inslee held a press conference providing new guidance for schools on reopening.  This new guidance will provide us with a way to incrementally return more students for in-person instruction based on the demonstrated success of current health and safety protocols in schools. 

Puyallup School District will continue to plan for a return of K-1 hybrid students Jan. 12 and evaluate the necessary staff, space, and supplies to extend in-person learning to additional students within these guidelines.   

We remain committed to communicating what we know, when we know it.  As we dissect this new guidance, information will be shared with staff and families.  As we plan for the return of additional students to campus, updated health and safety requirements will be communicated and published in the PSD Return-to-School Playbook. 

December 11:  PSD Plans to Return Additional Students Jan. 12

Effective Jan. 12, in-person instruction will resume for students in grades K-1.  Small groups of students in grades K-1 will return to school in a hybrid A/B instructional schedule two days per week.  Group A students will attend Tuesday and Thursday and Group B students will attend Wednesday and Friday. Monday will be a day for teacher collaboration and professional learning.  With this model, students will have three distance learning days and two on-campus instruction days.  Students will follow the Board approved 2020-21 bell schedule on in-person instruction days.  Families will receive student A/B schedules via email the week of Dec. 14.  

Health and safety protocols have been established to minimize health risks to students and school staff.  Prior to their child’s arrival to school each day, families are required to submit an Electronic Health Screen Form.  Students and staff will follow strict measures that will involve daily temperature classroom checks, social distancing requirements, and mask compliance.  Schools and classroom spaces have been modified with distancing markers and directional signage.  Disinfecting and cleaning protocols are in place to support health and safety at lunch and recess.   

We remain committed to providing onsite services for those with the greatest support needs.  Since October, the district has provided in-person instruction to our most vulnerable students.  Early learners face unique challenges as they navigate distance learning and work on literacy and numeracy skills online.  Although we remain in Reopening Phase 3, returning students in grades K-1 to in-person instruction as soon as safely possible has been a top priority.     

The decision to return additional students to in-person instruction will be dependent on community health metrics and our ability to meet health and safety requirements set by state and local health authorities.  

November 5, 2020: Reopening Schools Update

Puyallup School District remains in Phase 3 of reopening.  The District is committed to providing support for students, particularly those with fewest home supports.   This number currently represents approximately 850 students Districtwide.  


As of November 3, the  Department of Health COVID-19 Data Dashboard reported  Pierce County infection rate average of 134.0 per 100K people over 14 days with the six-day lag. The percent of tests that are positive has also increased from 2.2% in early September to 6.1% for a 7-day rolling average as of October 23.  


Schools are constrained by the county data and our ability to bring additional students back to in-person instruction relies on community health.  Communities must work together to slow COVID spread by wearing face coverings, avoiding social gatherings of large groups, and frequent hand washing.   


The  Department of Health Decision Tree will continue to be our guide in how and when we return additional students onsite.  

October 15: Puyallup School District Announces Reopening Phases


Puyallup School District elementary students are unlikely to return to some form of in-person discussion prior to January; February for secondary students.  Currently, the District is providing in-person instruction to small groups of students but  is unlikely to return additional students before January.  

At the District’s Reopening Town Hall Oct. 14, a phasing approach to reopening was presented to the community outlining decision metrics for permissive in-person instruction.  This phased approach maps to the guidelines provided by the Department of Health (DOH) Decision Tree  and the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department Safe Start Metrics.  Currently, the District is in phase 3 providing Continuous (Distance) Learning for most students, and hybrid in-person instruction for small groups of students (developmental preschool studentsstudents with disabilities, and students experiencing homelessness).  

As public health conditions continue to evolve, the Puyallup School District Phasing Dial will be a communication tool used with families.  Each phase aligns to an instructional model that families can plan for.  

