September 2, 2020

Dear Families,

There is good news to share.  We are seeing a significant decrease in Pierce County COVID transmission rates that we did not anticipate earlier this summer.  If transmission rates continue trending down, then working in collaboration with the Tacoma Pierce County Health Department, we may be able to consider in-person learning. 

Based off the latest public health data, and in consultation with public health officials, we have begun planning a gradual return to in-person learning for elementary students only.  Like other county school districts and private schools, we will be working with Tacoma Pierce County Health Department officials on exactly when and how we can make this pivot, but we are cautiously planning to provide the option for elementary students to return back to school buildings as early as Sept. 21. 

Our ability to do this is completely dependent upon a constant decline in Pierce County COVID transmission rates.  The health and safety of staff and students remains our priority as we move forward in our planning.  The return of secondary students will be reviewed in early October and is contingent upon sustained low transmission rates. 

End of September

  • Kindergarten – Grade 1:  Students may return to in-person instruction four days a week, Tues.-Fri.  We can safely accommodate students based on average class size and building square footage. Special Education Self-contained preschool – grade 12. 

  • Grades 2 – 6:  Students may return to in-person instruction two days a week, pivoting from a full-time distance learning model to a hybrid A/B instructional model.

Note:  Special Education students in self-contained programs may have the option to return at the end of September. 

October

  • Grades 7 – 12:  Students may return to in-person instruction two days a week.  Pivot from a full-time distance learning model to a hybrid A/B instructional model.

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Families will continue to be able to choose their child’s best learning model; in-person learning versus Continuous (Distance) Learning 2.0.  As we build schedules with this new information and determine building capacity for students and staff to accommodate in-person learning, we need your input. We are asking, once again, for families to select their child’s learning model. Families identified as the 'primary contact' in eSchoolPlus will receive a survey link by 11:59 p.m. on Sept. 9.

Our current transmission trend certainly fast tracks our work and we remain committed to communicating what we know, when we know it.  Thank you for your patience as we do whatever necessary to best support students learning in safe, healthy, thriving environments.  We’re all in this together.   

Dr. John A. Polm
Superintendent