Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update
PSD COVID-19 FAQs and Information
Posted on 04/27/2020

This page will be updated as new information is available. Please continue to check back often.

Puyallup School District Community:

As the severity of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak has increased this message will update you on school district operations.

The Puyallup School District (PSD) is committed to keeping our learning community informed. The health and well-being of our students, staff, and community are a top concern. Below are answers to some questions you may have as well as some guidance for you to consider.

COVID-19 Community Resources

PSD Childcare for Healthcare Workers and First Responders

Continuous Learning Plan

Special Education Communication Information

UPDATED Monday, April 28, 2020

Dear Students, Families, and Staff,

I want to take this opportunity and share follow-up information with all of you regarding recent grading guidance from the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, or most commonly referred to as OSPI. OSPI released their grading guidance last week for school districts to follow during the Governor’s extended school closure. In accordance with guidelines and rules established by OSPI, the Puyallup School District’s school closure grading practices are as follows:  

  • • Preschool – Grade 8: Students will not receive number or letter grades during the extended school closure. Students are encouraged to complete the activities assigned by their teacher(s). Teachers will provide students with performance-based feedback that addresses students’ successes and areas needing growth. Students will move on to the next grade, unless by mutual agreement between parents/guardians, teachers, and school administration they agree to repeat a grade level or a portion of learning missed. June report cards will only include teacher comments. Students on Individualized Education Plans will receive progress reports that align with their specific goals and objectives.  
  • • Grades 9 – 12: Students will have opportunities to improve their grades at the time of the school closure (March 16, 2020) by completing weekly activities assigned by their teachers. Every high school course taken during the school closure period will be given a statewide designator on the high school transcript to denote the unique environment in which the course was taken. Teachers will assign letter grades (A-D) or in rare circumstances an I for “Incomplete” at the end of the semester. A letter grade of “F” is not an option and will not be assigned. To reiterate, grades can be maintained from the time of the school closure (March 16, 2020), improve, or change to an I for “incomplete”. All students are encouraged to stay engaged with their learning, maintain or improve their grades, and communicate as needed with teachers, counselors, and administrators during the school closure. Students on Individualized Education Plans will receive progress reports that align with their specific goals and objectives.  

Weekly attendance will be taken for all students, preschool – Grade 12. Students will be marked present each week for actively participating in their learning. As shared in previous messages, the Puyallup School District is committed to the success of all students during this extended school closure. Our instructional leadership team comprised of district directors, school administrators, our Educational Technology staff and teachers continue to support families with access to technology and meaningful activities and assignments for students. Please reach out to your school administration or teaching staff if your family is still struggling with access to technology, connectivity to the internet, or paper copies of instructional materials.

Stay safe and well,

Dr. Pecchia


UPDATED Friday, March 20, 2020, 11:30 am

Unemployment Benefits for Substitutes Not Working During the School Closure:

Puyallup School District is encouraging substitutes affected by recent school closures, due to Covid-19, to visit the Washington State Employment Security Department website for the most recent information regarding potential eligibility for unemployment. Eligibility is determined by the Employment Security Department, not the Puyallup School District.

Latest information from Employment Security Department:

Q.  I am a part-time employee. Am I eligible for standby?
A.  Under the emergency rules we put into place as a result of COVID-19, standby may be available to you if you’re unemployed because either: 

  1. 1. Your employer shut down or decreased operations temporarily because an employee is sick and other employees have been asked to isolate or quarantine as a result of COVID-19; or
  2. 2. You or your family member received a request to isolate or quarantine due to COVID-19.

     If you worked part time in the last 18 months,  you must meet the minimum requirement of having worked 680 hours in your base year in order to have an unemployment claim.

Q.  I am a substitute teacher who is no longer able to secure work with a school because of the closures. Am I eligible for unemployment benefits?
 You may be eligible for unemployment. You must be able, available, and actively seeking other suitable work during each week you claim. Eligibility decisions are made on a case by case basis.

To apply for benefits please click here.

It is strongly suggested that employees state the following when filing for unemployment benefits: 

Reason: Laid off due to school closure as a result of Covid-19

In addition, employees should request Standby. When selecting standby employees need to select a period of time less than 4 weeks (28 days) from the date of filing. We are aware current closure times are expected to be longer, however the ESD has been automatically denying the claim if the request goes beyond the 28 day period. Puget Sound Unemployment Pool will be monitoring these claims on behalf of PSD and will notify the district prior to the end of the 4 week date to allow the district to extend the claim.