The nation's top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, states that our country's return to "normal" is best considered as a rolling re-entry, "There's not going to be like, a light switch that you turn on and off." As the public health conditions continue to evolve over the next several months, the PSD Phasing Dial will be a regular part of our communications as we move from phase to phase throughout the year based on fluctuations with the weekly number of cases per 100,000

October 1:  Pause In-Person Instruction

Due to rising trends of COVID-19 cases in Pierce County, the Tacoma Pierce County Health Department has advised us to “pause” bringing back additional students for in-person learning until we see a trending decline in case numbers.  Based on guidance received today, we will not return students as planned in grades K-1 on Oct. 6 and grades 2-6 on Oct. 13.  

The Health Department has confirmed that students designated as high need individuals can continue to have in-person instruction in small groups.  As such, in-person instruction for our most vulnerable students will continue. This pause in our return to in-person instruction for elementary students does not impact self-contained special education, developmental preschool, and secondary McKinney-Vento students.

• What does this update mean for elementary class schedules?
General Education elementary students will continue in a Continuous (Distance) Learning instructional model.  As planned, new teachers and class rosters will go into effect Monday, Oct. 5.  Learning plans and schedules will be communicated to families on Friday and the following Monday for the full week. 

We realize this change in plans is disruptive for students, families, and teachers.  The COVID-19 pandemic has produced an incredible disturbance to our school system.  The Department of Health’s Decision Tree for the Provision of In Person Learning will continue to guide our decisions on a safe return to in-person learning for all students. 

Please remember to mask upstay 6 feet apart, and stay home if you are not feeling well. It’s also a good time to get your flu shot. Find more information and locations at

These simple actions will help us create safe learning and teaching environments for all. 

September 28: Self-Paced Learning Days for Elementary, Sept. 30 - Oct. 2

General education teachers and specialists will provide asynchronous (self-paced) learning lessons for students in grades K-6 on Sept. 30, Oct. 1 and 2.  Live instruction on these days will be canceled to allow for a smooth transition to our hybrid instructional model which will begin Oct. 6 for grades K-1 and Oct. 13 for grades 2-6. Families can expect to receive an update to their child’s Learning Plan for these three days of instruction, by the end of day Tuesday, Sept. 29. All students will remain with their current teacher until Oct. 2; updated class lists will begin Oct. 5. 

Every year as enrollment is finalized and staffing is allocated to schools, teachers may shift and classroom rosters are adjusted.  This year is no different.  However, the shift to in-person learning has complicated the process and accommodating two non-traditional instructional models will result in more changes than typical.  We realize teacher changes are not ideal and in a traditional school year, try and limit this occurrence.  Thank you for your patience and understanding as we do our best to support families and make staffing changes that support two non-traditional instructional models. 

September 21: In-Person Return to School Target Dates

Puyallup School District students will begin to return to in-person instruction beginning Sept. 28 if Pierce County continues to meet COVID-19 targets set by the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department and state Department of Health. The phased approach will start with offering a hybrid in-person schedule to the most vulnerable students first:

  • Sept. 28: Small groups of self-contained special education students including developmental preschool, secondary McKinney Vento students will return on a reduced schedule which will be communicated directly to families by their schools and teachers.
  • Oct. 6:  Students in grades K-1 would return to in-person instruction four days a week, with Mondays in a Continuous (Distance) Learning from home model. (Right at School before and after school programs will be available at all elementary schools for students in grades K-1)
  • Oct. 13:  Students in grades 2-6 would return to a hybrid in-person A/B schedule two days a week—either Tuesday and Thursday or Wednesday and Friday, with Mondays in a Continuous (Distance) Learning from home model.  (Right at School before and after school programs will be available at all elementary schools for students in grades 2-6)
  • No sooner than Nov. 3: Secondary students in junior and senior high schools would return to a hybrid in-person A/B schedule two days a week—either Tuesday and Thursday or Wednesday and Friday, with Mondays in a Continuous (Distance) Learning from home model.     

