Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update
PSD COVID-19 FAQs and Information
Posted on 03/30/2020

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.

Click here to see COVID-19 Community Resources

As of Monday March 23rd, we will be providing Monday through Friday meal service for all children 0-18 from 11:00 to 12:00 at each of our 22 elementary schools.  We are also launching childcare service for medical workers and first responders Monday through Friday from 8:00-4:00 at all elementary schools beginning March 23rd.  To register for childcare service, take the survey: PSD Childcare for Healthcare Workers and First Responders .

UPDATED Monday, March 30, 2020, 11:00 am

Dear Puyallup School District Students and Families,

The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) changed its guidance for schools last week regarding student support and learning during our state-wide school closure. OSPI’s guidance for school districts is centered around the following three principles:

  • Keep Focused on Students
  • Design Learning for Equity and Access
  • Assess Student Learning

OSPI expects school districts to develop and implement a multi-phase student support and learning plan by today, March 30, 2020. Our school district leaders, school administrators, and teacher leaders have been working since the start of the school closure on March 16, 2020 to create a sustainable plan that will support and move learning forward for Puyallup School District students.  Phase 1, as noted below, was completed by staff last week, and Phase 2 starts today.  Phase 1 and Phase 2 are outlined below:

Phase 1: Develop District-Wide Student Support and Learning Plan (Completed)

  • • Communication 
    •  » Call students and families and determine access to resources (technology, internet, etc.)
    •  » Identify and prepare plans for documenting contact with students
    •  » Develop a plan for each student to receive at least one contact prior to the end of the week. For example, using email or another notification method to send a class-wide message.

  • • Student Learning
    •  » Establish plans to reach special populations of students, including students with disabilities, English learners, migrant students, those who are medically fragile, and students experiencing homelessness.

Phase 2: Implement District-Wide Student Support and Learning Plan (In Progress)

  • • Communication
    •  » Send weekly emails to students and families (calls to those who do not have access to email)  
    •  » Establish a plan to communicate with students and families each week
    •  » Answer new questions and problem solve  
    •  » Develop weekly schedules for students to follow
  • • Student Learning
    •  » Deliver content in a flexible and adaptable way that is accessible for all students (printed learning materials, phone, email, video, or other online means) 
    •  » Continue to provide support and intervention for students
      •   – Monitor student progress  
      •   – Provide individual performance feedback 
      •   – Feedback can be given by phone, email, video, Schoology, or other online means 
      •   – If students are only completing paper packets, progress can be monitored by calling families and providing support and guidance 

In addition to the multi-phase student support and instructional plan described above, there is specific information pertaining to our high school students and grading practices for all students detailed below:

  • • High School Students (Grades 9 – 12)
  •  » Seniors: The state created potential waivers for graduation requirements for the Class of 2020 and the State Board of Education is drafting rules for these waivers, which they plan to finalize by the end of April. District leaders, high school administrators, on-time graduation specialists, and counselors have worked to determine the best way to address the needs of our seniors through a variety of pathways. Individual students at risk have been identified and staff are reaching out to provide support.
  •  » AP Exams: All 2020 AP exams will be administered electronically, allowing students to take exams at home in response to school closures related to the COVID 19 pandemic.  Specific details are listed on the College Board’s AP website here: The College Board now offers free online AP exam study resources for all subjects: Click Here to learn more. All AP students will receive additional information about this year's exams on April 4th.

 • Grading

» The grading practices described below are in place until April 27, 2020 and is subject to change if the Governor extends the school closure. Performance-based feedback may be delivered through email to a student’s parent or guardian that shares evidence of academic growth from an assignment, activity, or discussion that occurred.  In addition, the following grading practices will apply starting now until the end of the school closure.

      •  – Elementary: No grades, performance-based feedback only  
      •  – Grades 7-8: No grades, performance-based feedback only  
      •  – Grades 9-12: No grades, students will receive Credit/No-credit  

The Puyallup School District is dedicated to keeping students at the center of our work through this six-week school closure. We will provide instruction and student supports, that build upon students’ strengths, interests, and needs. The focus for our educators is to plan for student learning, develop a weekly plan and schedule, contact families, teach content, deliver flexible instruction, and engage and support families by navigating this new world together. 

UPDATED Friday, March 20, 2020, 5:00 pm

The Puyallup School District Special Education Department continues to connect with our community, the District, and the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction to provide families with up-to-date information regarding our school closure. We will be working on providing educational resources and activities that reinforce and maintain learning that has occurred to date.
  Special Education staff will be communicating with families regarding resources and strategies that support individual students. 

Thank you for your patience and understanding. We maintain our concern for the health and well-being of our students, families, and staff during this unprecedented health situation. If you have questions you are welcome to reach out to the Special Education Director that supports the school your student attends via email or phone at (253) 841-8700 (see table below).

Karen Mool,
Executive Director of Special Education


Directors of Special Education



Karen Van Wieringen

ERHS, RHS, PHS, WHS, Ballou JH, Ferrucci JH, Glacier View JH, Kalles JH & Stahl JH

Kim Leger

Aylen JH, Edgemont JH, PODS/POA, Northwood, Mt. View, Karshner, Spinning, & Waller Road Elementary

Sunday Ferris


Edgerton, Firgrove, Fruitland, Hunt, Meeker, Pope, Stewart, Sunrise & Woodland Elementary

Kelly Carrick

Brouillet, Carson, Dessie Evans, Maplewood, Ridgecrest, Shaw Road, Wildwood & Zeiger Elementary


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.

UPDATED Thursday, March 19, 2020

Meal services for all children 0-18 and childcare service for medical workers and first responders will be available at all 22 of our elementary schools beginning Monday, March 23rd.

We found it necessary to take today and tomorrow to retool our plans for childcare and food service. As our meal services increased, our social distancing in our kitchen prep areas had to be redesigned.  We are also creating call lists to be able to backfill staff for vacancies as necessary to allow us to be able to continue service, and we are creating contingency plans in the event of a shelter in place order.

As of Monday March 23rd, we will be providing Monday through Friday meal service for all children 0-18 from 11:00 to 12:00 at each of our 22 elementary schools.  We are also launching childcare service for medical workers and first responders Monday through Friday from 8:00-4:00 at all elementary schools beginning March 23rd.  To register for childcare service,  take the survey: PSD Childcare for Healthcare Workers and First Responders.

As I’m sure you can imagine, we are dealing with an unprecedented health crisis. We will continue to monitor our plans closely and will continue to adjust as needed to support the community.

UPDATED Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Beginning March 18 through April 24, PSD schools, offices, and facilities will be closed to the public. Students and families will continue to be serviced through scheduled appointments with district employees. See the Quicklinks below to find school and district leadership contact information.

Schools and school staff

District leadership

District operator: 253-841-1301


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.