Family and Community News | Sept.18, 2022

Welcome, all TPS students!

We are happy to welcome all of our preschoolers to campus starting Monday, Sept. 19. This marks the first day all of our students - from our youngest to our most experienced learners - are in class, either in person or virtually with Tacoma Online. 

TPS students are in good hands with our team of teachers and staff. Let's make it a great year. #BetterTogether


Deadline to register high school students for Tacoma Flex is Sept. 21

Tacoma high schoolers can increase the flexibility in their schedule by registering for Tacoma Flex courses. Students can take up to two online courses at the beginning and/or end of their school day, in addition to completing the rest of their classes in person at their high school.


Working with Tacoma Online, all remote courses will be delivered by Tacoma teachers and housed in the district’s Edgenuity learning management platform. 

Students can work with their school counselors to enroll in Tacoma Flex. The deadline to add Tacoma Flex to a student's schedule is Sept. 21. Deadlines for changing in-person classes may vary by school. 

Tacoma Flex is an ideal opportunity for students who have jobs or family commitments that the traditional in-person school schedule does not allow for. And we know developmentally, teenagers sleep patterns change and that good sleep hygiene is essential to our students' success. A flexible schedule can help accommodate those needs. 

Parental consent is required to participate. Find course offerings and more information.


Safety and security in our schools

The safety of our students, staff and visitors is the highest priority of Tacoma Public Schools. 

Thanks to your continued support of our bonds and levies, we can invest in safety improvements in all our schools: 

  • Controlled access (buzz-in systems) at school entries for single-point entry; staff will lock all exterior doors to the school building
  • Security camera systems with improved technology for real-time response and identification
  • ID card readers for staff access to school
  • Intercom systems to assist with real-time notifications, including digital displays for deaf and hard of hearing

Over the past few months, crews have installed upgraded security cameras throughout all middle and high school campuses. Ten elementary schools have upgraded cameras, and plans are in place for the remaining schools.

In addition, upgrades to the access control, intercom systems, and intrusion detection systems in 13 schools will happen from September through spring 2023. All existing entry vestibules will be upgraded, or new ones will be built in the second phase of work. 


McCarver students start school year with help from businesses donating supplies

"Look, it's pink! Like my shirt!" a McCarver Elementary School student squealed with delight while showing off her new bright pink backpack filled with school supplies. 

Thanks to Office Depot's Start Proud Program, McCarver’s first day of school was extra special this year. Students received 450 backpacks filled with school supplies such as notebooks, composition books, crayons, pencils, highlighters and more, to help them feel confident and prepared for the new school year.

"We're so grateful for this support," principal Stephany Wright said while accepting an additional $9,000 donation from Boise Paper to help support supply needs at the school. "This is going to make such a difference for us. Thank you!" 


Why do we sometimes move teachers and students to different classes? 

Experience tells us that every year our enrollment will fluctuate during the first two weeks of school as some students moved elsewhere and other students who moved into the neighborhood over the summer finalize their enrollment paperwork.

When enrollment numbers stabilize around the third week of school, we make final classroom adjustments. Families with students in classrooms impacted by enrollment changes will be notified by their school principal Sept. 20-28.

Some years we don’t have to change much. Other years, the changes are more extensive. We’re always working to support students and staff while ensuring we’re operating within our budget. This short animation helps to explain.


Eligible families receiving summer pandemic EBT benefits

Many Tacoma Public Schools families have recently received or will receive a summer pandemic EBT card in the mail, thanks to a federal school meal funding option for which our school district is eligible.

P-EBT benefits can be used like a debit card to buy food in most grocery stores and farmers markets, or to buy food online at Amazon, Walmart and Safeway/Albertsons. Learn more at DOH SNAP Market Match.  

Eligible families get their benefits on a P-EBT card in the mail automatically, or their benefits are automatically added to their existing card.

Questions about P-EBT cards? Wondering if you're eligible or if your card will have new benefits added? Get that information at or call the P-EBT Contact Center at 1-833-518-0282 with questions. (Please note: TPS does not send P-EBT cards; the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services sends the cards).  


TCC to host large college fair for juniors, seniors

Tacoma Community College will host the Pacific Northwest Association for College Admission Counseling College Fair at Tacoma Community College on Wednesday, Sept. 28. This event – for high school juniors, seniors and their family – is free, in-person and will feature more than 50 colleges and universities.

This fair is an opportunity for students to learn about colleges, their admission processes and areas of study, and to help determine what fits students best. Students are encouraged to ask questions about campus life, academic programs, admission criteria and more.

Event details:

  • Where: Tacoma College Community, 6501 S 19th St., Tacoma (in the gym, building 20)
  • When: Wednesday, Sept. 28, from 5:30-7:30 p.m.
  • Prepare: Register at

Register in advance using the StriveScan registration system. You’ll receive a barcode via text message and email. At the college fair, present your barcode to college representatives to receive more information about that college. The next day, receive an email with a report of all of the colleges and representatives you met, along with contact information and social media profiles.


Students invited to take safety and well-being survey

Washington State is working to create a youth safety and well-being line available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to address youth safety and well-being concerns. Part of that work includes a survey for youth and young adults. Any youth or young adult who did not participate in the survey already is invited to do it now through Sept. 30.

Take the survey. 

Questions? Please email


Tacoma Public Schools | | 253-571-1000 |


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