Why can kindergarten through first grade students return four days a week?
In his guidance to Pierce County school superintendents on Sept. 4, Dr. Anthony Chen, Director of Health for the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department listed reasons for a phased-in return to in-person learning starting with the youngest children. His reasons included:

  • Youngest learners are at a critical stage in their development.
  • Youngest learners struggle the most with distance learning.
  • Younger students appear to have milder disease and transmit COVID-19 less.

As we reopen for Hybrid in-person instruction, parents have the option to keep their child in a full-time Continuous (Distance) Learning 2.0 model.  Please review the PSD Reopening Playbook just released and posted on the District website that highlights many of the ways we are modifying operational practices as we reopen in-person instruction in schools to keep staff and students as safe as possible.

We are committed to providing you updates on moving to the hybrid model. If COVID case numbers significantly change, it may impact our phased approach to offer in-person instruction.

September 25: In-Person Return to School Information

Puyallup School District will begin returning students to in-person instruction starting Tuesday, Sept. 29.  This phased approach plan begins with small groups of self-contained special education students including developmental preschool on Sept. 29, followed by students in grades K-1 on Oct. 6 and grades 2-6 on Oct. 13.  Students will attend their respective schools on these days according to the new bell schedule approved May 2020.  There is no change to the full-time Continuous (Distance) Learning schedule.  

• Daily Health Screening 
Safety protocols have been established to minimize health risks to students and school staff.   Daily health screening of students by parents will be necessary.  Before entering school buildings, families will be asked to submit an electronic health screen form prior to their child’s arrival to school each day.  Health screening questions will ask if a student has COVID-19 symptoms, been in close contact with anyone confirmed with COVID-19, tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 10 days, and been given advice from a medical professional to self-monitor, self-isolate, or self-quarantine.  The electronic health screen form is available via this message and posted on the District website with directions for making the link to the form an App on phones for easy access. 

• Classroom Changes 
All students, regardless of their chosen learning model, may be assigned a different teacher as we approach our reopening dates with elementary students.   

Every year as enrollment is finalized and staffing is allocated to schools, teachers may shift and classroom rosters are adjusted.  This year is no different.  However, the shift to in-person learning has complicated the process and accommodating two non-traditional instructional models will result in more changes than typical.  We realize teacher changes are not ideal and in a traditional school year, try and limit this occurrence.  Thank you for your patience and understanding as we do our best to support families and make staffing changes that support two non-traditional instructional models.   

• Drop-Off/Pick-Up Procedures
Signage will control traffic patterns and staff will assist students.  Each school will have designated entries.   Due to health and safety guidelines, students need to go directly from their vehicle or bus to their classroom. Students will only be allowed to enter the building 10 minutes before the warning bell (i.e. start of school).   

• Bus Transportation 
Bus schedules are routes can be accessed on the District website.  No more than two elementary students per seat; siblings can sit together.  

• Meals 
Breakfast and lunch will not be served.  Students will need to bring their own lunch.  Students who participate in the free meal program may bring the lunch items provided in the 5-day meal box. Students will eat in supervised classrooms at their own desk.    

• Health and Safety Measures 
We’ve implemented numerous health and safety strategies as students return to school.  It is our goal to communicate and work with students and families relaying expectations published in our Return to School Playbook.  Our responsibility is to keep safety at school the highest priority. 

August 13:  Superintendent Message

Video Transcription:

 As we zero in on the first day of school – September 3rd – and what that looks like for staff and families – we continue rethinking how to best support student learning in a full-time distance learning model.  

 I'd like to share with you details on the learning plans and health and information about health and safety.  Families can count on set schedules, daily live instruction, expectations for engagement, and daily attendance.  Districts are required to provide this for each student, daily.  Our state requirement of providing 180 instructional days and meeting minimum hours of planned instruction each year has not changed.  

 This requirement has driven the need for more structure and even more simulation of a traditional school day in our plans.  This means you can count on a 6-hour student day that offers both live instruction and time dedicated to practice skills.  

