PSD Connectivity August 21, 2020
Upcoming Dates
Aug. 21:  Elementary School Offices open for scheduled visitation 

Aug. 25: Class/teacher schedules available via Home Access Center  

Sept. 3: First Day of School for all students
(PreK - Grade 12) 

Sept. 4-11: SMART Start Family Connection Meetings  
Superintendent Message
Dr. John Polm

We are on track and have submitted our Reopening Schools Plan to OSPI as a result of the School Board’s approval at the Aug. 17 School Board meeting. Once again, I would like to thank the incredible work of all Taskforce members and the leadership group who kept the energy and momentum going throughout the summer.  Kudos to all involved!  

Milestones and considerations for the start of school: 

  • COVID-19 Data: Our statewide and Pierce County data has improved over the past few days, dropping from the previous high of over 140 cases to 105.8 on August 17. The Department of Health (DOH) defines low disease activity as having fewer than 25 cases per 100,000 people over the most recent 14 day period, so although this is good news, we still have progress to make. This interactive graphic from the DOH is another great resource that displays ‘phase and risk assessment’ data by county.
  • On Aug. 11 Tacoma-Pierce County Health Officer Dr. Chen sent a letter directing (reaffirming) all public and private schools start with distance learning in September.
  • The Governor announced metrics that guide what is permissible at tiers of transmission. The metrics are now part of the DOH “Decision Tree. This document indicates permissible, not required, services at levels above 75, between 25-75, and below 25 cases per 100,000 in the most recent 14-day period. 
I am sharing this data and official guidance with you because all decisions to reopen schools are based on this. Any change from distance learning to in-person instruction will be dependent on community health and will not be immediate. We will need time to adjust logistics and assure staffing when we pivot to offering services in a Hybrid A/B Model.
We are committed to providing the highest level of service to students in a full-time distance learning model and believe that level of service is best done from the classroom. However, we also understand there may be health concerns and childcare challenges for some employees that need to be accommodated. We have communicated with employees that we will continue to work with labor groups and individuals to address concerns. Although all staff will be returning to onsite work, we are committed to finding solutions that address specific barriers for certain positions and will permit offsite work where appropriate. 
As we get ready for the school year, know that staff are positioning themselves to provide the best education we can for students. That remains, and always will be, our highest priority.
ICYMI: School Board Approves PSD’s Plan to Reopen

At the Aug. 17 School Board meeting, the Board unanimously approved Puyallup’s 2020-21 Reopening Plan, which starts the school year in a full-time distance learning format for all students and plans for gradual, in-person instruction offerings with proper health and safety measures in place.

This 64-page report, which includes full implementation plans for remote and in-person learning that meets health and safety requirements, is required by the state to reopen before the first day of school, Sept. 3.
Puyallup School District Starts SMART on the First Day of School, Sept. 3*

PSD will launch SMART Start on the first day of school, an intentional focus bringing school staff and families together to ensure a safe, meaningful, authentic, respectful, and timely (SMART) start to the school year. Like the Washington Kindergarten Inventory of Developing Skills (WaKIDS) program, SMART Start is a plan to help ensure a successful start for all students and connects the key adults in a child’s life to school staff.

The SMART Start engagement program focuses on creating opportunities for families and students that build relationships and set learning goals.
Because in-person interactions are limited due to COVID-19, virtual SMART Start connection meetings will be conducted to:
  1. Connect teachers, students, and families through video
  2. Create positive first impressions and foster safe learning environments
  3. Understand social and emotional needs
  4.  Ensure access to resources

SMART Start connection meetings will be conducted Sept. 4-11. School staff will schedule connection meetings individually with students and families.

*The first day of school for all students, including preschool and kindergarten, is Sept. 3
Laptop Distribution for All Students: Signed P3 Form Required for Pickup

Computer deployment for the 2020-21 school year is currently underway with designated pickup times by school. The Puyallup Protection Plan form is required at time of pickup. Families may choose to decline the coverage by noting ‘decline in participation’ on the form.

