Family and Community News | Nov. 13, 2022

Celebrating Native American Heritage Month

Angelina Nicole Miller-Nockai has a passion for sharing her culture and helping Native American children learn to have pride and a sense of belonging. She wants everyone to understand that Native people and their cultures are still here, as they’ve been since time immemorial.

To continue our recognition of Native American Heritage Month, we’re revisiting a video from March, in which Miller-Nockai shares what motivates her to travel the country as a dancer and speaker.

Miller-Nockai is an Indian Education Advisory Board member, Native American cultural specialist, artist in residence, and TPS parent.

Watch her story.


See something, say something

You may be aware of the school shooting at Seattle’s Ingraham High School this week. In response to that tragic event, we want to assure you that the safety of our students and staff remains our highest priority.

Our schools have comprehensive plans in place to ensure safe learning environments for all students, and we have strong relationships with our local law enforcement partners to reinforce our own safety practices.

Helping children after traumatic events

If you have concerns about your child’s reaction to this news, please reach out to their school counselor. Our school district also has exceptional mental health partners who provide services at schools. School counselors can assist with referrals to those partner agencies. We also offer tips for talking to your child about their feelings after traumatic events, and signs that may indicate they are struggling. You can find all of those resources here.

See something, say something 

This is a good time for us to remind you of our joint campaign with law enforcement called, “See Something, Say Something.” Anyone who knows of a threat to any of our schools should immediately call 911. We are all partners in this work. 

Schools closed for Thanksgiving break

Schools and district offices will close Wednesday, Nov. 23 to Friday, Nov. 25 for Thanksgiving break.


Three of our high schools—SOTA, SAMi and iDEA—operate on an alternative schedule and will have no school Nov. 21 - 25.


For more information, please visit the district’s online calendar at

Free menstrual hygiene products coming to schools

A new state law requires menstrual hygiene products be available at no cost in schools that serve students in grades 3-12.

By January, Tacoma Public Schools students in grades 6-12 will have access to free menstrual products (sanitary napkins, tampons, or similar items) in restrooms designated as female and gender neutral. If a secondary school doesn’t have gender-neutral bathrooms, then products will be available in the health room or at least one bathroom accessible to males.

Students in grades 3-5 can get them in in their school’s health room or other location determined by their school’s principal. 

Updates to COVID-19 guidance

The Washington State Department of Health recently released updated COVID-19 guidance for childcare and K-12 schools. The health and safety of our students and staff is our top priority. In support of that, we will continue to follow the requirements and recommendations of the DOH. 

What has changed?

School staff, volunteers and contractors are no longer required to be vaccinated against COVID-19. 

What’s the same?

All students who test positive for COVID-19 are required to isolate at home for at least five full days, regardless of vaccination status. They can return to school on day six if:


Tacoma Public Schools | | 253-571-1000 |


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