 At the top of our list is finding ways to support our most vulnerable students.  With this focus in mind, we have rolled out a return-to-worksite plan for all staff.  When school begins, we plan to offer in-person services to some of our most vulnerable students.  This includes, but is not limited to, small groups of special education, EL, Title I and LAP students.  

 The work of reopening schools in a full-time distance learning model will be most efficiently done in our regular work environment.  School campuses assure access to resources and provides time to establish and practice health and safety measures prior to all students returning.  With ample space, strict health and safety measures, technology support, and instructional resources, your child will be taught by teachers from their classrooms.  

 Our Operations department has increased disinfecting protocol with an emphasis on sanitizing commonly touched surfaces in classrooms, offices, cubicles, and meeting rooms in schools.  This includes counters, tables, desks, chairs, and commonly touched surfaces. Additionally, we have implemented safety measures above what is required on our HVAC systems.  Enabling maximium, fresh air flow with frequent filter replacement.   

 Custodians will maintain stock on all cleaning supplies including disinfectant, gloves, face masks, and paper towels. 

 Why is this important for you to know?  Because this brings us one step closer to a gradual reopening. Take care of yourselves and each other.  Thank you for your continued patience and grace.  Our schools look forward to seeing you virtually or physically – at a distance. 

August 7: Continuous (Distance) Learning 2.0 Update

Our Instructional Taskforce comprised of teachers, principals, families, and district administrators are diving into student day details, schedules, and necessary changes to best support students in a full-time distance learning model.  As this work continues, we are committed to sharing updates with families before a final plan is presented to the School Board for consideration on August 17.   

Family Highlights: 

  • School Schedules:  Drafts of school schedules are under review and being evaluated with union leaders.  Actual school start and end times are still to be decided on, with the goal to provide a predictable, 6-hour day schedule for elementary and secondary schools.    

  • Instruction:  Every day students will receive live instruction, social-emotional support, and skills practice. Students on Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) will begin to receive services on the first day of school.   

  • Grading:  All students will receive grades as outlined in School Board Policy 2420 and 2420R. 

  • Predictable and digestible communication:  Schools will standardize on a common newsletter template and communicate with families on a weekly basis.

  • Technology Support:  Family Universitya collection of over 40 quick-tip videos and resources, provides training on District technology tools and platforms that support a full-time Continuous (Distance) Learning model for fall.

July 23:  Superintendent Message

Puyallup School District Families: 

The Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department has just announced that based on current levels of COVID-19 in our community, it is not safe to open schools this fall.  Therefore, school will start on Sept. 3 in a full-time Continuous (Distance) Learning model 2.0.  I acknowledge this decision is not ideal and will result in challenges for everyone, but we must prioritize the health and safety of students and staff based on the current guidance from our public health officials. 

We recognize delaying our in-person instruction for the fall presents many challenges.  The majority of families who made learning model selections, opted for a hybrid of in-person instruction.  Our work continues on this model as we will eventually have students return to buildings.  However, beginning immediately, we will focus all efforts on continuing to enhance distance learning for families. 

At this time, we cannot predict exactly how long we will remain in a full-time distance learning model.  We will continue to rely on public health guidance in monitoring community health and re-analyze our situation 6-8 weeks after school begins Sept. 3.

Enhanced Continuous (Distance) Learning

We acknowledge that families need to plan for fall with limited information.  Distance learning schedules are being finalized and will be shared with families in early August.  

 Going into September, our goal is to streamline communication and standardize on common tools. Parents and students can expect: 

  • • Weekly newsletters with important information pertaining to their school 
  • • Direct access to information, weekly schedules, and learning activities via Schoology 
  • • Live and recorded lessons using Microsoft Teams, and District-approved instructional materials  
  • • Number grades (1-4) for students in grades K-6 and letter grades (A-F) for students in grades 7-12.  Students on Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) will receive progress reports that align with identified goals and objectives. 
  • • Daily attendance recording 
  • • Technology training for families

Technology for all students

All students in grades K-12 will have access to a device to support Continuous (Distance) Learning 2.0.  Empowering Puyallup, a fundamental District initiative, provides equity and access for all students.  Schools will distribute computers and information on Puyallup’s Protection Plan  prior to the first day of school. 