The Puyallup Protection Plan (P3) reduces financial risk to families if the laptop is accidentally damaged. Like textbooks, team uniforms and other school property, students are responsible for the appropriate care of the laptop. The Puyallup Protection Plan is an optional way for students and parents to avoid a fine if an accident happens. The cost for the plan is $50 for the school year. Payment must be received by the school in order to receive the laptop.

Parents who qualify for reduced lunch pay $25.00, those who qualify for free lunch have the fee waived.
PSD: A Technology Leader in Education
Did you know Puyallup has spent four years preparing teachers and students for remote learning?

Since March, a ‘new normal’ of teaching and learning has evolved. Widespread access to devices and integrated technologies for students, families, and staff have positioned the District well for large-scale remote learning. Read in this latest Microsoft Education Blog about Puyallup’s ability to create a more inclusive, equitable learning environment through technology. 
Home-Based Instruction: Puyallup Parent Partnership Program (P4)

We realize situations are unique and there are many variables families weigh when considering how best to support a child’s education. The Puyallup Parent Partnership Program (P4) provides families with all the appropriate tools and resources to educate their child from home in a home-school model. Families are trained on District curriculum, online platforms, and provided with virtual enrichment courses that connect them with a certificated teacher or learning coach.

To speak to an Enrollment Specialist, call (253) 604-3192 or visit the District website.
Community Health Drives our Decision to Reopen Schools

The Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department (TPCHD) has ordered us to not open schools whilePierce County’s COVID-19 case ratesremain high.  In an Aug. 12 letter to public school leaders, the TPCHD Director Dr. Anthony L-T Chen reinforced that message, announcing that all schools are required to begin the school year using distance learning.

The Health Department is consulting our District on reopening plans. When the community transmission of disease drops below 75 total cases per 100,000 population over a 14-day period with a test positivity rate below 5%, we can consider a phased-in approach of in-person learning.   We will be well positioned to accommodate some in-person learning as soon as community disease rates are low and stable.

The requirement to begin the school year in a full-time distance learning model produces many questions from parents, educators and the public in general. The Department of Health’s latest blog post addresses commonly asked questions about reopening schools with distance learning.
Brouillet Elementary Student Wins Library Card Design Contest

Congratulations Brouillet Elementary student, Logan Wilcox, one of two contest winners of the Pierce County Library Card Design contest!

Pierce County Library Executive Director Georgia Lomax noted, “We were blown away by the talent of the students who participated in this contest … thank you to the more than 8,000 people who cast votes for all of the creative entries.”

Library card holders will be able to choose from the two new student-designed cards this fall.

Pierce County Library card holders have access to 1.1 million books, e-books, audiobooks, movies and other materials.
Childcare Options

School Board Highlights: Aug. 17, 2020
Regular Board Meeting and Draft Budget Hearing #2  

Board Policies Update:
  • Policy 3225 - School-Based Threat Assessment
  • Policy 3231 - Student Records
  • Policy 3413 - Student Immunization and Life Threatening Health Conditions
  • Policy 4311 - School Resource Officer
  • Policy 5201 - Drug-Free Schools, Community and Workplace
  • Policy 5281 - Disciplinary Action and Discharge
Public Hearing #2: 2020-21 Draft Annual Budget (presentation)
Next School Board Meeting (virtual): 
Sept. 8 at 9 a.m. (agenda/link posted prior to meeting).
Puyallup School District does not discriminate in any programs or activities on the basis of sex, race, creed, religion, color, national origin, age, veteran or military status, sexual orientation, gender expression or identity, disability, or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal and provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups. The following employees have been designated to handle questions and complaints of alleged discrimination:

• Civil Rights Compliance Coordinator: Char Krause,, (253) 435-6295
• 504/ADA Coordinator: Char Krause,, (253) 435-6295
• Title IX Coordinator Staff: Amie Brandmire, (253) 841-8666
 • Title IX Coordinator Students: Char Krause,, (253) 435-6295

All individuals may be reached at this address:
Puyallup School District 302 2nd Street SE Puyallup, WA 98372