Latest Updates

August 7, 2020: 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. 



Ju
ly 23, 2020:  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
Superintendent




Ju
ly 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  reopening@puyallup.k12.wa.us. 


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 reopening@puyallup.k12.wa.us

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 reopening@puyallup.k12.wa.us) 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.