 This pandemic has challenged us all in many ways, but we will get through this.  We have an opportunity to come together, learn together, and support one another as we navigate uncharted territory.  We don’t have all the answers, but please trust that the values of health, safety, learning, and support are at the forefront. 

We are fully committed to providing a full year of learning with those values driving the work. 

In service and support,

 Dr. John A. Polm

July 22, 2020

Thank you for participating in our learning model selection survey for fall.  We appreciate having this information as we create a reopening plan that takes into consideration State and Pierce County Department of Health guidance.  

Almost 68% of families responded to our learning model selection survey.  An overwhelming amount of families selected a hybrid in-person instructional model for fall versus a full-time distance learning model.  

Based off this data, work will begin on building schedules and determining building capacity for students and staff Instructional taskforce members are re-convening to conduct deep analysis on an A/B schedule and an improved distance learning model.  

Please keep in mind, information is changing daily.  We are working with public health officials regularly in determining what our safest reopening model will be.  While our planning is focused on a hybrid instructional model, we are continuing to work on enhancing the Continuous (Distance) Learning 2.0 model for families who prefer to keep their children at home and in the event the State or Pierce County health officials recommend reopening schools virtually on Sept. 3. 

While we may not have all the answers, we are committed to keeping you updated. Visit the Reopening Schools section on the District website for evolving  frequently asked questions and information on our decision making process.

If you have questions, please email 

July 17, 2020

Families identified as the 'primary contact' in eSchoolPlus should have received a Learning Model Survey link asking you to choose your child’s learning model for fall by Monday, July 20.   For those who have already submitted learning model selections for next fall, thank you!  Just over 40 percent of our families have completed the survey, which helps us tremendously in furthering our planning efforts.

We still need to hear from considerably more of our families to get the most accurate count possible to create a plan for logistics and staffing.

Having this information will help us build schedules and determine building capacity for students and staff.

We realize these options are not ideal and continue to work on creative ways to maximize in-person instruction for all students. While we may not have all the answers, evolving frequently asked questions on our District website may help in making a selection.  If you have questions, please email our Learning Model Consultant team at

For updates and information on our decision making process, visit the Reopening Schools section on the District website.

July 14, 2020

Select your child’s learning model by July 20

 We’re making progress on our reopening plans for fall that will allow us to maximize in-person instruction with social distancing requirements and roll out an improved, enhanced version of our Continuous (Distance) Learning 2.0 model.

You have options for choosing the best learning model that works for your child(ren). We’ve reached a pivotal point in our planning where obtaining this information from you will help us determine if we can bring back more students face-to-face and the levels of staffing needed for distance learning.

Families identified as the ‘primary place of residence’ for students will receive a separate Learning Model Survey link asking them to select one of two learning models for each child(ren): (1) Continuous (Distance) Learning 2.0; or (2) Hybrid A/B Instructional Model.

Considerations to help with your selection:

Students in grades K-3: Our goal is to provide as much face-to-face instruction as possible to as many elementary students as possible. We are evaluating various options for younger learners in grades K-3 to receive in-person instruction that would allow for more than 2 days of instruction.

Improved and enhanced Continuous (Distance) Learning model: We know that for a variety of reasons, some families will not return to in-person instruction and would prefer a full-time distance learning model. An enhanced instructional model is being developed that engages students and provides training for families on common tools and platforms.

Learning Model Commitment: Due to space restrictions and social distancing requirements at school, we are asking parents to select their learning model option for the semester and/or trimester. In extreme circumstances, we will evaluate requests.

Special Education Students: We are prioritizing options for face-to-face instruction for students receiving special education services. Face-to-face instruction could be more than two days a week depending on student’s individual programming needs.