Frequently asked questions:

Where can I learn more?

As new information develops, we will update you. 

My child is frightened and anxious about the news of COVID-19. How can I help ease their fears?
Seattle Children’s Hospital recently published a helpful article entitled Helping Children and Teens Cope with Anxiety About COVID-19.

We know that COVID-19 is causing increased anxiety and uncertainty in our community, county, state, and nation. Puyallup School District officials will continue to partner with the TCPHD and our County Executive who have been working closely with the governor and president’s task forces.  As new information develops, we will update you. 


How does the Puyallup School District make decisions?
The Washington State Department of Health is the lead agency in public health crisis situations in our state and provides school districts direction on how to manage responses.

We are continuing to work closely with the Washington State Department of Health and Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department (TPCHD) so we can respond quickly to any changes in their recommendations, guidance, and direction.  One of our staff members has direct contact with the TPCHD so we are in close communication with their officials.

I think I have COVID-19. What should I do?

Talk to your healthcare provider, who will be able to determine if you should be tested. Pierce County has no cases of COVID-19. If you suspect you have COVID-19 follow these steps to prevent the spread of disease:

  -  Stay home except to get medical care.
People who are mild cases of COVID-19 can isolate at home during their illness. Restrict activities outside your home, except for getting medical care. Don’t go to work, school, or public areas. Avoid using public transportation, ride-sharing, or taxis.

  - Separate yourself from other people in your home.
Stay in a specific room and away from other people and animals in your home. Use a separate bathroom, if available. 

  - Monitor your symptoms.  
Seek prompt medical attention if your illness gets worse. COVID-19 symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

  - Call ahead before you visit your doctor or an emergency room.
If you have a medical appointment, call the healthcare provider and tell them that you have or may have COVID-19. This will help the healthcare provider take steps to prevent exposure to other people.

The Puyallup School District has helpful guidelines for keeping your child at home if they are too sick. These are also helpful for adults to follow when they are sick. Find them here:

Stay Connected:

This guidance is likely to change as this situation evolves, so please know we are committed to providing you with timely updates and guidance aligned with the best recommendations and guidance from our public health authorities.

COVID-19 Guidance from the Washington State Department of Health-- Frequently asked questions about symptoms and testing: 

What to do if you have symptoms of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and have not been around anyone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19:

If you have fever, cough or shortness of breath and have not been around anyone who has been diagnosed with COVID19, you should stay home, away from others, until 72 hours after the fever is gone and symptoms get better.

Please refer to: COVID Concerned for additional information.

What to do if you were potentially exposed to someone with confirmed coronavirus disease (COVID-19):

How do I know if I was exposed?           
You generally need to be in close contact with a sick person to get infected. Close contact includes:

   • Living in the same household as a sick person with COVID-19
   • Caring for a sick person with COVID-19
   • Being within 6 feet of a sick person with COVID-19 for about 10 minutes
   • Being in direct contact with secretions from a sick person with COVID-19 (e.g., being coughed on, kissing, sharing utensils, etc.).

If you have not been in close contact with a sick person with COVID-19, you are considered to be at low risk for infection. You can continue to go to work and school, but should monitor your health for 14 days and stay away from others if you get sick.

What should I do if I am a close contact to someone with COVID-19 but am not sick?
You should monitor your health for fever, cough and shortness of breath during the 14 days after the last day you were in close contact with the sick person with COVID-19. You should not go to work or school and should avoid public places for 14 days. 

Please refer to:
COVID Exposed for additional information. 

What to do if you have confirmed or suspected coronavirus disease (COVID-19):
   • Stay home except to get medical care.
   • Separate yourself from other people and animals in your home.
   • Call ahead before visiting your doctor- tell them that you have or may have COVID-19.
   • Wear a facemask.
   • Cover your coughs and sneezes.
   • Avoid sharing personal household items.
   • Clean your hands often.
   • Clean all “high-touch” surfaces every day.
   • Monitor your symptoms- seek prompt medical attention if your illness is worsening (e.g., difficulty breathing).
   • Ask your healthcare provider to call the local or state health department to discuss your situation.
   • If you have a medical emergency and need to call 911, notify the dispatch personnel that you have, or may have COVID19. If possible, put on a facemask before emergency medical services arrive.

If you have tested positive for COVID-19, you should remain under home isolation precautions for 7 days OR until 72 hours after fever is gone and symptoms get better, whichever is longer.

Please refer to: COVID Case Positive for additional information.