Puyallup Digital Learning (POD, POA and P4): Students can choose either the Hybrid A/B schedule option or the Continuous (Distance) Learning 2.0 model.

Running Start Students: Part-time Running Start students should select hybrid A/B option and the full-time Running Start students should select the Continuous (Distance) Learning 2.0 model.

Families with Siblings: The District will take proactive measures to coordinate school schedules for siblings. That said, we understand families have various needs. When selecting the hybrid A/B instructional model, please indicate your priority for your family in the survey.

Transportation: The District will provide transportation. Students will be required to wear face coverings on the bus. We will do our best to provide space among students and clean buses between runs.

Families have until Monday, July 20, to make learning model selections. A separate survey will need to be completed for each student in your family. For planning purposes, responding to the survey by the July 20 deadline is critical to our decision-making process and final recommendations.

We understand that some families need answers to specific questions before they can make a learning model selection. While we may not have all the answers, review frequently asked questions that may help in making your selection. In addition, a Learning Model Consultant team (email has been formed to assist with questions.

For more information, visit the Reopening Schools section on the District website.

July 10, 2020

It’s no surprise that school will look different in the fall.  Maximizing in-person instruction for all students, while meeting social distancing requirements involves deep analysis into a variety of scenarios that support a variety of student and family needs.   

Family feedback is an important element as we make decisions and move forward.  Over 6400 parents responded to our Reopening Schools Family survey noting top concerns as health and safety factors.  We are required to make plans that meet state guidelines for returning to school that include social distancing, face coverings, symptom checks, and cleaning protocols. Classrooms and common areas will be sanitized regularly, and appropriate amounts of cleaning supplies will be available at all schools.   

District administration and taskforce members are conducting deep planning on a hybrid A/B schedule instructional model that would allow for 2 days of in-person instruction, and 3 days of continuous (distance) learning each week. Maximizing in-person instruction for younger learners has been a top focus.  We are evaluating various options for younger learners in grades K-3 to receive in-person instruction that would allow for more than 2 days of instruction.  However, our options depend on the number of students returning in the fall. Families not comfortable with having their child(ren) return to school in a hybrid instructional model will be able to choose a full-time continuous (distance) learning model.

We’ve reached a pivotal point in our planning and need your help … 

Families have options for fall and soon you will receive a survey. It will ask parents/guardians to commit to the learning model that best meets the needs of their child.  The survey will need to be completed for each child registered in the school district. Your information will help us determine building capacity needs for students and staff.  Knowing the percentage of students returning in the fall will help us establish safe learning environments in classrooms.  

We realize you may have questions when choosing the best learning model for your child.  Keeping you appropriately informed so that you can make the best selection for your family is our top priority.  We will continue to publish frequently asked questions and answers as the work evolves.

July 2, 2020

Planning continues for reopening safely in the fall

The Puyallup School District is moving forward with deep, evaluative planning for an instructional model that abides by current state guidelines and best meets the needs of families. 

We will continue to explore ways to open in a traditional sense, but school will be different in the fall and the state is asking us to plan for instruction that protects health and safety.  As such, we will narrow our focus on one of three instructional models recently under evaluation

With the combined efforts of over 70+ taskforce members, and feedback submitted from nearly 12,000 parents, the recommendation was provided to the School Board to move forward in focused planning for a Hybrid A/B Schedule Instructional model.  This model would allow for 2 days of in-person instruction, and 3 days of continuous (distance) learning each week.  Summer planning will focus on the implementation and details of this model across grade levels, in addition to an evolution of our continuous (distance) learning model in the event we need to adapt based on the potential of future outbreaks. 

We will be required to implement health and safety measures (social distancing, face coverings, symptom checks, and cleaning protocols) when school starts in September. We will continue to monitor changes and new guidance from the health department and keep you informed.

Planning will continue to be a collaborative effort among our taskforce members, labor partners, and school representatives.  We want to thank our taskforce members for their hard work and families who completed our Continuous Learning and Reopening Schools survey.  We will continue to use the data collected as we make decisions in the upcoming weeks.   

We recognize that anything other than a traditional opening is a hardship on families and the idea of more distance learning causes concern.  We want to assure you that as we narrow our focus on an instructional model our priority is to finalize on a format that provides as much face-to-face time with educators and peers in schools as much as possible with safety a priority.

June 17, 2020

Puyallup Families:

As we approach the last day of school on June 19 and plan for our reopening in the fall, please read the latest news on virtual graduation ceremonies, summer meal assistance, and reopening schools. 

Honoring the Class of 2020 
Puyallup School District graduation ceremonies will be available on the District YouTube channel beginning June 18 at 7 p.m. Please note, there is a possibility for a 24-hour delay due to final editing.   

Graduation ceremonies showcase commencement speeches and seniors receiving diplomas from Emerald Ridge High School, Puyallup Digital Learning, Puyallup High School, Governor John R. Rogers High School, and E.B. Walker High School, and Advance and Gateway Program. 

Congratulations Class of 2020! 

Meal Assistance
Because COVID-19 closed schools, your child(ren) may be eligible for food assistance, through the Pandemic EBT (P-EBT): Emergency School Meals Program. 
P-EBT provides families with funds to make up for the cost of meals while school was closed. This benefit is for Washington children in grades K-12 who receive free or reduced-price school meals. These benefits will be on an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card which is used like a debit card to buy groceries. 
If your family has lost income since schools closed, you may be eligible for free or reduced-price school meals. You can find out if you are eligible and how to apply by calling Nutrition Services at (253) 841-8773. Read more … 

Reopening in the Fall 
Our goal is to have students back in the classroom -- there is no substitute for in-person teaching and learning. But school may look different from what we’re used to, and we are planning for multiple scenarios, including the possibility of another shut-down. 

The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction recently released guidance on how school districts across Washington should reopen schools in the fall. The overarching expectation is for schools to open for in-person instruction if health and safety requirements can be met. 

We are preparing for several different operational and instructional scenarios. To help in our planning, the District has assembled an instructional taskforce to evaluate instructional models and, just recently, a health and safety taskforce to evaluate operational aspects of reopening safely in the fall.   

We want to hear from you.  Obtaining your feedback is an important element in our planning as taskforce work continues and we plan for the re-opening of schools in September.  

  • Our Continuous (Distance) Learning survey remains open through June 19.  This survey will help us gauge the at-home learning experience and use your valuable input to make instructional delivery improvements where necessary.  
  • Please also consider responding to a short Reopening School Family Survey open through June 30.  Your responses will help guide safe planning efforts that will ensure students and staff have healthy learning and working environments.  

Thank you for partnering with us as we fast-track this important work.  Our work will be ongoing throughout the summer and our strategies will adjust as guidance is refined.  Stay connected to the latest news by visiting our District website or following us on social media.   

Have a safe and healthy summer!   

June 9, 2020

Puyallup Families:

There are many questions and uncertainties about what school will look like in the fall.  We’ve been planning for a range of scenarios and eagerly wait for guidance from the state and the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI). 

To help in our planning, the District has assembled a Reopening Schools Taskforce comprised of District leaders, school administrators, Puyallup Education Association members, parents, and Right At School representatives.  This taskforce will conduct in-depth planning on two non-traditional instructional models for reopening schools in September.  The models under consideration are as follows:

  • Continuous (Distance) Learning 2.0  
  • Split or Rotating In-Person Schedules with Distance Learning (Preschool – Grade 12)

The process involved with returning to normal operations is well established.  As such, the taskforce’s work will examine needs and resources required for implementation on the above models and develop common expectations for grade levels and content areas. 

The taskforce work will align with the guidance provided by OSPI’s Reopening Washington Schools 2020-21 Workgroup. 

Thank you for your patience as this intense planning is conducted.  Stay tuned for continued updates, in addition to an evolving FAQ posted on our District website, as our planning progresses.